Chapter 8: The Wanderer
Rabindranath says that he is in search of God.perhaps God too is the ultimate excuse for wandering - perhaps the best excuse, because you will never find him; the wandering will remain eternal. That is the beauty of God - you can long for him, but you cannot find him; nobody has ever found him. The people who deny God are not aware of the deep psychology behind the fiction of God. They don’t know that if you deny God, if you deny paradise, if you deny the afterlife, you are denying movement for man.
If you deny soul, if you deny consciousness, if you say consciousness is nothing but a by-product of matter as the communists say.. The way Karl Marx has defined consciousness is as a by-product of matter, nothing much. Whether he is right or wrong is not the question, the question is that if he is accepted he has destroyed your every possibility of movement. He has denied you the exploration of the unknown and the unknowable.
Rabindranath says, “I was in search of God, and once in a while I would see him far away, near a star. But by the time I would reach that star, lives would have passed and God would have moved somewhere else. And the search continued.. One day, suddenly, I reached a place before a beautiful palace, and on the signboard it said in golden letters ‘The House of God.’ First I was thrilled - thrilled that I had made it after all - and I rushed up the many steps leading to the door of the palace.
“But just as I was going to knock on the door, a thought suddenly paralyzed me - my hand remained paralyzed, without knocking, near the door - a thought that ‘If in reality this is the house of God and he opens the door, then I am finished. My whole joy was the search, my whole joy was looking for God. After meeting God, what am I going to do?’”
A great fear grips him. He takes his shoes off and, carrying them in his hands, goes back down the steps. He is afraid - although he has not knocked on the door, hearing the noise of the shoes, of footsteps, God himself may open the door and say, “Where are you going? I am here.”
“And then I ran away from that house, faster than I had ever run before. Now I am again searching for God. I know where he lives, so I can avoid that place and go on searching all over the universe. The search continues, my adventure continues, my excitement continues, the tomorrow remains meaningful - and I am fortunate that I know that even by accident I cannot reach his house. I have seen his house, and I have also seen that he is just an excuse; my real desire is to explore the unknown.
“God was just a name, I had never really thought about all its implications. If you really meet him, what are you going to do? It will be very embarrassing. What are you going to say? And then there is no tomorrow, you have come to the full stop - because there is nothing beyond God; God is the very beyond.”
I have loved that small poem very much; it gives insight into the human spirit. The human spirit is nothing but a longing - longing for the unknown, longing to know more, longing to be more, longing to explore uncharted seas, unclimbed mountains, unreached stars.