Chapter 1: On the Road of Sighs
Adam becomes knowledgeable, Christ becomes innocent. Becoming knowledgeable, Adam starts moving outwards, falls victim to philosophies, belief systems, theories, words. Jesus drops all tradition; that’s why the Jews were so angry with him. The Jews are a very traditional people, they were angry because he was a revolutionary. He was a dropout - he simply dropped all the knowledge of all the ancient rabbis and he became innocent. But in becoming innocent he again entered that original state of Adam before he had eaten the fruit of knowledge.
I have heard:
Two university professors are walking around the campus. They are well-known historians and are voicing their respective opinions about Jesus. When they are about to part, one says thoughtfully, “You know, he was really a good fellow, but he didn’t publish.”
The professor, the pundit, the knowledgeable person, the scholar, has no understanding about inner experiences. All that he knows is the rubbish of so-called research work, all that he knows is about words. Those words are hollow, they contain nothing, they are meaningless - because meaning arises only out of one’s own experience.
Sufism is an experiment in existential experience. It is not a philosophy; rather, think of it as a ladder. You don’t agree with or believe in a ladder; you don’t believe in it, you don’t disbelieve in it, either. You climb it, and if it breaks you get a new one. Thus to treat Sufism as a system to be believed in or committed to or attached to, is to miss the whole point. It is a ladder, not a belief system. Use it, climb it, go beyond it. It is a boat.
Buddha calls his system a raft: that’s exactly what Sufism is. Use it to go to the other shore, to the further shore, then forget all about it. The truth believed is a lie, the truth borrowed is a lie. My truth cannot be your truth; the moment my truth reaches you, it is no more the same thing. With me, in me, it had the meaning of my experience. When it goes to you, only words reach you - empty, hollow. You can cling to those words, you can believe too much in those words, and you will be lost.
This is something very basic to be remembered, that Sufism is a practical science, it is pragmatic. It does not depend on philosophizing, speculating and guesswork; it points directly to existential experience.
You can know much about love. You can go and look in the libraries, you can look in the Encyclopedia Britannica, and you will know much about love. But it will be about love - it will not be love. To know love, you will have to fall in love; there is no other way, there is no shortcut.
Two Italians in Rome were talking when an airplane flew overhead and one said to the other, “The pope is aboard that plane.”
“No,” said the other, “he is in southern Italy at the summer Vatican.”
“No, he is aboard that plane,” said the other.