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Chapter 26: The Alchemy of Enlightenment

Buddha, Mahavira, Bodhidharma, Shankara, Nagarjuna, Mohammed, Jesus, J. Krishnamurti, they were all traveling, going continuously. Mohammed has countered the proverb about the well and the thirsty, and countered it in such a beautiful way. He says, “If the mountain cannot come to Mohammed, then Mohammed will go to the mountain.” These are masters.

Not that they are against the mystics; basically they agree that it is difficult, almost impossible to communicate, to say anything about the truth, about self-realization. It is beyond words, beyond language; they agree on that point. But still the masters say that some indirect ways can be always tried, and there is no harm.

There is no direct way of translating the inner experience into the outer languages, but ways can be found, devices can be created in which something may be said, may not be said, but may be heard. The emphasis is not that the truth can be said. On that, the mystics and the masters agree: it cannot be said. But the masters disagree with the mystics on one point: that it may not be said but it can be heard - through the eyes of the master, through the presence of the master, through his love, through his compassion, through his silence, just being with him. Nothing is said, but somebody’s heart may start dancing, a song may arise.

In the presence of the master, the disciple may become aware that the ordinary human life is not all there is; there is something more. Even to make them aware that there is something more - greater peace, deeper silence, overflowing ecstasy - perhaps they may start searching for it; perhaps they may become seekers. And what is the harm? If nobody listens, then still the effort is worth making. The mystic and the master both have the same experience, but they have different views about its transfer - and both seem to be right.

My own understanding is this: that the mystics are of a more ordinary variety. They come from the categories of human beings who are not articulate, who are not poets, who are not painters, who are not musicians, who are not dancers. They come from the common masses.

And the master is more articulate, more talented. If he cannot say, he will paint; if he cannot say, he will sculpt; if he cannot say, he will dance; if he cannot say, he will sing - and singing, dancing, painting or any other creative art may become a vehicle for that which language is not capable of.

And there are people who are articulate with language too; they can speak in such a way that through the words they can send the wordless message to you. The words will be only the package; the content will be the wordless. The words will be only the container. But for that, a very articulate person is needed, who can use language in such a way that it becomes music, that it becomes poetry, that it becomes silence; that it becomes not only that which it says but also that which remains unsaid. Language can become a vehicle - now the emphasis will be on those who are listening. Much will depend on those who are listening.

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