Mathematics is purely a game of the mind. Poetry is a totally different phenomenon.
I am reminded of Frau Einstein, Albert Einstein’s wife. She was a poet, and Albert Einstein was perhaps the greatest scientific thinker of all the ages. Naturally Frau Einstein wanted her husband to know about her poetry. Einstein tried to avoid the subject as much as he could, but finally one night, the full moon in the sky, Frau Einstein could not resist the temptation. She had composed a beautiful poem about the full moon, and she recited the poem.
Albert Einstein looked at her with great surprise, almost shocked. She could not understand, “Why is he looking at me in this weird manner? At the most he can say that the poetry is not great, but he is looking at me as if I am insane!” After the recital of the poem she asked Albert Einstein, “What do you think?”
He said, “I had never thought that you are so crazy. You talk about the moon as beautiful, you talk about the moon reminding you of your beloved. It is sheer nonsense! The moon is too big, it cannot be substituted for your beloved. And the moon is not at all beautiful! It is just as ordinary as the earth, even more ordinary because there is no greenery, no water, just barren land. And the light that you see reflected from the moon is not its own. That light is borrowed from the sun, it is not coming from the moon. The sunlight falls on the moon and the rays are reflected back, and those reflected rays are coming to your eyes; the moon is not the source of them. I had always thought that you are well educated, but you don't know even the ABC of physics!”
Now was the chance for Frau Einstein to look at him as if he is insane, because for centuries poets have sung songs about the moon – its beauty, its tremendous magnetic force, its cool light. It has a certain hypnotic spell on the heart…and it is now also proved by facts that it has a certain hypnotic spell.
More people have become enlightened on a full-moon night. Mahavira is the only exception; he became enlightened on a no-moon night. Gautam Buddha was born on a full-moon night, became enlightened on a full-moon night, died on a full-moon night. He is a perfect example of the hypnotic spell of the moon. Many more people go mad on the full-moon night – these are approved statistics – and more people commit suicide on full-moon nights.
The full moon somehow drives man's mind into dimensions beyond reasoning. And it is not only man that is affected by the full moon; even the ocean is affected. But a physicist, a mathematician will not be able to understand it – and Frau Einstein never again mentioned poetry to Albert Einstein in her whole life. Although she went on composing, she was not publishing them. It was decided on the first recital that that kind of dialogue was not possible with her husband – but it is not any exceptional case.
No husband and no wife are in the situation of understanding each other. Misunderstanding is the natural situation. The man says something, the woman immediately understands something else. The man cannot believe how she has come to this conclusion. And to the woman that conclusion is absolutely clear; there is no doubt about it. And whatever she says, the man is at a loss to figure it out.
Osho, The Great Pilgrimage: From Here to Here , talk #27