You ask: “Is awareness a higher value than love?” There is nothing higher and nothing lower. In fact, there are not two values at all. These are the two paths from the valley leading to the peak. One path is of awareness, meditation: the path of Zen we have been talking about these days. And the other is the path of love, the path of the devotees, the bhaktas, the Sufis. These two paths are separate when you start the journey; you have to choose. Whichever you choose is going to lead to the same peak. And as you come closer to the peak you will be surprised: the travelers on the other path are coming closer to you. Slowly slowly, the paths start merging into each other. By the time you have reached the ultimate, they are one.
The person who follows the path of awareness finds love as a consequence of his awareness, as a by-product, as a shadow. And the person who follows the path of love finds awareness as a consequence, as a by-product, as a shadow of love. They are two sides of the same coin.
And remember: if your awareness lacks love then it is still impure; it has not yet known one hundred percent purity. It is not yet really awareness; it must be mixed with unawareness. It is not pure light; there must be pockets of darkness inside you still working, functioning, influencing you, dominating you. If your love is without awareness, then it is not love yet. It must be something lower, something closer to lust than to prayer.
So let it be a criterion if you follow the path of awareness, let love be the criterion. When your awareness suddenly blooms into love, know perfectly well that awareness has happened, samadhi has been achieved. If you follow the path of love, then let awareness function as a criterion, as a touchstone. When suddenly, from nowhere, at the very center of your love. a flame of awareness starts arising, know perfectly well…rejoice! You have come home.
The second question
Why isn’t knowledge of the scriptures helpful in finding the truth?
Knowledge is not yours, that’s why. It is borrowed. And can you borrow truth? Truth is untransferable; nobody can give it to you. Not even an alive master can transmit it to you. You can learn, but it cannot be taught. So what to say about dead scriptures, howsoever holy they may be? They must have come from some original source; some master, someone awakened must have been at the very source of them – but now they are only words. They are only words about truth, information about truth.
To be with Krishna is a totally different matter from reading the Bhagavadgita. To be with Mohammed, attuned, in deep harmony, overlapping with his being, allowing his being to stir and move your heart, is one thing. And just to read the Koran is a far, faraway cry; it is an echo in the mountains. It is not the truth itself; it is a reflection, a full moon reflected in the lake. If you jump into the lake you are not going to get to the moon; in fact, if you jump into the lake even the reflection will disappear. Scriptures are only mirrors reflecting faraway truths.