Then when he became very old, he started moving towards the Himalayas. He said to his disciples, “Now I am going to the Himalayas, never to return again. My whole life I have been a wanderer, and the Himalayas are the best place to die. I lived beautifully, I lived the most ecstatic life possible. I would also like to die most ecstatically, most aesthetically. I would like to die in the silence of the Himalayas, in those beautiful mountains.”
When he was leaving the border of China, the guard at the border prevented him. He said, “I won’t allow you to leave the country unless you write something.” He must have been a very perceptive man, the guard. The world is in his debt for one of the greatest things that has ever been written – the Tao Te Ching. There is no other book comparable to it.
Finding no way to avoid it, because the guard wouldn’t allow him to go and he wanted to leave the country as fast, as quickly, as possible – death was coming closer and he wanted to die in the silence of the Himalayas – compelled to write, he sat in the guard’s room for three days and completed the book, Tao Te Ching.
But the first thing that he wrote was, “Tao cannot be said. Once said, it is no longer Tao.”
You can understand what he means. He is saying that if you read the first statement, there is no need to go any further. “Truth cannot be said. Once said, it is no longer true” – this is his declaration. Now, if you understand, the book is finished. What can be said about the truth? Yes, it can be lived, experienced. You can love, live, be – but definition is not possible. If you want definitions you will have to go to a university. Professors define what truth is, and each professor of philosophy defines it in his own way, and there are millions of definitions, and all are false. No definition can ever be true.
What to say about truth – even the small experiences of life cannot be defined. What is love? Or what is the taste of sugar on your tongue? How to define it? What is beauty when you see it in a lotus flower?
One of the greatest modern philosophers, G.E. Moore, has written a book, Principia Ethica, in which he tries to define what good is. Of course, that is the first question in the world of ethics: what is good? And for two hundred or two hundred and fifty pages, he tries hard this way and that, and cannot define it. And he was one of the most perceptive people this century has produced.
Defeated, tired, exhausted, in the end he says good is indefinable. It is as indefinable as the color yellow. If somebody asks, “What is yellow?” – there is a marigold flower, and somebody asks, “You call it yellow? What is yellow?” – how are you going to define it? What more can you say? Yellow is yellow, good is good, beauty is beauty. But these are tautologies; you are not defining anything, you are simply repeating words.
What is truth? There is no way to define it.
I am not teaching philosophy to you, I am sharing my truth with you. Don’t ask for definitions. If you have the courage, then take a plunge into the experience that is made available here. Take a jump into meditation, and you will know. And still, even when you know, you will not be able to define it.