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Chapter 1: Toward the Awakening

Your presence is the problem, your absence is the door. These rishis have become total nobodies. We do not even know their names; we do not know who wrote these Upanishads, who communicated them. They have not signed them. No photograph of them exists, no knowledge about their lives. They have simply become absent. They have said whatsoever is true, but just as a vehicle. They have not been in any way involved in the expression. They have made themselves completely absent so the message becomes totally present.

These Upanishads are eternal. They do not belong to this country, they do not belong to any religion. They do not belong, they cannot belong, to anybody. They belong only to those who are ready to take a jump into nothingness.

I have chosen to talk about the Upanishads because to me they represent one of the purest expressions of the ultimate that is possible, if it is possible at all. Really, it is difficult, in a sense impossible, to convey through the mind that which is known beyond mind. In a sense, it is absolutely impossible to say something about that which is felt when you are in the deepest of silences. When words do not exist within you, when verbalization ceases completely, when intellect is no more functioning, when the mind is not there at all to memorize, then it happens: then you experience. And when the mind comes back, when the memory starts functioning, when the intellect takes possession of you again, the experience has already passed.

The experience is not there now: only echoes of it, only vibrations of it are left. Only they can be captured, and through the mind only they can be expressed. That is why it has always been impossible, very very difficult, for those who have known to say something. Those who do not know anything, they can say much. But for those who know it becomes more and more difficult to say something because whatsoever they say appears false. They can compare the experience with its expressions because they have a living experience. Now they can feel what language is doing to it: it is falsifying it.

When a lived experience comes into words, it looks dead, pale. A lived experience which is total, in which your whole being dances and celebrates, when it is expressed through the intellect looks just dull, of no significance.

Those who do not know, they can talk much because they have nothing with which to compare. They have no original experience; they cannot know what they are doing. Once someone knows, he knows what a problem it is to express it.

Many have remained totally silent and many have remained completely unknown because of that - because we can only know about someone who speaks. The moment someone speaks he enters society. When someone stops speaking he leaves society, he is no more part of it. Language is the milieu in which society exists. It is just like blood: blood circulates in you and you exist. Language circulates within society and the society exists. Without language there is no society. So those who have remained silent, they have fallen out of it. We have forgotten them. Really, we have never known them.

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