Chapter 17: The Voice That Is Soundless
It is written that for him who is on the threshold of divinity no law can be framed, no guide can exist. Yet to enlighten the disciple, the final struggle may be thus expressed:
Hold fast to that which has neither substance nor existence.
It is written that for him who is on the threshold of divinity no law can be framed, no guide can exist. The ultimate is uncharted. Nothing can be said about it because nothing that can be said will be true - for so many reasons. It remains indefinable, uncharted, unknown. Not only unknown, but, in a sense, unknowable.
The first reason: those who enter it are dissolved into it. They cannot remain themselves. They are totally destroyed by it. They are reborn, they are totally new. And only the old can define.
Try to understand this: only the old can define. If I see you and I have seen you before, I recognize you immediately. Who recognizes you? - the past. Because I had known you before, I remember your face, I recognize you. Recognition comes from the past. But if my mind is totally washed clean and I have completely forgotten the past, or if my memory is eliminated and there is no connection with the past, I cannot recognize you. One who enters the ultimate loses his past completely so he cannot recognize what is happening now. There is no reference.
Secondly: you can recognize only that which you have known before. And the phenomenon of the divine is absolutely unknown. You have never known it before. In what terms to interpret it, to define it? You don’t have any reference, you don’t have any terms, you don’t have any definitions. The experience is so absolutely new - how to translate it into language?
Thirdly: when you enter the ultimate, language becomes impossible because all language is based on duality. You define life by death; you may not be aware of this absurdity. You define matter by mind, you define mind by matter. If someone asks “What is matter?” you say “That which is not mind.” But are you sure? What is mind? Then you define mind as that which is not matter. So you are moving in circles.
When you are asked about matter you talk about the mind as if you know the mind. You say “That which is not mind.” But if someone asks you “What is mind?” you start defining it in terms of matter: “That which is not matter.” Both are unknown. But you are playing tricks with yourself. When one is asked, you define it by the other. When the other is asked, you define it by the first - and both are indefinable.
As far as worldly activities are concerned it’s okay to do this. It’s utilitarian, helpful. Not true, but utilitarian. But when you enter the ultimate, this dualism cannot be of any help. You cannot define the divine by anything that is against it because nothing is against it. It is the whole.