Chapter 2: Trading Dialogue for Lodging
So a master is never argumentative. And if sometimes he appears to be argumentative, he is just playing with you - and playing for a certain reason. Don’t become a victim. He is playing for a certain reason; he can be argumentative just to find whether your argumentativeness is aroused or not. If it is aroused, you have missed. If you can listen to his argumentativeness without becoming argumentative, he will not play the game with you. He has to look within you. You may be consciously listening, unconsciously argumentative. Then he has to bring your unconscious up so that you can become aware of it.
Sometimes a master will look as if he is aggressive, as if he is bent upon defeating you. But he is never bent upon your defeat - just to defeat your ego, not you; just to destroy your ego, not you. And remember: the ego is the poison, it is destroying you. Once the poison is destroyed you will be free and alive for the first time. An abundance of light will happen to you for the first time. He is destroying the disease, not you.
Sometimes he may have to be argumentative. There have been masters who were very argumentative. It was impossible to defeat them, impossible to play the game of words with them. But they were just helping to bring your consciousness up, so that you can become aware whether your faith is true or not.
It happened: a Sufi, Junnaid, was living with his master. And the master was so argumentative that whatsoever you said, he would immediately negate it. If you said, “It is day,” he would say, “No, it is night” - and it was really not so, it was day.
Whatsoever Junnaid would say, he would always find that the master would negate it. And he would simply bow down his head and say, “Yes, Master, it is night.”
One day the master said, “Junnaid, you have won. I couldn’t create argumentativeness in you. And I was so obviously false that anybody who had never argued anything would say, “What foolishness. It is day. There is no need to argue, it is so obvious.” And still you said, “Yes, Master, it is night.” Your trust is deep. Now I will never be argumentative with you, now I can talk truth, because you are ready.”
When the heart says yes totally, then you are ready to listen. And only then the truth can be revealed to you. If even a slight no remains within you, the truth cannot be said to you, because that “no” will destroy the whole thing. The no, howsoever small, is powerful, very powerful; then the truth will be said but it will not be revealed to you. The no will hide it again.
That’s why I say all debates are futile. And that’s why I go on repeating again and again that the whole effort of philosophy has been useless. It has not reached any conclusion - it cannot.
I will tell you one story, then I will enter this Zen anecdote.
Once it happened, a great prime minister of a very great emperor died. The prime minister was rare, very intelligent, almost wise, very cunning, shrewd, a great diplomat, and it was very difficult to find a substitute. The whole kingdom was searched. All the ministers were sent to find at least three people; then the final decision will be taken and one of them will be chosen.