Chapter 52: Entering This Moment
The other night you said that philosophies are anti-meditation. But on the other hand you agree that the Eastern philosophies such as Tantra, Yoga and Vedant, are the writings of enlightened sages. Why do the enlightened sages leave behind them a strong structure of philosophical contemplation, if philosophies are anti-meditation?
Philosophy is not darshan. Darshan is the eastern term. Darshan means perception, philosophy means thinking. Herman Hesse has coined a new word to translate darshan into western languages. He calls it “philosia” - “sia” from “to see.”
Philosophy means to think, and darshan means to see. Both are basically different; not only different, but diametrically opposite. Because when you are thinking you cannot see. You are so filled with thoughts that perception is blurred, perception is clouded. When thinking ceases, you become capable of seeing. Then your eyes are opened, they become unclouded. Perception happens only when thinking ceases.
For Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, and the whole western tradition, thinking is the base. For Kanad, Kapil, Patanjali, Buddha, and the whole eastern tradition, seeing is the base. So Buddha is not a philosopher, not at all; neither is Patanjali, nor Kapil or Kanad. They are not philosophers. They have seen the truth; they have not thought about it.
Remember well that you only think when you cannot see. If you can see, there is no reason to think. Thinking is always in ignorance. Thinking is not knowledge, because when you know, there is no need to think. When you don’t know, you will the gap by thinking. Thinking is groping in the dark. So eastern philosophies are not philosophies. To use the word philosophy for eastern darshan is absolutely wrong. Darshan means to see, to attain the eye, to realize, to know - immediately, directly, without the mediation of thinking and thought.
Thinking can never lead to the unknown. How can it lead? It is impossible. The very process of thinking has to be understood. When you think, what do you really do? You go on repeating old thoughts, memories. If I ask you a question - does God exist? - you can think about it. What will you do? All that you have heard, all that you have read, all that you have accumulated about God, you will repeat. Even if you come to a new conclusion, the newness of it will only be apparent, not real. It will be simply a combination of old thoughts. You can combine many old thoughts and create a new structure, but that structure will be apparently new, not new at all.
Thinking can never come to any original truth. Thinking is never original; it cannot be. It is always of the past, of the old, of the known. Thinking cannot touch the unknown; it is repetitively moving in the circle of the known. You don’t know truth, you don’t know God. What can you do? You can think about it. You will move in circles, around and around. You can never come to any experience of it.