Chapter 5: Love Needs No Time
Because of this difference between Sufism and sophistry you will also note that in the East personalities have never been important. Indian philosophy is not tied to personalities. Little is known about the lives of the philosophers. The philosopher in the East has been a discoverer, not a formulator, of truth. Truth is as ancient as existence itself. Nobody can claim that one has discovered it. It has been discovered many times - the most one can say is that “I have rediscovered it.” And one of the conditions to rediscover is that you should disappear. There should not be the claimer, the I.
The West has its Platonism, Hegelianism, Kantism. In India there is no parallel. You cannot come across anything like ‘Patanjalism’, ‘Shankaraism’ - no, not at all. The Philosophy is not rooted in the ego of the individual. The individual disappears. Truth comes, floods one’s being.. But the logical mind cannot take that much of a risk. It always remains in control. It possesses the truth.
And truth by its very nature cannot be possessed. So whatsoever the logical mind possesses is not truth but an opinion about truth. It is not the real thing. It is just a carbon copy of it, a reflection.
In small things the differences have become great. For example: the Western concept of zero, the mathematical zero, has reached the West from India. Zero is an Indian discovery. But the meaning has changed. In the Western mind the zero means nought. In buddhism zero - shunya - does not mean simply a mathematical nought: it means the existential state of no-self. It means selflessness. It means empty of oneself.
And in Hinduism the zero - bindu - is a solid dot symbolizing a fertile seed. It is the productive point of potentiality, the matrix of the negative and the positive. Once, Ramana Maharshi, when asked to sign an autograph book, made only a dot in the center of the page with the remark, “In the bindu all is contained. I too am included in it - so there is no need to sign separately.”
Now the same concept, zero, in the West becomes just a mathematical, logical concept. In buddhism it is existential selflessness. In Hinduism - the same concept - it is a solid matrix of all that is possible.
Remember it, that how you look at things makes much difference. Whether you look with full loving eyes..
It is said about a great Hassidic mystic, the Baal Shem, that ordinarily he would not use specs, but whenever he talked to a philosopher, a logician, he would immediately put his specs on his eyes. It was strange; people were watching it.
A disciple one day asked, “What is the matter? Ordinarily you never put specs on. We disciples go on discussing with you a thousand and one things, but whenever a logician comes, you always put specs on your eyes.”