Chapter 4: Dying into the Master
Friedrich Nietzsche could declare that God is dead because of his knowledgeability. He was certainly a great philosopher, and philosophy is bound to come to the conclusion that there is no God because God simply means the mysterious, the miraculous. And knowledge reduces every miracle to ordinary laws; every mystery is reduced to formulas.
Ask the knowledgeable person “What is love?” and he will say, “Nothing but chemistry, the attraction between male and female hormones. It is no more important than a magnet attracting iron pieces; it is the same - like negative and positive electricity. Man and woman are bioelectricity.”
Then everything is destroyed. Then all love and all poetry and all music are reduced to nonsense. The lotus is reduced to the mud. The lotus certainly grows out of the mud, but the lotus is not the mud. It is not the sum total of its parts; it is more than the sum total of the parts. That more is God, that more is poetry, that more is love. But science has no place for the “more.” Science reduces every phenomenon to a mechanical thing. And do you know what science means? Science means knowledge; the actual word science means knowledge.
Religion is not knowledge; it is just the opposite of knowledge. It is poetry, it is love. It is basically absurd. Yes, you can say that I am talking nonsense. If science is sense then religion is nonsense. But that’s the beauty of it.
You say: “I thought you knew everything.”
That is your thought - and I am not here to oblige everybody’s thought. I cannot be according to your thoughts. I have more than one hundred thousand sannyasins; if I am to fulfill everybody’s thought I will be absolutely torn apart, into millions of pieces. I cannot fulfill your ideas about me; that is your mistake. And it is not too late - either drop that idea if you want to be here with me..
You are here with a paradoxical person, with a person who is trying to convey something mysterious to you - not knowledge - who is trying to pour his experience of wonder and awe into your beings - it is more like wine than like knowledge - who is trying to make you intoxicated, who is trying to transform you into drunkards. Yes, for the rational person it will look like nonsense.
That’s what one of the most important thinkers of the West, Arthur Koestler, has written about Zen. He calls it “all nonsense.” If you look rationally, it is - but is reason the only way to approach reality? There are other ways, far deeper, far more intimate - Not knowing is the most intimate.
I am not a man of knowledge, although I use words. I am not even a man of words.
“I am a man of few words. Will you or won’t you?”
“Your apartment or mine?” said the chick.
“Look,” he said, “if there’s going to be such a lot of discussion about it, let’s forget the whole damn thing!”