Chapter 8: Enlightenment: An Endless Beginning
But to a Jaina, Jesus cannot come; to a Buddhist, Jesus cannot come. To a Buddhist, the figure of Buddha will be there. The moment the sahasrar opens - with the opening of the sahasrar, Buddha will be there. That is why Buddha is visualized on a flower. The flower was never placed there for the real Buddha - under his feet the flower was not there - but the flower is placed there in statues because statues are not real replicas of Gautam Buddha. They are the representation of the last vision to come into the mind. When the mind drops into the eternal, Buddha is seen in this way: on the flower.
That is why Vishnu is placed on a flower. This flower is symbolic of the sahasrar, and Vishnu is the last figure to be seen by a Hindu mind. Buddha, Vishnu, Jesus, are archetypes - what Jung calls archetypes.
The mind cannot conceive of anything abstractly, so the last effort of the mind to understand reality will be through the symbol that has been most important to it. This peak experience of the mind is the mind’s last experience. The peak is always the end; the peak means the beginning of the end. The peak is the death, so the opening of the sahasrar is the peak experience of the mind, the utmost that is possible with the mind, the last that is possible with the mind. The last figure - the centralmost figure, the deepest one, the archetype - will come. And it will be real. When I say “vision,” many will deny that it is real. They will say that it cannot be real because they think the word vision means illusionary, but it will be more real than reality itself. Even if the whole world denies it, you will not be ready to accept the denial. You will say, “It is more real to me than the whole world. A stone is not so real as the figure I have seen. It is real; it is perfectly real.” But the reality is subjective; the reality is colored by your mind. The experience is real but the metaphor is given by you, so Christians will give one metaphor, Buddhists will give another, Hindus will give another.
Does transcendence come with the opening of the sahasrar?
No, transcendence is beyond the opening. But enlightenment has two connotations. One, the dying mind - the ending mind, the mind that is going to die, the mind that has come to its peak, the mind that has come to its last - conceives of the enlightenment. But a barrier has come and now the mind will not go beyond this. The mind knows that it is ending, and with its ending the mind also knows the end of suffering; the mind also knows the end of division; the mind also knows the end of the conflict that was there. All this ends and the mind conceives of this as enlightenment, but it is still the mind that is conceiving of it. So this is enlightenment conceived of by the mind.
When the mind has gone, then the real enlightenment comes. Now you have transcended, but you cannot talk about it, you cannot say anything about it. That is why Lao Tzu says, “All that can be said cannot be true. That which can be said will not be true, and the truth cannot be said. Only this much can be said, and only this much is true.”