Chapter 9: Experience is the Heart of the Matter

Question 1



Energy Enhancement                Enlightened Texts                Sufism                 The Wisdom of the Sands, Vol. 1



The first question:

Question 1


Spirituality is individual. It has nothing to do with the social, the collective. No society is spiritual, no nation is spiritual. There are spiritual beings -- because there is no social soul, the soul manifests through the individual.


That too is propaganda; it is not true. They have been flowering everywhere -- in China as much as in India, in Japan as much as in India, in Israel as much as in India. They have been flowering everywhere. You don't have a right perspective for seeing world history. History is created by people according to their prejudice.

One thing is certain: India has been very articulate, it knows how to say things. It is one of the ancient-most cultures, the first country where writing happened in the beginning and people became articulate. They were pioneers in thinking, in philosophizing, so they are very articulate people. They can say things as they should be said. The Chinese are not so articulate, they are more trusting in silence. Their trust is not in words but in silence, hence you don't know much about Chinese enlightened Masters. And then, China has remained almost a different world from the remainder of the world. It is not only the China Wall; there exists a certain subtle wall too which has kept China away from other countries.

In Tibet so many enlightened people have existed, but nothing much is known about Tibet. Tibet has remained a remote, faraway land, exists somewhere in clouds. The very name has become a symbol for mystery.

India is articulate. Amongst all the Eastern countries, India is the most articulate. It has been speaking about spirituality for at least five thousand years. That has created an idea in the whole world that India is spiritual. No country is especially spiritual; spirituality has been coming to all kinds of people and all races.

What do you know about the dark continent of Africa, about how many enlightened people have existed there? What do you know about primitive tribes, about how many Buddhas have existed there? They don't have any record, they don't write anything, they don't have a written language, so it is difficult.

India has great records. India has been interested in philosophizing -- it does not write history, it writes philosophy. It does not write ordinary things of life, it writes myth. It is not interested in history at all, its whole interest is in mythology. And naturally, five thousand years is a long time: if you go on doing a certain thing you become very, very clever at it.

But there is something to be understood: there is a difference between the Eastern and the Western approach, and India has become the representative of the East.

There are two possibilities in approaching reality: one is to be logical, to be masculine, to be yang, aggressive. That's what the West has been doing. That is the Western choice. The Eastern choice is just the opposite: to be feminine, to be intuitive. More emphasis is given to feeling than to thinking, more emphasis is given to the inner than to the outer. These are the two gestalts reality can be reduced to. If you look outside it becomes matter, it appears as matter; it is the same reality. If you look inside it appears as consciousness; it is the same reality. The East has been searching more in the inside, the West has been searching more on the outside. Naturally, in the West, science has developed immensely, technology has developed greatly. When you look into matter science develops, technology develops. When you look inside science does not develop but philosophizing, poetry, religion. But both are halves, and both, because they are halves, are wrong, lopsided.

Try to understand me: when I say a man is spiritual I mean he is as easily flowing on the outside as he flows inside. He is whole. Neither has the East been spiritual nor has the West been spiritual. The West has been materialist and the East has been spiritualist -- but not spiritual. The West believes in the philosophy of the outside, the East believes in the philosophy of the inside.

The spiritual person is one who has come to that ultimate synthesis between the outer and the inner, between matter and consciousness, between body and soul. In the real spiritual person East and West meet and disappear. The really spiritual person is neither of the East nor of the West; he is global. Where he exists is not the point. His approach is global because his approach is total. He's whole, that's why I call him holy. Neither is the East whole nor is the West whole; both have suffered.

Nobody has chosen the total reality as it is. The total reality is enormous, it contains contradictions -- that's why nobody has chosen it. If you choose the inside you are afraid to choose the outside because they look to be opposite. You start feeling inconsistent. If you choose the outside, naturally you start denying the inside because they don't fit. You learn one kind of language -- the outer or the inner -- and you deny the other kind of language.

Who is a spiritual person? Whom do I call enlightened? I call that man enlightened who is not afraid of this contradictoriness of life, who accepts it, and in that acceptance transcends East-West, transcends matter-mind, transcends all kinds of dualities.

A Buddha is not Eastern, cannot be. Christ is not Western, cannot be. They have come to that peak of consciousness from where the whole earth is one.

Do you know? -- when man walked on the moon, what his greatest experience was? It was not of the moon. His greatest experience was of the earth! From that space, from that distance, they could see earth as one. Boundaries disappeared, nations disappeared. There was no India and there was no Germany and no England and no America; it was all one earth. That was their greatest experience when they were standing on the moon. For the first time ordinary human beings could feel that the earth is one.

Exactly the same happens when you reach to the inner peak of consciousness. From there, the vision is even MORE clear than it is from the moon, because that is the greatest peak. From that perspective you see life as whole.

I call that man enlightened who sees life as whole. They have been blooming, flowering, everywhere. Flowers bloom in the valleys of the Himalayas too, where nobody goes and sees them. Don't think that they bloom only in your garden. They bloom in primitive societies too. Of course, they don't have the word 'enlightenment' or 'buddha'. They have their words.

If you look into the Old Testament you will not find the word 'enlightenment', you will not find the word 'buddha'; that is not there. That is a different kind of language. But who are these prophets? In a very primitive society the enlightened person may be called 'the magician', and it looks very absurd to call Buddha a magician. But that is their language and that has its own beauty -- because. this is the greatest magic there is, and the man has performed the greatest miracle: he has transformed himself.

The word 'magician' comes from a very, very enlightened person, Magus. The people around him must have felt the same way as they felt around Buddha. The vibe of the person was miraculous. To be around him was enough to trigger something inside you that took you far away, far, far away from your ordinary places, which brought you to a new place inside your being, which gave you an experience of a new space. People must have wondered what he had done.

Primitive societies call their enlightened people 'the magicians'. Languages differ. Those who understand should not bother too much about languages. They should break all the barriers of languages, concepts, and they should look directly. Then you will be surprised: flowers have been blooming all over the earth, God has been coming all over the earth. God has been descending everywhere, in every time, in every kind of place. God is not partial, but every race would like to declare that God is partial.

Jews say they are the chosen people: all that is beautiful and all that is great has been happening to them, all the prophets belong to them. Just listen to the Jews: they will say "Who else has so many prophets?" Of course in India they are not called prophets, in China they are not called prophets -- "Who else has so many prophets?" And the Jew is right, because they have a long, long line of prophets.

If you ask the Christians, of course they are the chosen people. They follow the 'only begotten Son of God'. Christ has come to them. Who else has such a phenomenon as Christ? It is their property, their possession: Christ belongs to them.

In India the enlightened person is not called Christ, but the Christ-consciousness is the same as Buddha-consciousness. In China the enlightened is neither called a prophet nor is he called a Buddha, but he is called 'the sage'. The Chinese can say, "So many sages are born here, nowhere else." And every race has its own ego, so China thinks itself the greatest land on earth.

When the first travellers from the West went to China and they went to see the emperor, they were thinking that they had come to very primitive people. And what were the Chinese thinking about them? They were thinking, "These people look like monkeys!" The Chinese records say that 'monkeys have come from the West'. And the Western traveller writes that 'these people are very primitive, barbarians'.

Germans think they are the real Nordic aryans, that they are meant to rule over the world, they are the superior-most people. And the white thinks he's the superior-most, and how can the black man even claim that he is a human being? -- he is not. All egos and nothing else.

So these so-called Indian MAHATMAS who go on travelling around the world and teaching people that India is the only spiritual country, the only religious country, are nothing but chauvinists, racists; they are not religious at all. Because a religious person.... how can he claim that God has been happening on only one spot on the earth? God is happening everywhere! God IS everywhere! He is not concentrated somewhere more and somewhere less; He's impartially showering all over existence. It is His existence, it is His creation.

So this idea has to be dropped. No country is spiritual, no country is special. And the day will be a day of great jubilation in the world when we can drop all these stupid ideas of Indians, of Germans, of Chinese, of English. of Hindus, of Christians, of Mohammedans. When a pure human being arises who belongs to the whole earth, who is a citizen of the whole, who is universal, that will be the beginning of something spiritual. A spiritual man is a whole man. His vision knows no divisions, his vision is indivisible.


There are a few things more to be understood. One is: in the day, the stars disappear. What happens? Do they go and hide somewhere? They are there, exactly where they have always been, but the sunlight is too much, you cannot see them. When the sun has gone down they will start appearing again. Not that they start coming; they have been there the whole day, but great darkness is needed for them to shine.

Lao Tzu says that there was a time when people were so religious that there were no religions at all. There was a time when people were so innocent that they had not even heard the word 'innocence'. They were so simple that they knew nothing of simplicity. They were so trusting that they had not heard anything about faith, belief, trust. There was no religion because people were religious! Just think of that time, if it ever was. Then there cannot be any enlightened person, because ALL were in that kind of ocean, in that place called enlightenment. A Buddha can be seen only when there is darkness all around. If there are millions of Buddhas, Buddha will disappear. Not that he will not be there! He will be there but how will you see him? How will you find him? In a really spiritual world, again there will be no enlightened people. Not that there will not be enlightened people; but enlightenment will be so natural, so spontaneous, that you will not be able to find who is Buddha. All will be Buddhas!

Enlightened people can be seen only against the darkness.

In India enlightened people have existed against the darkness. The society is very unenlightened. People are dark holes. Amidst such darkness, whenever a star is born it is brilliant, it is bright. You can see it, you cannot forget it for centuries and centuries! You worship it because it is so rare.

One thing to be remembered: for an enlightened person to be recognized as enlightened, great masses of unenlightened people are needed, but the vice versa is not true. I am not saying that if in a certain society no enlightened person exists, that it means that the whole society is enlightened; the vice versa is not true. But this is absolutely true: that an enlightened person can be recognized only against the unenlightened. The rich person can be recognized only against the poor, and the beautiful person can be recognized only against the ugly. If all people are beautiful, as plastic surgeons think that soon it will be possible -- all people will have beauty -- then beauty contests will disappear. There will be no beauty queens anymore. The beauty queen can exist, Miss Universe can exist, only amidst great ugliness. Otherwise it is not possible. If all people become meditators, if all people become silent, how will you feel a Buddha? Not that Buddha will disappear; Buddha will be there. And Buddha will be very happy because no work is left for him, he can rest and relax. But he will not be recognized at all.

You can count your enlightened people on fingers: a Buddha, a Christ, a Krishna, a Lao Tzu. Why? -- because the greater mass of people have remained immensely dark, immensely ugly, immensely barbarian.

Remember this: a Buddha, his existence, does not make a country enlightened. The people start repeating his words easily but the people are not enlightened. It is like this: Edison discovered electricity; now everybody uses electricity, but everybody is not an Edison. And even when you use electricity what do you know about it? Just pushing the button, you think you know much about electricity? You can put it on and off -- do you think you know much about electricity? In fact Edison himself had said that he does not know what this electricity is. He had stumbled upon its utility but its inner reality remained a mystery.

You can drive your car; that does not mean you know everything about its mechanism. You live in the body; what do you know about the body?

People learn words, they can use words. Buddha has said many things, now you can repeat. The whole country can become parrot-like. That's what has happened in India: it is a parrot-like country, everybody repeats. They know the Vedas, they know the Upanishads, they know the Gita, they know the Dhammapada, and they have memorized it, crammed it, and they go on repeating it. But when a parrot repeats anything, do you think it means anything? It does not mean anything at all. A parrot repeating has no sense of meaning, he simply mechanically repeats. Man simply learns words.

Yes, India knows many more religious words than any other country, that is true, but that is not very significant. It is all jargon. Unless that meaning has been experienced, nothing matters. In fact, all this knowledge will be a barrier. Buddhas have existed here, they have existed everywhere else, and people have learned their words. Those words have beauty, those words have poetry, those words... just to repeat them is also a wonderful experience. Not even knowing their meaning they have a certain kind of vibe. You can repeat and you will feel good, but that 'feeling good' is not being spiritual. Unless you have seen with the same eyes as Buddha, unless you have experienced the whole existence just as Buddha experienced it, you are not an enlightened person.

And that is the whole emphasis of Sufism: experience and experience and experience. All that matters is experience. Experience is the heart of the matter! Everything else is futile. Avoid knowledge, knowledgeability. Get into the feel of things.


Next: Chapter 9: Experience is the Heart of the Matter, Question 2


Energy Enhancement                Enlightened Texts                Sufism                 The Wisdom of the Sands, Vol. 1



Chapter 9






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