Look at it in this way. Whenever we are aware of anything, we have divided existence into two: the object and the subject. If I see you, I have already divided the existence in two: the seer and the seen. If I love you, I have divided the existence into two: the lover and the beloved. Any act of consciousness is a division, it creates a duality.
Again, when you are unconscious, there is no duality. If you are deep asleep, existence is one. There is no duality. But there you are not aware of it. When you are unconscious, existence is one but you are not aware of it. When you are aware of it, you have divided by the very act of awareness. And now you don’t know existence, you know something which has been created by your awareness. When you reach a third point – when you are aware and not conscious of duality, fully conscious without any object – then you have reached the ultimate goal.
A man asleep is just like a sage. A sage is just like a man asleep, with only one difference: the man who is asleep is not aware of where he is, of what he is, and the sage is aware. But he is just like the man asleep because there is no division. He knows, yet without dividing existence. One has to pass from unconscious to conscious and then to superconscious. This is what is meant: ignorance, learning, unlearning.
We can divide it in many ways: one is a nastik, an atheist. He says there is no God – this is the first stage – everyone is. The second is one who says there is God, an astik, a theist. And the third is again: there is no God. The third is the ultimate aim, when astik again becomes nastik. When he who was saying there is God, says there is no God, because even to say that there is God is to create a duality. Who is the sayer? Who is to declare whom?
Buddha is such a nastik. He says there is no God. This is the ultimate goal. He is just like a nastik, not really a nastik. He is the supreme theist possible. But then duality cannot be, so he cannot say there is God. Who can say that there is God? Now only one remains, so any assertion will be violence against the one. So Buddha keeps quiet, he remains silent. And if you insist, he says there is no God.
He is simply saying this: “Now ‘I am alone’ is my existence.” Any assertion will create a duality.
So a nastik, an atheist, has to learn to be a theist and then unlearn again. If you go on clinging to your theism, you have not reached the goal. You are just on the bridge and you are falsely believing the bridge to be the goal. So, inwardly, not only are images to be thrown – ultimately, that one is also to be thrown of which those images were made. First disperse God’s mud images and then, ultimately, disperse God also. Only then do you become a god yourself.
Then the worshiper himself becomes the worshiped. Then the lover himself becomes the beloved. Then the seeker himself becomes the sought. Only then have you reached, because now there is no further search, no further inquiry. So inwardly we will have to create many images, thought images, and then go on dispersing them.