The mind thinks about truth. It thinks about truth only because it knows not. Thinking is the blind man’s game. It is only the blind man who thinks about light. When you have eyes, you simply see it, you don’t think about it. And what can you think about it? When you are facing the light, seeing it, knowing it, there is nothing to think about it.
And when the light is not there and you are blind, what can you think about it? Whatever you think is going to be wrong. It cannot even be a far-fetched similarity to the experience of light.
In the West you will find it even more difficult to explain to people what it is. It is of tremendous importance to note that in India there has never existed anything like philosophy – never, because philosophy is a thinking process, it is of the mind; it does not go beyond mind. It is logic, but it is not an experience.
What has existed in the East is a totally different thing: we have called it seeing, not thinking, not philosophy.
Gautam Buddha said of himself that, “I am not a philosopher, I am a physician. Don’t ask me what light is. If you don’t have eyes, come to me and I will cure your eyes – that I can do, but don’t ask me what light is. I cannot answer. I can cure your eyes and then it is up to you to know what light is.”
In the West there has never been anything like darshan, seeing, which is beyond thinking. So it is more difficult, and you will find it almost impossible, in every step a failure. The best of music still falls short because even the best of music is nothing but sound – and the experience is silence, not sound. And you are trying to express silence through sound.
The best of poetry may give people who do not know great flights into the unknown, glimpses. But to those who know, the question is not flights into the unknown, but entry into the unknowable.
The unknown can become known any moment. Science tries to make the unknown, known: what was unknown yesterday is known today; what is unknown today will be known tomorrow. And the scientific mind thinks there will come a time – it is very logical – that we will have claimed all that is unknown within the boundaries of the known. That will be the victory, the ultimate victory of science – that no unknown is left anymore.
But they are not aware that there is something more than the unknown, and that is the world of the unknowable – which cannot be reduced to the known.
So poetry, painting, may sometimes bring you very close to the unknown. But enlightenment is not of the unknown, it is of the unknowable. You can experience it but you cannot explain it. And it is not your failure, it is just the nature of how things are. It is something existential.
Still, I will not say, don’t try to say it. I will say, continue trying to say it. My purpose is different: not that you will be able to say it, but in the very effort of saying it, something in you will be changed, something in you will be transformed. Every failure in expressing it will bring you closer to the silence that can only be experienced. So every failure can become a stepping stone.