Once a doctor, a very well-known historian and an eminent scholar, was staying in a village. The postmaster, the old postmaster of the village, became curious about this old man, this doctor. He was curious to know what kind of doctor he is, so one day he asked, ‘What kind of doctor are you sir?’
The man said, ‘Doctor of Philosophy.’
The old man had never heard about it. He was puzzled and he said, ‘I have never heard of any case of this disease here.’
Don’t laugh about it, because that old postmaster was right in a way – philosophy is a kind of disease. Of course, doctors of philosophy are not doctors; rather, they are the perfect victims of a disease.
Philosophy is not a specific disease, so you cannot think of it in terms of cases. It is born with the human being. It is as old as humanity or the human mind. And every human being is a victim, more or less – because thinking leads nowhere; or, it leads you in circles, vicious circles. You move much, and if you are expert you can move fast, but you reach nowhere.
This has to be understood very deeply, because if you cannot understand and feel this, you cannot take a jump into meditation. Meditation means the very anti approach – anti to philosophy. Philosophy means thinking and meditation means a state of non-thinking. They are polar opposites.
This is just human – to think about questions and to try to find out answers. But philosophy comes to no answers. Science comes to certain answers, religion comes to certain answers, but philosophy comes to no answers. And all the answers that philosophy appears to come to are just facades: if you dig deep in them you will find more questions and nothing else. So every answer leads to more questions – and this goes on and on.
Science comes to certain answers, because science depends not on thinking but on experimentation. Thinking is used as a help only, but the base is experimentation. That’s why science has given some answers. Philosophers, known and unknown, have been working and working for centuries, but not a single answer, not a single conclusion has been achieved. It cannot be achieved. The very nature of thinking is such that if you use thinking as a help towards experimentation, something can be achieved; that’s why science comes to certain answers.
But religion also comes to certain answers, because religion is also experimentation. Science experiments with the object, religion experiments with the subject, but both are experimentations and both depend on experiment. Between these two is philosophy – just pure thinking, abstract thinking, with no experiment. You can go on, you can go on, but you reach nowhere. Abstract thinking, speculative thinking, is thinking ad infinitum. You can enjoy, you can enjoy the journey, but there is no goal.
Religion and science are similar in a way – both believe in experiment. Religious experiment is of course deeper than scientific, because in science the experimenter himself is not involved. He is working with tools, working with things, working with objects; he remains aloof, he remains out of the experiment. Religion is a deeper science, because the experimenter himself becomes the experiment. There are no tools which are apart from him, no objects which are outside him. He is both – his tools, his objects, his method; he is everything. And he has to work upon himself.
It is arduous. Because you are involved, it is arduous. And because you are involved, the experiment will become experience. In science, the experiment will remain an experiment. The scientist will not be touched by it, will not be transformed by it. The scientist will remain the same. But in religion, passing through the experiment, you will be a different man altogether. You cannot come out the same; you are bound to change. That’s why religious experiment becomes experience.
Remember this: you can go on thinking about God, about soul, about the other world, and you may make believe that you know something about God just by thinking ‘about’. That will be false. You cannot know anything about God – the word ‘about’ is absurd. You can know God, but you cannot know ‘about’ – that ‘about’ creates philosophy.
How can you know about God? Or, for example, how can you know about love? You can know love, you cannot about love, because ‘about’ means someone else knows and you believe in his knowledge. You collect and gather opinions. You say, ‘I know something about God.’ All knowledge which is ‘about’ is false, dangerous, because you can be deluded by it.
You can know God, you can know love, you can know yourself, but forget that ‘about’. That ‘about’ is philosophy. The Upanishads say something, the Vedas say something, the Bible says something, the Koran says something, but for you, all that will become ‘about’. Unless it becomes your experience it is futile, wasted.
This point must go deep within you, because you can go on thinking, and the mind is such that you can start thinking about meditation. You can make anything an object for meditation, for thinking. Even about meditation you can think, and you can go on thinking about it – nothing will happen.
I am talking about so many methods. There is a danger: you may start thinking about these methods, you may become knowledgeable. That won’t do, that is of no use. Not only is it of no use, it is dangerous – because meditation is experience, knowing ‘about’ is worthless.
Remember this word ‘experience’. Life’s problems, all the problems of life, are existential, they are not speculative. You cannot solve them by thinking; you can solve them only by living them. Through living the future opens. Through thinking the future never opens. On the contrary, even the present closes.
You may not have observed: whenever you think, what happen? Whenever you think, you are closed. All that is present drops. You move on a dream-path in your mind. One word creates another, one thought creates another, and you go on moving. The more you move in thinking, the further away you go from existence. Thinking is a way to go away. It is a dream-way; it is dreaming in concepts. Come back to the earth. Religion is very earthly in this sense; not worldly but very earthly, substantial. Come back to existence.
Life’s problems can be solved only when you become deeply rooted in existence. Flying in thoughts you move away from the roots, and the further away you are, the less is the possibility of solving anything. Rather, you will confuse everything, and everything will become more entangled. And the more entangled, the more you will think, and the further away you will move. Beware of thinking!
From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #51
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