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Chapter 5: The Pilgrims of Love

Philosophy is against religion - notwithstanding what the philosophers go on saying. There cannot be a religious philosophy as such; all philosophies are anti-religious - because all philosophies search for knowledge, and religion searches for being. And these are diametrically opposite dimensions: knowledge is superficial, peripheral; being is central, essential. Being is when you are not, knowledge is when you are too much. Knowledge is an ego trip, being is egolessness.

Philosophy will give you ideas that you know, and religion will make it clear to you that you don’t know and that you can’t know - that truth is not only unknown, but unknowable. And when you face the unknowable truth within and without, the poetry bursts forth, you are in a dance.

In that innocence is samadhi, ecstasy.

So remember it, that religion is not any philosophic endeavor. It is poetic, utterly poetic; religion is poetry. It is not an accident that many great mystics have spoken in poetry. Kabir is one - his poetry is immensely beautiful. He knows nothing of language, he knows nothing of grammar, but whatsoever he says is pure poetry. He does not bother about the forms, the styles; he knows nothing of poetics. But he is a poet, and one of the greatest.

Sometimes, if the heart has poetry, even prose becomes poetry. And sometimes, when the heart has no poetry, even poetry is prose. Poetry does not depend on the form of the expression, it depends on the content - it depends on the innermost core that is expressed in it.

Plato, one of the greatest philosophers of the world, has said that in his utopian state, “Republic,” poets would not be allowed; poets would be thought of almost like criminals. Why? What is wrong with the poet? There is something wrong with the poet in the eyes of a philosopher - because the poet is illogical and the poet remains in the state of innocence and the poet trusts the mystery of life. And the poet does not try to know; the poet tries to live this mystery, this existence. He is not worried about the why of it, he is not concerned with analyzing it, dissecting it.

When he comes across a flower he enjoys it. He loves it. He talks with the flower, he communicates, he dances around it, he celebrates it. But he is not bothered why this flower is red or yellow: “Why is this flower there at all? Why? Accidentally? or is there a plan behind it?” No, the why never happens to the poet. He takes things as they are - he does not go into their past, he does not go to the original cause, and he does not bother about the ultimate end. This moment is all for the poet; he is absorbed in the here and the now.

And religion is the ultimate form of poetry, the essential form of poetry. So I say to you: One must understand the Ah! of things, and then all is understood. Remember, understanding is not knowledge, knowledge is not understanding. Knowledge is objective, understanding is subjective. You understand when you love. Knowledge is possible only when you are not involved in any kind of sympathy - love, compassion.

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