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Chapter 4: Darkness: The Substance Existence Is Made Of

What do you have to say about darkness?

I have much to say about darkness, because nobody has taken notice of the mystery that darkness is.

Much has been said about light, almost nothing about darkness. But darkness is a much deeper phenomenon than light is. Light comes and goes - darkness remains; it never comes, it never goes. Light is not eternal, because it needs fuel, some kind of fuel, and the fuel will be exhausted sooner or later. Darkness needs no fuel, no cause; hence darkness is not an effect and can remain eternally there.

In the morning, you see the sun arises and there is light; in the evening the sun sets, the light disappears, and suddenly all over there is darkness. It does not mean that when the sun disappears, darkness comes in. It has been there all the time; just because of the light you could not see it. How can one see darkness while light is there? The light prevented your vision.

So anytime just close your eyes and darkness is there. Anytime just blow out the candle and darkness is there.

Gautam Buddha is perhaps the only man who, for the ultimate state of consciousness, has chosen a word which can be interpreted as darkness; otherwise all the religions have talked about light, forgetting completely that light is not eternal, and if you are light, you are also not eternal. Light is dependent on something, it is caused by something.

Gautam Buddha has called his ultimate state of being, nirvana. Even Buddhists have not thought of it as darkness, because the very word produces bad associations in us. But nirvana means exactly “darkness”; literally it means blowing out the candle. So for twenty-five centuries Buddhists have been using the literal meaning “blowing out the candle.” But what does it mean? Blowing out the candle, what remains then? Eternal, deathless, abysmal darkness.

Feeling yourself full of light may be again an ego trip. Feeling yourself identified with light, you may be simply changing your identity - but the ego remains. But blowing out the candle is blowing away the ego; and the vast darkness is bound to create in you a similar vastness of humility, humbleness, egolessness. So I love the word.

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