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Chapter 2: Trading Dialogue for Lodging

Debate is between two minds, two heads; love, communication, trust, is between two hearts. He was opening a new route - of friendship, of discipleship, of growth. He was thinking in terms of a totally different dimension - the quality was different. He was saying, “Put aside your scriptures. Your bibles are not needed, because they are only words.” The scholar, the pundit, couldn’t tolerate it. Jesus was crucified.

He could only find simple people: a fisherman, a woodcutter, a shoemaker - simple men. All his disciples, except Judas, were uneducated. Only Judas was really cultured, a refined gentleman, and he sold Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. This cultured, refined Judas betrayed him, and Jesus knew that if anybody can betray him it is Judas. Why? Because the heart can be betrayed only by the head. Love can only be betrayed by logic; nothing else can betray.

So this is the second thing to remember before I enter the story; that through logic, through the head, argumentativeness, you become alien, strangers to each other; the bridge between is lost. How can you attain to the truth when you cannot understand the other, when you are not even capable of listening to him, when your mind goes on and on inside arguing, fighting? You are violent, aggressive. This aggression will not help.

So all debates are futile, they never lead anywhere. Even if you feel that a conclusion is reached, the conclusion is forced; it is not reached through discussion. You can silence the other but conviction never comes out of it, never. And I say it categorically: never. If you have some logical tricks, you can silence the other. He may not be able to answer you. You know more than he knows. You know more tricks than he knows. You can put him in a corner through words and reasoning and he is unable to answer. But this is not the way to convince him. Deep down he knows that, “Some day I will find more tricks and put you right in your place. Right now I cannot answer. Okay, I accept defeat.” He is defeated, but not won over.

And these are two different things. When you win a heart he is not defeated - he is happy. He is victorious in your victory, he participates. It is not your victory - truth has won, and you both can celebrate. But when you defeat a person, he is never won over; he remains the enemy. Deep down he is waiting for the right moment when he can assert himself.

No debate can become a conviction. And if conviction is not reached, where is the conclusion? The conclusion is forced, it is always premature. It is just like an abortion, it is not a natural birth. You have forced - a dead child is born or a crippled child, who is going to remain crippled, weak and dead his whole life.

Socrates used to say, “I am a midwife, I help natural birth.” A master is a midwife. He is not going to force, because a forced birth cannot be a real birth. It is more like death and less like life.

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