Chapter 5: Love Needs No Time
A scholar said to a Sufi, “You Sufis often say that our logical questions are incomprehensible to you. Can you give me an example of what they seem like to you?”
The Sufi said, “Here is such an example. I was once traveling by train and we went through seven tunnels. Opposite me was sitting a peasant who obviously had never been in a train before.
“After the seventh tunnel, the peasant tapped me on the knee and said, ‘This train is too complicated. On my donkey I can get to my village in only one day. But by train, which seems to be traveling faster than a donkey, we have not yet arrived at my home, though the sun has risen and set seven whole times.’”
Truth can be approached in two ways: one is logic, another is love. And both are diametrically opposite to each other They speak different languages. They are untranslatable Logic cannot make itself comprehensible to love, and vice versa.
Love looks illogical to logic, irrational, a little bit mad. Logic looks irrelevant to love, because it goes round and round but never penetrates the reality. Love thinks about logic as a futile exercise, a gymnastics of the mind, a game - but to no purpose because it leads nowhere. It is non-conclusive. It is just chasing your own tail. You can go on chasing for ever and ever, you can become very much obsessed by it, but ultimately your hands remain empty. You have not arrived.
Love and logic have to be understood. If you don’t understand them rightly, their methods, their approaches, their visions, you will remain confused.
Logic is very convincing - and there is the danger of it. It is convincing and yet non-conclusive. It gives an appearance, it pretends. It is knowledge, information, but never wisdom. And only wisdom liberates.
Love cannot convince you. It is unconvincing, because it is vague, it is cloudy, it is a mystery. It is not a syllogism. It cannot appeal to your mind - but it can satisfy your being. It can quench your thirst. It can give you all that you need. It can nourish. This is the problem.
The nourishing love is illogical, and the pseudo food of logic is very convincing. And these are the two things which make philosophy and religion separate. It is here that philosophy and religion part ways.
You will be surprised to know that the word Sufism comes from the same root as philosophy. Both come from the same root, from suf, Sufism, sophia, philosophy. But the meaning is not only different but diametrically opposite. Sufism is not a philosophy, and philosophy has nothing of the beauty of Sufism in it. What happened? We have to understand man’s inner structure.