Understanding means action. When you understand a thing, immediately you start working on it, because if it is right and you feel it is right, you have to do something about it. Otherwise everything remains borrowed, and borrowed knowledge cannot become understanding. You can forget that it is borrowed – you would like to forget that it is borrowed, because to feel that it is borrowed means that your ego is hurt. So you go on forgetting that it is borrowed. By and by you start feeling that it is your own. That is very dangerous.
I have heard an anecdote. The congregation of a church was very bored by the minister. A point came when the members of the church said directly to the minister, “Now you have to leave.”
The minister said, “Give me one more chance, only one chance, and if then you say so, I will leave.”
So next Sunday the whole town gathered in the church to see what that minister was going to do now that only one chance was given to him. They never suspected, they never imagined, that such a beautiful sermon was going to be delivered on that day. They had never heard such a thing.
Surprised, delighted, they enjoyed it, and when the sermon was finished they gathered around the minister and they said, “You need not leave. You remain here. We have never heard such a thing before – never in our lives. Be here and remain here, and of course, with an increase in your stipend.”
But then one man, a very prominent member of the congregation, asked, “Tell me one thing only. When you started your lecture you raised your left hand with two fingers raised, and when you closed your lecture you raised your right hand, again with two fingers raised. So what is the meaning of this symbol?”
The minister said, “The meaning is easy. Those fingers are symbolic of quotation marks. That sermon was not mine – it was borrowed.”
Always remember those quotation marks. It is very good to forget them, you feel good, but all that you know is within quotation marks; it is not your own. And you can drop those quotation marks only when something has become your own experience.
These techniques are to change knowledge into experience. These techniques are to change acquaintance into understanding. That which belongs to a Buddha or to a Krishna or to a Christ, through these techniques can belong to you – that can become your own. And unless it becomes your own, no truth is true. It may be a grand lie, a beautiful lie, but no truth is true unless it becomes your experience – individually, authentically your own.
Three things. First: always remember that your house is on fire. Second: don’t listen to the devil. He will constantly say to you that there is no hurry. And thirdly: remember, acquaintance is not understanding.
Whatsoever I am saying here will make you acquainted. It is needed, but it is not enough. It starts you on a journey, but it is not the end. Do something so that knowledge doesn’t remain knowledge, doesn’t remain as memory, but becomes your experience and your life.
Now the first technique: