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Chapter 2: I Call It Reverence for Life

The first question:

What do you think about the philosophy of nonviolence and particularly about the Christian dogma of turning the other cheek?

I am not a philosopher. The philosopher thinks about things. It is a mind approach. My approach is a no-mind approach. It is just the very opposite of philosophizing. It is not thinking about things, ideas, but seeing with a clarity that comes when you put your mind aside, when you see through silence, not through logic. Seeing is not thinking.

The sun rises: if you think about it you miss it, because while you are thinking about it, you are going away from it. In thinking you can move miles away, and thoughts go faster than anything possible.

If you are seeing the sunrise then one thing has to be certain, that you are not thinking about it. Only then can you see it. Thinking becomes a veil on the eyes. It gives its own color, its own idea to the reality. It does not allow reality to reach you, it imposes itself upon reality; it is a deviation from reality.

Hence no philosopher has ever been able to know the truth. All the philosophers have been thinking about the truth. But thinking about the truth is an impossibility. Either you know it, or you don’t. If you know it, there is no need to think about it. If you don’t know it, how can you think about it? A philosopher thinking about truth is just like a blind man thinking about light. If you have eyes, you don’t think about light, you see it.

Seeing is a totally different process; it is a byproduct of meditation.

Hence I would not like my way of life ever to be called a philosophy, because it has nothing to do with philosophy. You can call it philosia. The word philo means love; sophy means wisdom, knowledge - love for knowledge. In philosia, philo means the same love, and sia means seeing: love, not for knowledge but for being - not for wisdom, but for experiencing.

So that is the first thing to be remembered. Nonviolence is a philosophy to Mahatma Gandhi; it is not a philosophy to me, it is a philosia. That’s where I have been constantly struggling with Gandhian philosophers, thinkers. Gandhi wrote his autobiography entitled Experiments with Truth. Now that is utter absurdity; you cannot experiment with truth.

When you are silent, truth is there in its fullness, in its absolute glory. And when you are not silent, truth is absent. When you are silent, truth does not appear like an object before you. When you are silent, suddenly you recognize you are the truth.

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