Chapter 7: Autumn Floods
With you, the problem is that whenever you are happy you are shallow; but whenever you are sad you may be deeper, less shallow. That is why laughter has a ring of shallowness. If you laugh it seems you are laughing just on the periphery, but when you weep, you weep from the heart. It is easy to pretend laughter, it is very difficult to pretend tears. If they do not come it is impossible to bring them. You can force smiles, you cannot force tears. The more you force, the more you will feel they won’t come, the more the eyes will be dry. Your sadness has a depth, your laughter has a shallowness.
But when Buddha laughs, he laughs as deeply as tears can go; and when he weeps, he weeps as beautifully as you smile. The contradictions have lost their contradictoriness, they have become one. That is why to understand Buddha is difficult - because he has become as contradictory as existence itself. He is an absurdity - now he is a mystery himself.
A religious person is in search of truth, a philosopher is in search of interpretations.
I have heard that once it happened in a men’s club that three professors of philosophy were discussing, in a panel discussion, what is most beautiful in a woman.
The one philosopher said, “It is the eyes - the eyes carry the whole of the woman, they are the most beautiful part in a feminine body.”
The second one said, “I don’t agree. The hair is the most beautiful part of a feminine face and body, it gives it the beauty and the mystery.”
And the third said, “I don’t agree with you. You are both wrong - it is the legs, the way a woman walks, the curves of her legs, just the marbleness of her legs, that gives her the whole feminine beauty.”
One woman, an old woman, who was listening very seriously to this discussion, elevated her nose and said, “I must get out of here before one of you boys says the truth!”
A woman is not a philosopher, she has no theories - she knows. A religious person has an intuitive grasp - it is not intellect, it is his whole being. He feels rather than knows. And feeling hits the center. So remember one thing: through philosophy you will never reach the truth, you will just go about and about and about.
Omar Khayyam has said in his Rubaiyat, “When I was young I frequented both doctor and saint. About and about they argued and I came out by the same door as I went in.” He visited so many philosophers, so many saints - but they talked about and about and he had to come back by the same door.
Nothing is gained, only life is wasted. The sooner you become alert, the better. The sooner you become aware and drop out of the trap of philosophy, the better, because life will not wait for you and your theories; it is moving fast. Soon death will happen and you will die with your theories in your hand; and they won’t help, they are just dead ashes.
Chuang Tzu says: Live, don’t think! That is all that those who have known have always said.