The spiritual journey begins with the deepest understanding that true knowledge is not acquired knowledge, and that it is not an intellectual, scholastic endeavor. It is something that begins with unlearning, with emptying, de-identifying, and de-conditioning the mind to retreat back to its pure essence and wisdom.
That is the reason we find that a rustic, or so-called ignorant person, reaches God faster than the intellectual giants. A Ramakrishna, Kabir, Tulsi, Nanak, or Jesus doesn't come with intellectual patents in their bag, they only come with the richest possession of deepest yearning and love for Truth.
It is one thing to know through reading or hearing, but knowledge acquired that way is only skin deep. It cannot see through the skin to the core of Being of anyone in this world. That is the reason love in this world is mostly understood more from a physical dimension rather than the fragrance of the Soul within.
A physics professor having a boat ride asked the illiterate, simple boatman all about physics and cosmology and was surprised he knew nothing of it! Suddenly, the sky became overcast and they found themselves in a bad storm, the boat quickly filling with water. The boatman then asked the professor, “Sir, do you know swimming?” Full of fear and panic the knowledgeable professor said, “no” and the next moment the boat capsized and he was drowned. The boatman, who knew how to swim, floated on the water and safely reached the bank.
What is the use of so much knowledge when we do not even learn how to swim. After all we have to cross the ocean of life, and God has been kind to man to not only gift us with the sharpest intellect but also the oceanic heart to fathom in its depth pure joy of Union with the Divine. The art of swimming is the art of love that celebrates only in giving and giving and asking nothing in return.
Why do we all crave knowledge and techniques? Why do we so much want to fill our brain with more and more bites of information? Can't we have a world where we will fill each other’s hearts with more passion and love for humanity beyond the trifles of ego-inflating ignorance in the name of knowledge?
Knowledge is acquired, and we become possessive about it, at times or most often obsessive about our ownership of that which is only the faintest echo of the Truth. Knowledge cannot cure our root ignorance. It cannot deliver us from the pains and agonies which we create for others and ourselves. It is more important for us to take the new journey of unloading, unburdening, unlearning the "word" and go to the deeper essence hiding behind the word - its intrinsic essence, the "wordless reality." It is not knowledge, it is awareness, it is awakening that is the permanent cure of life's maladies.
A person struggles throughout life to create a personal profile to be marketable and acknowledged in the world. If that happens, success crowns that person. But out of all our efforts to create our “business card” is that who we are? Man alone can delve deeply into the cavity of the heart to unravel the mystery of “who am I?”
Are you caught in the trap of your false identity on the business card and hiding behind all your academic degrees or are you exploring everyday to find the wisdom of who you are? It is only as you move on in life and mature more in the light of the wisdom of your spirit that you come to see the higher intentions of the infinite intelligence and Love that is God. It is only when you are in the moment that divine wisdom dawns. As you begin to see with the eye of the Spirit, you also see true Knowledge is your eternal Self.
Shuddhaanandaa Brahmachari (Kolkata, India): Globally acclaimed motivational teacher (mindfulness meditation, stress reduction) author, peacemaker (Man of Peace Award 2012) Visionary social advocate; founded Lokenath Divine Life Mission, 1985. Serves thousands of poverty-stricken individuals in India. (Lifetime Achievement Award, House of Lords, UK, 2015)