To the poet, to the painter, the rose is a totally different experience: the rose is a manifestation of the unknown, of the transcendental, of the secret of life itself. It represents something of the divine, it brings into existence something of the sky, something of faraway stars. It grows on the earth, it is rooted in the earth, but it is not just part of the earth; it contains far more than that. It is not the sum total of its constituent parts. The scientist only comes to know it as a sum total of its constituent parts – there is nothing more to it – but the poet starts feeling something more.
The moment you dissect the rose, the beauty disappears. The rose was only an opportunity for the beauty to descend, a receptivity of the earth to the sky, a receptivity of the gross to the subtle. The poet feels that; but it is a feeling, it is not a thought.
So when you come out of your lab, forget all about atoms, forget all about the cosmos; rather, start looking afresh, with a different vision – the vision of a child, the vision of a poet, the vision of a lover. When you look at the woman you love never think of her in terms of biology, otherwise you will have missed the whole point. She is not biology, she has a being far greater than any biology can contain. When you kiss your woman don’t think in terms of what is being transferred from lips to lips chemically, otherwise you will be disgusted! You won’t see any poetry, you will be puzzled by what all these poets have been talking about. It is only an exchange of bacteria, germs, millions of germs, dangerous too. It can be a matter of life and death – beware!
When you are making love to your woman don’t think in terms of hormones, avoid that nonsense, otherwise the whole love act will simply be a mechanical phenomenon. You will be there and yet not there. You will be just an observer, not a participant. And the poet’s whole secret is participation.
Looking at a flower, become the flower, dance around the flower, sing a song. The wind is cool and crisp, the sun is warm, and the flower is in its prime; the flower is dancing in the wind, rejoicing, singing a song, singing alleluia! Participate with it! Drop indifference, objectivity, detachment. Drop all your scientific attitudes. Become a little more fluid, more melting, more merging. Let the flower speak to your heart, let the flower enter your being. Invite him – he is a guest! And then you will have some taste of mystery.
This is the first step towards the mysterious, and the ultimate step is: if you can be a participant for a moment, you have known the key, the secret. Then become a participant in everything that you are doing. Walking, don’t just do it mechanically, don’t just go on watching it, be it. Dancing, don’t do it technically; technique is irrelevant. You may be technically correct and yet you will miss the whole joy of it. Dissolve yourself in the dance; become the dance, forget about the dancer.