To deny the reality of things
is to miss their reality;
to assert the emptiness of things
is to miss their reality.
To deny the reality of things…There have been philosophers who have been denying the reality of things. Look, we can do the same thing in two ways.
There is a beautiful story: once it happened…
Akbar, the great Moghul emperor, drew a line on the wall, and he told his wise men not to touch it and yet make it smaller. They were puzzled and they thought, “It is impossible!”
Then one of his wise men, Birbal, drew another line near it, a bigger one, without touching the first line. When the bigger line was drawn the first line became smaller.
If you draw a small line then the first line will become bigger, so there are two ways. Either you make your being bigger – then the world becomes smaller, smaller, smaller, smaller; a moment comes when your being becomes the total, the brahman, the world disappears, then there is no more world. Then there is another way, and the other is just a trick: you go on saying the world is illusory, maya, it is not there. You go on denying the reality of the world and go on convincing yourself that it is not, it is not, it is unreal, it is a dream-thing. So you convince yourself the world is a dream: you feel that now you are real but that feeling is not true. It is a deception.
Philosophy always does this: it goes on saying the world is not real. Go to the Vedantins: it happened differently to Shankara. Shankara realized his being, he became the infinite; then the world disappeared because there cannot be two infinites. If you become infinite, the world disappears. It is absorbed because two infinites are not possible, only one infinite is possible.
Shankara became the infinite, the brahman, the absolute; then he could say the world is illusory, and he was right. But this was not a philosophical statement, it was a religious feeling. He felt it, that the world is not. But then the followers took the song and they have been singing it for one thousand years. They say the world is illusory, it is maya, it is not there, it only appears.
You can come to a belief through philosophy that, yes, you can go on crossing out, you can convince yourself that it is not there, you can try to find proofs and arguments that it is illusory. And if you can convince your mind that it is illusory, you will have a feeling, false feeling, that you have become the brahman.
You must become the brahman, then the world becomes illusory, not the other way. How will you become the brahman if the world becomes illusory? And it cannot become illusory because it is only a conception; you think.