The mysterious original current - Tao
(CONCEIVED OF AS) HAVING NO NAME, IT IS THE ORIGINATOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH; THE NAMED IS THE MOTHER OF ALL THINGS.
Existence has no specific name. It is name-less. Objectification takes place as soon as a name is given.
Every object is a part of the boundless existence as long as it is unnamed. No sooner it is named, it falls apart and separates from existence. Name is the boundary-line of isolation. To name a thing is to separate it from the rest. As long as no name is given, everything is one. No sooner a name is given, things break up and fall apart.
Lao Tzu says, "Name-less is the Creator of Heaven and Earth. He is the Original Source. The Name or the Named, is the mother of all objects."
First and foremost, we must understand that things would have been just the same as they are, on the face of this earth even if man did not exist on it. There would have been no difference between the rose and its thorn - there is none in fact. The rose is just as closely connected to the thorn as your heart is to your eyes. There is no distance even between the earth and the sky. It would be difficult to say where the earth ends and where the sky begins. They are so blended, so joined: they are the two extremities of the same thing. It would have been difficult to say where the ocean begins or where the land, - if man did not exist. Land protracts beneath the Ocean and the Ocean beneath the land. That is why we find water when we dig a well. If we go deep within the Ocean, we shall find land. In the Ocean there is more water and less land. In the land there is more earth and less water. Earth cannot be without water and water cannot be without earth.
If we set aside Man, all else in the world is interconnected, and One. There is no difference between them. Things have separated and fallen apart from each other. only on the advent of Man. It is Man who sees them as separate entities. When I look at you, I see your hands. your eyes, your ears.
your feet. separately; but within you, in your being, there is no differentiation. There, your eyes, your hands. your ears are all joined - they are the extensions of one and the same thing. The energy that is present in your hand. is not different and apart from the energy which helps the eyes to look. The hand sees through the eyes, and the eyes touch through the hand. Within you in your very being, there is no distance whatsoever between the two. It is only when we view from outside, when we give a name, that the differences start, and things fall apart from each other. We say, 'the eye' and the eye at once separates from the ear. We say, 'the hand,' and the hand falls apart from the legs.
As soon as we give a name, we draw a line and things separate, fall apart.
Lao Tzu says: "It is without a name." As long as we attribute no name, it is the Origin of all existence.
Lao Tzu has given two names for existence - Heaven and Earth.
Within man's knowledge and experience, there are two very deep-seated sensations - one of happiness, the other of pain. The experience of Existence, if we leave names aside, is either, like the experience of happiness or the experience of sorrow. Happiness and sorrow, in their turn, are also no two different things, if we leave all names aside. Then pleasure is a part of pain and pain a part of pleasure. But we give a name to everything. If I am feeling joy within and if I do not give it a name - that this is joy - then this feeling of joy has its own pain. This is a little difficult to understand. Every feeling of joy has its own pain. Love has its own pain and happiness has its own sorrow. Pleasure contains its own thorns if we do not give it a name. As soon as we name the feeling, we separate joy from its pain. Then we tend to forget the pain in the pleasure believing it not to be a part of pleasure. Similarly the joy experienced in pain is also set aside, forgotten; for we do not take it to be a part of pain. Nowhere in our vocabulary is pleasure contained in pain or vice versa.
It was only today that I was telling someone that in actual experience, it is difficult to differentiate between love and have. There is a distinct difference in words however. What distance can be greater than the distance between love and hate? Those who give discourses on love are bound to say that love is. where hatred is not: and hate is, where love is not. But the living experience shows that love changes into hate and hate into love. In fact. we know of no love, which does not contain its part of hatred. Whomsoever we love, we hate also. But with words, there is difficulty.
In the language of words love is love only; hatred is dropped out. If we look deep within the experience. we shall find that the one we love, we hate also. But this becomes clear in experience alone and not in words - and whomsoever we hate we are able to hate because we love. Else, it is not possible to hate. We have a kind of friendship even with our foes; - there is a kind of attachment.
And also with a friend there is a kind of repulsion, a kind of enmity. Words are hard, solid, they cannot contain the opposite. Existence is liquid. It has the quality of containing the opposite within itself.
Death is not contained in our birth but in Existence death is joined to birth; it is contained in birth.
There is no place for health in our illness but according to Existence, only a healthy man can fall ill.
If you are not healthy, you cannot fall ill. A dead man is never ill. It is necessary that a man be living if he is to fall ill. It is necessary that he should be healthy. It is necessary to be healthy in order to be ill. And if you become aware of the fact that you are ill, it is only because you are healthy; or else how will you know you are ill? What I mean is, where there is Existence, all opposing differences fall.
Then there is the expansion of one alone. The moment we give a name things break into two and a dichotomy is created at once. On the one hand you give a name and on the other the Existence begins to break up into bits and parts. To give a name is the process of breaking up. To give up all names, is the way to know the Absolute, the Whole.
But we cannot remain without giving names. We feel very restless if we do not give a name. We see a thing and we at once give it a name. We hear something - at once we give it a name, We see a flower and the mind at once gives it a name: It is a rose, it is beautiful or otherwise; we have known it before or not known it before; it is familiar or unfamiliar. At once, the flower as such, is left aside and a web of words is created. Then when we view Existence through the mesh of words, it appears broken and distorted.
Lao Tzu says, "Name-less is the creator of Existence the Origin of all Existence; and 'The Name' is the Mother of all objects." Therefore we cannot give a name to Parmatman (God) for as soon as we name Him, He becomes an object. Whatever we name, becomes an object. If we give a name to atman, it becomes an object and if we do not name, even a stone, becomes atman. If we attribute no name, if our mind does not create a name and if without words, without names, we look at even a stone, God will reveal Himself to us in that mere stone. Even if, we give a name to a heart pulsating with love - 'my son, my mother, my wife.' - Then this throbbing heart becomes a dead piece of stone.
Name converts consciousness into object. Leave names, and objects turn into living consciousness.
Lao Tzu breaks Existence into two parts in order to explain. He divides it into Heaven and Earth. By Earth he means matter; by Heaven he means, experience, perception, consciousness, understanding. So according to him, the creator of all matter and all consciousness. is Name-less.
Heaven is an experience whereas Earth is a state of order, a condition. In the days of Lao Tzu, Earth was Meant to convey the meaning of matter and heaven was used to convey the meaning of consciousness, for the experience of heaven was felt by understanding. Lao Tzu has used these two terms in this context. Matter conveys the meaning of rigidity, immovability; heaven conveys the meaning of consciousness, feeling. The primal source of all matter and all consciousness is Name-less and the process of attributing names, is the mother of all objects.
We live in the world of objects.
We live neither in the world of matter nor in the world of consciousness. We live in a world of objects.
If you cast your eyes around and look, you will be able to understand clearly that we live in a world of 'things'. It is not because we live among furniture that we live in things; or that we live in houses and in wealth. These forsooth, are objects but those who stay among these become well-nigh objects themselves.
If I love somebody, I wish that my love should be the same tomorrow as today. I also expect to receive the same love from the beloved the next day. Now we can only place our trust in objects and not in individuals. I will find my chair in the same position tomorrow in which I leave it today.
It is predictable and reliable for the chair has no consciousness, no individuality of its own. But the same cannot be predicted about a living individual - that I will get the same amount and quality of love I got today. It could be, it could not be. But I desire it should he. so what I receive today, I must also get tomorrow. Then I will have to strive to destroy the individual and make an object out of him.
Then alone can I rely on him.
Then I will make the lover my husband or the beloved, my wife, as the case may be. I thus obtain the support of the law and society. Then when I demand love tomorrow, the wife (or the husband) cannot deny me, for vows have been made and promises given - everything is confirmed. Now to deny me is no better than a betrayal; failing in one's duty. So the one I tied with my love yesterday, I turn him (or her) into an object. Now if this person shows the slightest sign of consciousness or individuality there is bound to be trouble, there is bound to be friction. Therefore, all our relationships are ties of strife and dissensions. We expect from individuals what we expect from objects;. But in spite of tremendous efforts, no individual can turn into an object. And even though a certain amount of ennui does result, yet a portion of consciousness is forever awake within and this keeps revolting.
Then the whole life is spent in curbing the consciousness by striving to load it with matter.
When I suppress a person's individuality and make him into an object or if someone curbs my individuality and turns me into ail object, another tragedy takes place. If a person really turns into an object, then the very meaning of making love to such a person is lost. There is no sense in making love to a chair! The joy of love is only with consciousness. Now this is man's dilemma. He desires to receive fidelity and constancy from an individual, just as he gets from a chair; but he does not desire love from objects for that has no meaning. Such an impossible possibility rages within our minds.
We expect from individuals what an inert object alone can give. This is impossible. If the person remains an individual, love is not possible. If the person turns into an inert object, our pleasure in love is lost. Both conditions bring about frustration and nothing but sorrow comes to hand.
Thus we are ever striving to turn each other into passive objects. That which we call family or society, is much less a group of individuals and more a collection of objects. If we search deep within our own condition we will find exactly what Lao Tzu says. In fact, where there is a name. the individual disappears, consciousness is lost and only the object remains. If I even assert to someone that I am your lover I become an object. I give a name to a living, throbbing, happening which was as yet growing, expanding and was as yet new. I gave it a name - now I drew a line of restriction. Now I will stop it from taking its own course, for now I have attributed a name to it. Tomorrow, when I am filled with anger, I will say to myself, "I am a lover, I should not be angry." So I will suppress my anger.
Now if anger rises within and it is suppressed, then the love manifested under these conditions will be false and hollow.
The lover who is not capable of being angry becomes incapable of loving also. If I do not consider my beloved so much my own as to be angry with her, I can never consider her so much my own as to love her. But I have confessed my love for her; then what shall I do with the anger that burns within me? I will have to practise deception. Either I should gulp my anger or suppress it or hide it and pretend love. But this love will be false; the anger within is the true condition, within me. So the real feeling will be suppressed within and the false will keep adding, on the surface. Then I shall be a false, an untrue, object and an individual no more. But this suppressed anger will take its revenge. It will push from within day by day. It will try all means to come out. Naturally then, hatred will develop towards the one I have loved. Then I will try all means to escape from the one I have loved!
Lao Tzu says, "Man has erred by giving names." When I confessed my love to someone, did I understand well the meaning and the implications of being a lover? I gave a permanent name to a momentary feeling. Had I looked well within myself. I would not perhaps have made this statement.
Perhaps I would have kept quiet. It was a mistake to speak.
The American President Coolidge used to speak very little. There has never been a politician who spoke so sparingly. A year before he died, a friend asked him the reason why he spoke so little.
Coolidge said, "I never suffered for what I did not say and for what ever I did say, I repented all my life. Experience has taught me to speak as little as possible. Had I learnt earlier, I would not have spoken at all!" Perhaps you might think Coolidge may have sworn at somebody and suffered for it.
That is the obvious outcome of abusing someone. But when you say to someone, "I love you," then too you have to suffer the consequence thereof!
In fact, give a name and the punishment follows; for we make an object out of a liquid, fluid, individuality. Where there was a flowing current, we tend to raise a wall right in the middle of the stream. Then there is bound to be trouble, there is bound to be pain. Life will want to flow like a current and the planks of name we hammer into it, are bound to cause obstructions. Life, existence, is very vast, all planks of denominations are swept away in its current. But then a trail of the sting of misery, sorrow and remorse is left behind.
Lao Tzu says: "Give no designation." Give a name and an object is born. Let us assume for a moment that all of us here were to forget all language - just for an hour. Will that have any effect on the earth or the skies? Will it make any difference to light and darkness? Will you or your neighbour be then, any different? Would the Hindus and Muslims be distinct from each other? Would there then be a distance between man and woman? If even for an hour we forget all speech, all barriers and distances will fall immediately in such a situation. It would be an uncommon world then - filled with expansion, where there would be no boundaries; and where things will be forever spreading - stopping nowhere. Then you will not feel that someone is sitting next to you, for that, language is necessary. Then you will not feel that someone is a friend or someone is a foe, for these require language.
Then only a vast Existence remains.
And in this Existence, there will be only two kinds of experiences (Remember, Experiences, not names) that Lao Tzu refers to as Heaven and Earth; or it would be better to name them as Matter and Consciousness, according to the world of today. There will be two domains only - that of matter and consciousness and it is the knowledge thereof and not denomination that will remain. All names belong to objects. Objects can be matter as well as individuals. If we attribute a name to a person he becomes an object. If we bestow a name to matter, it also becomes an object. If I say, "This is a chair, it becomes all object. Similarly if I say, "Wife, husband or Son". they too become no more than objects. A son can be possessed just as much as a chair but existence cannot be possessed nor also can Matter be possessed.
The reason is simple: the chair existed when you did not and will still exist long after you are gone.
You say: "This is my Son" but tomorrow if he dies, you will take him to the cremation grounds and burn him. And when he is dying, you cannot argue with fate that he is your son and how dare he be taken away without your permission! Nor can you reprimand your son for thus leaving you without your permission.
Existence does not regard any one's possession. Even at the time of birth you only suffer from an illusion that you are born. Existence does not accept ownership of others; nor do objects. It is the attribution of names that starts the ownership; with it are formed objects. Objects are one extremity and ownership is the other. Wherever there is ownership, there must be an object. Then it makes no difference if that object is matter or individual Ownership starts as soon as you say "This is mine."
Then that particular thing loses its existence and becomes an object.
We live, surrounded by objects; and the progenitor of all objects, says Lao Tzu, is the process of nomination.
There is a very sweet story about Lao Tzu, that I often refer to: Lao Tzu went out for a walk with a friend one morning. He was an old friend of Lao Tzu and knew very well his love tor silence.
This particular morning, he happened to bring a guest along with him. Now this friend began to feel uncontrolable after a while for neither Lao Tzu spoke nor his host. At last he could hold out no longer. He said: "Look, the morning is so beautiful!" Neither Lao Tzu heeded him nor his friend.
He became all the more restless. It would have been better if he had not spoken at all! Then they all turned back home. Before they left, Lao Tzu whispered to his friend: "Do not bring your friend again. He is very talkative." The friend was also taken aback by this remark, for after all, the poor man spoke only one small sentence in the course of one and a half hours!
In the evening the friend returned to Lao Tzu and said: "Forgive me for asking but I was upset by your request this morning; My guest made a single remark - that it was a beautiful morning - and you said he talked too much?" Lao Tzu replied: "Give all attribute and things are destroyed. The morning was very very beautiful - as long as your friend did not speak!"
It will be difficult to understand this. Lao Tzu says, "The morning was very beautiful as long as your companion did not speak. Till then the beauty of the morning was vast and endless. There was no end to it. it spread and spread into the vast space hut as soon as your friend commented: "The morning is beautiful." it contracted and became small. Your friend's words drew a boundary-line on the whole vista around. He transgressed and spoilt everything. And when the morning was so beautiful it was an ungraceful gesture to comment on it. To speak amidst such grandeur of beauty is a hindrance, an offence.
"I say, your friend knows nothing of beauty, he only tried to make conversation. He who has knowledge of beauty stops in the middle of a conversation at the very impact of its gorgeousness.
When beauty surrounds on all sides. the effect is overbearing; the ears become silent. even the heart seems hardly to pulsate: everything becomes still and motionless. We were silent but your friend broke the stillness for he knew nothing of beauty nor even of the experience of a morning. He was merely looking for an excuse to talk."
This is what we all do. As soon as we meet someone. we begin to talk about the weather - we talk about just anything, for the mere sake of talking. The weather is only an excuse. In truth, it is so difficult to remain silent that we begin to talk on the slightest pretext.
Next time when you begin talking to someone, do a little introspection and you will at once find out, it was a mere excuse just to talk. We have nothing to do with either the morning or the sun or the clouds, all we want is to start a topic, for we have forgotten the art of silence when we are in company. After a whole life of experiences, Freud has said, "I used to think that we talk in order to express something. Now, I realise, that We talk in order to hide something." There are things that become uncovered if we kept silent, so we hide them by indulging in conversation. If you sit in silence with a companion for just one hour, you will come to know many things about him that you would not otherwise know, even if you talked to him for a full year! What is conversation after all?
A man creates a web of ideas and opinions around him just in order to hide his actual self. In the conflux of his words, you will not be able to look into his eyes or notice his gestures. You shall be so engulfed by his words, that there will be only his words all around you and not him.
Have you ever realised that when you think of someone, you remember nothing about him save his words? Do you remember how he looked at you or how he touched you? Do you recollect the expression in his eyes. Or how he entered the room or how he sat? Nothing. All you remember is what he said. In that case, he is no individual but a gramophone. Your remembrance of him is only words, you have no knowledge of his full existence.
What a confounding state of affairs! If you close your eyes and try to visualize your own mother's face. you will be shocked to find that you cannot fully recollect her features! Perhaps you will disagree with me: "How can this be?" you might say. Go home and try out this experiment. Close your eyes and try to bring your mother's picture before your eyes. You will find that as long as you did not concentrate, you could recall her face somewhat but as soon as you begin to concentrate, her picture becomes dim and all lines of her features are lost. You will fail to form a mental image of her - for which son has ever really looked at his mother? And if the mother is ever recollected, it will be through some photograph and not by her presence. Understand this difference: The picture reminds you that you had a mother; her presence, that she was: you played in her lap, she brought you up with her very blood (so to say), she loved you, she pampered you - all this you do not remember.
The mere picture on the wall is all that you remember. The picture is an object, whereas the mother is an individual. But the individual is forgotten and the object is remembered. What is the reason behind this? Actually, we fight shy of the living Existent. We try to conceal the living existent not only from others but from our own selves also; and language very skilfully provides means of doing so.
A French Scientist spent twelve years in Siberia, among the Eskimos. Twelve years is a long period and the Eskimos are among the very few tribes of the earth who have not been caught by the madness of language. If an Eskimo speaks about five to ten words in a day, it is enough for him. If he is hungry, he says, "I hungry". It is not the expression of his tongue that conveys the meaning so much as the expression of his eyes, his hands, nay, his whole body conveys the message that he is hungry. The Scientist written in his memoirs that he was in a terrible dilemma. The first six months were a veritable hell for him. He was dying to speak but whom could he talk to? When he could contain himself no longer, he would go out in the wilderness and talk to himself.
You too, speak to yourselves when you are by yourselves. See the people walking on the road - almost everyone, you will find, talking to himself. Sometimes the conversation becomes heated and is accompanied by a lot of actions also! Each man is occupied in talking to himself. You talk to others, you talk to yourself - you are talking within, you are talking without, you are talking without - =you have not a moment to spare to stand aside from words and denominations and glide into Existence.
For six months the Scientist was in great trouble; but soon after, he began to have rare and uncommon experiences. There were wordless gaps in his life now for the first time and then he realized that the Eskimos lived in a completely different type of a world from his. We have destroyed everything. The world that Lao Tzu talks about, the people he refers to, the possibilities that he speaks of, are the possibilities of word-less experiences. The world of objects forms together with denomination. Drop the words and the object world disappears. Then only Existence remains.
BHAGWAN SRI, WHY HAS THIS SILENT MANIFESTATION OF THE UNKNOWN BEEN GIVEN DIFFERENT BASIC NAMES LIKE, HEAVEN, EARTH, MATTER AND CONSCIOUSNESS? WHY HAS THE MANIFESTATION OF THE ABSOLUTE NOT BEEN GIVEN?
Bhagwan Sri: Manifestation can be of duality only. The absolute remains unmanifested. The utmost that can be said about it, is "Two". That is nearest to Truth. Beyond speech there is only one.
Language however, cannot speak of anything without breaking it into two.
Even Lao Tzu, when he speaks, when he writes, commits the least error but he cannot do better than this. And even if we want to deny his expositions, we shall have to use words. Then we may say, "the Absolute, not two." But we shall have to make use of 'two'. In order to express that the Absolute is indivisible, we shall have to say - "It cannot be divided into two". As long as we strive to express, the 'Two' will follow us. If you drop speech, then only will the One, remain. We might well say: "Why can we not say, 'One'?" We are not aware of the fact, that as soon as we mention 'One' the idea of Two forms immediately. It is difficult to find a person, who can say one without creating the idea of two. The idea of 'Two' forms within the mind of the speaker also. In fact, 'One' has no meaning without 'two'. 'One' is only a step to reach 'two' and nothing more.
Lao Tzu makes use of two words; because the most that can be expressed in words is 'Two'. The diverse and the manifold can be reduced only up to two. Beyond this is the inexpressible realm of No-Word. Beyond this, it is not possible to say even as much as Lao Tzu says. It cannot even be said to be inexpressible, the One without a name. That One cannot be expressed.
Whatever we say breaks into two, as soon as we give expression to it. Just as when we throw a stick into water it appears bent. It does not bend but only appears so. Remove it from water and it is straight as before. Now the fact is, it never bent in water but only seemed so. It was always straight. If a man tries his utmost to see the stick straight in water, he cannot. even if he tries a thousand times. His experience will only show him that the stick was never bent, though it appears so in water. It will look inclined at an angle because the radiation changes as soon as it is dropped into water, causing a change in the movement of the rays also. In the same manner, as soon as words are placed in speech, the radiation changes. Then the word that depicts One, will at once bend and convey the idea of Two no sooner it is transformed into language.
Lao Tzu knows that whatever he is saying conveys the idea of duality; but there is no other way. So even when Lao Tzu speaks, he has to speak in duality. It is so difficult that if Lao Tzu remains silent and tries to convey by remaining silent, even then the duality sets in. The attempt at expression brings in the duality. Try to understand this.
This has happened many a time.
Someone went to Shaikh Farid and said: "I have come to hear from you. that which is the Truth and in which there is not a trace of Un-Truth. I want to know only that Truth that the saints have indicated and said it cannot be expressed. Tell me the Truth that is silent - wordless." You know what Farid said? He said, "Certainly I will but first you frame your question in such a way that it contains no words. Ask without words and I shall reply without words. Do not expect me to answer in silence what you ask in speech. Go and frame your question without words and I shall answer accordingly."
The man went away. For years he tried. Whenever Farid passed his village. he made it a point to remind him about the question. "What about your question Brother?" He would ask, "I am trying my best but I cannot form the question without words," the man would say. "Try again." Farid would say.
"And when your question is ready, bring it to me. My answer is ready."
The man died. so did Farid. Neither the man went to Farid wit!l his question. nor did anyone hear Farid s answer. When he was on his death-bed others reminded Farid about the answer he said he already had for the man."We are anxious to hear your answer. Please tell us," They pleaded. Farid was silent. "Please tell us," they urged. "You are about to die. Let not the answer die with you." Farid said. "I am answering you. I am silent and that is my answer. If I say even this. that I am answering you with my silence a duality is created. For that would mean that it can be shown with silence and not without it. Duality is created, distinction is formed. Therefore do not make me say that I am answering with my silence. I am silent and you should understand. Raise no words." But how can it be explained by silence only?
Lao Tzu has written this one and only book. This book he wrote at the fag end of his life. He never wrote anything else, though people were always after him. From ordinary men to kings, they all begged him to write down his experiences. Lao Tzu always laughed and waved off their question.
"When has anyone ever been able to write this? Do not force me into this foolishness. People have tried before but those who know laugh at their effort, for they have failed. And those who know not, have caught hold of their failures, taking them to be the Truth. Pray, force me not to commit the same error. Those who know, will laugh and say, "See Lao Tzu is doing exactly what he should not. He is trying to tell what cannot be told. What cannot be written, he writes. 'No, No, I will not do that!'"
All throughout his life he eluded them. Then he was getting nearer to the end of his life. Friends and disciples began to press him more and more. Verily, his treasures were untold. Very few possessed such a vast store, very few had known and experienced so deep! Therefore it was natural that those around him should insist that he should write for posterity.
When their insistence began to be stronger and death had yet not come, Lao Tzu found himself in difficulty. Then one night, he quietly left his home and the people who were clamouring for him to write. When in the morning, his disciples found his hut empty, they ran to the king and told him that Lao Tzu had gone away. The King sent his men in search of him. He was stopped at one of the check-posts on the borders of China. Lao Tzu was told that it was the King's order that no one crosses the border without paying the toll. But Lao Tzu argued that he was carrying nothing outside the country. "What tax shall I pay when I have nothing to declare?"
And do you know what the officers replied? "The King has sent word that never before has a man tried to escape with so much treasure. Await here and write all that you have known." This book was thus written by Lao Tzu at a check-post, under the vigilance of the police to clear his taxes before leaving the country.
This TAO-TEH-KING, is a peerless book. Never has a book been written in this fashion. Here was Lao Tzu running away from writing anything. It seems very harsh on the part of the King to have forced him to write when he did not want to; but there is evidence of compassion also. If this book had not been? And there have been others like Lao Tzu who did not write. But what is the use of those that have written and what have we gained from those who have not written? There can be no debate on those that have not written whereas we can discuss and deliberate on the writings of those who have written. We can think and ponder on each word that they have written and try to get at their meaning - And meaning is outside of words.
In the final analysis of the human race it will be difficult to tell whether those who wrote were the wiser or those who did not. Whichever one we choose, it is a choice of duality. One chooses to be silent as he is opposed to writing and one chooses to write as he is opposed to silence. There is, no way to escape duality. Duality creeps in even when Lao Tzu talks and therefore he deliberately says that "Nameless, is the Creator of Heaven and Earth and is the sole Originator of all denominated objects." Duality comes perforce with words. But it is with the hope that the seeker is pushed into the No-word state through the use of words, that people like Lao Tzu make use of words. This is possible. Duality appears to be, it does not actually exist. If it did exist there would have been no presumptions.
Now supposing I move my fingers across the strings of a Veena just once and let it alone. The resonance of the note created by my fingers will fill the room. Then slowly and slowly, it begins to fade. Can you tell when the note has completely died? Can you draw the line where the note ended completely and silence began? Can you clearly define the marking line between the resonance and the non-resonance? You will find that the resonance gradually lost itself into non-resonance - the word slowly merges into silence. If you attune your mind to the single note of the Veena you will find that as the note falls into the void, your mind too, falls into silence to the same extent. Then it will not take you long to find that with the help of the musical note, you too have reached the Non-Resonant state. With the help of words, you have reached the No-Word.
It is with this hope that Lao Tzu, Buddha, Mahavira, Krishna or Christ speak. It is with the hope that perhaps through their words, they may be able to lead you into the No-word state. It is just a contrivance, a device, they make use of. Buddha always said, "Whatever I say, is not to tell you of That which is, rather it is to lead you there." Nothing can be said about that which is, but you can be lead up to it. Perhaps, you too may start on this journey through my words. If your face turns towards that direction, then perhaps some day, you will fall into the bottomless abyss where you will come face to face with the Absolute.
Duality however steps into the language of all who speak.
Buddha talks of Samsara and Nirvana and thus duality steps into his talk. Mahavira talks of matter (Padartha) and the spirit (Paramatman). This also is dualism. It is alright as far as Mahavira goes, for he says that he accepts duality but Shankara, who was a staunch upholder of Monism, also talks of Maya (Illusion) and Brahma (The Universal Spirit), because it is not possible to talk otherwise.
Shankara says: "There are no two", yet he has to talk in duality. If there is no 'two', what is Shankara to tell his listeners? What was it that they were to shun if there are no two? What was it that they should liberate themselves from if there are no two? If Brahma alone is, then we all are Brahma.
Then where has one to go, where has one to reach, and what has one to do? So even Shankara has to bring in duality - there is something that has to be extradicated, something that has to be given up - ignorance, illusion, false knowledge. So the two opposites are formed, Shankara is in a dilemma; what is he to do?
Mahavira has been very clear about this: We have to accept duality, for when the two fall off, you will know yourself that there is One alone. So Mahavira says, "We shall not talk about the One. We shall talk of the two and reach where the two drop away." But Shankara insists on talking about the One although he had to talk of the two. And those who talked in dualism had also perforce, to hint at the One.
Buddha often said: "Leave Samsara (the world), attain Nirvana (Liberation)" but in his last words he said: "Samsara and Nirvana, are one and the same." This statement of Buddha alarmed his Bhikshus and sadhakas and are still a cause of uneasiness to them even now after 2,000 years.
Samsara is Nirvana, what can be more difficult than this? Then where is one to go? What is one to leave and what has one to attain? So there is a sect of Buddhists, who deny that Buddha ever spoke these words. For, they argue, how can Buddha say that Samsara and Nirvana are one and the same, when all his life he exhorted people to leave Samsara and attain Nirvana? But those who 'knew' say, that verily this is the statement of Buddha. All his other statements can be allowed to go unheeded but this statement he could have only made after he had known. When Buddha reached the peak of the highest experience, then alone he found no distinction between Samsara and Nirvana, between the body and the soul, between Brahma and Maya; and then bondage and freedom became two forms of the same thing. But it is the experience that gives knowledge of the ONE: as soon as it manifests it splits into two. And it is only to manifest that Lao Tzu says - "The earth and Heaven; Matter and Consciousness."
QUESTION: BHAGWAN SRI: YOU SAID YESTERDAY THAT WHATEVER CAN BE NAMED, IS NOT THE ETERNAL, THE PERMANENT, TRUTH. ALL NAMES GIVEN TO THE SUPREME TRUTH ARE ONLY MEANT TO SERVE A PURPOSE. BUT MANY HAVE REACHED THE 'NAME-LESS' BY THE SADHANA OF NAM-SUMIRAN (REPETITION OF NAME). PLEASE EXPLAIN WHY YOU SAY THAT WITH THE HELP OF THE CHANGING NAME, ONE CANNOT REACH THE CHANGELESS.
Bhagwan Sri: Lao Tzu prefers the method of the jump. He is not in favour of going step by step.
Actually a step is also a jump - a small jump. When you climb the steps you are actually taking small jumps. You have divided the jump into twenty parts; whereas there are others, who jump all the twenty steps at one time. You can also say, this man has made one big step equal to twenty small ones - that is if you do not like to call it a jump. So one man takes one step to cross the same distance whereas another takes twenty steps to do so. We can also say, this man takes twenty jumps. Now this depends on each individual and the amount of courage he has. Now Lao Tzu's method is the Jump. He says: "Why should we catch hold of that which has to be left?" From the changing one has to reach the change-less - and only by leaving the Transient can we reach the Intransient. Therefore leave it and reach! Those who prefer the step-by-step method, believe in gradual progress, just like those who believe in Nam-Smarana (repetition of Name), like Meera and Chaitanya. They also reach where Lao Tzu reaches. They too say, that leave, you have to but leave gradually step by step.
Now for instance, Nanak exhorts his followers to practise Japa (repetition of Name) and at the same time says, "He is without a name" - 'THE ALAKH NIRANJAN' is without a name. The Timeless one is beyond Time but practise Japa, says Nanak. Start with the lips and take His Name, says Nanak - this is the first step. Then close the lips and pronounce the name in the throat - this is the second step. Then leave the throat and repeat the name in your heart - this is the third step. Then leave the heart also and practise the Ajapa-Jap, that is, let the name repeat itself - you do not repeat it. And this happens. First the lips, then the throat, then the heart, and when the name begins to come from the heart, leave the heart! Then the name begins to reverberate through the whole body. from every pore of your being and into the whole Existence! But this is not the destination, it is only a step - then you step into the A-Japa - the Unrepeated. Now there is no Japa, now there is the 'Name-less'.
But this has to be reached in four steps.
Now Lao Tzu says, "That which has to be left, why should it be left so gradually?" He further says "The very fact you are leaving gradually, shows that you have no mind to leave it. You want to hold on to it, and so keep on postponing." First you start with the lips, then let-go of the lips and begin with the throat, then let-go the throat and proceed into the heart. When the goal is the 'A-Japa', Lao Tzu says. "Let it be here and now." Why waste time? Let-go - take the Jump. It is not necessary. that everyone finds this method easy. Sometimes, in some cases. it is better to leave gradually. There are types and types of people.
If we tell a person that there is no other way except the Jump, if he is not of the type, he will not take the Jump. On the contrary, he will not even go step by step. He will give up saying "This is not for me". But there must be a way for such people to reach the Name-less. So for this type there is the method of proceeding step by step. Lao Tzu's method is only for those of his type. Remember this always or else it will be difficult for you to understand what I say.
My own nature is such, that when I speak on Lao Tzu, I speak as Lao Tzu, I will completely forget that there was such a person as Chaitanya or Mira or there was a Krishna who expounded the Gita.
I shall not bring in the person of the individual, when I talk on them. Therefore, it would be better not to raise other questions when I am speaking on Lao Tzu, for it will only be harmful and there will be no gain. Similarly, do not question me about Lao Tzu when I am speaking on Krishna, for when I speak on Krishna, I become Krishna and speak. Do not bring someone else in between. I have no attachment of my own therefore I can be one with anybody. If I had any particular leanings towards one path, it would not have been possible for me to be completely at one with other paths.
For instance, if I was specially attached to Nam-Smaran, - that that is the only way - I would not have been able to explain Lao Tzu to you. Then I could not have done him justice.
I say, what Lao Tzu says is absolutely correct - a 100 It is just as one would try to fix a cart-wheel to a car. It is not that a bullock-cart does not move. It moves alright. Or conversely, if we try to fix a car-wheel to a cart. it will not work. This does not mean that the car wheel does not work; it does. Within its own self, a system works and progresses smoothly but out of the system, it becomes useless.
To Lao Tzu, everything is insignificant and Lao Tzu is correct he is not wrong. In fact, Truth is so vast that it can contain all the opposite truths within itself. Truth is so great, it can accommodate all the reverse and contrary within itself. Untruth is very insignificant, it cannot contain that which is contrary to it. In the mansion of Truth, there are many rooms. Jesus says "There are many rooms in the house of the Lord." And each room is big enough to house one Lao Tzu, one Krishna, one Mahavira and thousand others like them. All these rooms belong to the temple of God. But when I show you the door to Lao Tzu's room, do not turn round and say; "This door is red, the door of Krishna you showed yesterday was yellow. You had said we could enter through the yellow door.
Now you are talking of a red door!" Now the fun of the whole thing is, that you never tried to enter through the yellow door and now behind the barricade of the yellow door, you will also not enter the red door! Enter from any side. If you can jump, jump! Those whose minds are young and courageous, let them take the jump. Those who are frightened, who have not the courage to jump for fear of breaking their limbs, let them at least proceed step by step! They too will reach though they will take some time. But do not just sit, doing nothing!
He who sits undecided, reaches nowhere. This too, I do not stress, that everyone take the jump. If a person has no mind to jump, it is best that he does not, for it is not incumbent upon him to jump.
On the contrary, such a person runs the risk of breaking his limbs. The jump is not necessarily a glorious feat! If you can, you jump; if you cannot, go step by step. But why should he who can jump, go step by step? Remember, the one who can jump may stumble on the steps. The steps will be too small for him and he is bound to fall and break his limbs just as badly as the other. Make up your mind. Understand yourself. I will keep talking of God. Knows how many paths! Whichever door suits you, you enter from there. Do not strive to understand other doors further.
Whatever you can follow and understand well, you may enter there silently. Then when you enter the Temple of God, you will find that those who entered through other doors, have also reached the same place! Once you enter the temple, no one asks which door you came from: left door or right; or did you jump or come step by step? When you stand before the image of the Lord, no one will question whether you came slowly or speedily; whether you climbed one step at a time or two or whether you crossed them all in a single jump. No one asks, nor will you yourself remember how you came.
On reaching the destination the traveller forgets the path. The way is remembered as long as the goal is not reached. Therefore, do not raise this question of paths or else, it will be difficult to understand Lao Tzu. Also, such questions will not make it easier to understand Meera or Chaitanya either. If you are out to know Lao Tzu be absolutely one with him and understand what he says.
What he says, is absolutely correct, that some have reached his way. Some people can reach his way. There must be some among you also who can reach this way. Ponder well. Perhaps you are the one! If this path settles within your mind, it can become your path. But our mind always wavers in duality. In the beginning I used to make people sit quietly for meditation. They then came to me and said that nothing happened to them - they just sat. Those very people, now when I advocate sharp meditation, turn round and say, the initial method was a thousand times better! These were the same people who complained that nothing was happening to them by sitting still; it was just a waste of time. Now they maintain, it was so blissful to sit silent! First they said they felt no joy in quiet meditation and now they say just the opposite! These are ways of escapism. First they escaped the first method, now they are finding means to escape this. If this is what you wish, then it is alright but if you are sincerely wishing to understand something then forget everything else. Be merged in the subject completely, drown yourself, then perhaps, the path may turn out to be your path. If there is anything more you wish to ask, you may do so.
QUESTION: IF CONSCIOUSNESS CAN BE DETERMINED FULLY, THEN WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN IT AND THE ELEMENTS OF MATTER? WHEN NOTHING IS TO BE DONE AND ONLY 'TO BE' IS THE SOLE AIM WHAT WILL NOT BE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SUCH A STATE AND ABSTRUSE TRANQUILLITY? WHAT IS THE MOTIVE BEHIND THE EXISTENCE OF CONSCIOUSNESS FOR OUR EGO. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE EXISTENCE OF A WOODEN CHAIR AND THAT OF THE EXISTENCE OF A NO-THOUGHT MIND?
Bhagwan Sri: You have never had the experience of being a wooden chair nor have you ever had the experience of a No-Mind individual. You know neither of these states and yet you think of the difference between the two. Or perhaps you think there is no difference between the two. How does a wooden chair feel or how does it not feel, you have no idea. What does a person, devoid of thoughts, experience, that also you do not know. But the question arises in the mind alright and the question is very natural. All our questions are like this - that we create questions about things that are beyond our experiences, and therefore no answers thereof are consequential. Only experience gives an effective answer. So let us first experience a little and then see the answer.
When all the thoughts of an individual are silenced, then only consciousness remains - not self- consciousness. This is difficult for us to understand for we know of no other consciousness save self-consciousness. When we say, "I am conscious," it means "I am". Our being conscious has only one meaning for us - "that I know I am". The fact actually is, that I have no idea who I am - none whatsoever. "I am" and that is all. This self-consciousness of ours, is a disease, an illness.
The conflux of this very self-consciousness is ego. We find a thousand means of increasing this self-consciousness. When you put on fine clothes that others have not, what happens? The self- consciousness is strengthened. It is difficult to be self-conscious in ordinary clothes but it is very easy to be so in uncommon clothes. If you are sitting in a vehicle and others are walking, you become self-conscious. You feel you are something. The density of this feeling of self-consciousness, is a disease, it is an illness; and this is our anxiety, this is our tension, this is our cause of restlessness.
He whose thoughts have been silenced for good will be conscious but not self-conscious. He will be fully conscious, every pore of his body will be filled with consciousness; consciousness will be flowing all around him but there will be no centre of 'I' within this consciousness. His consciousness will be centre-less - without the 'I'.
This is difficult to understand without the actual experience, for our experience is just one. The centre of 'I', the Ego-Centre keeps throbbing like a wound within. We are conscious of that alone.
That is why we feel better when we are unconscious as when a person takes alcohol. Then the self- consciousness is broken and the wound is forgotten for a while. When we sleep soundly at night, we get up fresh, for in deep sleep, the ego-disease is forgotten. When we hear music we forget it; the illness of the ego is abated for a while. But consciousness, we know not of. We have known this concentrated ego only. This ego is the disease of consciousness.
When thoughts are completely absent, when you are in the tranquil, no-thought state, consciousness is complete. Then it is not that 'I' am there or 'you' are there - there is only the being. If we separate the I from the am, and drop the I, then this 'Am-ness', (not the 'I Am-ness') remains. Then there is no suggestion of 'I' in this 'Am-ness'. And he who does not experience this feeling of 'I' cannot experience the feeling of 'you' also. The 'I' falls on one hand and the 'you' on the other. Therefore, when we are self-conscious, we are individuals and when we are only consciousness, we become the Whole, the Aggregate.
When I am 'I', then I am separate and the whole world is separate; I become an island. When I am just 'Am', I become a continent, the mainland. Then all the stars and moons revolve within my Am-ness; the Sun rises within me, flowers bloom within me and all the friends and enemies of yesterday begin 'to happen' within me. I spread. The ancient way of saying it is - I became Brahma.
The meaning of Brahma is - I spread. I spread so as to envelope everything within myself. Nothing remains outside of me.
As long as Self-Consciousness exists, everything is outside of you and you are apart from everything. When only the consciousness remains, then everything, everything is within - there is nothing without; there is no outside. There is nothing that is outside of consciousness - everything is contained within it. There is only 'Inside-ness'. This cannot be comprehended without experience; for it is difficult, nay impossible for us to imagine an inside without an outside. All our experiences show that wherever there is an inside there is bound to be an outside. If the house has an inside, our experience tells us, it must have an outside. We have no knowledge of the whole vast Universe as one house, outside of which there is nothing. When all thoughts are destroyed and only consciousness remains, everything comes within.
Then the question arises - if that is so, then what is the difference between the sentient and the insentient? What is the difference between yourself and a chair? - you ask. This question arises because right now you see a difference between yourself and the chair. In the vast consciousness, this chair also, will be inside of you - a part of you! It will be as sentient as you are. It will be as alive as you are. Even now the chair is alive, but the dimension of its being alive is so different that you cannot be familiar with it. Not a single thing is outside of consciousness. Everything is within consciousness. And there is no such thing where the consciousness is outside of it. Consciousness resides in everything - but in very many ways.
If we try to understand the modes in which consciousness exists it will be easy to follow: If I throw a stone against a wall, it does not go through the wall, it falls on this side of the wall. But if I throw the same stone into the air, it goes through the air. Now the structure of the wall is different and the structure of air is different. But there are things that can pass through the structure of the wall also - like X-ray. With X-ray, the wall does not respond as a wall but as air. The X-rays will not know whether it is crossing a wall or crossing the atmosphere. For the X-ray, the wall is like the air but for the stone it is not.
What I am trying to convey to you is the fact that the quality of our consciousness depends on how we see things. If I am self-centric, the chair is apart and I am apart. If the self breaks then just as the wall and the air is one for the X-ray, so the chair and your-self are one and the same for your consciousness. There is no difference; but this is only when you become aware of it. But if we have no information about it? Just as before X-ray was discovered, no one believed that the intestines could be photographed from outside - and how could they? If a photograph was taken, it could only be of your outside appearance. How could your bones be photographed? The photographer makes use of rays, but these are ordinary rays. Now we know that there are rays that can penetrate the skin and reach the bones. When these rays were discovered, then we became aware of the fact that bones could also be photographed.
Actually Consciousness has its own rules and regulations. The Consciousness that we live in has no extension whatsoever. We remain shrivelled within ourselves. The chair is apart from us, so is the neighbour. Everything is different and apart from us. The nature of our consciousness as it is now is one of aloofness; we are removed and distant from everything and everybody. But no sooner the form of Consciousness changes, there is a qualitative change. As soon as thoughts are destroyed, the distinctions and differentiations fall. All distances fall. All things appear one and each thing looks alive in a different way.
When Aldous Huxley took L.S.D. for the first time, his experiences fortunately, turned out to be similar to your question. There was a chair in front of him. A little while after taking L.S.D., he noticed strange rays emitting from this chair. This chair that seemed ordinary, dead, was alive and scintillating with strange and uncommon colours! He was amazed. Never in his wildest imagination, he could have endowed this chair with such beauty and grandeur! He writes in his book about this experience. He was wonder-struck. That was the first time, he writes, he realised that a chair could be like this. It was not the ordinary chair that stood before him. It seemed as if diamonds flew out of it on all sides - it seemed too precious to sit upon! It was more beautiful that all the stars and the suns put together!
Huxley says he suspected this to be the doings of L.S.D., for it is a Consciousness-expanding drug.
Your consciousness expands for a short while under the influence of L.S.D. If in such a short moment of expansion, the chair became alive then Huxley says, "I very well believe now those people who have paid obeisance to a stone as they would to God". The expansion of their consciousness must be of a different dimension from ours. "Now", says Huxley, "I appreciate a painter like Van Gogh, who made the picture of a chair; for why should someone make a picture of a thing like a chair?"
Can you imagine a painter of Van Gogh's calibre taking so much pains, devoting so much time and driving himself to madness to draw a mere chair? Is a chair worth taking so much trouble about?
Huxley goes on to say: "Till then I could not understand why Van Gogh drew a chair. I know now that he must have seen the chair in a different aspect of consciousness, and drawn it."
Out colours are very pale compared to those that are seen after taking L.S.D. Such colours we have never seen. But L.S.D. does nothing. It merely gives a little expansion to our ordinary consciousness just as if we were to fill a little more air in a balloon and it becomes larger. This slight expansion causes such change in colours. Then the pebbles Lying on the road-side shine like pearls and diamonds.
If today the Western world is mad after L.S.D., this is the only reason. All the world appears very much more beautiful. The whole world gets filled with a sensation, we have never felt before. An ordinary hand appears like the hand of God. Ordinary clothes appear so gorgeous and glamorous that it is beyond our imagination.
L.S.D. has opened a new trend of thought. The new thought is: when the consciousness gets expanded, however little, the world becomes a different place altogether. But when a consciousness like that of Mahavira or Lao Tzu expands completely (and not in small measure) due to the fall and complete extinction of ego, then what difference can there be between you and the chair? It is still very difficult for you to understand, for the chair as you know it, is not the real chair; and the self that you know as yourself, is not the real self. If you try to reckon with two unreal things, you will not understand.
You become the real, original you and the chair will get a chance of becoming genuine; for a false you, is incapable of viewing the actual chair. New doors open into you. Huxley has named his book:
'NEW DOORS OF PERCEPTION: L.S.D.' L.S.D. is a mere chemical alteration which lasts for six, eight or at the most, twelve hours. Then it will fade. And this experience is very infinitesimal.
But those who have experienced God; those whose self-consciousness (not consciousness) is completely lost, and who have become conscious, for them all distances fall. To them, each and every particle becomes godly and divine.
If Mahavira walks cautiously, it is not as the Jains understand it - that it is to save an ant or a mosquito (that some people are so worried about). The mosquito that is visible to you is not visible in the same way to Mahavira. If it did, even Mahavira would not have bothered so much about it.
In fact, Mahavira experiences Brahma for the first time in the ant (which we never do and hence the concern.) It is so, there is no other way. Existence manifested itself within the ant, to the same extent as within Mahavira himself.
Then the door opens to another world. And when these doors open, you no longer remain in this world. Therefore do not question about this world. This world has no connection, there is no consistency, no relevance, between that world and this. All our questions are somewhat like this: That when I sleep, what is my relationship with my bedroom during my sleep? There is no connection whatsoever. Or is there? You can sleep in this room and be in London in your dreams.
You can sleep in a closed room and dream of being under open skies, beneath the stars and the moon! What connection can you have with the room when you are asleep?
No. As soon as you are asleep, you enter a different dimension of consciousness. The room remains in the same dimension as it was but you enter a different world. Then if you want to step out of this room, you have not to open the door of this room. Naturally you will ask whether you should keep the keys of your room with you to go out of the room or put on y our spectacles in order to see the dreams well? No, you enter a different dimension where your spectacles are not required, nor are your eves required for that matter. There will also be no need to open the door of the room - and you will be able to step outside.
If however, you speak to a man who has never dreamt and tell him that there is a particular state when you can be out of the room without opening the door; or that you can reach London without boarding a ship or a plane or any other vehicle; or that you need no key, you do not need even to open the door to be out of the room, he will question the soundness of your mind. According to him, if you do not open the door, you will knock your head against it; or how will the lock open without a key? His questions are all appropriate, yet you will laugh. You will say, he knows nothing of dreams where none of these questions are appropriate.
No sooner the mind falls and the No-Mind Consciousness is created, you step into a different world altogether, where nothing from this world is relevant. Not a single thing, not a single law of this world is applicable to it. Whatever appears insentient in this world will be sentient there. What appears dead here is alive there. Where there are doors in this world, there will be walls there and where there are walls here, there will be doors there. No question of this world holds sense there.
Therefore whatever questions we raise here have no meaning vis-a-vis that world.
Only those questions are meaningful that are made to ask how we can enter this realm. But if you think that sitting here in this world we can understand about that world by asking questions, you are mistaken. That is not possible.
So much for today. Any questions?
QUESTION: BHAGWAN SRI, FIRST YOU EXPLAINED THAT WHEN YOU MEET GOD, THE SECRET IS UNFOLDED AND YOU KNOW YOU HAVE SEEN HIM BEFORE. ANOTHER THING YOU SAID, THAT NOTHING EXISTS; WHAT IS, IS HIM ALONE. TO DAY ALSO YOU POINTED OUT THAT MATTER AND CONSCIOUSNESS ARE ONE AND THE SAME. THIS THAT IS ALL THE SAME, THIS GOD THAT IS THE SAME, IS IT THIS VERY STATE OR SOMETHING BEYOND?
Bhagwan Sri: It is both. The ever-abiding state of being, is verily God. But this abiding state is forever spreading beyond and beyond. It ends nowhere. For instance, suppose I jump into the ocean I can say, that I descended into the ocean but I cannot say I descended into the whole Ocean.
At the most I can say that I touched a part of the ocean from one shore. The ocean is beyond, much beyond. Where I stand, hardly a wave or two of the Ocean touch me. The Ocean is infinite. So when someone experiences God, he does so in the same way. Then he knows that whatever is, is God. At the same time he knows that what he knows of God is not enough - He is beyond and yet beyond. And no matter how much a person knows, this beyondness never ends; it is forever there.
This is the mystery. No matter how far one travels, he yet has no idea of the other shore. We only know of the shore from where we started. The other shore is forever unknown.
Another very interesting thing happens, which will be difficult for you to understand. When the person returns, he finds that the shore he left behind is also not there. That shore is there for you as long as you stand on it. When you jump in, you not only do not find the other shore but on return the initial shore is also not there! Whatever now is, is God. What is, however, keeps spreading beyond and beyond and yet beyond. No matter how far we go, it is spread yet farther and farther away.
No one has ever reached the place from where he has been able to say: "Here at last, is the end."
No one will ever reach such a place. It is logically impossible for supposing a person does reach the end and proclaim it to be the end, the question arises - "What next?" There must be something after that. The boundary always requires the other. If there is no other house next to yours there is no point in putting up a fence, for it is because of the neighbour that the fence is needed. And Parmatman is alone. In other words that which is Existence, we call Paramatman. So we cannot reach him to such a place where we can say - This is all, for this can only be if another starts from there. Any beginning is the end of something else and any end is the beginning of something else.
If something else begins, then only can we reach the end of God but nothing does.
The scientists are also in a dilemma. They are also eager that the Universe should finish somewhere after all! God is not their question as yet but the universe should end somewhere. Where will it end?
And if it does, what next? This question arises immediately. What will happen at the boundary-line of the Universe? Another Universe will start - so say the scientists. But this does not solve the problem; for them we think of all the Universes collectively and inquire where they will end. They cannot end. Truth, Existence, is infinite in this context.
Therefore, Paramatman (The Universal Spirit) is what He is. There is also that which is spread beyond and beyond, and is accepted within by the Absolute. These are not two things. Therefore we can never say, "This alone is God". All we can say is: "This too, is God: and there is more and yet more." What we do know that too, is God; what we do not know, that too is God. What others have known, that too is God. What others have not known, that also is God. And also that which perhaps no one will ever know - That too, is God. Not only is He Unknown but also Unknowable.
Unknown is that, which can be made knowable at sometime, God is at the same time, Unknowable.
That which forever remains behind, will also have to be incorporated. So we shall have to say, "This is God but That which is beyond this, is also God. And that which forever remains beyond, that too, is God."