Does reason or intellect have any place at all in sadhana?
Only this much: that reason has to show you that reason is useless, reason has to commit suicide – only this much. One of the greatest Tibetan mystics, Marpa, is reported to have said…. Somebody asked him, “Can’t scriptures help?” He said, “They can. They can help you to go beyond scriptures. That is their only use. Read the scriptures, study them; they will help you to understand that scriptures are useless, and the truth cannot be attained through them.”
Reason can help you only in this way. Reason out, analyze, argue, and through this whole effort you will come to understand that reason cannot lead you to truth. But this is one of the greatest possibilities. Once you realize this you can drop reason, and when reason is dropped, for the first time you start functioning from a totally different center of your being, and that is the heart. And the heart can trust. Reason can never trust, reason by nature is untrusting. Remember, reason can analyze, but can never synthesize. Reason can cut and divide, but can never create a unity or harmony. Reason is just like scissors, scissors can cut and divide.
It happened once that somebody presented Bayazid, one Sufi saint, with a pair of golden scissors. They were valuable, there were some diamonds on those golden scissors, and the man who was presenting them was very happy that it was a rare, unique gift. But Bayazid said, “Take them back, because my whole being is not to cut, not to analyze, not to divide. Rather, you bring a needle and some thread for me, because synthesis is my goal. I want to join things together, not to cut them apart. Golden or not golden,” Bayazid said, “a needle will do. The scissors may be very valuable but they are not for me.”
Reason is scissor like: it cuts, divides, analyzes. That’s why science cannot do without reason. It doubts, that’s its basic function. It is good – for a particular purpose it is good. As far as matter is concerned, as far as the world of the outside is concerned, reason is the method. Science cannot do without reason, because science is analysis, dissection. That’s why science finally reached the atom, the ultimate division. And now they have divided even the atom, and they have reached electrons. They will go on dividing.
Science reaches to the atomic, and religion reaches to the divine. Religion goes on joining things together, and the ultimate unity is God. The totality has been taken in. Religion cannot work with reasoning, just as science cannot work with trust. If you are a scientist you have to doubt, doubt is the very base. But in religion, if you doubt you are lost. In religion you have to trust.
These dimensions are diametrically opposite. Science moves in the without, religion moves into the within. They move diametrically opposite, their dimensions are opposite, so obviously religion must be opposite to the scientific approach. Science means reason, doubt; religion means trust, faith. So only one thing can be done by your reason and that is to realize that reason will not be of much help in the world of sadhana, in the world of inner discipline. Then drop it and allow another center of your being, the heart, to function.
When the heart starts functioning you will have a different world around you – because you create your world. If you are doubting you create a world which is filled with doubt, depression, sadness, darkness. If you work through the heart you create a different world – of radiancy, of love, of prayer, of joy – but that is totally different. And you cannot change from one world to another; you will have to change from one center to another. And these centers are within you, the center which doubts and the center which trusts.
When you fall in love, what is the use of reason? How can you use your reason while falling in love? That’s why reason says it is a fall: “falling in love.” Who created this phraseology, “falling in love”? Why not “rising in love”?
Reason has condemned love; reason says it is a fall. And in a way it is, because from the head you fall to the heart. You start functioning from a different center. But how can you use your reason in love? Is there any way to use it? If you use it, you will destroy the whole phenomenon. The first thing reason will say is, “Doubt!” The first thing reason will say is, “Is there anything in existence which you can call love? Is there anything like love? Dissect it.” And if you dissect, love disappears.
Love is a unity and a very delicate harmony; it cannot be dissected. It is just like a small child jumping, dancing, enjoying. He is alive. You cut the child, dissect him; you put him on a table, a surgeon’s table, and dissect him to find out where life is, what it was that was alive – you will not find it. Not that it was not there; the way you are trying to find it means you will miss, the very method prohibits. The moment you dissect the child he is dead, the life has disappeared, and by dissecting you will come to death, not to life.
Science ultimately leads to death – Hiroshima and Nagasaki are not accidental. And if man still follows science for one more century… even one century is too optimistic; these coming twenty-five years…. If man continuously follows science it may prove a global suicide, because dissection cannot lead to life; the ultimate result is bound to be death. And science cannot believe in life, because you cannot find it anywhere, in any laboratory. You dissect, and life disappears. You dissect your beloved, and love disappears. You go to a surgeon and let him dissect your heart, or take x-rays of your heart to find out whether love is there or not. He may find a cancer there, but he cannot find love. Death can be detected, love cannot be detected. There is no way to have any x-ray of love. Death can be detected; if tb is there, if cancer is there, it can be detected, science can find it out.
Go to a library and look at medical encyclopedias to find a definition of health. You will not find it. You will find every disease defined, but you cannot find any definition of health. Science cannot define health, because health cannot be detected. If you go to a doctor he can tell you that you are ill, but he cannot give you a certificate that you are healthy. He can give you a certificate that you are not ill – that’s another matter, negative; he cannot give you a certificate that you are healthy. And there is no definition of what health is.
Science goes on fighting with a method; the very method creates the world of science. Religion doesn’t work with that method. Religion works through a different type of methodology – the heart is the center. And if you can become headless, only then is religion something meaningful for you. If you are too much in the head, religion is not for you. If you are too much in the head, then prayer is very distant, even love is impossible. You can exploit people, you can kill them, but you cannot love them through reason. Or, reason can create such deceptions.
I was just looking at a Peanuts joke-book. Charlie Brown says there, “I love mankind; it is people that I can’t stand.” “I love mankind; it is people that I can’t stand.” The head can love mankind, because there is no one like mankind. You will not find mankind anywhere. Wherever you go you will find people, and the head cannot stand people.
It is easy to love a country, to love humanity, to love the nation, to love Christianity, to love Islam, to love Hinduism. It is very difficult to love a real person, very difficult, because for the real person the heart will be needed. And these concepts, abstract concepts – humanity, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, or even God – the head can work with, there is no problem, because only thinking is implied, no lived experience is needed. You are not asked to get involved in anything where your heart will be required: just concepts, just logic, mathematics. The head can do that. Science is head work: religion is heart work. You can use your reason only to destroy reason, to help reason to commit suicide.
My whole effort is to persuade you to become headless.
Live without the head, then you will have a life which is totally different from this life you are leading. The life that you are leading is exactly how hell is defined in old scriptures. And if you go into hell, you may not be able to recognize that it is hell; you will think it is only an extension of the old world. You will find everything that you have got already, hell now cannot give you anything new. Man has himself created everything here on this earth.
Help your reason to commit suicide. Fall within to the heart. Let love, prayer, meditation, become the center of your world.
But in the beginning help will be needed, because in the beginning you cannot do anything else – you are there, existing in the head. That’s why I go on talking so much. These talks are useless, they are not needed, but you exist in the head, so somehow you have to drop out. I am not giving you theories, I am not giving you some stuff to think about. I am simply helping your reason to come to a point where it itself realizes that just living in reason is missing life in its totality. In the beginning it is needed. The first step has to be taken out of the head, so the head has to be approached. The moment you have taken that first step, then there is no need. But the first step is most difficult. You are so much obsessed with reason that whatsoever is said, your reason starts working around it. Whatsoever you read here becomes food for your reason.
Religious discourses are really poisons, they are poisonous food. Buddha talks, Krishna talks, Lao Tzu goes on preaching to the disciples. What are they doing? They are doing only one thing: they are giving you poison which looks like food to reason. Reason immediately absorbs it, but it is poison, and reason will have to die. And once reason is dead, for the first time you will be alert, conscious, awakened, and you will see the whole world in a new light.
The world remains the same but you are different, you have changed. Now you can look through different eyes. Then this world is not evil; then there is no suffering in the world. Then the whole world is just the dance of Shiva, just a divine celebration. And the whole life is a play. That’s why Hindus have called it leela: leela means play, a play of divine energy.
Hindus have said that it is not a creation, it is a play. It is not a serious thing; it is simple play – a play of too much energy. But right now you cannot think in that way, that door is closed. Put reason aside, start functioning in a loving way. Bring more heart into your behavior, into your actions, into your movements. Then whatsoever Krishna and Jesus and Lao Tzu have said, that will become a truth to you, it will be revealed. You just need fresh eyes which can see it, hence so much emphasis on trust.
From Vedanta: Seven Steps to Samadhi, Discourse #3
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