Your Spiritual Knowledge Is Your Worst Obstruction
Updated: May 18, 2021
Q: If you have to condense everything you have said in a small paragraph, basically the essential core of what you wish to convey, what would that be?
G: You really want to hear? I really don’t know a thing about life. Then you will tell me, “You do talk and you do respond to people’s queries.” My reason for talking to you is to come back to the same point in every possible way, that I really don’t know anything about life. The difference between you and me is that you have a hope, you have an idea, that you will come to know of something about life that will help you overcome all your struggles that present themselves in your life. You would like to think that living is a path and you can overcome all the obstructions that come in the way. But if you want to know what I have to say about life, I will say, “I don’t know.” Probably while walking the path you may learn something by yourself or from others but what you learn and understand from others will not have the punch of life unless it actually resonates in your life and it expresses in your living. Only when you have a resonance with whatever you understand and the way you walk, will you get a really good feedback on your energies that will enable you to gather more strength and vitality to walk through the struggles of your life. That’s the reason, when you depend on a specific idea you will gradually see that the idea is, in the long run, the greatest stumbling block for you to have a movement which resonates best with yourself and the life around you. That includes all the understanding about your life, relationships, instructions you receive through society, how you should perceive the world, what should be your take on everything, goal and purpose in life…all this that you have heard while growing up…you will begin to see the ineffectiveness and the futility of all these things. Whatever remains, if that resonates in your life and in your living, you will gather strength, momentum and vitality to overcome all the problems that may come, not by understanding life. That’s the whole point, it may give you some kind of awareness that helps you discriminate better the things that you don’t want to have, the things that you need to throw out or give up. To do that you need courage. That courage will be gathered from the lessons of life itself; because just by identifying something is not good for you is not enough. It may be the beginning of a movement that will help you to identify and discriminate, but in the long run you need to have lot of strength. That’s called the renouncing power that helps shed anything that creates habit and intoxication.
So I feel that the profundity of this whole thing is that there is no a priori assumption. It is what I find most appropriate to my reflection. I do not want to reach any particular conclusion, as to what the end-game would be, whether I will have knowledge which will give a certainty of certain things, of an idea or a question that human beings are faced with in society. Somehow it converted itself into a particular question that suits my intellect and my understanding, my energy, words all derived from the social contract. So, whether I will come to a particular conclusion of an idea for example, a simple thing - is there an ultimate power, an ultimate being, an ultimate energy, is there any goal? Is there anything that has a very finite purpose of life?
Certain ideas are logically sound compared to other ideas. But when it comes to life, I feel our nature is such that, it almost looks like as of now, it's impossible for any particular brain or any instrument by any species; it's impossible for you to grasp the totality because it's not required. That’s what I feel. So the basic tenet is - I don’t know. So what happened is, I don't have an investment in or expend any energy to uphold a very specific idea or ideology. I feel that to some extent, it doesn’t add to the disturbance of the natural harmony among the humans. For e.g., if I have a priori idea of religiosity or an ideology or a specific social structure, then I immediately either go for or against the individuals who are trying to uphold it. So I already created an additional stumbling block for me. I feel the human beings as a species, with our brains and everything, are born to be open to others. You can see when you see a few kids interact, that’s how it starts. Then gradually layers of conditioning create an uncalled for barrier between them based on whatever they are trying to be represent themselves as - for or against.
Already life is a very complicated process and living is not a joke or a game, whether it's an extremely brilliant person, a rich guy or a poor one, each and everyone has very definitely struggled in their respective walks of life. When somebody has a lot, they have a lot more headache to keep it going. When somebody has something more than what he needs. then the other needs demand focused attention. So, each one is inundated by certain things as they live their life. So, living itself is a problem. Now to optimize the problem, you adopt an idea, company, friends, philosophy, but what happens is - it actually in the long run creates a new burden which need not necessarily be seen at the onset. But this is how it has been going on. Can we do anything about it? It's a very personal thing. If you're a person who is trying to overcome your own problem, you will gradually feel that your problem is not very different from others’ problems. A solution that has taken place inside you is a signal to other people that solutions are possible although their process and outcome may not be identical to yours.
Because life is so complicated, the methodology of a particular solution is also complex and never captured by us. So if you asked the most brilliant person, or a so-called enlightened person, or a so-called successful person, "How did you come to this solution?” what answer they give - if they're really honest and not completely brainwashed themselves to believe that they have done everything by themselves for themselves, - they will tell you there are so many unknowns that came my way for me to be here, at this position, at this juncture of life, which I probably will never know. If I myself cannot figure out how can I can hand it to someone as a methodology to produce a solution of a stable equilibrium?
While G casually chats and recalls about incidents with his time with UG, there is nothing idle about it. He is usually trying to make a point or give a hint to someone in the audience. G mentions about an incident related to him by UG when an astrologer comes to meet him (UG). This guy was supposed to draw the horoscope of Saibaba and meet him. However, the astrologer had more belief in his own astrological skills than the people’s belief on Saibaba. He was invited to go and give a reading to Saibaba but chose not to go because according to the astrologer his birth horoscope was off in some respect and indicated that he was not an enlightened being. Such was the introduction of this astrologer given by UG. This astrologer was stunned at reading UG’s horoscope and its exalted prediction that this guy would be so great that one look by him would be enough to initiate anybody. G laughingly added that UG probably created this exaggerated version perhaps to get the person in front of him to focus on him and be more open instead of wearing a thick shield of their knowledge of shastras and what not. Unfortunately most of the time it hardly had an impact and UG would say, “Nothing touched you.” G continued, “Thanks to the thick shield you wear, you don’t let anything touch you, not water, not tapas (heat), nothing! Your so-called spiritual knowledge is the worst obstruction! So what can you do? Essen, Trinken, Schlafen (Eat, Drink, Sleep).”