Chapter 34: The Power of Nothingness
In India, this has been my experience. Thirty years ago somebody passed his master’s degree or became a PhD, became a professor; and for thirty years he has not bothered about what has happened in his subject. In thirty years human knowledge has increased more than has been possible in the past even three thousand years. In thirty years we have discovered, known more, than in three thousand years.
Now a professor who is unaware of these thirty years of development is absolutely incapable. He should not be a professor in the university because he will be teaching his students something which is already out of date, already proved wrong. Something else has taken its place.
I was expelled from many colleges and universities - not that I had done anything wrong, but for a simple reason: the professors could not cope with me. I was fully aware of the thirty years’ development, and in front of the class they felt embarrassed.
The professor of logic knew about Aristotle, but he had no knowledge of Ludwig Wittgenstein. And Ludwig Wittgenstein has completely transcended Aristotelian logic, Albert Einstein has completely destroyed the very roots of Aristotelian logic.
In Aristotle, either something is right or something is wrong. It is either-or logic, simple. But the findings of Albert Einstein in physics proved that reality is not so simple. Between yes and no there are many grades. There are points when you cannot say yes and you cannot say no - just in the middle - and they too are real.
One logician had to find a word for it, because if somebody asks you a question, either you say yes or you say no; but the reality may be exactly in the middle. In human languages there is no word for that middle position. One logician has invented a word po: neither yes nor no. po means exactly in the middle of both.
So when I introduced the word po, my professor looked at me. He said, “You are crazy or something? No dictionary mentions this word. From where have you got this word po? What kind of answer is this? And what am I to make out of it? I am asking a simple question, whether this line is straight or not, and you say ‘po.’ Either the line is straight or the line is not straight.”
I said, “You are thirty years behind in geometry, logic, physics, because physics has proved that there are no straight lines. There is no possibility of drawing a straight line. Euclid’s definition is no longer applicable.”
The definition that has prevailed for thousands of years is: The shortest distance between two points is the straight line. But Albert Einstein found that the straight line is illusory. If you go on drawing the line bigger and bigger and bigger, you will find it becomes a curve, because the earth is round. If you draw it to its extreme conclusion, it will become a circle. Now any part of a circle cannot be straight, it is only an arc.