Chapter 1: The Most Excellent Way
These are the three dimensions ordinarily available to approach towards truth. The first dimension creates the scientist; the second, the artist; the third, the prophets. The rarity of Buddha consists of this - that his approach is a synthesis of all the three, and not only a synthesis but it goes beyond the three.
He is a rationalist. He’s not like Jesus and he is not like Krishna - he’s absolutely a rationalist. Einstein, Newton or Edison cannot find any flaw in his reasoning. Any scientist will be immediately convinced of his truth. His approach is purely logical, he convinces the mind. You cannot find a loophole in him.
Somebody has sent me a beautiful anecdote about a famous atheist, W. C. Fields. He was doing a tour of the States. One day his manager came into his hotel room and was shocked to see him reading Gideon’s Bible.
“Bill!” he said, “what the hell are you doing? I thought you were an atheist.”
Fields replied, “Just looking for loopholes, just looking for loopholes.”
But you cannot look for a loophole in the Buddha. Yes, you can look for loopholes in Jesus, there are many - because Jesus believes, trusts, he has faith. He is simple like a child. There is no argument in him. The proof exists but there is no argument for it. His whole being is his proof.
But it is not so with Buddha. You may not be at all in harmony with his heart, you may not believe him at all, you may not look at the proof he is, but you will have to listen to his argument. He has both the proof and the argument. He himself is the proof of what he is saying, but that is not all. If you are not ready to look at him he can force you, he can convince you; he is a rationalist.
Even a man like Bertrand Russell, who was an atheist, purely logical, has said, “Before Buddha I start feeling hesitant. With Jesus I can fight.” He has written a book Why I Am Not a Christian - a great argumentative book. It has not yet been replied to by Christians; his argument still holds. But before Buddha he suddenly feels hesitant, he is not so certain about his ground - because Buddha can convince him on his own ground. Buddha is as much an analyst as Bertrand Russell.
You need not be a religious person to be convinced by Buddha, that’s his rarity. You need not believe at all. You need not believe in God, you need not believe in the soul, you need not believe in anything - still you can be with Buddha, and by and by you will come to know about the soul and about the God also. But those are not hypotheses.
No belief is required to travel with Buddha. You can come with all skepticism possible. He accepts, he welcomes, and he says, “Come with me.” First he convinces your mind, and once your mind is convinced and you start traveling with him, by and by you start feeling that he has a message which is beyond mind, he has a message which no reason can confine. But first he convinces your reason.