Chapter 9: The Man Who Has Conquered Himself
The story represents everybody’s mind. But I was in for a surprise yesterday. I was reading a book by Silvano Arieti, MD, and James Silvano Arieti, PhD. In their book, Love Can Be Found, they quote this story. I was hoping, obviously, that they would laugh at the story and criticize the whole standpoint. But I was in for a surprise: they defended the story; they say the professor did the right thing. Rather than entering directly into the door of love and paradise, entering into the auditorium where a lecture was being delivered on love and paradise - of course by some other professor - they say the professor did the right thing. Why? Their reasoning is that unless you know about love, how can you know love? Unless you know about paradise first, how can you immediately enter paradise?
On the surface it looks logical: first one has to become acquainted with what paradise is, only then can one enter paradise. First you have to have a map; knowledge provides you with a map, Logical, still stupid; logical only in appearance, but deep down utterly unintelligent.
Love needs no information about it, because it is not something outside you, it is the very core of your being. You have already got it, you have only to allow it to flow. Paradise is not somewhere else, so that you need a map to reach there. You are in paradise, you have only fallen asleep. All that is needed is an awakening.
An awakening can be immediate, awakening can be sudden - in fact, awakening can only be sudden. When you wake somebody up, it is not that slowly, slowly, in parts, gradually, he wakes up. It is not that now he is ten percent awake, now twenty, now thirty, now forty, now ninety-nine, now ninety-nine point nine, and then a hundred percent - no. When you shake a sleepy person, he awakes immediately. One is either asleep or one is awake; there is no place in between. Hence Buddha says enlightenment is a sudden experience; it is not gradual, it is not that you arrive in steps. Enlightenment cannot be divided into parts; it is an indivisible, organic unity. Either you have it or you don’t have it.
But man has remained clinging to words - words which are hollow, words which carry no meaning, words which have no significance, words which have been uttered by people as ignorant as you are. Maybe they were educated, but education does not dispel ignorance. Knowing about light is not going to dispel darkness. You can know all that is available in the world about light; you can have a library in your room consisting only of books on light, yet that whole library will not be able to dispel darkness. To dispel darkness you will need a small candle - that will do the miracle.
Looking into the Encyclopedia Britannica, I was happy to note that it has no articles on love. That’s a great insight! In fact, nothing can be written about love. One can love, one can be in love, one can even become love, but nothing can be written about love. The experience is so subtle and the words are so gross.
It is because of words that humanity has been divided. A few people believe in a few hollow words - they call themselves Hindus; others believe in a few other hollow words - they call themselves Jews; still others call themselves Christians and Mohammedans, and so on, so forth. And they all believe in hollow words. It is not that you have experienced anything. Your being a Hindu or a Jew or a Mohammedan is not based on your own experience - it is borrowed. And anything borrowed is futile.