Chapter 9: The Greatest Lie There Is
The official, Riko, once asked Nansen to explain to him the old problem of the goose in the bottle.
“If a man puts a gosling into a bottle,” said Riko, “and feeds him until he is full grown, how can the man get the goose out without killing it or breaking the bottle?”
Nansen gave a great clap with his hands and shouted, “Riko!”
“Yes, master,” said the official with a start.
“See,” said Nansen, “the goose is out!”
I do not seek, I find, says Pablo Picasso. And I say to you: You need not seek, because if you seek, you will I ever find it. And you need not find it, also, because if you find it, it will not have been found at all.
Seeking means the truth is not and you have to seek it. Seeking means the truth is hidden and you have to seek it. Seeking means the truth is far away, distant, and you have to journey to it. And truth is herenow. No pilgrimage is needed; one has not to go anywhere. Truth is not there and truth is not then. Truth is here and now, so all seeking is going astray.
Seek, and you will not find, because in the very seeking you have missed the point, you have missed the first principle. In the very effort, you have gone away from the truth.
Seeking is a desire. With the desire comes in the mind - mind is nothing but desire. Seeking is in the future, and the future is not. Truth is always present, always present. Truth is always now; there is no other way for truth to be. You cannot say about truth, “Truth was,” and you cannot say about truth, “Truth will be.” That will be absolutely wrong. Truth is - and it is always so, and it will be always so, and it has always been so. Truth is.
How can you seek that which is? One seeks that which is not yet. Seeking is in the future. Seeking assumes it, that it is not here. You seek money, you seek power, you seek prestige, you seek heaven; but how can you seek truth? That’s why, let me repeat. seeking, you go astray. Seeking, you become a victim of desire. Seeking, the mind becomes predominant. Seeking, the secondary becomes primary and the primary is lost track of.
And I say if you find it you have not found it at all. Because if you remain to find it, then it cannot be truth. Truth is found only when you are not. When truth is, you are not. You both cannot be present together. You are the greatest lie there is. If you are still there, then you will go on missing the truth. The very presence of you functions as a barrier. “I” cannot find; when the “I” is not there it is found.
That’s why I say Picasso’s statement is a half-truth. Half of it is true: “I do not seek.” But that half is untrue when he says, “I find.” It looks almost Zen-like, but it is not. A half-truth is more dangerous than a plain lie because you can see the lie as the lie sooner or later, but the half-truth can go on pretending to be the whole truth; at least it appears like the truth. Many have been deceived by Picasso’s statement. It is almost Zen: “I do not seek, I find.”