On the periphery we exist as many. Your personality is different from the personality of your neighbor. Your individuality is different from anyone else. But your innermost center is not different. Your innermost center is the innermost center of all. When you reach the innermost, you reach to the one.
The whole world is just the circumference. The center – you may call it God or you may call it the supreme soul or whatsoever you like – but when you reach your own innermost center, you have reached the innermost center of all. And there, all secrets are hidden, in that one. And there, all the mysteries can be revealed to you.
You cannot know them beforehand. Unless you enter the innermost temple of the one, mysteries will remain mysteries. You can create many theories about them and many philosophies but it is of no use, futile, meaningless. You can philosophize much, but nothing can be concluded. It has happened for ages. Centuries have passed and men have been philosophizing, creating thousands and thousands of philosophies, theories and systems with no result. You can create them, but it is mental. You don’t know.
You can imagine. You can create a very coherent system of thoughts, but it is only in your thoughts, in your dreams. Philosophers are creative, but creative of dreams, fantasies. They create logical systems, they argue for them, but the truth cannot be created through logical systems; the truth cannot be reached through arguments. Whatsoever you reach will just be a hypothesis. The truth can be reached only through experience.
That is the difference between philosophy and religion. Religion says that the truth is not known, because you are not capable of knowing it. Unless you are transformed totally – unless you become a different one, unless your perspective changes, your outlook changes, your eyes change, your heart changes – you will not know truth. Truth cannot be known through contemplation; it can only be known through your inner transformation.
Contemplation is possible, but you remain the same; you just go on thinking in your head. You can create many things in the head. You can believe in them, but you know they are your creations. Truth is not a creation; you cannot create it. You can only discover it, uncover it – it is hidden. No arguments will help. Only a real travelling inward will be of any use.
Religion is anti-philosophical. It says’ that philosophy is of no use; it is just intellectual gymnastics. You can enjoy it, it is a game of words, logic, arguments, but it will not give you anything; you will not reach anywhere. You are just sitting in your easy chair with closed eyes, thinking and thinking and thinking. You can go on thinking for ages. You can think coherently, consistently, but you will still not come any nearer to the truth.
You may even go farther away, because truth is not a mental construct. It is already there; it is not a mental construct. On the contrary, because of your mentation, because there is too much activity in your mind, it is hidden. Your mind creates the clouds. You go on moving in the clouds and the sky is hidden. Disperse the clouds, disperse thoughts, disperse arguments, logic, philosophies, and suddenly it is revealed. It has always been there; it is already the case. You do not have to do anything to create it. You simply have to be yielding, surrendering to it, thoughtless, alert, aware, and it is there. It has always been there. The truth is hidden within you, so you need not go anywhere else. No need to go to the Himalayas. The only need is to go within.[…]
But only through non-thinking can you inquire. This seems contradictory, because whenever we inquire we use thinking. Our ordinary method of inquiry means thinking and more thinking. But this inquiry, the inquiry of religion, is not thinking. The inquiry of religion can be done only when you are alert and non-thinking.
Remember this: I emphasize non-thinking alertness because in non-thinking you may go to sleep if you are not alert. Then it is of no use. You are alert when you are thinking but that is of no use, because thinking creates the clouds. Or, you can be non-thinking and asleep. That too is of no use because the sky is there but you are asleep so you cannot see it. So two things are needed: non-thinking and alertness. No-thought consciousness. No-mind awareness. If you can create this phenomenon within you (no mind on the one hand and awareness on the other hand), this is what meditation is; this is what I call dhyana.
In this situation, truth becomes revealed. And that truth is one, the most inner one. It is not yours. That center is the center of the whole existence.
You exist only on the periphery, the circumference. The more inward you move, the less and less you become. When you reach to the innermost center, you are no more. In a sense, you are no more; the old man is dead. But in another sense, for the first time you are, because now the innermost reality is revealed to you, the eternal is revealed to you. Now you have reached that which never changes.
Excerpt from The New Alchemy, Discourse #16
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