The Journey Is The Goal
And when I say be like a child I mean always remain learning, never become knowledgeable. Go on learning; learning is totally different. Knowledge is a dead phenomenon, learning is an alive process. And the learner has to remember this: he cannot function from the standpoint of knowledge.
Have you not watched and observed it? – little children learn so fast. If a child lives in a multilingual atmosphere he learns all the languages. He learns the language that the mother speaks, the father speaks, the neighbors speak – he may learn three, four, five languages very easily, with no problem. Once you have learned a language then it becomes very difficult to learn another language because now you start functioning from the standpoint of knowledgeability. It is said you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. It is true. But what makes a dog old? – not physical age, because a Socrates goes on learning to the very end, even while he is dying. A Buddha goes on learning to the very end. What makes a dog old? – knowledge makes a dog old.
Buddha remains young, Krishna remains young. We have not a single statue of Buddha which depicts him as old, or of Krishna which depicts him as old. Not that they never became old: Krishna lived up to the age of eighty, became very old, but something in him remained always young, childlike. He continued to function from the state of not-knowing.
So first, when I say be like a child I mean be total.
The second thing is remain a learner, function from the state of not-knowing. That’s what innocence is: to function from not-knowing is innocence.
The third thing, and the last: a child has a natural quality of trust, otherwise he cannot survive. When the child is born he trusts the mother, trusts the milk, trusts that the milk will be nourishing him, trusts that everything is okay. His trust is absolute, there is no doubt about anything. He’s not afraid of anything. His trust is so much that the mother is afraid because the child can go and start playing with a snake. His trust is so much that a child can go and poke his hand into the fire. His trust is so much; he knows no fear, he knows no doubting. That is the third quality.
If you can know what trust is, if you can learn again the ways of trust, only then will you know what godliness is, only then will you come to realize what truth is. This has to be understood.
Science depends on doubt. That’s why the whole of education has become the education of doubt. Science depends on doubt, it cannot grow without doubt. Religion depends on trust, it cannot happen without trust. These are diametrically opposite directions.
Excerpted From The Wisdom of the Sands, Vol. 1 CH: 3