Such is the Depth of its Meaning

Fri, 25 December 1974 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
The Hidden Harmony
Chapter #:
am in Buddha Hall
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The whole of philosophy is nothing but arbitrary conjectures.

If you want to avoid real knowledge, if you want to avoid the existential, then there is nothing like philosophy. Escape into philosophy and you can avoid all, all that creates problems. Philosophy is a cheap solution. Without entering, without encountering reality, you simply theorize -- and theories are nothing but words. Arguments, rationalizations, explanations are nothing but tricks. Nothing is solved because you remain the same.

A philosopher is the most deceived person in the world because he thinks he knows without knowing anything at all. Heraclitus has laughed about Pythagoras, one of the greatest philosophers the world has ever known. Many times Heraclitus says, "If by philosophizing somebody could have become a knower, then Pythagoras would have been the first knower in the world" -- because Pythagoras traveled all over the world, the known world in those days.

He even came to India; he lived in Egypt, he traveled far and wide -- he collected much knowledge.

Pythagoras was a contemporary of Heraclitus and he is more known than Heraclitus. In the histories of philosophy Pythagoras is a milestone. He collected much, he knew much, but without knowing anything at all. What did he do? Through scriptures, through teachers, through schools, ashrams, secret societies, he gathered knowledge. When you gather knowledge it becomes part of your memory -- you remain unaffected. Your heart is not touched, your being is not even aware of what you have collected in your memory. Unless your being is touched and transformed, knowledge is ignorance and more dangerous than ordinary ignorance -- because an ordinary ignorant person knows that he is ignorant, and a philosopher thinks that he knows. And once you become addicted to knowledge you will think your knowledge is knowing. Of course, you know too much, but deep down nothing has been known, nothing has changed; you have not evolved to a higher plane of being.

Real knowledge consists in attaining higher levels of being, higher planes of being -- not more knowledge, but more being. To be more, not to know more, is the real way. To know more, and not to be more, is the false way. Philosophers talk about things. They don't even have a glimpse of God, of moksha, of liberation, of other worlds, heaven and hell. Not only do they talk about it, they also talk very authoritatively -- but they cannot deceive. They are deceiving nobody else except themselves.

It is said that one day, walking through a cemetery, Mulla Nasruddin found a grave, the grave of the philosopher of the town who had died just a few days before. On the grave it was written: "I am sleeping, I am not dead."

Mulla laughed loudly and said, "You are deceiving yourself and nobody else!"

But a philosopher deceives himself continuously. Instead of knowing he depends on information. Knowledge, when it is attained existentially, is authentic. For example: you can collect much knowledge about love without ever falling in love. Libraries are filled with much knowledge; you can go and collect all that has been said about love but about love is not love, about God is not God. About love means you go round and round, round and round, never penetrating the center. To love is totally different.

You can theorize about what love is, you can conclude about the nature of love, but if you have not fallen in love, what use is this knowledge? What do you gain out of it? What will you find through it? A deception is possible. Knowing about love, you may start believing that you know love, and if this happens then you have closed the door to falling in love. To fall in love is dangerous. To know about love is clever and cunning. To fall in love means to change yourself; to fall in love means to encounter millions of difficulties, because to interact with a living person is to move into the unknown. Nobody knows what is going to happen the next moment. You are thrown out of your enclosure, you are under the open sky, and every moment there will be new problems to be solved, new anxieties to be got over. It has to be so, because problems and anxieties are the steps. If you take those steps, you grow; if you become afraid and escape, you remain juvenile.

Love is an opportunity to grow, but growth is always painful because something has to be destroyed before you can create something. The past has to be destroyed before a new future is born. Every growth is like the pain a mother goes through when she gives birth to a child.

Every growth means you are continuously giving birth to yourself; every moment the child is born. And it is a continuous process, never ending; there comes no stop to it. You can rest for a while, but the journey is endless. Continuously you have to give birth to yourself, and every moment there will be pain. But if you can see that out of pain comes a new life, if you accept it, not only accept but welcome it, it is beautiful because it is through it that one grows. There is no other way to grow.

Love will give you pain, love will make you suffer, because through love one grows. There has never been any growth without suffering. That is the meaning of the cross: Jesus suffers, and suffers totally. When he suffers totally he is reborn totally, resurrected. Then he is a man no more, he becomes a god. He loved humanity so deeply that the love towards humanity became the cross.

You are afraid to love a single individual. How will you grow? And you can trick your mind -- you can go to the libraries, you can collect information about love and about lovers, and you can know much without knowing anything at all. And this happens in every dimension of life. Wherever great matters are concerned, this is how you deceive. To pray is difficult; to become a priest is easy. A priest is a man who has collected all about prayer, but to pray is difficult. It is like death -- because unless you die how can you invite the divine to enter in you? Unless you become empty, how can he come into you?

Soren Kierkegaard has said: "In the beginning, when I started to pray, I used to talk much to God. Then, by and by, I came to the understanding of what foolishness I was doing. I was talking -- how can talking be prayer? Prayer can be only a deep listening, not a talking. You have to be silent so God can be heard. You have to be so silent that the silent and still word of God can penetrate you. In that silence the divine is revealed." Prayer is not talking, it is a listening -- alert, passive, open, ready, ready like a womb. Prayer is feminine and a priest is a male phenomenon. A priest is aggressive: he is doing something. Prayer is not a doing at all -- it is simply being receptive, it is simply being open. A door is open and you are waiting. It is infinite patience and waiting. A priest is aggressive. You can learn it: priesthood is an art, you can learn it. Prayer is not an art, you cannot learn it anywhere. You can learn it only in life.

There exists no school, no university, which can teach you prayer -- only life.

You move in life, you suffer much, you grow and, by and by, you feel your total helplessness. By and by you feel that all egoistic claims are foolish -- because who are you?

Being tossed from there to here, from here to there; just drifting, a drifting wood on the sea...

who are you? When you feel, "I am nobody," the first seed of prayer has entered in you. When you feel, "I am helpless, I cannot do anything, because I have been doing and doing for so long and nothing happens except misery, nothing happens through my effort," you become effortless. In that moment of helplessness the prayer takes a second step. Not that in your helplessness you start demanding from God: "Do this for me because I cannot do it" -- no! If you are really helpless you cannot even demand and desire, because you come to realize:

"Whatsoever I say will be wrong, whatsoever I ask will be wrong. I am wrong so all that comes through me will go wrong"; so you will say, "Thy will be done... don't listen to me, just you do whatsoever you would like to do, and I am ready to follow." This is prayer -- but this is not priesthood. You can be trained as a priest; there are colleges which train priests. Every gesture of prayer is taught: how to sit, how to bow down, what words to use and what words not to use.

Leo Tolstoy has written a small parable. It happened that a man came to a priest, the greatest priest in Russia, and said, "I know three saints. They live on an island, and they have attained to God."

The priest said, "How can it happen? I am the high priest of the whole country. Without knowing me, without my knowing of the phenomenon, how is it possible that three persons have attained to God? I will go and see them."

He went in a boat. He reached the island. Those three simple people, they were sitting under a tree and doing their prayer. He listened to the prayer and laughed loudly and said, "You fools! From where have you learnt this prayer? I have never heard such nonsense even in my life, and I am the greatest priest of this country. What type of prayer is this?"

All three started trembling in fear and they said, "Forgive us! We don't know, we have never learnt. This prayer we ourselves have created." The prayer was simple. They said, "We are three" -- and Christians believe in the trinity, so they said -- "We have made a prayer: 'We are three, you are also three -- have mercy on us!' We ourselves have made it: We are three, you are three -- have mercy on us! This we continuously do, but we don't know whether this is right or wrong."

The priest said, "This is absolutely wrong and I will teach you the right, the authorized version." It was a long prayer of the church. Those three people listened, trembling. The priest was very happy. He went back thinking that he had done a virtuous deed, a really good work:

he had converted three pagans to Christianity. "And these fools! -- they have become famous.

Many people come for their darshan, they touch their feet and worship them!"

When he was coming back, very happy that he had done something, suddenly he saw something that looked like a storm coming on the lake. He became afraid. Then he looked:

those three saints were coming, running on the water. He couldn't believe his eyes. Those three saints came and they said, "Please, tell the prayer once more because we have forgotten!

It is too long and we are simple folk, uneducated. Just once...?"

It is said, Leo Tolstoy writes, that the priest fell at their feet and he said, "Forgive me! I have committed a sin. You go your own way. Your prayer is right because it has come out of your heart. My prayer is useless because it has come out of my learning. Don't listen to me.

Simply go and do whatsoever you were doing."

Prayer cannot be learnt. You have to pass through life with open eyes, with an understanding heart, and you will come to pray. And the prayer will be yours. It will come out of your heart, it will pour out of your heart. Words don't mean much -- it is the heart that is behind them. But you can learn much through the mind; you can completely forget the heart -- because heart grows through experience, and mind grows through?... thinking. And thinking is just dead. There is no growth through thinking. You can go round and round in the mind.

Mind is just a computer, a biological computer; it collects information. The same can be done by a computer even better than your mind. But the heart is not a computer. The heart is totally different from the mind: it doesn't collect, it has no memory -- it simply lives moment to moment; it responds to the alive moment in an alive way.

I have known a person; he was a colleague of mine in a university. He was ill and always something or other was wrong with him. So I told him, "Why don't you go to a doctor? Why don't you ask some doctor about your body? You are always complaining about this and that."

So he went.

Next day he came to see me and he said, "The doctor says that I will have to give up half my sexual life."

I was surprised, so I said, "What have you decided?"

He said, "Yes, I have to follow his advice."

Then I asked him, "Which half -- talking or thinking?"... because I knew the man: he had no sexual life, but he talked about it and thought about it. There are people who have no religious life. They talk about it and they think about it, but they have no religious life; but if you listen to their talk you may feel that they are religious. Religion is not something concerned with thinking and talking -- religion is something concerned with living. Either you live it or you don't live it. It is a way of life, not a philosophy; not theories about great matters, but a deep relatedness with whatsoever life means.

Just watch your mind, how it exploits opportunities when you could have become religious. You see a flower and you start thinking about it, you start talking about it -- you don't live the moment. The flower is there opening its petals -- a tremendously beautiful phenomenon, a miracle.

Scientists say that life is a miracle; there is no reason for it, why it should be. On millions and millions of planets and stars, only on this small tiny earth, and that, too, only for a few thousand years, life has existed. Nobody knows why, nobody knows how long it will exist, nobody knows the goal, the destiny of it, the source. Scientists, at the most, say that this is simply a miracle, seems to be just an accident. Nothing can be said. A flower is a miracle because a flower is alive. In this dead universe -- millions of planets, millions of stars, just rocks and rocks and rocks, infinitely rocky -- a small seed has become a plant and the plant is celebrating. A flower has come up and you simply start thinking, talking about it; you say, "How beautiful!" and you miss the beauty, because if it is really beautiful you will become silent. Whenever something tremendous is encountered you are in such a mysterious amazement, you are in such wonder, how can you talk? Talking is profane. In that moment, talking is just foolish -- you are missing.

You simply remain silent, you drink, you eat the moment; you allow the flower to spread within you. In a subtle way the duality of subject and object is lost. You are no more the subject and the flower is no more the object; the boundaries meet and melt. Suddenly the flower is within you and you are in the flower -- because life is one. You are also a flower; consciousness is a flowering. That's why Hindus have always symbolized it as a lotus: a flowering of a flower. And a flower is also a consciousness, alive. Meet with the flower, don't start talking and thinking. Then you know what a flower is. You may not be able to say what you know, you may not be able to create a theory about your knowing. It is difficult -- when you know, it is very difficult to create a theory around it. It is so vast, experience is so vast, and theories look so narrow. You may not be able to philosophize, but that is not the point -- you KNOW, that is the point.

This point is the crossroads where philosophers and religious people separate from each other. Philosophers go on talking and thinking, and religious people go on deepening their experience -- and a moment comes when they are completely lost. A philosopher finally becomes just an ego, and a religious person is simply lost. You cannot find him, where he is.

If you understand this, then these fragments will become very, very meaningful -- they are.


What can your mind do? Such a small and tiny thing.

It is said that one day Aristotle was walking on the beach near the sea, and he saw a man who was bringing water from the sea with a teaspoon and throwing that water in a small hole he had dug near the bank. Aristotle was worried about his own problems. He didn't bother -- once, twice, he came near and saw the man, but the man was so absorbed that Aristotle became curious: "What is he doing?" He could not contain himself, and the man was absolutely absorbed. He would go to the sea, fill his teaspoon, bring the water, put it in the hole, go again... Finally Aristotle said, "Wait! I don't want to disturb you, but what are you doing? You have made me tremendously curious."

The man said, "I am going to fill this hole with the whole ocean."

Aristotle, even Aristotle, laughed. He said, "You are foolish! This is not going to happen.

You are simply mad, and you are wasting your life! Just look at the vastness of the ocean and the smallness of your hole -- and with a teaspoon you are going to empty the ocean into this hole? You are simply crazy! Go home and take rest."

The man laughed even louder than Aristotle, and he said, "Yes, I will go, because my work is done."

Said Aristotle, "What do you mean?"

He said, "The same you are doing -- and even more foolish. Look at your head: it is smaller than my hole. And look at the divine, the existence: it is vaster than this ocean. And look at your thoughts -- are they bigger than my teaspoon?" The man went, laughing loudly. It shocked Aristotle. Nobody knows whether this happened or not because Aristotle remained the same. This story may have been invented by Heraclitus -- I suspect. Or it is even possible that this man may have been Heraclitus -- that too, I suspect.

What can mind do? When you think of it, it looks just absurd. How can you understand such a vastness through the head? The whole effort seems to be futile. Drop the head and then look! Don't look through the head, then you are also vast. It is only because you are looking through the head that you also have become small. It is only because of the narrowness of the head that you are also narrow. Throw this head! -- and just look at existence without the head.

That means: without thinking, being fully alert but not a single thought in the mind -- not theorizing, but living.


And our conjectures are all arbitrary. What can you say? Somebody asks, "Is there God?"

What will you say? If you say yes, that too is a conjecture -- have you known? If you say no, that too is a conjecture -- have you known? How can you say anything? If you say yes, you are wrong. If you say no, you are wrong.

That's why buddhas have remained silent. If you ask Buddha about God he doesn't say anything. He simply remains silent, as if you have not asked anything. About God he never says a single word. He knows the stupidity of the question. And he knows that if you answer a stupid question, you also are stupid. He remains absolutely silent, neither saying yes nor no -- because all are conjectures. What can you say? Christian theologians look foolish before a buddha. They even try to prove, they even give proofs, that God is. They give logical grounds that God is. But does God need logical support from you? Does the whole need any proof from you? Are you the judge? What can you prove? And whatsoever you can prove can be disproved by the same mind, because logic is a double-edged sword -- you can prove, you can disprove. Logic is not a beloved. Logic is a prostitute. Whosoever pays, logic works for him.

I knew one man -- he was a lawyer, a very great, famous, world famous authority on law; but he was a very forgetful man, very absent minded. Once it happened that in a privy council case in London he was fighting the case for one Indian maharaja. It was a big case. He forgot -- and he argued for one hour against his own client. Even the judge became worried. The opposite party advocate couldn't believe what was happening: "Now what is he going to do?"

-- because all the arguments that he had prepared, this man was making. The whole thing was topsy-turvy, and the whole court couldn't believe what was happening. And the man was such an authority that nobody dared to interrupt him; even his own assistant tried many times to pull his coat and tell him what he was doing. When he finished then the assistant whispered in his ear, "What have you done? You have completely destroyed the case. We are not against this man -- we are FOR him!"

This lawyer said to the judge, "My lord, these are the arguments which can be given against my client -- now I will contradict them." And he started contradicting, and he won the case.

Logic is a prostitute. You can argue for God, and the same argument can be used against God. For example, all the religions of the world, all the priests, bishops, popes, theologians, they have used as their basic proof, as the first proof in their argument for God, that everything needs a creator: "If you see furniture, you know that some carpenter has made it. If you see a painting, some painter is bound to be there. How can a painting exist without a painter? And such a vast creation, and running so systematically, following such a disciplined course, needs a creator. Creation presupposes a creator."

Then listen to the atheist. He says: "If this is true, then who created the creator? -- because if nothing can be without a creator, if the painting cannot be without the painter, then who created the painter? And if you say the painter is uncreated, then you are foolish, because if the painting, such a small thing like a painting, cannot be without a creator, then how can the painter be without a creator?"

Your own logic goes against you. And if you say, "Yes, God is created by another God," then there is an infinite regress, then again, again... A-God is created by B-God; B-God is created by C-God -- and it is infinite. Finally the question will remain the same; it has not been answered. Who created the Z-God? The same question remains. Logic answers nothing.

And the same argument can go for, and the same can go against.

Heraclitus says:


Don't make any conjectures, all theories are conjectures.


It is better not to make any conjecture.


You can learn much about these conjectures, which are all arbitrary, and you can become a great pundit, you can become a great knower. In the first place all are conjectures, and in the second place you accumulate all that rubbish and you become a great scholar, and people will respect you and they will think that you know -- but do you know? Talking about God, proving for or against, do you come to any conclusion? Theists, atheists, are all in the same boat.

It is said that Mulla Nasruddin used to work as a ferryman; he used to run a ferryboat. One day a priest was going to the other shore. Just in the middle, he asked Nasruddin, "Have you ever learnt anything, Nasruddin?"

He said, "I am ignorant, I don't know anything -- I have never been to a school."

The priest said, "Then half your life is almost wasted, because what is a man without learning?"

Nasruddin didn't say anything. Then a storm arose and the boat was sinking He said, "Oh, great pundit, have you ever learnt swimming?"

The man said, "Never, no, I don't know."

The Mulla said, "Then your whole life is wasted, because I am going!"

Learning cannot become swimming -- and existence needs experience. Learning cannot be knowing. Knowing is something that you have experienced and you have come to know.

Knowing is always original, learning is always borrowed. Others may have known, may not have known; you cannot decide -- you simply believe. Remember, belief won't help; it is part of learning. Trust, faith, is totally different. You have tasted something, then comes a trust.

You have not tasted, trust is not there, there is only a superficially enforced belief. You believe; belief is borrowed, dead. And the more you believe, the more dead you will become.

Trust is totally different. It is not belief, it is not disbelief. It has nothing to do with belief or disbelief or with the mind. People say, "We believe in God." There are people who say, "We don't believe."

One man came to Sri Aurobindo and he asked, "Do you believe in God?"

Sri Aurobindo said, "No."

He couldn't believe his own ears, because he had come from a very, very far country to ask this man, and he was thinking that he must be believing in God -- and Sri Aurobindo says, "No."

The man said, "What are you saying? I cannot believe my own ears and I have come from so far just to listen to a man who knows."

Aurobindo said, "But I have not said anything about knowing. I don't believe, I KNOW."

Belief is a poor substitute for knowing, really no substitute at all. You don't believe in the sun -- you know. I am here: you don't believe in me, you know. You are sitting there: you don't believe that you are there, you know. You believe in God, you don't know.

Ignorance can either become belief or can become disbelief, but ignorance remains ignorance. Knowing is needed. And know one distinction, subtle: I don't use the word knowledge, I use the word knowing because knowing is a process, knowledge is already ended. Knowledge is like a thing -- finished; you can possess it, it is in your fist; you can manipulate it, it is complete. Knowing is a process, a river; it goes on and on and on. You can never possess it; you cannot say that it is finished. Existence is eternal, how can knowing be finished? How can you come to a point where you can say, "Now, I have known all"? Never does such a point come.

The more you know, the more doors open. The more you flow, the more mysteries are ready to be revealed to you. The more you know, the more you become capable of knowing -- and there is no end to it. That's why I use the word knowing, not knowledge. Knowledge is a dead thing, it is past, already gone to the grave. Knowing is always in the present; it is ongoing, it is riverlike. Heraclitus will agree with me. Knowing he will agree with; knowledge, no.

Knowledge is a finished product, knowing is raw. It is always in the making, it is always in the becoming. It is always changing, flowing, taking new shapes, new forms, and you cannot finish it because you are part of it. Who can finish it? You can become knowing, but you can never become a knower.

The same is true of love, and the same is true of prayer, and the same is true of meditation, of all great matters. In fact, to use the word love is not good -- loving gives the sense of process. To use the word prayer is not good, prayer is dead -- praying gives the sense of a flow, of movement, of aliveness. Experience is not good -- experiencing. Meditation is not good... Language always gives the sense of dead things, and life is not dead. Even if you go to the river and you say, "The river is," even for the river you say "is" -- the river is never "is."

The river is always moving, becoming.

Nothing is, everything flows, and everything takes new shapes and forms and names, and everything flows one into another. Experiencing, knowing, loving, praying, meditating -- remember, life is a process, it is not a thing. It is a movement from one eternity to another. It is always in the middle, always in the middle; you are always in the middle. It is a never ending, alive movement.

Learning can give you dead products, only life can give you processes. You cannot possess anything in life, you cannot even possess yourself. And if you have a possessive mind you will become a knower. Hence the insistence on nonpossessiveness, on a nonpossessive mind.

Don't possess anything. Don't possess even your child, he is not a thing. Don't possess your beloved, she is not a thing. Don't possess anything -- you cannot! And if you possess, you will kill, you will destroy. And the same happens with learning: we want to possess.

People come to me and they say, "We would like to know God." But why? Why would you like to know God? You want to become a knower. You would like to possess him also.

You would like to put him also on display, to show that not only furniture, car and house, but God also you possess: "It is here, you can come and see. I have caught hold of him." You would like to make God also a commodity -- you have already made it.

No, you cannot possess. Knowing cannot be possessed. Learning can be possessed.

Knowing cannot be taught, you have to grow into it. And it is not secure, because who can be secure with a process? It is never safe; who can be safe with a process? Only with dead things is there security. It is always dangerous because you are always moving from the known to the unknown, from the light to the dark, from the day to the night. You are always moving from life to death. And if you can find the secret hidden harmony that transcends both, moves within both and yet transcends both, then you have come to know the truth.

And that is what Heraclitus means about the greatest matters:


Have you seen people who know very much but act in a foolish way? It almost always happens: a man who knows too much becomes less and less aware. He acts through his knowledge, not through the real situation. He becomes foolish, he behaves in a foolish way, because to behave in a wise way needs response, and he always acts from the dead past. He always acts from a readiness, preparedness. He is never unprepared.

I have heard about a great professor of philosophy. He was studying in his room. The wife came, very, very excited, and she said, "What are you doing? Have you seen this newspaper?

It says that you have died!"

The professor, without even looking at the wife or the newspaper, said, "Then remember, we should not forget to send flowers" -- because whenever someone dies, flowers have to be sent -- that's all. He had not listened. You cannot surprise a man of knowledge, no. He already knows. You cannot amaze him, he has lost that dimension of wonder. He is no more a child; he knows, he knows everything.

I have heard -- I cannot vouch for it because I have only heard -- one friend was telling me that he was sitting with Mulla Nasruddin and they were talking about many things and enjoying, and suddenly Mulla Nasruddin's dog came in and he said, "Has anybody seen today's newspaper?" So the friend was simply shocked, he couldn't believe it!

Mulla gave the dog the newspaper, and when the dog left then this friend collected his wits again and said, "It is a miracle -- this dog reads?"

Mulla said, "Don't be fooled by him -- he simply looks at the comics."

There are people who have no sense of wonder and mystery. They cannot be amazed, you cannot surprise them. What happens? They are always ready. They know, and when you know, how can you wonder? A child wonders -- and that is the meaning of Jesus' saying:

"Unless you become like children, you will not enter my kingdom of God." Why? -- because wonder is the door and only an innocent heart wonders. And if you can get an innocent heart, you wonder; everything gives you a surprise. A butterfly and it is such a mystery!...

Chuang Tzu was sitting under a tree and two or three butterflies were chasing each other.

He wrote a small poem and he said: "It seems to me that these butterflies are flowers -- the flowers that once fell to the ground have come back, now are back on the tree." Flowers fall down to the ground, then they disappear. Says Chuang Tzu, "They have come now as butterflies back to the tree." This man will enter the kingdom of God, not you. If somebody asks anything about a butterfly, you will immediately open a book and everything that it said about butterfly you can say -- but do you think all that can be said is the total? All that has been said, has all been said in it? Is there not something which has remained unsaid and which will remain always unsaid and which it will never be possible for anybody to say? If you think that nothing remains unsaid, then how can you be amazed? -- then you have lost the sense of wonder.

This century knows more than any other century, and this century is further away from God than any other century ever was -- piled up knowledge, libraries go on growing bigger and bigger, and everybody knows so much. Even small children, we force them to know -- not towards knowing, not that their wonder should grow, that they should become more and more mysterious; inside, outside, that they should feel the mystery more; that they should be touched by flowers and butterflies and stones. No. We fill their minds with knowledge, and says Heraclitus:


These knowers, pundits, they dig much earth but find little. They remove the whole mountain and a mouse comes out. What do they attain? They are like diggers after gold: too much effort, and whatsoever they achieve simply SEEMS valuable. That's why he uses the word gold, because what value does gold have? In fact, what value? The value that you give to it is just a convention. It is we who give value to gold, it is not the gold which has an intrinsic value. If man were not there, do you think there would be any value to gold? Animals don't bother, birds don't think about it. If you put gold before a dog, and a bone, he will choose the bone; he doesn't bother about your gold. What value has gold? Has it any intrinsic value? No value, just the social projection. If you think it valuable, it becomes valuable. Whatsoever you think is valuable, becomes valuable. Diggers after gold dig up much earth and find little. And this is what happens to those who are digging for knowledge, not experience; digging for truth, not for life... and life is truth! And whatsoever truth you can dig out of theories and knowledge is dead.


Try to understand three words: one word is the known, that which we already know; then there is another word, the unknown, that which we don't know yet, but there is every possibility we will know it. Science divides existence into these two words: the known and the unknown. The known we have known, and the unknown we will know; just time is needed.

Religion divides this world into three words, not two: the known, the unknown and the unknowable.

You cannot exhaust the unknowable. The unknown will become known, then the known may become again unknown. It has happened many times. Many things have been known and then they became unknown because the society became uninterested in them. Many times it has happened. If you go back and ask people who work deeply into the past, they say almost all that we know has been known some time before and then it was forgotten.

Columbus was not the first man who discovered America; many people before him discovered it, and then America was lost again. In Mahabharat, one of the oldest Indian scriptures -- at least five thousand years old, more is possible -- there is mention of Mexico:

Arjuna had many wives, one wife was a Mexican. In many other scriptures of the world America is mentioned. Columbus was not the first to discover it -- he rediscovered it. There is mention of airplanes in many scriptures of the world; this is not the first time that we have discovered the airplane. We discovered it and we became uninterested in it; it was lost. I have not come to know anything that has been discovered for the first time. Everything has been discovered and lost. It depends on the society: if the society takes an interest, it is okay; otherwise it is lost.

The known will become unknown, the unknown will become known. But there is a third dimension: the unknowable. Science doesn't believe in the unknowable. She says, "The unknowable is nothing but the unknown." And religion says it is a totally different dimension:

that which will always remain unknown -- because its intrinsic nature is such that the mind cannot cope with it. The vast, the infinite, the endless, the beginningless, the total -- the total cannot be comprehended in any way by the part, because how can the part comprehend the total? How can the mind comprehend that from which the mind arises? How can the mind know that to which the mind goes back? It is impossible! It is simply impossible. How can we know that from which we come? We are just like waves -- how can a wave comprehend the whole ocean? It can claim, because the ocean never refutes anything -- it simply laughs. It is just like a child claiming something before the parents, and they laugh.

The incomprehensible is there -- the unknowable is there.

Says Heraclitus:


How can you know yourself? Every religion says: "Know thyself!" But how can you really know yourself? Then who will be the knower and who will be the known? -- because knowledge depends on a division. I can know you, you can know me, because I become an object and you become the knower -- but how can you know yourself? And if you try to know, that which you will know will not be yourself. The knower will always recede; the knowledge will always be bracketed as an object and you will be bracketed as a subject.

For example, you can know about the body. That's why all knowers have said that you are not the body -- because we can know it. You can know the mind. That is why those who know, they say you are not the mind -- because the mind becomes the object and you are the knower. You recede, you go on receding; you are a subtle transcendence. Whatsoever you know, you transcend it immediately. The moment it has become known you are separate from it. If you say, "I have known myself," what do you mean? Who has known whom? Is the known you? -- or the knower you? If you are the knower then you still remain unknown.

Selfknowledge is impossible.

But why has it always been said, "Know thyself"? It has been said because only through the effort to know oneself will you come to the dimension of the unknowable. It has been insisted: "Know thyself" -- not that you can know, don't be deceived. Nobody has ever known, nobody will ever know. And all those who have known knew this -- that the great, the vast, the ultimate, remains unknowable.

Insistence is there: Know thyself! I also insist: Know thyself! -- just to bring you to a point where you suddenly become aware that this is the gate for the unknowable. Just by making efforts to know yourself you will come to know the unknowable. And I don't mean when I say you will come to know the unknowable that you will know it. No! You will enter into it. It is never a knowledge, it is a jump. You take a jump into the sea and you are lost. Not that you know it -- you become it. Of course, in a very, very subtle way you know, and at the same time you don't know.

That is why Heraclitus looks paradoxical, he looks defective, he looks a little mad. But such is the nature of things, such is the depth of things, such is the deeper meaning of things -- nothing can be done. Hence it happens that if you move into the unknowable without getting ready to take it, you can become mad. It is such a paradox that you cannot make any head or tail of it. It is such a depth that you never come to the bottom of it. It is such an infinity that the more you enter into it the more you are lost. You can never possess it, you can only be possessed.

God cannot be possessed, you can only allow him to possess you. That's all that can be done. That's why it is a surrender. You allow him to possess, you are ready to be possessed.

And for this readiness you have to be ready to lose your rationality, reason, because it is sheer madness. Nothing is clear, everything becomes confused and blurred. It looks blurred and confused because you have been trying to make a clarity out of it. It is not possible. Life comprehends all that is paradoxical.


You can travel all the paths but you will never reach the goal. All the paths combine together and you will never reach the goal. Why? -- because life has no goal. It is a celebration. It has no purpose, it is not going anywhere. It is simply enjoying the going, not going anywhere. It is a play, it is a game. And don't be serious about it, otherwise you will miss it. Be sincere, but not serious. Sincerity is something else, seriousness is something else.

If you are serious you are thinking in terms of goals, means and ends, ways and achievement; you are ambitious. Seriousness is ambition and it is a disease. You may have turned your attention from this world, but your ambitious mind is now thinking about the other.

Seriousness is not religious. A serious man will automatically become a philosophic man; he will start thinking. Seriousness is of the head. That's why a serious person, a thinker, becomes a long face. He cannot even laugh, he cannot smile, he cannot play, because always he is thinking: "What is to be achieved through it?" He turns life into a means -- and life itself is the goal.

A sincere person is totally different. Sincerity is of the heart. He is true, but not serious. He is seeking, but not as a goal. He is seeking it just like a child seeks things: if he finds, it is okay: if he doesn't find, it is okay also. A child is running after a dog, and just in the middle he finds a butterfly; he changes. He starts running after the butterfly; and then, by the side, there comes a flower -- and he has forgotten the butterfly and the flower takes his total attention. He is not serious, but very sincere. Whenever he takes anything into mind he is totally with it -- that is sincerity. Now he has forgotten the butterfly and the dog, and the flower is everything.

When you can pay your total attention to something, it is sincerity. And when you are paying your attention only as a means, you are cunning. You really want to reach the goal, and this is only a means. You are exploiting; you are exploiting the path to reach the goal. For the child, the path is the goal. And for the religious person also, the path is the goal.

Wherever I am, it is the goal.

Whatsoever I am, it is the goal.

At this moment, my whole life converges upon me; there is nowhere else to go. One has just to celebrate this moment in totality.

This is what a religious being is -- unworried, not going anywhere, just for a morning walk. It is different. You pass by the same path when you go to your office, and then you go for the morning walk -- the path is the same, the house is the same, everything is the same; you are the same, your legs are the same, but when you go for a morning walk everything is different. A religious person is just on the way for a morning walk, and a nonreligious person is going somewhere to the office, to the shop -- a goal is there. The worldly man is goal oriented; whatsoever the goal, even God, a worldly man is goal oriented. A nonworldly man is not goal oriented. A nonworldly man lives here and now, everything converges here and now.

And this here and now then becomes infinite. You go by all the paths to it, but still it remains unreachable. That is the beauty also. If we could reach, everything would be lost. If we could know ourselves, then what? Then you would simply be bored by yourself. No, that boredom never comes -- because it is an ongoing process, infinite, from one infinity to another infinity.

Remember these words -- not in the mind, let them go deeper and settle in the heart:









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