"… there is this, each one, living it may be for a week, or a day, or years, has built an image which becomes knowledge. Follow this, please follow this - knowledge about each other. Knowledge - may I go into it a little bit? This is serious. Knowledge is destructive in relationship. Right? If you once understand this: I say I know my wife because I have lived with her, I know all her tendencies, her irritations, impetuosity, her jealousy, which becomes my knowledge about her: how she walks, how she does her hair, how she moves - you follow? I have collected a lot of information and knowledge about her. And she has collected a lot of knowledge about me; so the past - you follow? - knowledge is always the past. Right? There is no knowledge about the future, predictable. Predictable - you understand? So, I have knowledge, we have knowledge about each other. Right?
So we have to enquire a great deal into the question of knowledge: what place has knowledge in life? Are we together in this observation? Will knowledge transform man? What place has knowledge in the mutation or in the ending of conditioning? This is conditioning: I have conditioned through knowledge her, and she has conditioned me through knowledge. You are following all this? We are together in this? We are observing together? Please, I am not teaching you. You are observing with all your energy, with capacity to see this fact: that where there is knowledge in relationship, there must be conflict. I must have knowledge how to drive a car, how to write a sentence, how to speak English, or French, or Italian, whatever language it is. Or I must have technological knowledge; if I am a good carpenter, I must have knowledge about the wood, tools I use and so on; but in relationship with my wife, or with a friend, whatever it is, that knowledge which I have gathered together, put together through constant irritation, constant separation, ambitions, this knowledge which I have acquired, that knowledge is going to prevent actual relationship with another. Right? Is this a fact, or is this merely a supposition, a theory, an idea? An idea is an abstraction of a fact. Right? The word ‘idea’ in Greek means to observe, to see, to come very close to perception, not make an abstraction which becomes an idea. So we are not dealing with ideas. But we are dealing with the actual relationship, which is in conflict, and that conflict arises when I have accumulated lots of information about her and she has acquired a lot about me. So, our relationship then is based on knowledge; and knowledge can never be complete, about anything in life. Please realise this. Knowledge must always go with the shadow of ignorance. Right? You can’t know about the universe. Astrophysicists may describe, but to be aware of that immensity, no knowledge is required through information; you have to have that mind that is so vast, so completely orderly, as the universe is, then that’s a different matter.
So similarly, knowledge in relationship brings about conflict. See the fact. Not accept the fact; see the fact that knowledge has importance in one direction, in the other it has not. The negation is the most positive - you understand? Right? Can we go from there a little more? That is, do we exercise will to end conflict? That is, to enquire whether will, that is, positive action - ‘I want to end this conflict’ - whether that will will bring about the cessation of conflict, which we have done before.
So, it’s very important to understand the place of knowledge and knowledge as an impediment in relationship. Love is not knowledge; love is not remembrance. When there is no knowledge about her, I look upon her, and she does, as a fresh, new human being, each day new. You know what it does? You are too learned, you are full of book knowledge, what other people have said. And that’s why this becomes awfully difficult to comprehend - a very simple thing like this."
What is the place of knowledge in our lives?
Public Talk 2 Ojai, California, USA - 02 May 1982