Chapter 8: Man Is Not Rational
Although this Logos is eternally valid,
yet men are unable to understand it -
not only before hearing it,
but even after they have heard it.
We should let ourselves be guided
by what is common to all.
Yet, although the Logos is common to all,
most men live as if each of them
had a private intelligence of his own.
Human nature has no real understanding;
only the divine nature has it.
Man is not rational;
only what encompasses him is intelligent.
What is divine escapes men’s notice
because of their incredulity.
Although intimately connected with the Logos,
men keep setting themselves against it.
How can anyone hide from that which never sets?
The logos is the logic of the whole, the logic of the existence itself. The logos is the ultimate law. It is the same as what Lao Tzu calls Tao, what the Upanishads and Vedas have called the Rit: the cosmic harmony where opposites meet and disappear, where two become one, where no polarity exists, where all paradoxes are dissolved, all contradictions disappear. What Shankara calls the brahma, Heraclitus calls the logos.
The human mind is logical, and human logic is based on the polarity. It is as if you are standing on one bank of the river and you cannot see the other bank, and whatsoever you think about the bank belongs only to this bank - but the river flows with two banks, it cannot flow with one. The other may be hiding in mist, it may be so far away that you cannot see it, but the other is there. And the other bank is not opposite to this bank, because deep down in the river they meet. They are one land and they both support the river like two hands, or like two wings. The river flows between them, the river is a harmony of the two. But you are standing on one bank; you cannot see the other, so you simply believe in this bank - and you create a system which is based on the knowledge of this bank. And when somebody talks about the other bank you think he is contradicting you, you think that he is bringing something irrational, mysterious. And the other is bound to be opposite because only the tension of the opposites can hold the river. But the oppositeness is not enmity, the oppositeness is a deep friendship; it is the peak of love.
This is the problem to be solved. If you can solve this you can understand Heraclitus and you can understand all those who have become awakened, who have known the other shore. Whatsoever they say will be contradictory because they have to comprehend both. They have to comprehend winter and summer both, day and night both, life and death both, love and hate both, the peak and the valley both.