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Chapter 10: Wisdom and Understanding

The mind can never ask any fundamental question because whatsoever the mind asks is bound to be superficial. When the question arises out of your being, not out of your mind, it will not be verbal, it will be existential. You will be the question - then it is fundamental.

A Sufi mystic used to come to the mosque every day and he would stand there not saying a single word, for years and years. People became curious.

Somebody asked, “You never say anything, we have not even seen your lips quivering a little and we have watched you, observed you closely. We don’t feel that even inside you are saying anything, you stand there like a rock. What type of prayer is this?”

The mystic said, “Once it happened that a beggar was standing before a palace of an emperor. The emperor came out, looked at the beggar and said, ‘What do you ask? What do you want?’ The beggar said, ‘If by looking at me you cannot understand, then there is no need to say. I will go to another house. Look at me - naked in the cold winter, shivering. Look at my belly - it has joined the back. Look at my limbs - all the flesh has disappeared. I am a skeleton and you ask what do I want? Is my being here not enough?’ The king became afraid, the beggar was right. Much was given to him.”

And the mystic said, “I was passing by on the road. From that day I stopped praying, because what to say to the emperor of the world? Can’t he understand what misery I am in? Have I to say it? Assert it? Have I to be articulate with him? If he cannot understand my being, what use will it be to talk? Then it is useless. If he cannot understand my being, he cannot understand my language. Silent is my prayer, unquestioned is my question, undesired is my desire. It is me, it is my total being.”

That is fundamental, that is foundational, that is radical - it comes from the very roots. The word radical comes from roots. A radical, a foundational, a fundamental question is never asked by the mind. The mind cannot ask it; the mind is impotent about it. The mind is just like the waves on the ocean. Can you ask me which wave is the deepest? No wave is, no wave can be, because waves can exist only on the surface, they cannot be in the depth. In the depth there are no waves.

The mind is the surface, the waves. All questions raised by the mind are superficial. The fundamental question is asked when the mind has been dropped. It is a no-mind question, it is a being question. Then you stand with a question not even verbalized within you, because who will verbalize it? The mind has been put aside, your whole existence is a question mark.