Chapter 10: The Zorba-Buddha Synthesis
And remember it: you have to know, you are not here to believe. My help is available for you to know. Belief is a trick of the mind: without knowing, it gives you the feeling that you have known. Man is a question mark - and it is a blessing. Celebrate it, dance it, rejoice in it, because without that question mark there could be no faith, or doubt - nothing but dead certainty. That’s where animals live: in dead certainty. And that’s why your priests and your politicians want you to live in dead certainty.
Life hesitates. Life is uncertain. Life is insecure. That’s why it is life: because it moves.
Socrates is reported to have said, “I would not like to become a contented pig. Rather than being a contented pig, I would like to remain a discontented Socrates.”
Meditate over it - a statement of immense value. The pig is contented, absolutely certain. That’s why people who are stubborn and think themselves absolutely certain are called piggish. For example, poor Morarji Desai is called piggish.
People who are stubborn are bound to be stupid. A man who is alive moves into uncertainties, moves into the unknown. He cannot live in a dead certainty. Certainty simply means you have not doubted.
There is another kind of knowing which comes out of doubting, which comes out of growth. And when that kind of knowing comes, again you are not certain. But now the uncertainty has a totally different flavor. If you had asked Buddha about God, he would have kept quiet. That’s where he is far superior to Sri Aurobindo. He would have kept absolutely silent, he would not have said yes or no. Why? - because he says, “The ultimate is so tremendously vast that to say yes will be wrong, to say no will be wrong, because our words are so small they cannot contain the ultimate. The ultimate can only be conveyed through silence.”
A Zen master was asked, “Can you say something about God?” He remained utterly silent; he listened to the question with open eyes and then he closed his eyes. A few moments went by. For the questioner those few moments seemed very long. He was waiting and becoming restless, and the master had moved into some other space. There was great ecstasy on his face but no answer.
That ecstasy was the answer. There was utter silence in his being, and the silence was vibrant all around him. You could have almost touched it, it.it was so solid. But the restless questioner was not aware of it at all; he was too concerned with his question and he was waiting for the answer.
He shook the master and said, “What are you doing? I have asked a question and you closed your eyes and you are sitting in silence. Answer it!”
And the master says, “But that’s what I was doing. This is my answer.”
Certainly this is far superior to Sri Aurobindo’s answer.
But the man, the questioner, was not satisfied. He wanted something conveyed verbally. He insisted and he would not leave the master. So the master said, “Okay.”
They were sitting on a river bank. The master wrote in the sand with his finger: meditation.