Chapter 1: The World of Tantra
Really, any question can be tackled in two ways: philosophically or totally, intellectually or existentially. For example, if someone asks, “What is love?” you can tackle it intellectually, you can discuss, you can propose theories, you can argue for a particular hypothesis. You can create a system, a doctrine - and you may not have known love at all.
To create a doctrine, experience is not needed. Really, on the contrary, the less you know the better because then you can propose a system unhesitatingly. Only a blind man can easily define what light is. When you do not know you are bold. Ignorance is always bold; knowledge hesitates. And the more you know, the more you feel that the ground underneath is dissolving. The more you know, the more you feel how ignorant you are. And those who are really wise, they become ignorant. They become as simple as children, or as simple as idiots.
The less you know, the better. To be philosophical, to be dogmatic, to be doctrinaire - this is easy. To tackle a problem intellectually is very easy. But to tackle a problem existentially - not just to think about it, but to live it through, to go through it, to allow yourself to be transformed through it - is difficult. That is, to know love one will have to be in love. That is dangerous because you will not remain the same. The experience is going to change you. The moment you enter love, you enter a different person. And when you come out you will not be able to recognize your old face; it will not belong to you. A discontinuity will have happened. Now there is a gap, the old man is dead and the new man has come. That is what is known as rebirth - being twice-born.
Tantra is non-philosophical and existential. So of course Devi asks questions which appear to be philosophical, but Shiva is not going to answer them that way. So it is better to understand it in the beginning; otherwise you will be puzzled, because Shiva is not going to answer a single question. All the questions that Devi is asking, Shiva is not going to answer at all. And still he answers! And really, only he has answered them and no one else - but on a different plane.
Devi asks, “What is your reality, my lord?” He is not going to answer it. On the contrary, he will give a technique. And if Devi goes through this technique, she will know. So the answer is round-about; it is not direct. He is not going to answer “Who am I.” He will give a technique - do it and you will know.
For Tantra, doing is knowing, and there is no other knowing. Unless you do something, unless you change, unless you have a different perspective to look at, to look with, unless you move in an altogether different dimension than the intellect, there is no answer. Answers can be given - they are all lies. All philosophies are lies. You ask a question and the philosophy gives you an answer. It satisfies you or doesn’t satisfy you. If it satisfies you, you become a convert to the philosophy, but you remain the same. If it doesn’t satisfy you, you go on searching for some other philosophy to be converted to. But you remain the same; you are not touched at all, you are not changed.