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Chapter 7: Zorba Is My Past: Buddha Is My Present

Questions from AP, VPI and Reuters news agencies.

Can you tell us why, as an admirer of Socrates, you don’t practice the Socratic method of dialogue?

Dialogue is possible between two blind men; they can discuss ad infinitum about light without coming to any conclusion. Dialogue is impossible between two persons who can see light: the dialogue is unnecessary; light is the experience of both. The third possibility is that one man may be able to see light, and the other may be blind. What kind of dialogue do you think is possible between these two?

Socrates was not an enlightened person - a great philosopher, a great logician, but not an enlightened person, not a man with eyes. Gautam Buddha has no dialogue; he knows, there is no question of discussing it. You can sit silently with him. Even in his silence there will be a communication. Or you can ask him a question and he will respond spontaneously.

No enlightened person in the whole world has ever used Socrates’ method of dialogue. That’s the reason why I cannot use it. If you know, if you have experienced the truth, then we can sit in silence - there is no need to say anything.

It happened in India.Two enlightened people met, remaining together for two days. One was Kabir, the famous poet, and the other was Farid, a Sufi mystic. Their disciples wanted them to talk to each other so they could listen. But for two days not a single word passed between Kabir and Farid. They hugged each other, they smiled at each other, they looked into each other’s eyes. They were seen holding each other’s hands; tears of joy were seen flowing from both. And after two days they departed with another loving hug, but not a single word.

The disciples of Kabir asked him, “What happened? You have always been talking to us, and we wanted to listen to what happens, what transpires between two enlightened persons.”

And Kabir said, “You have seen what happens, what transpires between two persons who have realized the truth: there is nothing to say.”

And the same was the situation with the disciples of Farid. They were angry: “Two days you wasted, and we waited and waited and were simply bored. Why did you not say something?”

And Farid said, “Whichever one of us started speaking would have shown that he does not know yet. Realization, enlightenment is beyond words. You know it; you can express it through tears, through song, through dance - but not through dialogue.”

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