Chapter 17: The Manifestation of the Invisible
It is good that there is no map for the temple of God; otherwise even there you would hit yourself on the head with disappointment. You would say, “Oh my god! It is the same thing that I read about in the Gita,” or “It is the same thing that Buddha has already explained!” There too, you would be bored. But fortunately, no map could ever be made of it - and no map will ever be made. Whatever information has been told to you about it so far, none of it is of any use inside the temple; it is only helpful in taking you as far as the entrance. This is why the temple always remains virgin and untouched. This is why, whenever you enter inside the temple, the experience is always unique, incomparable. Even after you have experienced it, you will not be able to tell anyone about it. After the experience you will suddenly realize that anything that can be said will bear no resemblance whatsoever to what the experience really is. What you have seen simply cannot be put into words.
This is why this sutra says that:
.no law can be framed, no guides can exist.
Yet to enlighten the disciple,
the final struggle may be thus expressed.
This final happening, this ultimate phenomenon of life that happens, when you enter the temple leaving everything behind, this experience at the threshold can be described. But this too is only an attempt at describing it. It cannot be completely successful. Some hints can be given, but even those hints will be very difficult to make.
The thirteenth sutra:
Hold fast to that which has neither substance nor existence.
The difficulty is mainly caused by its dual nature.
Hold fast to that which has neither substance nor existence. We know very well what substance is, what matter is, what has form. We know about matter, but we know nothing about the non-material. That’s why people say that the soul is non-material, that it is beyond matter. Matter has form, it has certain attributes. The soul has no form, no attributes. It is formless, without any attributes, so we describe the soul in the language of matter. Matter has substance, soul is without substance. But we know only about what has substance; we have no idea about the non-substantial.
This sutra says that if you want to enter the ultimate truth, then not only will you have to let go of all that which has substance, you will also have to let go of the non-substantial. Not only will you have to let go of form, you will also have to let go of the formless.
Why? It is a little difficult to understand. That’s why these sutras were written after much hesitation. You will have to let go of both the form and the formless. Even the formless has some form, because it can be defined only in the language of things that have a form.
If someone were to ask, “What is formless?” then you would say, “Something which has no form.” The formless too is part of form. Even the formless can never be free of form because it can’t be described without mentioning the word form. So much controversy is happening all the time about whether God has a form or whether he is formless; whether he is someone with attributes or whether he is without attributes. There are many arguments about all this and they have gone on and on for thousands of years.