People like Shankara, Bosanquet, Bradley, were not talking nonsense when they said that the world is an illusion. The world consists of time and space – but these people tried to argue that the world is an illusion. They made a philosophical system propounding the illusoriness of the world. Their very effort confutes them – if the world is illusory, then what is the need to prove that it is illusory? If something is not, it is not. But if Shankara had to go out of this room, he would go through the door, not through the wall. The wall is real. If Bradley had to take his lunch, he would not eat stones. Because what difference can there be, when bread is illusory, and stones are also illusory? Both are illusions.
These people were trying to prove something which they had not experienced in their own being. It was not the experience of love; it was mere logic. Hence, hundreds of philosophers have been trying to convince the world that all is illusory, but nobody is convinced. Even they themselves are not convinced.
I am reminded of a story.
One Buddhist philosopher was brought to the court of a king. People said that he was one of the greatest logicians they had ever heard about. And he propounded the theory that everything is illusory, all is made of the same stuff that dreams are made of.
But the king was a very pragmatic, practical man. He said, “Wait. Announce that all people should go into their houses and close their doors, shops should be closed, because our mad elephant is going to come out on the road.” And this Buddhist philosopher was left standing on the road, and he was crying and weeping and shouting, “Save me! Nothing is illusory – at least this elephant is not illusory.” And the elephant was really mad.
Seeing his condition…the elephant was stopped from attacking him. The philosopher was brought back to the court and asked, “Now what do you say about your philosophy?”
He said, “Everything is illusory.”
The king said, “And the elephant?”
He said, “The elephant is illusory, the philosopher who was crying and weeping is illusory, and the king who has saved him is illusory – everything is illusory. But please don’t put me out there again – because it is a philosophy. I am ready to argue, but you cannot argue with a mad elephant. If you have any philosophers, bring them and I will prove that everything is illusory.”
These philosophers were saying something which has a piece of truth in it. But they were trying to prove it. That’s where they went wrong. Love cannot be proved. It can be only be experienced. And in love, all that consists of space and time appears to be made of the same stuff as dreams are made of. It is not an argument, not a philosophy.
You can sit close to a person, your bodies are touching and yet you can be hundreds of miles away from each other. You can be hundreds of miles distant from each other, and yet love can bring you so close that you can melt into each other. So remember, if you feel me in your heart, then I am coming with you. Wherever you go, I am coming with you – and without a ticket, because they have not yet found a way to know whether a person is traveling with someone hiding in his heart.