The way to truth is hard; it is an uphill task. One has to go through total death — one has to destroy oneself utterly-only then is the new born. The resurrection is only after the crucifixion.
To avoid the crucifixion we have created beliefs. Beliefs are very cheap. You can believe and you remain the same. You can go on believing, and it doesn’t require any basic change in your life pattern. It does not require any change in your consciousness, and unless your consciousness changes, the belief is just a toy. You can play with it, you can deceive yourself with it, but it is not going to nourish you.
Visualize that a child is playing in the garden of his house, playing with imaginary lions, and then suddenly he has to face a real lion who has escaped from the zoo. Now he does not know what to do. He is simply scared out of his wits. He is paralyzed; he cannot even run. He was perfectly at ease with the imaginary, but with the real he does not know what to do.
That is the situation of all those people who go on playing with beliefs, concepts, philosophies, theologies. They ask questions just to ask questions. The answer is the last thing they are interested in. They don’t want the answer. They go on playing with questions, and each answer helps them to create more questions. Each answer is nothing but a jumping board for more questions.
The truth is not a question. It is a quest! It is not intellectual; it is existential. The inquiry is a gamble, a gamble with your life. It needs tremendous courage. Belief needs no courage.
Belief is the way of the coward. If you are a Christian or a Hindu or a Mohammedan you are a coward. You are avoiding the real lion; you are escaping from the real lion. If you want to face the real, then there is no need to go to any church, there is no need to go to any priest, because the real surrounds you within and without. You can face it — it is already there. […]
Truth surrounds you. It is in the air, it is in the fragrance of the flowers, it is in the flow of the river, it is in the green leaves, it is in the stars, it is in the dust, it is in you. Only truth is!
But you go on avoiding it and you go on asking questions — How to attain to truth? Where is the map? Which way is it? And even if the map is given to you, the map does not help you in any way. In the first place the map cannot be given, because the truth goes on changing. It is not a stagnant phenomenon; it is continuously changing. It is alive, it is breathing. It is never the same; it is never the same for two consecutive moments.
Says old Heraclitus, “You cannot step in the same river twice.” In fact, you cannot even step once; the river is flowing, the river is flowing so fast. And not only is the river flowing, you are flowing. You cannot step in the same river twice: the river changes. You cannot step in the same river twice: because you change.
Truth is dynamic. Truth is not something dead. That’s why it cannot be contained in words.
The moment you utter it, it has passed, it has gone beyond, it is no more the same. The moment you say it is so, it is no more so. Words lag behind.
To be with truth there is only one possibility: drop words. Language lags behind. Language is lame. Only silence can go with truth, hand in hand. Only silence can move with truth. Only silence can be so fast, because silence has no weight to carry. Words are loaded; they carry weight. So when you are carrying words, great theologies in your head, great abstractions, then you cannot walk with truth. To walk with truth one has to be weightless. Silence is weightless; it has nothing to carry. Silence has wings. So only in silence is the truth known, and only in silence is the truth transferred, transmitted.
Excerpt from The First Principle, Discourse #1
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