Chapter 32: “No Fight” Is the Central Teaching
We are accustomed to sounds. Every moment is filled with sound. Our heads are constantly filled by sounds and sounds and sounds. When your mind goes away, moves up or down, goes beyond or below, when you are not in the world of sounds, you can hear the absence. That absence is soundlessness.
But we have call it anahat nad. Because it is heard we call it nad - sound; and because it is not really a sound we call it anahat - uncreated. “Uncreated sound” is contradictory. Sound is created - “uncreated” contradicts. So all deep experiences of life have to be expressed in contradictory terms.
If you go and ask a master like Eckhart or Jacob Boehme, or Zen masters like Hui Hai or Huang Po or Bodhidharma or Nagarjuna, or Vedanta and the Upanishads, everywhere you will find two contradictory terms whenever a deeper experience is talked about. The Vedas say, “he is and He is not” - about God.
You cannot find a more atheistic expression: “He is and he is not.” he is far away and He is near. He is far away and he is also near. Why contradictory statements? The Upanishads say, “You cannot see him, but unless you see him you have not seen anything.” What type of language is this?
Lao Tzu says that “Truth cannot be said” - and he is saying it! This too is a saying. He says that “Truth cannot be said, if it is said it cannot be true,” and then he writes a book and says something about the truth. It is contradictory.
One student came to a great old sage. The student said, “If you can forgive me master, I want to relate to you something about myself. I have become an atheist; now I do not believe in God.”
So the old sage asked, “For how many days have you been studying scriptures? For how many days?” So the man, the seeker, the student said, “Nearabout twenty years I have been studying the Vedas - the scriptures.” So the old man sighed and said, “Just twenty years and you have the nerve to say that you have become an atheist?”
The student was puzzled. What was this old man saying? So he said, “I am puzzled. What are you saying? You make me more confused than when I came here.” The old man said, “Go on studying the Vedas. In the beginning one says God is. Only in the end does one say God is not. To become an atheist you will have to travel much into theism. God is at the beginning; God is not at the end. Do not be in a hurry.” The student was even more puzzled.
“God is and God is not” has been uttered by those who know. “God is” is uttered by those who do not know and “God is not” is also uttered by those who do not know. Those who know, they utter both simultaneously: God is and God is not.
“Anahat nad” is a contradictory term, but used with much consideration - with deep consideration. It is meaningful. It says that the phenomenon is felt as a sound and it is not a sound. It is felt as a sound because you have only felt sounds, you do not know any other language. You know only the language of sounds; that is why it is felt as sound. But it is silence, not sound.
And the question further says: “Explain in which way the state of soundfulness can be equal to total soundlessness.”