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Chapter 7: On the Utility of Not-Being

The boy looked into it but he couldn’t see any sugar; it had dissolved, it had become water.

Then the father said, “You taste it.”

The boy tasted; it was sweet. And the father said, “Look, just like this. You may not be able to decide what is being and what is non-being; they are melting into each other just like water and sugar. You can taste and you can know that this water contains sugar. You may not be able to separate them right now - in fact nobody can ever separate them because they are not separate.”

Water and sugar can be separated - that was just a device to make the child understand - but non-being and being cannot be separated, life and death cannot be separated. It is impossible. They are not separate, how can you separate them? They always exist together. In fact to say that they exist together is not to say it rightly, because the very word together carries the concept of twoness. They are not two, they are one. They only appear two.

From where have you come? Have you ever pondered over this very basic problem? - from where have you come? Nothingness. Where are you moving, where are you going? Nothingness. From nothingness to nothingness.and just in between two nothingnesses arises being. The river of being flows between two banks of nothingnesses. Being is beautiful, but non-being is also beautiful. Life is good, but death is also good - because life cannot exist without death. Ordinarily you think that death is against life, that it destroys. No, you are wrong. Without death life cannot exist for a single moment. It supports it. It is the very base. Because you can die, that’s why you can live. Life and death are not two things but two wings - two wings of the same phenomenon.

Science has always thought that religion talks in paradoxes, is irrational, illogical. But just within the past few years in science, particularly in physics, a phenomenon has arisen which can be very helpful to understand this meeting of being and non-being. The phenomenon is called the black hole. Science has come somehow to feel that in space there exist a few spaces which are holes, black holes - non-beings. In the beginning it was difficult to conceive of it, but now by and by the concept is becoming clearer and clearer - because science also feels that everything exists with its opposite. How can existence exist without nonexistence? Life exists with death, love exists with hate, compassion with anger - how can existence just exist without nonexistence being there somehow involved in it? It has to be there.

They searched, and now a man has got a Nobel prize for the discovery of the black holes. The black holes are non-existential holes in space where nothing exists, not even space. And they are very dangerous phenomena because if something goes into a black hole it simply disappears, because the black hole turns everything into nonexistence.

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