Chapter 24: The Only Way to Be Is Not to Be
The poet looks at the beauty of the flower, at the beauty of the sunset, at the beauty of the starry night, but he is always on the outside, an observer, a spectator; he is never an insider. That is the difference between a poet and a mystic. When the poet sees the rose, the rose is there outside the poet, and the poet is there outside the rose.
When the mystic sees the rose, he is the rose.
All differences, all distinctions, all distances have disappeared.
In such moments the seers of the Upanishads have declared: Aham brahmasmi - I am God. It is not a declaration of ego; it is simply a declaration of the mystical experience of being one with the ultimate reality. But it is true on smaller scales too.
The mystic can say:
I am the rose, I am the stars, I am the ocean.
The poet cannot say that. He can say that the rose is beautiful, he can make an observation and a judgment about the rose, but he cannot melt and merge into the reality of the rose. He cannot get lost into it, he cannot become one, he cannot drop the duality. Howsoever great his insight as a poet may be, it will remain based in duality. Certainly the poet sees more beauty than you see. He has clearer eyes, he has a more loving heart and he has a different approach than the scientist.
The scientist looks at the roseflower from intellect, from mind. The poet looks from the heart, from intuition. He is certainly deeper than the scientist. The scientist in fact cannot see the beauty of the rose; all that he can do is dissect the rose to find out where the beauty is. And the moment the rose is dissected, all beauty disappears.hence for the scientist there is no beauty, because the beauty cannot survive the dissection; hence for the scientist there is no life, because the moment you dissect a living being what you find are dead parts, you never find life.
The mystic is just the very opposite of the scientist. The scientist tries to know things by dissecting them, and the mystic tries to know things by dropping the distance, the gap between himself and reality. His approach is of the being. These are the three approaches. The approach of the mind - that is what the scientist is doing. The approach of the heart - that is what the poet, the painter, the artist is doing. And the approach of the being - that is the world of the mystic.
Shakespeare is great in his poetic compositions, his intuition is deep. But he is not a mystic; otherwise he could not have made the statement: To be or not to be?
There is no choice; they are not two.
The only way to be is not to be.
Disappear if you want real existence, authentic existence; merge into reality, dissolve your ice-cube in the ocean and become one with it. Of course you will get lost as a separate entity, but you will become the whole. It is not a loss; it is a tremendous gain.