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Chapter 9: A Philosopher Asks Buddha

A philosopher came to Buddha one day and asked, “Without words, without the wordless, will you tell me the truth?”

The Buddha kept silence.

The philosopher bowed and thanked Buddha, saying, “With your loving kindness I have cleared away my delusions and entered the true path.”

After the philosopher had gone Ananda asked Buddha what the philosopher had attained.

The Buddha replied, “A good horse runs even at the shadow of the whip.”

A philosopher came to Buddha one day and asked, “Without words, without the wordless, will you tell me the truth?”

It is very rarely that a philosopher comes to a buddha. It is almost impossible. But whenever it happens, it can become a revolution, it can become a transformation in the philosopher. Why is it so impossible that a philosopher comes to Buddha? Because philosophy and religion are very antagonistic; their approach is totally opposite, diametrically opposite.

Philosophy believes in thinking and religion believes in trust. A thinker doubts easily, but cannot trust so easily. A doubting mind is needed to be a philosopher, a very skeptical mind. To be religious deep trust is needed - not at all skeptical, not doubting at all. The philosopher lives through logic; the religious man lives through love, and there is no way to help love and logic meet. There is no way; they never meet, their paths never cross each other. They may run parallel - just like the railway tracks - but they never meet. They may be very close, but they always run parallel. Even if you think they meet somewhere, it is an illusion.

Just stand at a railway track and see the rails running parallel: on the faraway distant horizon you will think they are meeting. They are not meeting, that is an illusion. Go to that point and you will find they are still parallel. Two parallel lines can never meet. Heart and head are parallel lines, they never meet. You can take a jump, from one line you can go to the other - that’s possible. You can take a jump from the head to the heart, but there is no continuity; it is a jump.

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