Mulla Nasrudin listened very attentively while a stranger told a long story in the coffee-house.
But the man spoke so indistinctly and muffed his punchline so badly that the story was not funny at all, and except for the Mulla no one laughed. But the Mulla laughed heartily.
“Why did you laugh, Nasrudin?” I asked him afterwards when the stranger had left.
“I always do,” replied Nasrudin. “If you don’t laugh, there is always the danger of their telling it over again.”
People have their own reasons. Even laughter is businesslike; even laughter is economic, political. Even laughter is not just laughter. All purity is lost. You cannot even laugh in a pure way, in a simple way, childlike.
And if you cannot laugh in a pure way, you are losing something tremendously valuable. You are losing your virginity, your purity, your innocence.
This story is mirroring us. How? Look into your life observe as if you are observing others. You will be surprised that you are responsible for losing your innocence.
Remember this – that bliss is never knowledgeable, and a man of knowledge is never blissful. Only innocent people can be blissful, only children can be blissful. Those who don’t know, only they can be blissful. The more you know, the less is the possibility of being blissful.
That is the meaning of the biblical story that adam was turned out of the garden of eden – because he ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge; he became knowledgeable, he became a knower. He lost his innocence. He was no more a child… the ego entered. The ego always enters through knowledge. Knowledge is a very subtle possession, and knowledge separates you from existence.
So if you can understand this and keep aware of it, don’t accumulate knowledge. And whenever you see that you have accumulated something, renounce it! There is no need to renounce anything if you can renounce knowledge. And that is the irony: people renounce everything, but they never renounce knowledge.
Remain ignorant and innocent and you will again enter the garden of eden. Nobody can bar your way, and the doors are not closed to you.
The biblical story is really of tremendous import. There are thousands of parables, but nothing to compare with it. It has great insight!
Adam is not thrown out of heaven because he sinned – that’s what Christians go on saying. No. He has not been thrown out of heaven because he disobeyed; no – that too is not the true explanation.
He became knowledgeable, he was no more innocent… he became corrupted. Knowledge corrupts.
So if you can avoid knowledge, you will fall into deep peace and silence, and bliss.
Learning from the story: Be alert what is Knowledge and Knowing.
Ignorance is innocent, and innocence is ignorant. They are both two sides of the same coin, adverse and reverse. They are not separate. That’s why jesus goes on insisting: ‘Unless you become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of god.’ And how can one become like a child? One becomes like a child when one renounces knowledge.
In fact there is not much trouble in renouncing knowledge, because it is all bogus. In the very nature of things, knowledge is not possible. You cannot know anything. Ignorance is very fundamental, ignorance is eternal – it cannot be broken. All knowledge is on the surface, just go a little deeper and you will find it disappears. You say you know your wife, you know your girlfriend – what do you know? You say you know yourself – what do you know?
Watch carefully each item that you claim you know, and sooner or later you will understand that you don’t know. Existence is not available to knowledge. It is closed… adam has been thrown out. It is closed for knowledge. It is available for love but it is closed for knowledge. Love is innocent.
So there is a way of knowing which is more like loving than knowing. And there are two ways of knowledge: One, the way of knowledge, and another, the way of innocence, the way of love.
When you love a person, you know, and yet you cannot claim knowledge. You know in a subtle way, yet the very claim that you know will be wrong – you cannot claim it. The object of your love remains mysterious – known, yet mysterious. And the whole existence is your object of love.
Innocence is falling in love with existence.
For us – continuously go on dropping knowledge, and remain innocent. Then you will be able to undo what adam has done.