Chapter 1: The Tale of the Sands
If you can find a place, a space, where belief is not imposed on you but trust is helped, find that place. That is the right place where you can really grow and grow into freedom. There is no other growth - growth in freedom is the only growth.
I said to you that Sufism is not a philosophy, but it is not anti-philosophy either. It simply takes no note of philosophies, anti-philosophies. It bypasses them, it is indifferent. It says: Why be bothered with words while reality is available? When you can drink the water, why be worried about the theories about water? When you can go in the sun and dance with the sun rays, why be bothered about theories? Why not have an experience, an authentic experience? Philosophy goes round and round; it is about and about. It never penetrates the core of truth. It thinks about truth, but to think about truth is to falsify. Truth has to be encountered, not thought about. Truth has to be lived not believed. Truth is not a conclusion: you don’t arrive at truth by a syllogistic process. Truth is there! You are truth, the trees are truth, the birds are truth, the sun, the moon. The truth is all over the place, and you close your eyes and you think about truth? All thinking will take you astray.
There is no need to think. Live it! Only by living do you come to know it.
Sufism is not a way of thinking but a way of life, a way of living; not a philosophy of life but a way of life.
I said Sufism is not speculative. Speculation means that you think about things you have not known. Now this is foolish. Speculation means a blind man thinking about light, a deaf man thinking about music. When you think about the ultimate reality do you think you are in any way different from the blind man thinking about light? You have not seen it, you have not tasted anything divine, and you go on thinking. What will you do? Yes, mind is very clever and it can spin and weave beautiful systems, but those systems are just irrelevant. Good or bad, logical, illogical - they are just irrelevant. They have no relevance to reality, they have no context in reality, they are mind games.
Sufism is not a mind game; that’s why it is practical, absolutely practical. If you ask a Sufi about the divine, he will laugh, or he will sing a song which has no reference to it, or he will tell you a story in which it is never mentioned, or he will say something which seems absolutely unrelated to the question. He is simply saying, “Don’t be foolish. Let us be practical.” You ask about the ultimate and he will talk about prayerfulness. A true Sufi will avoid the subject. He will talk about prayerfulness; prayerfulness is practical. You ask about paradise and he will talk about your misery and how to drop it - that is practical. Because paradise is not somewhere else, when you have dropped your miserable ways, you are in paradise, or to be more true, you are paradise.