Chapter 7: Thanks for the Compliment!
First scientists figured, “We must be missing it - maybe we don’t have sophisticated enough instruments. How can it be?” The old Aristotle was haunting them: “It must be somewhere in between.” But now we have more sophisticated instruments - it simply disappears. It becomes unmanifest in one place and becomes manifest again in another place. What happens in between nothing can be known about, because it becomes unmanifest, it simply disappears from existence. It moves into a totally different dimension which is not known at all and may never be known at all, because it is the unknowable.
And it was thought always, according to Aristotle and Euclid, that a point can never be a line. It was found by the physicists that the point can be both together: it can be a particle and a wave, it can be a point and a line. Euclidean geometry used to say - you must have read it at school - that two parallel lines never meet. Now there is something like non-Euclidean geometry which says they meet. What to make out of it? Euclidean geometry says you can draw a straight line. A straight line is the shortest distance between two points - a well-known definition, every schoolboy knows about it. But non-Euclidean geometry has come with great force and is changing the whole course of scientific thinking.
Non-Euclidean geometry says you cannot draw a straight line at all; it is impossible to draw a straight line. Why? Because you are sitting on an earth which is round. So whatsoever you draw, it appears straight because you don’t know that you are sitting on a round globe. Go on drawing the line, go on drawing the line, and soon you will see that it becomes a circle, because it will cover the whole earth. And a straight line cannot be a part of a circle, obviously; if it is a part of a circle it is not straight. No straight line can create a circle, but every straight line that you know, if drawn to its ultimate, will become part of a circle. Then it is an arc, not a straight line.
And the whole universe is circular. The whole universe, all the movement, is circular; everything is a circle. Straight lines are not possible; they are imaginary lines.
Mystics have always talked in paradoxes; now physicists are talking in paradoxes. And the reason is the same: mystics entered reality through their being and came across the mystery; physicists are coming across the same reality from another door - the outward door.
I am not in love with contradictions - they can’t be helped. Existence is a paradox.
You say, “A lot of it I can accept now as two sides of one coin.”
That is again a hangover from Aristotle. I have to say to you many times, just not to disturb you too much too early, that these are two aspects of the same coin. Then it becomes a little acceptable to you. You can accept that one coin can have two aspects and they must be facing in opposite directions. You can accept the negative and the positive, you can accept the dark night and the bright day, you can accept life and death, as two sides of one coin. But when I am using the simile of the coin I am not really being true to the reality; I am compromising - compromising with your Aristotelian mind.