Chapter 10: The Lure of the Infinite
As soon as you let go of the mind, let go of the shore, you enter the ocean. There is no other way of knowing the ocean than to become the ocean - nothing less will do. While standing on the shore, no matter how much you speculate or expound on the ocean, it is all useless babble. The very fact of your standing on the shore shows that you are not directly acquainted with it. Once you are really acquainted, why remain on the shore? Once a person becomes familiar with the infinite, no power on earth is strong enough to chain him to the shore. The attraction of the infinite will pull him away. There is no power more magnetic than the lure of the infinite; all other attractions fade away when it pulls.
But we sit and just talk. We remain closeted in the room and talk of the open skies.outside! We lock ourselves within our own cages and talk of freedom. We are imprisoned by the web of our own words and we talk of the formless.
These verses of Nanak are very valuable:
There are millions of underworlds
And infinite skies above.
There is space.and space.and nothing but space. It is one sky that becomes infinite, because there is no boundary to space. It is one boundless space. Says Nanak, “There is the sky, and the sky, and only the sky.infinite times infinite.”
There is not just one single infinity; there are infinite infinities. Wherever you go you will find space. Whichever direction you may take, you will find boundless space; whatever you touch you will find it is space. The boundless abounds everywhere.
In the midst of this boundless you are trying to trap God in your tiny cage of words? You try to imprison him in books like the Vedas and the Koran. It is just like trying to imprison the vast skies within your palm. The wonderful thing about this is, when your palm is open there is space in it, but the moment you close your fist, whatever space was in it evaporates. The tighter you make the fist, the emptier it is.
Use words like an open fist, not like a closed fist; but words that are like an open palm no longer remain logical. The more logical you want to make an expression, the more you have to enclose it. The greater the definition, the more constricted the expression. Whenever a thing is well defined, it becomes limited; you create a wall around it.
The more rational the words, the less are they indicative of God. It seems as if they tell you a great deal but they really tell you nothing; the palm is closed. When words are free of reason they seem to tell little but they tell all. Keep in mind this difference.
The words of Nanak are not the words of a logician; they are the words of a poet, a bard. They are the words of a lover of beauty. Nanak is not giving any definition of God through his words. They are like the open palm - hinting at something, not telling anything. They point towards something that cannot be said. Don’t hold on to the words or else you will miss Nanak’s message altogether.
If I point to the moon with my finger and you catch hold of my finger and refuse to look beyond it, how will you see the moon? The finger means nothing in itself; it is only a means to point at the moon. You have to let go of the finger to look at the moon, but people are such that they cling to the finger.