Chapter 1: The Ultimate Experience
In his Song of Mahamudra, Tilopa says:
Mahamudra is beyond all words and symbols, but for you, Naropa,
earnest and loyal, must this be said:
The void needs no reliance; Mahamudra rests on naught.
Without making an effort but remaining loose and natural,
one can break the yoke - thus gaining liberation.
The experience of the ultimate is not an experience at all, because the experiencer is lost. And when there is no experiencer, what can be said about it? Who will say it? Who will relate the experience? When there is no subject, the object also disappears; the banks disappear, only the river of experience remains. Knowledge is there, but the knower is not.
That has been the problem for all the mystics. They reach to the ultimate, but they cannot relate it to those who are following. They cannot relate it to others who would like to have an intellectual understanding. They have become one with it. Their whole being relates it, but no intellectual communication is possible. They can give it to you if you are ready to receive; they can allow it to happen in you if you also allow it, if you are receptive and open. But words won’t do, symbols won’t help; theories and doctrines are of no use at all.
The experience is such that it is more like an experiencing than like an experience. It is a process, and it begins, but it never ends. You enter into it, but you never possess it. It is like a drop dropping into the ocean, or the ocean itself dropping into the drop. It is a deep merger, it is oneness: you simply melt away into it. Nothing is left behind, not even a trace, so who will communicate? Who will come back to the world of the valley? Who will come back to this dark night to tell you?
All the mystics all over the world have always felt impotent as far as communication is concerned. Communion is possible, but not communication. This has to be understood from the very beginning. Communion is a totally different dimension: two hearts meet; it is a love affair. Communication is from head to head; communion is from heart to heart, communion is a feeling. Communication is knowledge: only words are given, only words are said, and only words are taken and understood. And words are such.the very nature of words is so dead that nothing alive can be related through them. Even in ordinary life - leave aside the ultimate - even in ordinary experiencing when you have a peak moment, an ecstatic moment, when you really feel something and become something, it becomes impossible to relate it into words.