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Chapter 21: Philosia.The Path of the Mystic

Five blind men go to see an elephant. All five are philosophers, Milarepa, and naturally they start touching the elephant. Somebody touches the legs of the elephant and he says, “My god, the elephant is just like the pillars in a temple.”

The other one who is touching the big ears of the elephant.Certainly the story must have been born in India because the African elephant does not have big ears. That’s how you can find from where a story is coming. The Indian elephant has really big ears. The blind man who was touching the ears said, “You idiot! Stop all that nonsense about pillars in a temple. The elephant is like a big fan.” Before electricity came into being, rich people used to have very big fans, and two servants standing by their sides were continuously moving the fans over them. Those fans are almost like the big ears of the elephant.

And so on and so forth; all the five blind philosophers argued and argued. One man was watching. Just a simple and ordinary man, not a philosopher but a man with eyes. He could not believe how these people are going to come to a conclusion. They are fighting, quarreling, arguing. He said to them, “You are all in a tremendously great difficulty. Your arguments are not going to help. What you need are eyes, not arguments. Once you see the elephant, there is no question of thinking about it.”

The word philosophy comes from two words: philo and sophia. Philo means love, and sophia means wisdom or knowledge - love of knowledge. In the East we have nothing parallel to philosophy. In the East we have a totally different approach. It is not the approach of the philosopher; it is the approach of the mystic.

We don’t have any system parallel to philosophy in the East. What we have is totally different. But continuously there has been a misunderstanding between the scholars from the West, from the East. They have all started calling it Eastern philosophy. There is no such thing in existence.

In the East we have a word darshan, which means seeing not thinking; it means simply seeing. Darshan cannot be translated as philosophy. I have coined a word for it. I don’t care about languages and I don’t care about grammar, and I don’t care about dictionaries and encyclopedias. My concern is existential not linguistic. I have coined my own word and that is philosia: love of seeing, not love of knowledge.

Milarepa, if you have decided to be something, be a lover of seeing the truth. Be a lover of experiencing the truth. Become part of the vast experience I am calling “philosia.”

Trust more in your eyes than in your mind.

Trust more in your heart than your thoughts. Trust more in your being, because it is the being which is going to experience the very center of the cosmos.

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