Lao Tzu says on conquering the world by inaction:
The student of knowledge aims at learning day by day;
the student of Tao aims at losing day by day.
By continual losing
one reaches doing nothing.
By doing nothing everything is done.
He who conquers the world
often does so by doing nothing.
When one is compelled to do something,
the world is already beyond his conquering.
What is knowledge? And why are all those who have become awakened deeply against it?
Knowledge is a device to fight with existence. Knowledge is a tool in the hands of the ego. Knowledge is a conflict: the part is trying to conquer the whole by knowing the secrets of the whole. Knowledge is the basic ego trip.
Just as money is, power is, knowledge is also – and more dangerous than money, more dangerous than power, because knowledge is more subtle. I must tell you the old biblical story of Adam’s expulsion from paradise. That parable has multidimensional meanings. One of the meanings is Lao Tzuan: God created the world, and he told Adam not to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge – but why particularly the tree of knowledge? In fact it seems absurd. Had he prohibited Adam from murder, we could have understood; had he prohibited Adam from moving in sex, then all the world religions would have understood. But God prohibited neither sex nor violence but knowledge. Knowledge seems to be the original sin.
But why should God prohibit it? Why is knowledge dangerous? Because the very effort to know the secrets is aggression. The deepest aggression. The very effort to unveil mysteries is violence. And the very effort to know means you are getting ready to fight. Otherwise what will you do with knowledge?
Knowledge is a device of aggression, fight and conflict. The part is trying to rebel; the part is trying to have its own center of being, separate from the whole. The part is trying to become the center of the world itself!
Not that there is a God who prohibited. Yesterday I told you that God loves stories. Now I must tell you that God himself is part of a beautiful story. God is the most beautiful parable. There is nothing like God anywhere. Don’t search for him otherwise you will search for him in vain. You will never come across him. God is a parable – but beautiful! It says many things, and you will miss if you think that God is a person. God is not a person.
It happened, once I heard a great philosophical dialogue. I was sitting in a rich man’s house, in his beautiful drawing-room; he was chattering constantly, but then the phone rang in the other room and he had to leave me. It was good that he left otherwise I would have missed this great dialogue.