Chapter 1: The Wisdom of Innocence
How can a troubled mind
understand the way?
If a man is disturbed
he will never be filled with knowledge.
An untroubled mind,
no longer seeking to consider
what is right and what is wrong,
a mind beyond judgments,
watches and understands.
Know that the body is a fragile jar,
and make a castle of your mind.
In every trial
let understanding fight for you
to defend what you have won.
For soon the body is discarded.
Then what does it feel?
A useless log of wood, it lies on the ground.
Then what does it know?
Your worst enemy cannot harm you
as much as your own thoughts, unguarded.
But once mastered,
no one can help you as much,
not even your father or your mother.
Once I was asked, “What is philosophy?” I said, “Philosophy is the art of asking the wrong questions.” The blind man asking “What is light?” - this is philosophy. The deaf asking “What is music? What is sound?” - this is philosophy.
If the blind man asks, “How can I get my eyes back?” this is no longer philosophy, this is religion. If the deaf goes to the physician to be treated so that he can hear, then he is moving in the direction of religion and not in the direction of philosophy.
Philosophy is guesswork, it is speculation; knowing nothing, one tries to invent the truth. And the truth cannot be invented, and anything invented cannot be true. The truth has to be discovered. It is already there.all that we need is open eyes to see it, a heart of feel it, a being to be present to it. The truth is always present but we are absent, and because we are absent we cannot see the truth. And we go on asking about the truth, and we don’t ask the right question: How to be present? How to become a presence?
We ask about the truth and that asking is also going away from it, because the asking implies that an answer is possible from somebody else. Asking implies that somebody else can tell you what the truth is. Nobody can tell you it, it can’t be told.
Lao Tzu says: The truth that can be said is no longer truth. Once said, it becomes a lie.
Why? - because the person who knows, knows it not as information; otherwise, it would have been very easy to transfer the information to anybody who was ready to receive it. The truth is known as an inner experience. It is like a taste on the tongue. If a man has never tasted what sweetness is, you cannot explain it to him - it is impossible. If a man has not seen color, you cannot explain to him what it is.