The West has produced only philosophers. The East knows nothing of philosophy, it knows only mysticism. And mysticism is based on the simple phenomenon that experience needs no argument.
Experience is its own validity.
Find your inner space, and suddenly, you will find an explosion of light, of beauty, of ecstasy – as if suddenly thousands of roses have blossomed within you and you are full of their fragrance.
You say that when you think about thinkers, philosophers like Nietzsche, you are almost in communication, as if they are not dead – but with me you feel a difference. Whenever you remember me you feel silence, you feel joy. You may burst into a song, you may start dancing or playing on a flute. But you will not find me there. You will find there the whole existence showering all its ecstasies on you.
This is the difference between the mystics and the philosophers:
Philosophers live in words; mystics live in authentic experience.
Philosophy has been a curse to the West. All the geniuses turn towards philosophy because the whole tradition is of philosophers – from the ancient Greeks up to now. The philosopher seems to be the highest peak of human evolution. It is absolutely absurd! The philosopher is just playing a mind game. He’s as poor in consciousness as you are.
The East never got into that trap. The East is poor as far as material things are concerned, but the East has touched the highest peaks of luxury as far as spiritual experiences are concerned. And that is the only thing that counts in the ultimate reckoning. You will not be asked how many houses you had, you will not be asked about your arguments. You will be asked, “Has your heart opened up and become a lotus? Have you blossomed? Has your spring come, or not?”
The East has seen the spring, people flowering. It is perfectly good to read Nietszche, Hegel, Kant, Feuerbach, Karl Marx…or you can go to older philosophers – Aristotle, Plato – but you will not get anything except empty words.
And words mean whatever you want them to mean.
They don’t have any content of their own.
I have heard…. One masochist – a masochist is a person who enjoys being tortured and a sadist is a person who enjoys torturing. And there are a few very complicated people who are sado-masochists; they enjoy both.
One masochist is sitting by the side of a beautiful lake. A sadist, his friend, is also sitting there but he has not said a single word. Somebody passes and asks the sadist: “You are friends, but you are sitting like enemies, back to back. And you have not spoken a single word.”
He said, “That’s what he enjoys – torture.”
This is a subtle torture, that somebody is sitting with you and will not say a single word.