He knows it who knows it not, and he knows it not who knows it. To the man of true knowledge it is the unknown, while to the ignorant it is the known.
Indeed, he attains immortality who realizes it in and through every bodh – pulsation of knowledge and awareness. Through the atman he obtains strength and vigor and through its knowledge, immortality.
For one who realizes it here, in this world, there is true life. For one who does not so realize it, great is the loss. Discovering the atman in every single being, the wise ones, dying to this world of sense-experience, become immortal.
Knowledge of the Brahman is impossible, but knowing is possible. Knowledge and knowing are basically different. A very subtle difference has to be understood. Knowing is always in the present, knowledge is of the past. Whenever you say, “I have known,” it means that the experience has become past, it has become part of your memory. When you say, “I am in a process of knowing,” the experience is still continuing; you are still in the experience. It is not part of your memory. Your being is still involved in it.
As far as the world is concerned, the knowing stops. It becomes knowledge. That accumulated knowledge is known as science. Whatsoever man has known becomes science. Science is knowledge. Religion never becomes science because religion is an eternally continuing process of knowing. You never come to a point where you can say, “I have known.” The Brahman never becomes the past; it is always the present. The ultimate cannot be reduced to the past; it cannot be reduced to knowledge. It is always a riverlike flow of knowing.
So you cannot say you have experienced God because that means it is a past thing. It means you have transcended it – that you have already experienced and gone beyond. You cannot go beyond God, so you can never say meaningfully that you have known, that you have experienced. You cannot put him into the past; he cannot be made part of your memory. You can be in a process of experiencing – but it is never experience, it is always experiencing. A lived process is never a dead memory.
It is just like this: you cannot say, “I have breathed.” You are breathing. Breathing cannot become past. If it becomes the past you will be no more. There will be no one to say that he breathed. Breathing is always a continuous process. You are always breathing – it is in the present. You cannot say, “I have lived,” because then who are you? You are life, but you cannot say, “I have lived.” Life is a continuous process. It is always here and now in this very moment. The ultimate means the ultimate life, the ultimate breathing, the ultimate experiencing, the ultimate knowing.