Chapter 6: The Passion for the Impossible
The first question:
I am not clear. Is being a Sufi a matter of will? Is it a blessing? Or is it something else?
The Sufis have a very beautiful saying. They say, “God is not found by seeking, and never found by those who don’t seek.”
First a man has to seek and then he has to surrender his seeking too - because in the seeking the seeker goes on existing. The seeker is the ego. Of course if you never start seeking, you will never find. You have to be thirsty for God. You have to start moving, groping in the dark.
But don’t become addicted to your groping. A moment comes when you start feeling that your will is not succeeding. But that moment comes only through will, effort, arduous effort. A moment comes when you start feeling your will has failed, that you are utterly defeated. In that utter defeat is the victory. In that utter defeat you surrender. In that utter defeat you start crying. In that utter defeat you say, “Now I cannot do any more. I am finished. Whatsoever I could do I have done.” In that moment when you have this total failure, this feeling of utter defeat, you disappear. You are no longer there. The seeker has disappeared - through seeking.
To seek God is to seek the impossible. By seeking you cannot find it. If you can find God by your seeking then God will be something that you can possess, then God will be in your fist, then God will be your property - then God will not be greater than you. That which you can seek is bound to be smaller than you, it cannot be bigger than you. The lower cannot seek the higher and the smaller cannot seek the bigger.
You cannot possess the infinite, the eternal - that is absurd. But to understand that this is absurd one has to start seeking. You will not know it in any other way. One starts longing for God.that means that one is moving, desiring, longing, for the impossible. That’s why I call religion, the passion for the impossible.
One day or other defeat is absolutely certain. In that defeat something transmutes, transforms. In that defeat the seeker disappears, will disappears - surrender happens. You cannot surrender without that defeat. How can you surrender? Deep down you will continue thinking, “I could have succeeded.” Or you may even think that this surrender is something that you are doing - that you are the doer of the surrender too. But then it is not surrender. Surrender can happen only in utter defeat. Only utter defeat prepares you to surrender - not a single hope remains, not a single ray of light in the dark night of the soul. You have put everything at stake, now nothing is left. You are empty.