The Passion for the Impossible

Second Question



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The second question:

Question 2


Philosophers are like fences -- they run round a lot without getting anywhere at all. Yes, they are exactly like a fence -- it goes on running round and round but it never reaches anywhere. Thought is a vicious circle. One thought leads to another and so on, so forth, but you go on moving in a circle. You do a lot of running but you never reach anywhere. Thought is inconclusive. Thought cannot give you the conclusion, it only pretends. It is a pretender. Conclusion comes through experience -- that's why scientists have moved towards the lab, experimentation, and the religious mystics have moved towards the inner lab, experience. Religion is the science of the inner and science is the religion of the outer.

Philosophy is a mess. It is just pure speculation. One sits and thinks without experimenting, without experiencing. And only experience or experiment is conclusive. Experiment is conclusive about the objective world -- that which exists opposite to you, the other; and religion is experience, experiment of the inner, of the subjective -- that which you are. Both are conclusive. Philosophy is inconclusive, it is an endless game.

But philosophers can say beautiful things. In fact, only they can say beautiful things. Philosophers can afford to say beautiful things but they are only sayings. They may have a certain poetry, those statements, but they don't have any reality, any truth. Yes, those statements can be beautiful, they can have a logical consistency, a logical harmony, but they don't relate to reality at all. They are all false. There is nothing to choose between one philosophy and another -- all philosophies are false. The philosopher is one who has got stuck with the mind.

Man has three layers: first, the body; second, the mind; third, the soul. This has to be understood. The soul is a reality, so is the body a reality. Mind is nothing but a bridge between the two; in itself it has no value. A bridge has no value in itself. It has value only because it bridges the two banks. It has no intrinsic value. The banks can exist without the bridge but the bridge cannot exist without the banks. It is just a utility a means. Mind is where soul and body overlap. Where body and soul overlap, a new kind of illusory reality is created. That reality is mind.

Science trusts in the body, religion trusts in the soul, philosophy goes on trusting in the mind. It is a mind game. And remember, when you are totally in your body, mind disappears. Or when you are totally in the soul, mind disappears. If you are making love and you are totally in the body, for a few moments there is no mind. You are so totally involved in the reality of the body that the mind cannot exist. Or, if you are deep in medi-tation, absolutely in, then too the mind disappears. Reality is always a no-mind thing; whether you are in the body or in the soul doesn't matter, reality is always a no-mind thing. Mind is maya, illusion.

You must have heard the often-repeated statement of Vedanta that the world is illusion. That is not exactly right -- because by 'world' you understand the world of objects. When Vedanita says the world is illusory what it means exactly is that the mind is illusory. The mind is the world. That is where you live, your world. You don't live in the reality, in the real world, you live in thoughts, desires, fantasies, imaginations. You live in a mind world.

That mind is maya; it is a magical thing. Nothing really exists -- it is almost like a dream. Every night you dream and when you are dreaming you think that the dream is real. How many times have you been deceived by the dream? When are you going to understand that the dream is not real? And every day, when you awake in the morning, you know it was not real. And again you sleep and you dream and again it becomes real. When you are asleep the dream appears to be real. The dream appears to be real in the same proportion as you are asleep. If you become a little alert then the mind is no more real and the dream is no more real.

When one becomes perfectly awakened, when one becomes a Buddha, then the mind is no more real. The morning has come. You have become awakened. That is the meaning of the word soul is real, but the mind has disappeared. Mind is a twilight phenomenon.

Nikolai Berdyaev says in his autobiography: 'I am very much afraid of the twilight time, when it is neither day nor night. It frightens me. ' When I read it I was puzzled about why he should be troubled by the twilight. It is so beautiful -- when the day is no more and the night has not come yet. But he is right. He does not mean only the twilight, he means all twilight phenomena.

Mind is a twilight phenomenon, neither body nor soul. A little reality has been imparted by the soul and the real reality has been imparted by the body. Mind is borrowed -- something of the soul and something of the body. It is just midway; it is neither this nor that.

And philosophy lives in the mind, hence philosophy lives in illusion. Dreams can be beautiful, illusions can be tremendously sweet.

You ask me: WHY DO GREAT PHILOSOPHERS AND SO FORTH, SAY BEAUTIFUL THINGS AND REMAIN SUCH A MESS? By saying beautiful things you cannot sort out the mess, it is not so easy and not so cheap. If you sort out the mess, if you want to get beyond the mess, you will have to do some real work -- that's what Gurdjieff used to call it. He used to call his system 'the work'. Real work is needed. Beautiful as-pirations, poetry, beautiful philosophies, can console, but that is not going to help. It is as if somebody is hungry and you go on talking about delicious foods, as if somebody is hungry and you give him a menu beautifully printed, as if somebody is hungry and you give him a cook-book to read.

That is exactly what philosophy is. Philosophy is a menu. It talks about food and sometimes it can start your saliva flowing. Even thinking about a lemon, juices start moving. But that is not going to satisfy. Philosophy affects people because people live in the mind.

A philosopher went to the bus station to catch a bus, but found he was early. He saw a little fortune-telling machine so he put a nickel in, and a little card came out that said: 'You are John Jones -- you are sixty-five years old, you are a great philosopher, and you are on your way to Chicago on a business trip.'

He said, 'I can't believe that this machine knows this information. There must be someone behind it.' So he put another nickel in and another card came out saying: 'You are still John Jones, you are still a great philosopher, you are still sixty-five years old -- and you are still on your way to Chicago on a business trip.'

'I just don't believe it,' said the man again, as he put another nickel in. This time a card came out saying: 'You are still John Jones, you are still a great philosopher, you are still sixty-five years old, you are still on your way to Chicago -- but you've fooled around and missed your bus.'

Philosophy is a fooling around -- and mind you, you will miss your bus.

Just thinking is not going to help. It is a luxury. You can rest and you can think and you can spin theories and you can make castles in Spain and you can dream beautiful dreams. These are all childish.

But if you can be logical, if you can be consistent with words, if you have a certain capacity and skill with words, you can feel very much satisfied. You can start feeling that you have the key, that you know.

The pet shop delivery boy was not exactly the brightest lad in the world. One day he was asked to deliver a pet rabbit to Mrs. Jones, Route 2 -- Box 4.

'You had better write that down in case I forget it,' said the boy.

Slipping the address into his pocket he started off on his errand. Every few minutes he glanced at the address and said, 'I know where I'm going: Mrs. Jones, Route 2 -- Box 4.'

Everything went smoothly until he hit a crater in the road. The truck he was driving landed in a ditch and the rabbit began to run for its life across an open field.

The boy stood there laughing uproariously. When asked by a passer-by what was so funny he said, ' Did you see that crazy rabbit running across that held? He doesn't know where he's going because I've got the address in my pocket. '

All philosophy is like that. It is not concerned with reality. Philosophers think they know the address of God. They don t know. All they know is rubbish. It is all their own fantasy.

To know God one has to become religious. There are only two ways to know the reality: if you are interested in the objective reality become a scientist; if you are interested in the subjective reality become religious. That's why philosophy is disappearing by and by. In the future there is a possibility that there may be no philosophy at all or it may be only in the madhouses.

Science has taken the bigger part of it. Many questions that used to be thought philosophical are philosophical no more. Science has taken them over, they don't have any philosophy about them any more. Science knows the exact answer. Philo-sophy can exist only in the twilight when the exact answer is not known. So the major part, the objective part, has been taken over by science. And the other part, the other half, has always been taken by the mystics -- the Sufis, the Hassids, the Zen people.

Philosophy is dying. It has nothing to think about now. The mystic knows what subjective reality is and the scientist knows what objective reality is -- what is left for the philosopher? there is nothing much left. Philosophy has no future. It had a glorious past but it has no future. Out of philosophy two systems have arisen which are more relevant: science and religion.

Philosophy is a primitive approach, a magical approach. When you don't know anything, you need to think about it. That thinking gives you a kind of substitute. It feels good that at least you know something. Either science will take it away from philosophy, or religion will take it away from philosophy. Both are decisive. The future is with science and religion, and the final future will be a new kind of approach which will be religio-scientific. The ultimate future will be where science and religion meet and disappear into a new kind of system, a new kind of synthesis. That will be the greatest day in the history of human consciousness.

Just the other night an old French poet took sannyas. I gave him the name Ananda Kavishwar. It means: great poet of bliss. He was asking me when the revolution was coming. Of course, he is French, so he thinks in terms of revolution. He is very old, must be beyond seventy, but a Frenchman is after all a Frenchman -- they don't grow old. 'When is the revolution coming?' I would like to tell him that this is the revolution -- what I can call real revolution -- when science and religion meet and disappear into one metaphysics, into one synthesis. That will put humanity into a totally new kind of light. That will bring a new harmony into the world.

That will help all schizophrenia to disappear -- because body and soul are two realities. I am saying two because still science and religion are separate. In fact, they are not two. The body is the visible soul and the soul is the invisible body. They are not really two -- they appear to be two because in-between them stands the mind. Once the mind disappears then the division disappears, then all demarcation disappears. then there is no possibility of deciding where body ends and where soul begins. then they melt and merge into one. That ONE has been called 'God' by Sufis. Body and soul have disappeared into each other, they don't exist separately. It is mind just standing in-between that keeps them separate, that divides and defines them.

Once philosophy is gone, once mind is no more there, who is there to divide the objective from the subjective? Then the outer and the inner will be one. They are one. The outer is the inner and the inner is the outer. Division disappears, duality disappears. Philosophy is dualistic. That ultimate system for which no name exists yet, or, if you allow me, I can use the Indian term, darshana -- which may become the name for the ultimate synthesis....

DARSHANA is not philosophy as it is ordinarily translated in Indian universities. Books on DARSHANA are called Indian philosophy. It is not true. It is very, very falsifying. Philosophy means love of thinking. 'Sophia' means knowledge, wisdom, and 'philo' means love -- love of knowledge. DARSHANA means not philosophy but 'philosia' -- love of seeing. Not love of thinking -- love of realising, an effort to attain a vision of the ultimate reality as it is. In that ultimate reality there are no divisions. It is one piece, it is one melody.

With that vision all schizophrenia disappears -- otherwise man remains divided. When you divide the inner and the outer you divide man. When you say body-soul, you divide man. And when you divide man you create conflict, you create tension. And then there is always a war going on inside.

I would like you to learn the ways to drop this war, this constant on-going war. The body is you and you are the body. Respect your body, love your body. Respect your soul, love your soul. And don't create any conflict between the two. Listen silently and you will find that their voice is one. With that one voice there is peace, there is benediction.


Next: Chapter 6, The Passion for the Impossible, The third question


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