There are no words to tell



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I. 104. aisa lo nahin tai sa, lo









II. 56. dariya ki lahar dariyao hai ji






THE TRUTH IS KNOWN AND YET NOT KNOWN -- known in a sense and not known in another -- known because we are part of it, but not known because we are not separate from it. To know something, the knower has to be separate; and yet again, to know something really, how can you know it if you are separate? This is the basic problem that faces the seeker of truth. We are one with it, there is no space between us and the truth, so we cannot become the knower. We cannot separate the known from the knower -- there is no way to separate -- and knowledge exists only when the knower and known are separate.

Knowledge is a bridge between the object and the subject. If they are not separate, the bridge cannot exist. So the first thing to be remembered: truth is not known in the ordinary sense, cannot be known in the ordinary sense.

Yet there is a knowing of sorts -- a totally different type of knowing, of a totally different quality. The knowing is more like love than knowledge. You know a woman or a man when you are deep in love. When your boundaries meet and mingle and merge, when you are no longer separate, when you cannot say where you end and where your woman starts, when there are no fences and no defenses, when simply you are overlapping, overflowing into each other -- the division has disappeared and you have become indivisible -- there is a sort of knowing: you know. Before it, all that you used to think of as knowledge was just illusory.

But can you say now that you know? Now there is no one separate who can claim to be the knower. This is the problem. Truth is known, but in such a way that you cannot claim knowledge. Truth is known in such a way that by knowing it the mystery does not disappear; in fact it becomes very, very deep, infinitely deep, ultimately deep. By knowing the truth, nothing is solved. In fact for the first time you are facing the insoluble. This is the paradox, the dilemma.

If you understand this dilemma, then you will be able to follow what Kabir is trying to say.

Let us go into it a little more. All knowledge is illusory; we only think that we know. What do we mean when we say we know? When you say, "I know what this tree is," what do you mean? It is a pine tree or an old oak or something else. What do you know? You know a label: it is a "pine" or an "oak" or an "ashoka." You know a name. All that your knowledge consists of is that you know the label. Forget the label and the unknown is there. All knowledge consists of only names. Drop the label and suddenly the unknown is there.

But we live by naming things; it gives us a false sense of security. Otherwise everybody is a stranger, and it will be too difficult to live with strangers. It will be so difficult to trust strangers. Mind immediately jumps upon anything that comes, labels it, and feels good. Finished. This man is a "good" man, and this man is a "sinner" -- you have labeled.

But can't you observe a simple reality that the saint can become the sinner the next moment, and the sinner can become the saint? So what do you know? The murderer can become a mahatma and the mahatma can become a murderer. So when you say this man is "good," what are you saying? Do you know this man, because this good man can prove bad any moment? And you say another man is "bad," and he can prove the holiest of men any moment. So what do you know? By labeling, by naming, you have not known anything. The reality remains unexplained, mysterious.

You say, "This woman is my wife," or "This man is my husband." What do you know? Just labeling a person "my husband," have you known something? You are just in a deception. You have created an illusion of knowledge.

But the mind wants this illusion very much. It feels at ease. With this illusory knowledge surrounding you, you feel at home. Mind lives in lies -- old or new, but mind lives in lies.

I have heard:

When Herbert Wise, the chess champion, returned to the freshwater college he had attended in his youth, the prexy suggested that he have a look at the dormitory room he had occupied as a student. The lad who was living there at the time unfortunately had chosen this evening to smuggle in a beautiful young coed to help him with his history -- a gross infraction of rules. When he heard the president and Mr. Wise in the hall, he hid the girl hastily in the clothes closet.

Wise looked at the familiar old room, sighed, and remarked, "Same old desk, same old chairs." Then he opened the closet door, saw the flustered coed, and added softly, "And the same old girl."

"It is my sister, sir," stammered the young man.

"And the same old lie!" chortled Wise.

It continues that way -- the same old lies. Mind lives through lies, mind feeds on lies. Mind cannot encounter truth. All knowledge is of the mind, so all knowledge is bound to be illusory. All knowledge is maya, it is not real. It is a pseudo coin invented by the mind to fill the gap; otherwise you will feel very, very ignorant and stupid, otherwise you will feel you don't know anything. It will be difficult for you to stand, struggle in life. Mind says, "Forget all about ignorance. Knowledge is possible. It is simple: you just cram in a few facts -- labels, names -- get acquainted with more information, accumulate information, go to the library, and become knowledgeable.

Knowledgeableness is not knowledge, and all your knowledge is nothing but knowledgeableness. You have gathered information from without -- from tradition, from the university, from the society, civilization. Somebody is a Mohammedan, you say, and somebody is a Christian, you say; and then you have figured out who he is. Just by calling a man "Christian" or calling him a "communist," have you known him? Have you known anything about him? But you have a feeling that you know now -- this man is a "communist," dangerous; and this man is a "Christian," very good.

This stupid effort to drown your ignorance by a false knowledge is the only barrier between you and the reality, between you and the truth. And if you go on with these lies, believing in them, you will never come across truth -- these lies won't allow you. These lies will function as barriers.

I have heard:

Once Mulla Nasrudin lived next to a lunatic asylum. One of his regular afternoon naps on the lawn was rudely interrupted when a beautiful young lady, completely without clothes, came bursting through the hedge, hotly pursued by three interns dressed in white. The old Mulla was just recovering from his astonishment when a fourth intern dashed into view carrying in each hand a heavy pailful of sand. The Mulla noticed that a considerable gallery was watching from the other side of the hedge, so he called out, "What is the idea of the fourth intern with the pails of sand?" "That is his handicap," was the explanation. "He caught her the last time."

And even when I look at you, I see you with pails of lies -- searching truth. You are never going to catch it; your handicap is going to be too much. It is impossible. You have to drop all handicaps. Your mind is the root cause of all your handicaps. Your mind is a deceiver. It creates a magical world, a false world of knowledge.

That is the meaning of the biblical story. Adam is turned out of the garden of Eden because he has eaten the fruit of the tree of knowledge. It is a very significant parable. Because of knowledge Adam is turned out of heaven, Loses all his blessedness, loses all his innocence, happiness, loses immortality, becomes a mortal, becomes miserable. This is the original sin: knowledge is the original sin. Meditate on this parable as much as possible, again and again, from different angles. There is no other parable so significant in the whole history of religion.

Adam's sin is knowledge. Then what is Jesus' virtue? It must be ignorance. Christians don't talk about it. It must be ignorance. That's what Jesus says when he says, "Unless you are like children you will not enter into the kingdom of my God." "Unless you are like children"? It means unless you are innocent, ignorant like children, unless you drop all your knowledge, you will not enter back, you will not be received back. Knowledge is the sin and ignorance is the virtue.

To be ignorant and to know that all knowledge is false, is a radical revolution. Then you remain virgin. Then knowledge never corrupts you. Yes, knowledge is a corruption, it is a poison.

All meditative techniques developed anywhere in the world are nothing but efforts to make you free of your knowledge, efforts to make you free of your mind. Meditation means to create a state of no-mind. A state of no-mind will be a state of no-knowledge. A state of no-mind will be a state of tremendous ignorance -- primal ignorance. And ignorance is beautiful.

When you don't know, you are not. When you know, you are. Knowledge begins to function as the ego. No-knowledge, and the ego cannot exist; it has no props, no support. It falls, collapses, disappears. And in that state of no-mind, no-ego -- no-YOU -- something happens, which is more like love. You flow into existence and the existence starts flowing into you. You are no longer separate from the existence. The drop has fallen into the ocean, and the ocean has fallen into the drop.

This is what is called wisdom. Knowledge is not wisdom. To know "I don't know anything" is wisdom.

That is the meaning of the oracle of Delphi's declaration. Somebody asked, "Who is the greatest wise man of the world?" and the oracle said, "Socrates." The person went to Socrates and told him, "Have you heard it or not? The oracle of the temple has said that you are the wisest man in the world."

Socrates is reported to have laughed and said, "You go back. There must have been some mistake because just today, this morning, it has happened to me that I don't know anything. How can it be? If you had come yesterday I would have believed you, because I used to think that I know, but not now. This morning -- this very morning -- something tremendous has happened to me: all knowledge has appeared as futile. I am awakened. The sleep of knowledge is no longer there; I am no longer dreaming. And now I know only one thing for certain: that I don't know anything.

"You go back and tell the oracle that something must have gone wrong. The oracle has always been right and true, I know, but this time the oracle has committed an error. You go and put things right. And it is me, Socrates himself, saying that I am the most ignorant man of the world. How can the oracle say I am the most wise? No, it is not possible."

The man was puzzled, he could not believe it, but he went to the oracle and said, "There must have been some mistake, sir, because Socrates denies it. He says, 'I know only one thing: that I don't know anything.'"

And the oracle said, "That's why we have declared that he is the greatest wise man of the world. That's why! Precisely that's why we have declared it! Go and tell him. If you had asked yesterday, we would not have said so. He was as foolish as anybody else. Now he is not a fool at all -- he is not fooled by knowledge. He has awakened."

Knowing that you don't know, you really become a knower. That is wisdom. Wisdom is not knowledge. Wisdom is awareness.


And when you have known in this way, not the way of knowledge but the way of wisdom, the way of love -- not as a spectator, not as an observer from the outside but as a participant of existence -- you have danced with God hand in hand, step by step, and you have come to FEEL something....

Yes, it is better to use the word "feeling" than "knowing".; it is closer to reality. Knowing is cerebral, feeling is total. When you feel, you don't feel only from the head, you don't feel only from your heart, you don't feel only from your guts; you feel from every fibre of your being. Feeling is total, feeling is orgasmic, feeling is organic.

In a moment of feeling, you function as a totality. When you think, you function only as the head. When you are sentimental, you function only as the heart. Remember, sentimentality is not feeling, emotionalism is not feeling. Thinking, you are a head -- just a part pretending to be the whole. Of course it is false. This perspective is false. Emotional, sentimental, you are the heart -- again another part pretending to be the whole, another servant pretending to be the master. Again it is false.

Feeling is of the total -- of the body, of the mind, of the soul. Feeling knows no divisions; feeling is indivisible. When you feel, you function as a totality. When you function as a totality you function in tune with the totality. Let me repeat it: when you function as a totality you function in tune with the totality. When you function as a part you have fallen apart; you are no longer in tune with the total. When you are no longer in tune with the total, whatsoever you think you know is false, illusory. When you are in tune with the total, you know that you don't know anything. But even this "not knowing" is a knowing -- it is a feeling, it is a love affair with the whole.

"O HOW MAY I EVER EXPRESS THAT SECRET WORD? " And when you come to know in this way, it is a secret knowing -- secret because it cannot be expressed, secret because language is inadequate for it, secret because it cannot be taught.

Let me tell you one thing. In the East we have been making a distinction between a teacher and a Master. The teacher is one who teaches, of course; and the Master is one who does not teach. Then what does a Master do? A teacher teaches; he believes in teaching -- he believes that truth can be taught. Of course this is basically wrong. Truth cannot be reduced to language, truth cannot be reduced to concepts, so how can it be taught? Truth cannot be expressed, nobody has ever been able to express it, so how can it be taught? The teacher himself has not known yet. The teacher is as unaware as the taught. With the teacher, you become a student, so whatsoever he has accumulated, he goes on transferring it to you. It is a transference of information.

A Master never teaches, but you can catch something from the Master. Truth cannot be taught but can be caught. The Master.... His very being, his very presence. His every gesture -- the way he looks at you, the way he walks. The WAY he talks -- not what he says, not the content -- but the way he talks. The way he keeps quiet, the way sometimes he falls silent. Something between the words and something between the lines.

The teacher exists in the words; the Master exists between the words -- the gaps, the intervals. The teacher has something to teach you; the Master has something which if YOU want you can take but he cannot teach. If you are ready you can partake of it. If you are thirsty you can quench your thirst. It is not a communication. It is a communion. Between a teacher and a student there is communication; between a Master and the disciple there is a communion, a transference of energy. Something mysterious passes, and the disciple becomes pregnant with the unknown.

"O HOW MAY I EVER EXPRESS THAT SECRET WORD?" Kabir is a Master, and he says, "How can I express, how can I ever express, that secret word? That which has happened in the innermost recesses of my being, how can I bring it to the surface? That which has happened in the silence of my soul, how can I reduce it and convert it and translate it into language?" Language is very inadequate. Truth is vast, and language is very, very narrow. Truth is like the sky, and language is like a closed fist.

Let me tell you:

An elephant was frolicking happily in a swimming pool one day, when a mouse came along and implored him to come out of the water. The elephant ignored the mouse for a while, but it became so insistent that the elephant finally lumbered out of the pool to demand, "What on earth do you want?"

The mouse squeaked, "I just wanted to see if you were wearing my bathing suit."

Yes, to bring truth into words is as impossible -- more so. Words are very small, trivial, mundane, material, worldly. Words are invented by man. Truth is discovered -- never invented. It is already there. And truth is discovered when somebody becomes courageous enough to lose himself, to relax into a nonbeing, into a no-mind. Then truth is known. It is known only when you are so utterly silent that not even a ripple of thought arises in you.

So how to reduce it into language, into words, into thoughts? It happens only when the thought is not present. The thought cannot convey it, and whatsoever the thought conveys is a distortion. That's why those who have known have always been in great inner difficulty. How to express it? How to say it? When Buddha became enlightened, for seven days he remained silent. He would not utter a single word. It was so difficult. It is so easy to talk when you don't know; it is so difficult to talk when you know. It is so easy to talk when you don't know, because you can say anything. When you know, it is almost impossible to talk. You can go around and around.

That's what I go on doing. I go around and around, just in the hope that someday, by chance, by accident, you may become aware that whatsoever I want to convey to you cannot be conveyed in words. Listening to my words, you may fall silent. Listening to my music, you may become so attentive, so alert, that in that alertness truth may be able to penetrate you.

But I don't believe that through my words you are going to know anything. It is not possible.

That's why trust has been emphasized so much. If you listen to my words you will be listening to my logic, and truth cannot be put into words, so it cannot be made a logical proposition. No, it is not a syllogism. If you are in deep love with me, then there is a possibility. Then you will not be looking for the logic. Then you will be looking for something else. Then you will be looking sideways. Then you will be looking and waiting for silences.

Truth is available here in my presence, but not in my words. If you listen only to my words, you have not listened to me at all. You have been deaf. If you have listened to my silence....

Maybe my words can be helpful as a contrast to my silence. When you write on a blackboard with a white chalk it comes out clear and loud. Hmm? because the blackboard gives the contrast. If you write on a white wall with white chalk it will not be clear and loud. It will be lost. I can keep quiet here, I can sit silently here, but then you will not be able to understand my silence at all. It will be a writing with white chalk on a white wall.

I talk to you -- I create a blackboard of words, of language, concept, logic, philosophy, religion -- and then I leave just a few small gaps, silent gaps, intervals. Those gaps come very loudly. Against the black background of language, silence comes very clearly.

Hence I speak. Hence Kabir speaks. Hence Buddha has to concede to speak after seven days.

There was a Zen student under a Master to whom he was very much devoted. Each time he approached the Master, the latter waved his hand, saying, "Not yet, not yet." Some time passed. One evening he became desperate: "How can this be? I have no word of instruction which will lead me to the realization. The Master simply chases me, saying, 'Not yet, not yet.' What can I do? What do I have to think about it all?"

He went on like this -- thinking, brooding, meditating -- in utter desperation, but tenaciously clinging to his object of inquiry and pondering it from every possible point of view, when all of a sudden something flashed on his mind and he realized at once what the Master wanted him to discover. The following morning he visited the Master, wishing to let him know what happened to him. But the Master seeing him come burst out, "You have it now, you have it now!"

What happened? For years he was saying, "Not yet, not yet." Then one day the disciple comes, and he has not even said a single word to the Master, and the Master says, "You have it now, you have it now."

The day you will understand my silence and not my words, there will be no need for you to tell me that you have attained it. I will know it immediately; even before you have known it, I will know it. There is a very subtle relationship between the Master and the disciple. It is almost like a spiritual umbilical cord. The Master knows, and goes on saying, "Not yet, not yet. Don't say a single word. It is all foolish, whatsoever you have brought. It is all mind stuff, whatsoever you have brought. It has nothing to do with truth; it is still knowledge. Wait, not yet, don't say anything."

In Zen the disciple meditates on a koan, on a Zen puzzle, and comes to the Master, brings a reply, what he has come to understand. The "Not yet, not yet" is for that, that you have not yet understood -- "Go back, meditate again." For example, the Zen Master will say, "Go and listen to the sound of one hand clapping. Listen to the sound of one hand clapping," and the disciple listens, and tries, and finds out, figures out what to answer, how to find the answer for this puzzle; and then he brings an answer. But the way you come, the quality of consciousness that you bring, the mind full of ideas and conclusions that you bring, is enough. Your presence is enough for the Master to feel, and he says, "Not yet, not yet." One day, suddenly, it has happened. It happens out of the blue, all of a sudden.

In fact spiritual explosion is exactly an explosion. It is not a gradual process. You don't grow inch by inch. Either you are there or you are not there. Either you have known or you have not known. There is no in between, it is a sudden flash. One meditates and meditates and meditates and one goes on penetrating into one's own mind, looking into one's own nature. By this very looking, one day, the look is so penetrating that the mind simply stops; awareness is so total that the mind is no longer created; attention is so perfect that the mind dissolves; and there is a lightning and suddenly you know. You know that nothing can be known, you know that ignorance is primordial, you know that life is a mystery and is going to remain a mystery, you know that truth is not only unknown but unknowable. You are freed from the illusion of knowledge.

Rushed the disciple towards the Master to tell him what had happened. Because when something of such a tremendous import happens, you would like to share it. And with whom to share? Who will understand you? Only the Master can understand. You would like to share it. And when the disciple reached the Master, the Master said, "You have it now, you have it now." He never allowed him to say a single word before, and he is not even allowing him now. First he was saying, "Not yet, not yet. Keep quiet. Go back." Now he says, "No need to come. You have known. Keep quiet."

When truth is known, you cannot say it. That's why the Master says, "I have known that you have known it. Now keep quiet. Now sit silently in front of me. Now let us be together -- really together. Now let me overflow into you and you overflow into me. Now let there be a communion, let the soul meet with the soul." Now there is no need for the mind to communicate with the other mind.

You hold the hand of your friend. That's a communication on the physical level. You say something to your friend. That is a communication on the mental level. Then you just remain in the presence of your friend -- saying nothing, gesturing nothing, having nothing to say, just pure presences  -- then it is a spiritual communication. That communication is called communion.

I am trying to create a community here, a community of sannyasins. Community means people who are waiting or trying to have communion. Community means people who are being together to dissolve into each other. So whosoever is here with some egoist idea is not here at all. He will miss me, and he will miss this community that exists here.

Some people come to me and they say, "In this ashram, people don't seem to be much interested in others. They don't take much interest." This person is on some ego trip. He wants people to take interest in him. Why should they take interest in him? Here we are creating a situation in which nobody is going to help your ego, nobody is going to give you importance. If you are seeking importance, then there is the big world.

In my small world, if you come, don't seek importance, don't seek attention. Rather become attentive, rather become aware, and try to dissolve into the community that is getting ready here. And it is easier for you to dissolve into it right now because it is in the beginning process. Once it has gone deep, it will be more difficult for you to take the jump because there will be a great gap. Right now there is not much gap, a very small gap. You can take the jump very easily.

O how may I ever express that secret word?


How to say God is like this or God is like that? There are many problems. First, the language is not adequate. Second, the listener is not ready. You appear to be listening, but you don't listen, because listening needs a tremendous sensitivity. Your whole being should become your hearing. You should hear from every cell of your body, from every hair of your body. You should hear from the eyes and from the hands and from the soles of your feet. You should hear with your totality. You should just become ears.

I have heard:

An attendant at the London Zoo was intrigued by two Beatle-haired youths strumming guitars earnestly outside the lions' cage. "My brother is the cool one," announced one of the boys modestly. "You put him in that empty cage over there and let one lion at a time into it and you will see how even the wild beasts fall for his music."

So the zoo attendant led the brother into the empty cage, then shoved the first lion in with him. Almost at once the lion seemed to smile and began dancing daintily to the music. A second lion was produced and proceeded to execute a cross between the twist and a gavotte.

Then a third lion entered the cage. In less time than it takes to tell he had pounced upon the poor guitarist and eaten him up. The zoo attendant patted the surviving brother sympathetically on the back. "I was afraid that would happen," he said sadly, "when I let that deaf lion in there."

You are deaf. You appear to be hearing and you appear to be seeing, but you are blind. You appear to be alive, but you are dead. Your aliveness depends on your sensitivity. If you are sensitive, only then can truth be in some indirect way hinted at. Only hints are possible, and hints are so indirect that if you listen very attentively, only then will you catch them.

O how can I say He is not like this, and He is like that?


How to say God is within, because then who is without? He is without too.

"IF I SAY HE IS WITHIN ME, THE UNIVERSE IS ASHAMED." There have been a few mystics who have decided to say he is within. Mahavir decided that he is within. It is a partial statement of truth; it is not total. Or, Mohammed decided the other way; he said he is without. That too is a partial truth, not the total truth. Kabir is trying to move in a deeper realm. Mohammed says, "He is without"; hence Mohammedans killed Mansur because Mansur declared, "He is within me. I am God -- ANAL HAQ -- I am the truth! " Mohammedans could not tolerate it because they always say, "God is there above in the heaven. How can you, a mortal, declare that he is within you or you are him? This is sacrilege. "

Mahavir decided just the opposite. He said, "He is within you, so don't worship him anywhere else. Don't go to worship him in the river or in the sun or in the tree or in the moon or in the stars. Don't go to worship him anywhere. He is not in the temples; he is within you." This too is a partial truth because he is within and without.

Kabir says:

If I say that He is within me, the universe is ashamed:



The inner and the outer is the division of the mind. The inner and outer do not exist in reality. What is inner? Have you pondered over it, ever? What is inner and what is outer? You say, "This is the inside of my house." And there is a door and you pass through the door and you say, "This is the outside of my house." But the same sky exists outside and the same sky exists inside. The inside and the outside are not two. You inhale and you exhale. When you exhale, the breath goes out; when you inhale, the breath goes in. The within is joined with the without -- the inhalation is part of exhalation; the exhalation is part of inhalation. The breath that was mine just a moment before is no longer mine; it has become yours. And the breath that was yours is no longer yours; it has become mine. So you are not so without and I am not so within. We are joined together.

There is an apple on the tree; it is outside. You eat it, you digest it; within a few hours it becomes part of you. It is in your bloodstream. After a few months a part of it will have moved to your bones and a part of it will have become your consciousness, your mind, your awareness, your thinking. A part of the apple will become your meditation. And then one day you will die and your body will be buried under the earth, and the apple tree will take food from it. Again.... Your body will feed the apple tree and again you will circulate in the sap of the tree, and you will become the leaf of the tree and the fruit of the tree, and so on, so forth.

Nothing is within, nothing is without. We are joined together. The universe is one. Yes, that's why we don't call it a MULTIverse, we call it a UNIverse, because it is one. It is UNI, it is a unity.




Then how to tell? If we say "within," it is half; if we say "without," it is half. If we say, "He is within and without," it is confusing; then OUR distinctions, OUR categories, dissolve. Then it becomes very difficult to know who is who. It becomes very difficult to live. If you are me and I am you, then it will become very, very difficult to live. If you put your hand into my pocket, I cannot say, "What are you doing? Are you a thief or a kleptomaniac or something?" I cannot say anything, because you are me and I am you. That's why, you see, I don't have any pockets. It will be difficult to decide.

Ordinary life will become very, very complicated. I don't know my name, you don't know your name; it will become very difficult.

I have heard:

The wealthy and aged society leader stepped out in the garden of his home during a party he was giving and discovered his young wife in the arms of another man. "What is the meaning of this?" shouted the outraged millionaire. "Who is this man?"

After a moment's embarrassing silence the young wife spoke up and said, "I believe my husband is perfectly within his rights. What is your name?"

It is happening more and more. In a way nothing is wrong in it: nobody has any name. And what is the point of knowing the name of the other person, because all names are false? All names are arbitrary, they don't say anything, but they are needed. The ordinary life, the practical life, will become impossible.

So Kabir says if we say he is within, that is half, and the world is ashamed, and the whole is ashamed. If we say he is without, that is not true, because he is within too. And if we say he is both and indivisibly one, then all distinctions drop and it becomes very impractical. So how to say it?

"THERE ARE NO WORDS TO TELL THAT WHICH HE IS." He can be felt only in silence, and he can be showed only in silence. Yes, nothing can be said about him, but he can be showed to you. And that is the meaning of the relationship between a Master and a disciple. The Master leads you somewhere, to some vision that has become part of his being. He takes you to his inner world so that you can see a little through his eyes, so that you can hear a little through his ears, so that you can touch reality a little through his hands. Once the glimpse is there, then things will become very easy.

And there is no need to disturb the practical world. Let it continue as it is. That's why I don't say renounce the world. I say be part of it. It is good. Just know that it is all arbitrary, that all the distinctions are only useful, not true. They have a utility but no truth in them. Use the distinctions, but never be lost in them.

Once when a government dignitary called O Wang was late in coming to Bokuju, a Zen Master, Bokuju Bokuju asked the officer why he was delayed. He said that he had attended a polo playing. The Master asked, "Who strikes the ball, the rider or the horse?" The officer replied, "The rider." "Was he tired?" "Yes, he was tired." "Was the horse tired?" "It too was tired." Bokuju then asked, "Was the goalpost tired?" The officer was at a loss how to answer such a question. The goalpost?

After returning home, he spent his evening thinking of the Master's strange question. In the middle of the night the solution dawned on him unexpectedly. The officer called on the Master next day and reported that he understood the Master's question. Bokuju asked, "Was the post tired?" "Yes, tired!" said the officer. Bokuju laughed and he said, "You are right."

Now this is a tremendous experience. Because the universe is one. The rider is tired, the horse is tired, what about the goalpost? The ordinary mind will say, "What nonsense. A goalpost is dead." But if the universe is one -- and indivisibly one, nothing can be dead -- or nothing can be alive. Either everything is alive or everything is dead. If the universe is one, how can anything be dead? If God is life then nothing can be dead. And that is what dawned upon the officer, that when the Master says everything is one, then of course the goalpost must be tired.

Now scientists say that trees feel tired. Just within twenty years the fact has become known that trees feel tired, that trees feel happy, that trees feel sad, that trees feel angry, that trees feel loving. Someday it is possible some scientist will stumble upon this fact too: that the goalpost is tired -- feels tired, happy, sad, angry. If the universe is one, this is how it has to be.

When you come home tired, have you ever thought your shoes must be tired? It will be very confusing and you will get very worried; hence we don't allow such disturbing truths into our consciousness. Scientists say we allow only two percent of all facts to enter into our consciousness; ninety-eight percent is denied entry. Otherwise life will become very, very difficult.

Unless you become very, very aware, life will become very, very difficult. If you become aware you can tackle more facts, you can allow more facts into your consciousness. When your awareness is perfect, you can allow a hundred percent of life to enter into you and it will not be confusing. When you have grown into consciousness, you can take the totality in. Then you will see the saint is the sinner and the sinner is the saint. Then you will see God is the devil and the devil is God. Then you will see matter is mind and mind is material.

That totality can be realized only when you have become so tremendously aware that your awareness is not disturbed by it. Ordinarily we need distinctions to keep things clear-cut: this man is bad, avoid him; this man is good, follow him; this man is good, imitate him; this man is bad, don't come in contact with him, don't become friendly to him, there is danger. This is poison and this is nectar; drink the nectar and avoid the poison.

I have heard a very beautiful story. Listen to it attentively.

Once there were two men who ate exactly the same food, but one had two bowls while the other had only one. The man with two bowls divided his food into bitter and sweet, and put only the bitter in one bowl and only the sweet in the other. The man with one bowl naturally mixed the bitter and the sweet together. As time passed, the first man grew thinner and thinner, and gradually wasted away, while the second, who ate just the same food, grew healthier and healthier daily. At last, the first saw his approaching death, and in desperation asked the second the secret of his vitality and vigor.

"You, having two bowls," the second replied, "divided the bitter from the sweet, and so believed in the importance of taste that you did not allow the food you took to sustain you with its own inner life. But I had only one bowl and so mixing the bitter and the sweet together, have not been fooled by the matter of taste, for whatever I have been given to eat I have taken simply as food, and it has yielded its nourishment to me, praise God."

The first man rose from his deathbed and with a great effort picked up one of his bowls and dashed it to pieces; and in the one bowl that remained he ate gratefully of the food his friend offered him and was whole again.

This is a beautiful story, a Sufi story. If you divide, you will be divided within too. If you divide existence into good and bad, God and devil, consciousness, unconsciousness, heaven and hell, this division is bound to create a division in you. You will be split in two; you will become a schizophrenic. You will lose your togetherness; you will start falling into parts; you will no longer be integrated. Your perception, your vision, is divided; how can you be undivided! Your vision is your being. If you drop dividing and you start looking for the one, you will become one too -- because whatsoever you see you become. Once you start eating in one bowl, the sweet and bitter both, you are nourished, because the contradictions are not contradictory. They are complementary.

Alan Watts has written about George Gurdjieff that he was a "rascal saint." That's perfectly true. A real saint is bound to be a rascal saint because he will be bitter and sweet both. If he is just a saint -- just sweet and sweet and sweet -- avoid him; otherwise you will get diabetes. A sweet saint is very dangerous. Just sweet? It will nauseate you. You will feel sick. The bitter is also needed.

When you feed on totality -- indivisible totality -- you are nourished. This is the meaning of this story: don't divide.

But language divides; that's why truth cannot be expressed. If you say, "God is good," it has become a false statement, because then who will be bad? If you say, "God is light," then who will be darkness?

To many sannyasins I have given names which mean darkness, night, or things like that, and I have always been watching whenever I give this name. To one sannyasin I gave the name NISHA, night. Immediately, within two, three days, she wrote a letter, "Osho, this name disturbs me very much." Just two, three days ago, to another sannyasin I gave the name YAMINI; that means night. Her letter has come. She must be here. Her letter has come, "Osho, can't you change my name? Yamini, night? I love light."

We have a very dualistic ideology. God is light; then who is darkness? Then there must be two Gods -- the god of the darkness also. Then not only are you schizophrenic, your whole existence is schizophrenic. Not only are you divided, you have divided existence itself.

No, day is beautiful, so is night. Day is godly, divine, so is night. You may be surprised to know the word "day" comes the from the same root as "divine." They both come from the same root. So day is divine, and night? -- nobody says night is divine. Night too is divine. And it will be better if you eat of both, day and night. It will be good if you have one bowl.

I give to my sannyasins one bowl. Eat sweet and bitter, good and bad, consciousness, unconsciousness. Enjoy both and you will be nourished, and you will become very, very strong. And your strength will not be the opposite of softness, no. The stronger you will be, the more fragile too. And this is beauty, when a strong man is fragile like a flower. Strong like a sword and fragile like a flower -- then you are total. Then you are undivided, then you are indivisible, then you are really an individual. "Individual" means that which cannot be divided. You have come home, you have become one; now you can relax and rest.

But language by its very nature divides. If I say to you, "You are my friend," I have divided. Then I have said in my eyes somebody is my enemy; you are my friend. I say, "I love you"; that means I hate somebody. I say, "I am happy"; that means unhappiness is not welcome. Language divides. Language is based in schizophrenia, based in a deep split.




Attain to a perception which has no distinctions -- of the lower and the higher, of the material and the spiritual. Attain to a perception which is transcendental, because the wave is the ocean and the ocean is the wave. They are together. Have you ever seen the ocean without the waves, and have you ever seen a wave without the ocean? They are together. They are two polarities of one. Oneness exists between the two. There are so many colors, seven colors, but they are all part of one light. The whole spectrum belongs to one ray of light. From the darkest black to the whitest white, the whole spectrum belongs to one, to the light.

... Tell me, Sir, where is the distinction?


These are just names -- utilitarian, good, but never be deceived by the utility. Remember the truth. Utility is practical; truth is real. Utility is needed but is not the nature of things. When you are not there to name and the ocean is left alone, which is the wave and which is the ocean? There is nobody to make the distinction. The ocean is the wave and the wave is the ocean. When you have gone home and the ocean is left alone, there are no waves and no ocean; it is all oneness. You come and you bring your distinction. Nothing is wrong in it if your remember that just by naming a wave as wave you have not created any distinction, but we become very, very deceived by our names.

An embarrassing moment ensued on upper Broadway the day the Queen of Greece came up to Barnard College to receive an honorary degree. One of the guests at the ceremony was a crusty old psychiatrist from Columbia University across the avenue.

"Come over and meet the Queen of Greece," smiled the dean of Barnard. The old psychiatrist shook hands graciously, then cackled to the dean -- loud enough for Her Majesty to overhear, "She seems harmless enough. How long has she thought she is the Queen?"

Now a psychiatrist always lives with people among whom somebody thinks he is a king, and somebody is a queen, somebody is Adolf Hitler, and somebody is Napoleon -- wwith mad people. He says, "She seems harmless enough. How long has she thought she is the Queen?" But in fact whether you only think you are a queen or a king or you really are, what is the difference?

It happened in a madhouse in India that when Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru was the prime minister, he went to see the madhouse. A man was being released on that day and the superintendent thought it would be good if the prime minister released him by his own hand. So the man was brought out. Jawaharlal asked him, "How long have you been here?" He said, "I have been here for three years, and these people are very good. They have cured me absolutely." Then suddenly he asked, "But who are you, sir?" So Jawaharlal said, "You don't know me? I am Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, prime minister of India." The man said, "Don't be worried. These people will cure you within three years. That's what I used to think when I came here! I suffered from the same trouble."

But really is there any difference? If you ask the mystics they say there is none. A madman in his madness thinks he is the prime minister, and somebody else is the prime minister and becomes mad. It is not very much of a difference. They may have traveled different routes. One is mad, that's why he thinks he is the prime minister; another is the prime minister, that's why he is mad. Maybe practically there is a distinction; but in reality none.

Because it has been named as wave, shall it no longer be considered as water?



What are the eyes of wisdom? Knowledge dropped, you attain to the eyes of wisdom. Ignorance covered, you become knowledgeable. Knowledge dropped, ignorance accepted as ultimate, you become wise.

So these are the three types of people in the world: the ignorant who is trying to become knowledgeable, the knowledgeable who has forgotten his ignorance, and the wise who has dropped knowledge and has come to accept his ignorance as ultimate and is no longer making any effort to know anything whatsoever. He has come to know that nothing can be known, that knowledge is impossible, that ignorance is the very nature of existence because it is a mystery. In his ignorance he has become relaxed. He rests in his ignorance. He has become innocent like a child. Then one becomes wise -- not by knowing, but by knowing that nothing can be known, by knowing that all knowledge is illusion, by knowing that the very effort is doomed to fail, by knowing that existence is mysterious and it is not available for those people who are ready to analyze, dissect.

It is available for those people who are ready to fall in love with it, for those people who can sing a song with it, dance a dance with it. God is available to singers and dancers and people who are innocent.


Next: Chapter 6, Trust your nature, First Question


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