Chapter 7: Thanks for the Compliment!
Mahavira said that; his philosophy is known as saptabhangi - sevenfold. He must have appeared a very strange man. You asked one question and he would always answer your one question with seven answers, because his philosophy was sevenfold. He said, “I have come to see the seven aspects of the inner world.” You asked him, “Does God exist?” and he would say, “First: perhaps he exists. Second: perhaps he does not. Third: perhaps he exists and yet does not exist. And fourth: perhaps he neither exists nor does not exist.” And so on and so forth. He would give you seven answers. You would leave him more confused than you had come. That’s why he could not influence many people. His religion remained one of the smallest although it had the potential of becoming one of the greatest religions of the world.
But now the days of Mahavira are coming. Albert Einstein has made the way for it. As the physicist entered deeper into the mysteries of matter he was very much puzzled - Aristotle no longer works, no longer helps. On the contrary, if you remain hung up with Aristotle you have to deny a few things which you cannot deny - they are there.
For example: matter does not exist at the deepest level of matter; matter is only apparent, it is maya. Shankara said it thousands of years ago: it is illusion. By “illusion” he does not mean that it does not exist; by “illusion” he simply means it appears to exist - something else exists. Don’t be deceived by the appearance. And the scientist found himself entering more into the world of Shankara than into the world of Aristotle. Matter disappears, there is only energy - energy moving so fast that you cannot see its movement and it gives you the idea of solid matter.
Nothing is solid, everything is liquid. And when there is nothing solid, what meaning can the word liquid have? Then a new problem arises: if there is nothing solid, what do you mean by “liquid”? Liquidity had meaning only in reference to solidity; the moment solidity disappears, liquidity disappears - and you are dumb, in awe.
Only energy is, and the ways of energy are very paradoxical, very mystical. One particle of energy jumps from its place to another place; it is continuously lumping. It is taking quantum leaps. The term quantum leap comes from quanta. “Quanta” means the ultimate particles of energy, and “quantum leap” means a very different leap from what you understand by the word leap.
When the ultimate particle of energy jumps from place A to B the phenomenon is very mysterious: it simply disappears from A and appears at B and you cannot find it anywhere in between. You come from your place to me; you will be found in between. How can you just jump from your place to my place? Even if you jump, you will have to pass through. Even if you take the fastest plane, still you will be in between. But the ultimate particle of matter simply disappears from one place and appears at another place and you cannot find it in between at all. Now what to make out of it? It should not be so, but it is so.