Chapter 40: Sudden Enlightenment and Its Obstacles
When Gautam Siddhartha, the old man who died in Gautam Buddha, was seeking, he was a visible form. When the enlightenment happened, that form completely dissolved into the formless. For a moment there was a gap; there was no one. Then from that formlessness a new form arose. This was Gautam Buddha. Because the body continues in the same way, we think that there is a continuity, but the inner reality changes completely. Because the body continues in the same way, that is why we say “Gautam Buddha” - that “Gautam Siddhartha has now become Gautam the awakened; he has become a buddha.” But Buddha himself says, “I am not he who was seeking. I am a totally different one.”
It is difficult for the mind to conceive of this - and for the mind many things are difficult, but they cannot be denied just because they are difficult for the mind. The mind has to yield to those impossibilities which are incomprehensible to it. Sex cannot yield to the mind; the mind has to yield to sex. This is one of the most basic inner facts - that enlightenment is a discontinuous phenomenon. The old simply disappears and the new is born.
There has been another tradition, a later tradition, of those who have been insisting all through history that Enlightenment is sudden - that it is not gradual. But those who belong to it are very few. They stick to the truth, but they are bound to be very few because no following can be created if sudden Enlightenment is the case. You simply cannot understand it, so how can you follow it? It is shocking to the logical structure and it seems absurd, impossible. But remember one thing: then you move into deeper realms. Whether of matter or of mind, you will have to encounter many things of which a superficial mind cannot conceive.
Tertullian, one of the greatest Christian mystics, has said, “I believe in God because God is the greatest absurdity. I believe in God because mind cannot believe in God.” It is impossible to believe in God; no proof, no argument, no logic can help the belief in God. Everything goes against him, against his existence, but Tertullian says, “That is why I believe - because only by believing in an absurdity can I move away from my mind.”
This is beautiful. If you want to move away from your mind, you will need something of which your mind cannot conceive. If your mind can conceive of it, it will absorb it into its own system, and then you cannot transcend your mind. That is why every religion has insisted on some point which is absurd. No religion can exist without some absurdity just as a foundation in it. From that absurdity you either turn back and say, “I cannot believe so I will go away.” Then you remain yourself - or you take a jump, you turn away from your mind. And unless your mind is killed the enlightenment cannot happen.
Your mind is the problem, your logic is the problem, your arguments are the problem. They are on the surface. They look true, but they deceive. They are not true. For example, look how the mind’s structure functions. The mind divides everything in two, and nothing is divisible. Existence is indivisible; you cannot divide it - but mind goes on dividing it. It says that “this” is life and “this” is death. What is the actual fact? The actual fact is that both are the same. You are both alive and dying this very moment; you are doing both. Rather, you are both - death and life.