Chapter 8: The Fully Drowned
I am unable to give you the truth. If anyone says he is capable of giving it to you, you can be certain he is giving you an untruth from the very beginning. No one is capable to give the truth. This is no comment on the capacity of the giver, it only shows that truth is a living thing. It is not a material object that can be given or taken. It is a living experience and an experience one must obtain by oneself.
Dead objects can be given or taken, not experiences. Can I transfer to you the love, the experience of love that I have had? Can I give you the experience of beauty and the music that I have had? How I wish I could hand over the bliss which has happened in such an extraordinary way to this ordinary looking body of mine! But there is no way to do so. I am with pain in wishing to share this, but there is no way. This is such helplessness.
A friend of mine was born blind. How I wished I could transfer my sight to him, but it wasn’t possible. Perhaps one day it may become possible because eyes are parts of the body and may be capable of being transplanted. But the sight that sees the truth can never be transferred, no matter how strongly one might wish it. It belongs to the realm of the soul, not to the realm of the body.
Whatever is attained in the world of the soul is only attained directly for oneself. In the world of the soul, no borrowing, no dependence on others is possible. Nobody can walk there on borrowed legs. There is no other refuge there except in oneself. To attain to truth one must be one’s own refuge. This is the inescapable condition.
This is why I said I am incapable of giving you the truth. Only words are passed on in the transfer, words that are lifeless and dead - the truth is always left behind. And the communication of words alone is not really a communication at all. That which is alive in them - that meaning, that experience which is their life - does not go with them. They are like empty cartridges. They are like dead bodies, corpses. They can only be a burden to you; they can never liberate you. In words you only receive the corpse of truth, there is no heartbeat of truth in it.
As I said, truth cannot be given. But I can be of some assistance in helping you set down this load that has been put on you and made heavier and heavier over the centuries. It is a must to be free from this burden of words. Just as dust covers a traveler while he is walking along the road, the dust of words and thoughts gathers on one during the journey through life. This is only natural. But it is necessary to brush this dust off.
Words are dead things; they are not the truth. Nobody’s words are the truth. Do not collect them. Collecting them is harmful. The pilgrimage to truth cannot be made carrying this crushing weight. Just as a climber must lay down his pack before scaling a mountain to seek the heights, one who has embarked on the journey to truth had better lay down the burden of words. A consciousness free of words becomes capable of attaining the lofty heights of truth.