Chapter 4: Beyond Justifications
There are no spiritual scriptures. Yes, there are scriptures that are pointers towards spirituality, but all pointers are basically psychological. They should not be seen as spiritual. Spirituality is something that is attained by finding a pointer, and there is no way to articulate such spiritual attainment - not even partially. Even its reflection is not possible.
There are reasons for this. It will be good to look at a few of them briefly.
Firstly, when a spiritual experience takes place, in that moment, no thought exists in the mind. How can an experience where thought is not present be expressed with the help of thought? Only the experience in which thought is present, only the experience in which thought is a testifier, can be expressed through thought. But thought is unable to express the experience in which thought is not present.
Spiritual experience is an experience of no thought. Thought does not exist in that moment; hence it is unable to bring forth any message about that experience. That is why the Upanishads keep relentlessly saying, “neti, neti.” They are saying, “neither this, nor that.” If you ask them what it is, they say, “neither this, nor that.” Whatsoever man can say, it is nothing of that.
Then what is this experience that falls beyond all expression?
Buddha even forbade eleven questions from being asked to him. “There are dangers involved,” he said. “If I don’t answer, I will appear to be hard on you. If I answer, then it will be an injustice towards the truth - because these questions cannot be answered. So please don’t ask them, don’t put me in difficulty.”
So when he would visit a village it would be announced that no one should ask these eleven questions. These eleven questions are related to spirituality.
When people pressed Lao Tzu to write down his experiences, he would say, “Please, don’t put me in difficulty, because whatsoever I may write will not be my experience. And there is no way to put into words the experience that is mine, that I would like to write about.”
But people didn’t listen to him. So finally, under pressure from his friends and loved ones, he wrote his book. But right in the beginning of the book he wrote, “That which can be said is not the truth. The truth is that which cannot be said. Keep this in mind when you are reading my book.”
In this world, whosoever has the experience of spirituality has also felt that it should not be expressed. It simply cannot be expressed. The mystics keep saying that to give expression to this experience is like a dumb person trying to describe the taste of molasses. Not that the dumb person does not know the taste of molasses; he knows, but he is unable to describe it.