On the pursuit of knowledge Lao Tzu says:
Without stepping outside one’s doors
one can know what is happening in the world.
Without looking out of one’s windows
one can see the Tao of heaven.
The further one pursues knowledge
he less one knows.
Therefore the sage knows without running about,
understands without seeing,
accomplishes without doing.
Religion is not knowledge, it is knowing. Knowledge is of the mind, knowing is of the being – and the difference and the distance – is tremendously vast. The difference is not only quantitative, it is also qualitative.
Knowledge and knowing – they are as different as heaven and hell, earth and the sky, so the first thing to understand is the difference between knowledge and knowing.
Knowledge is never of the present, it is always of the past. The moment you say you know it is already a dead thing. It has already left its marks on the memory, it is like dust clinging to you. You have already moved away from that.
Knowing is always immediate, knowing is here and now. You cannot say anything about it, you can only be it. The moment you speak of it, even knowing becomes knowledge; that’s why all those who have known, they say it cannot be said. The moment you speak of it, the very nature of it changes; it has become knowledge. It is no more the beautiful alive phenomenon of knowing.
Knowing has no past, it has no future, it has only the present. And remember, present is not part of time.
People ordinarily think that time is divided between past, future and present. They are absolutely wrong. Time is divided between past and future, present is not a part of time at all. You cannot catch hold of it in time. Pursue it and you will miss. Try to grasp it and it will always be out of your reach, because it is part of eternity not part of time.
Present is eternity crossing time. It is a meeting point where eternity and the temporal meet.
In the present is knowing, in the past is knowledge – and knowledge creates future, past creates future. Future is a by-product of the past.
Whenever you know, you start planning. The more you know, the more you plan. Knowing means the past, planning means the future – then you don’t allow the future freedom, you try to fix it into the pigeonholes of the past. You would like it to be just a repetition of the past, howsoever modified, decorated – but just a repetition of the past.