No gardener ever appeared. The skeptic was very happy and he said, “Look! There is no gardener. Now it has been proved.” But the believer said, “The gardener is invisible. He comes, but we cannot see him. He comes, but we cannot hear his footsteps – because this garden is not possible without a gardener.”
So they set up a barbed wire fence around the garden. They electrified the wires, they brought in bloodhounds and they patrolled day and night. But nobody ever entered. No shriek was ever heard from the shock of the electricity flowing in the wires. The bloodhounds never gave a cry.
After seven days the skeptic said. “Finished! Now it is proved beyond doubt that there is no gardener, visible or invisible.”
But the believer was not convinced. He said, “The gardener is not only invisible, he is intangible, and he has no scent and he is eternally elusive. You cannot catch him with electrified wires, and you cannot catch him with bloodhounds, and our eyes cannot see him…but he is, certainly he is.”
Now the skeptical friend, in great despair, said, “What happened to your original statement? Now, what is the difference between an invisible, intangible, eternally elusive god or gardener, and one who is just imaginary or that does not exist at all? What is the difference between the two?”
I was reading this parable. I liked it because this is how the argument has been going on, on this earth. Believers go on talking about an invisible God. Skeptical minds go on disproving any possibility of it. And they both seem to be right – or they are both wrong – because the argument never comes to a conclusion.
From the very beginning, the whole line of inquiry has taken a wrong route. Once you separate the gardener from the garden – God from creation – the problem arises, and then it can never be settled.
The garden is enough proof of the gardener. But the gardener is not separate. He does not come to tend the garden: he is in the garden; he is the garden. He does not look after the flowers: he is in the flowers; he is the flowers. Not that he is invisible: he is visible, but visible as flowers.
If you have an idea of God, you will never find him. The very idea will become the barrier. Only those who have no idea of God come upon him or allow God to come upon themselves. If you have a certain idea, the very idea is going to be the wall, the brick wall, between you and the truth.
The believer was not wrong, but he took a wrong line of argument. He divided the gardener from the garden. This gardener cannot be proved because this gardener doesn’t exist. A gardener separate from the garden is non-existent.
That’s why the skeptical friend could argue. And his argument is valid: valid not against God or the gardener but against the believer, because the believer has taken a wrong route.