Chapter 2: Surrender Is Understanding
Chidvilas asks: “What is truth?”
Asking has to disappear; only then do you know.
If you ask, “What is truth?” what are you asking? If I say A is truth, B is truth, C is truth, will that be the answer? If I say A is truth, then certainly A cannot be the truth: it is something else that I am using as synonymous with truth. If it is absolutely synonymous, then it will be a tautology. Then I can say, “Truth is truth,” but that is silly, meaningless. Nothing is solved by it. If it is exactly the same, if A is truth, then it will mean truth is truth. If A is different, is not exactly truth, then I am falsifying. Then to say A is truth will be only approximate. And remember, there cannot be anything approximate. Either truth is or it is not. So I cannot say A is truth.
I cannot even say, “God is truth,” because if God is truth then it is a tautology - “Truth is truth.” Then I’m not saying anything. If God is different from truth, then I am saying something, but then I am saying something wrong. Then God is different, then how can he be truth? If I say it is approximate, linguistically it looks alright, but it is not right. “Aproximately” means some lie is there, something false is there. Otherwise, why is it not a hundred percent truth? If it is ninety-nine percent truth then something is there which is not true. And truth and untruth cannot exist together, just as darkness and light cannot exist together - because darkness is nothing but absence. Absence and presence cannot exist together, truth and untruth cannot exist together. Untruth is nothing but the absence of truth.
So no answer is possible, hence Jesus remained silent. But if you look at it with deep sympathy, if you look into the silence of Jesus, you will have an answer. Silence is the answer. Jesus is saying, “Be silent, as I am silent, and you will know” - not saying it in words. It is a gesture, it is very, very Zen-like. In that moment when Jesus remained silent, he comes very close to the Zen approach, to the Buddhist approach. He is a buddha in that moment. Buddha never answered these questions. He had eleven questions listed: wherever he would move his disciples would go around and declare to people, “Never ask these eleven questions of Buddha” - questions which are fundamental, questions which are really significant. You could ask anything else, and Buddha was always ready to answer. But don’t ask the fundamental, because the fundamental can only be experienced. And truth is the most fundamental; the very substance of existence is what truth is.