It depends on how you look at the world. A lover looks with different eyes. When the lover comes to the ultimate experience, he knows now everything has become one. But he says that if this oneness is simply oneness, just oneness, it is dead. It is an alive oneness, it is an alive, dynamic phenomenon. It is a constant movement between the two shores. It is a constant unity, a movement, a live process. It is not a dead unity. And reality can be looked at with quite contradictory outlooks.
The mathematical mind, the mind of an observer, a detached observer – that is the path of knowledge, knowing – he will say either the duality exists or oneness, but both together are impossible. This is a logical approach: “How can you say that oneness exists while two are still there? Either dissolve the two, then there is oneness; or don’t talk of oneness, talk of two.” And he is right also in his own way. It is his approach.
He says, “Either you have achieved oneness…then there is neither the lover nor the beloved. Both have disappeared. There is no distinction. You cannot talk about the beloved, of the divine. You cannot talk of the devotee. It is nonsense. Stop! Or, if you are still continuing to talk in terms of duality, then you have not come to oneness – because both cannot exist simultaneously.”
This is just a mathematical approach. But mathematics is not life, and life allows even the opposite, even the contradictory. So I will explain it in a different way. It will be easier.
This century has seen one of the greatest revolutions in science, and that is the dethronement of mathematics. With the discovery of the electron, the old rationalistic approach became absurd, out of date.
You might have heard about Immanuel Kant, a German philosopher. He had two cats. One was a smaller one, the other was a bigger one, and both the cats would sleep with him. But there was a difficulty. Sometimes they would not come in time, and Kant was very particular about time. He would move just by the clock. So he would have to wait for the cats; only then could he lock the door.
So one day he called his servant and told him, “Bring a carpenter and make two holes in the door – one for the smaller cat and one for the bigger one – so they can come at any time and I can go to sleep easily.”
The servant thought him mad, crazy, because the cats could come through just one hole. There was no need for two. But mathematically Kant is right; practically he is just foolish. Mathematically he is absolutely right. But the servant thought that one hole would do, so one hole was made.
When Kant came back from his university, he saw that there was only one hole, for the bigger one, so he said, “From where will my small cat get in? Where is the other hole?”
The servant said, “She can get in through this hole. She is not such a big philosopher. Cats are very practical, they are not theoretical, so don’t you bother.”
But it was inconceivable for Kant, so he waited. When he saw with his own eyes that both cats were coming through one hole, then only was he at ease.