Chapter 1: The Unteachable Teaching
A man came to Libnani, a Sufi teacher, and this interchange took place.
Man: I wish to learn. Will you teach me?
Libnani: I do not feel that you know how to learn.
Man: Can you teach me how to learn?
Libnani: Can you learn how to let me teach?
Truth cannot be taught.but it can be learned. And between these two sentences is the key of all understanding. So let me repeat: truth cannot be taught, but it can be learned - because truth is not a teaching, not a doctrine, not a theory, a philosophy, or something like that. Truth is existence. Truth is being. Nothing can be said about it.
If you start saying something about it you will go round and round. You will beat around the bush, but you will never reach the center of it. Once you ask a question about you are already on the path of missing it. It can be encountered directly, but not through about. There is no via media. Truth is here and now. Only truth is. Nothing else exists. So the moment you raise a question about it the mind has already moved away. You are somewhere else, not here and now.
Truth cannot be taught because words cannot convey it. Words are impotent. Truth is vast, tremendously vast, infinite. Words are very very narrow. You cannot force truth into words, it is impossible. And how is one going to teach without words?
Silence can be a message. It can convey, it can become the vehicle. But then the question is not of the master’s concern to teach it. The question is of the disciple’s to learn it.
If it was a question of teaching, then the master would do something.
But words are useless - nothing can be done with them. The master can remain silent and can give the message from every pore of his being - but now the disciple has to understand it. Unaided, without any help from the master, the disciple has to receive it.
That’s why in the world of religion teachers don’t exist, only masters. A teacher is one who teaches, a master is one who IS. A teacher is one who talks about the truth, a master is truth himself. You can learn, but he cannot teach.
He can be there, open, available - you have to drink him, and you have to eat him. You have to imbibe him. You have to become pregnant with him. You have to absorb.
A master is one who has become the truth and is available for all those who are ready to absorb him; hence Jesus says to his disciples: Eat me. Truth can be eaten; it cannot be taught. You can allow it to reach you, but it cannot be forced on you.