Chapter 20: Words Cannot Contain It
The moment you are not in desire, you will become aware of your innermost center. Desire takes you away from yourself. And that is the problem, you must be too desirous of enlightenment, hence you are becoming serious. Otherwise there is nothing serious in enlightenment.
The second question:
Why is truth inexpressible? Why can’t it be told?
Truth is an experience of thoughtlessness. Truth is an experience of wordlessness. You come to experience truth only in utter silence. It is utter silence, hence it is impossible to reduce it to sound, to word, to thought. Its intrinsic nature is without thought. To express truth in words would be like expressing the sky through the clouds. The sky is not expressed through the clouds. The sky, covered with clouds, disappears, you cannot see it. The more clouds there are the less the sky is available, the less clouds there are the more sky is available, no clouds and the whole sky is available. You cannot express the sky through the clouds. They are the hindrances. So are thoughts.
Truth is your consciousness, thoughts are clouds in the sky of consciousness. You cannot express through thoughts. Your thoughts can, at the most, indicate - like fingers pointing to the moon. But remember, fingers are not the moon and don’t start worshipping the fingers. That’s what has happened in the world: somebody is worshipping one finger, somebody else some other finger - Christians, Mohammedans, Hindus, Buddhists. What are Buddhists doing? - worshipping Buddha. This is just a finger pointing to the moon. Where is the moon? They are sucking the finger and have completely forgotten the moon.
That’s why I say to you: Don’t start biting my finger! Don’t become too much interested in what is said. That which is said is only pointing a finger to that which cannot be said. So all words are, at the most, arrows. That’s why they can be misunderstood, easily misunderstood: fingers you are acquainted with, the moon you have never seen, and when I show the moon with the finger it is more possible to become interested in the finger than to look away from the finger and see the moon. To see the moon you will have to look away from the finger, you will have to become completely oblivious to the finger.
“To tell the truth,” said Oscar Wilde, “you have to wear a mask.”