Chapter 80: All and Nothing Mean the Same
The first question:
You said that really there is no one inside us, there is only a void, an emptiness, but then why do you often call it the being, the center?
Being or non-being, nothing or all - they look contradictory but they both mean the same. All and nothing mean the same. In dictionaries they are opposites but in life they are not. Nobody understands. Look at it in this way: if I say that I love all, or if I say that I love no one, it means the same. If I love someone, then only is there a difference. If I love all, it means the same as loving no one. There is no difference then. The difference is always in degrees, relative. And these are both two extremes, they have no degrees: the total and the zero have no degrees. So you can call the total a zero, or you can call a zero the total. That’s why some enlightened persons have called the inner space emptiness, shunya, the void, nothingness, non-being, anatma - and some have called it the inner being, the absolute being, the brahma, atma, the supreme self. These are the two ways to describe it. One is positive, the other is negative. Either you have to include all or have to exclude all - you cannot describe it with any term which is relative. An absolute term is needed. Both the contradictory poles are absolute terms.
But there have been some enlightened persons who have remained totally silent. They have not called it anything, because whatsoever you call it - whether you call it being or non-being - the moment you give it a name, a term, a word, you have erred, because it includes both.
For example, if you say, “God is alive,” or “God is life,” it is meaningless, because then who will be death? He includes all. He must have death in him as completely as life, otherwise to whom will death belong? And if death belongs to someone else and life belongs to God - then there are two Gods, and then there will be many problems which cannot be solved. God must be both life and death. God must be both the creator and the destroyer. If you say God is the creator, then who is the destroyer? If you say God is good, then who will be evil? Because of this difficulty, Christians, Zoroastrians, and many other religions have created a devil side by side with God, because to whom will the evil belong? They have created a devil. But nothing is solved - the problem is only pushed one step back because then it can be relevantly asked, “Who has created the devil?” If God himself creates the devil, then he is responsible. And if the devil is something independent, not related to God, then he himself becomes a God, a supreme power. And if God has not created the devil, how can God destroy him? It is impossible. Theologians go on giving some answers to a question but that answer again creates more questions.