THE MYSTICS HAVE ALWAYS SAID THAT \u201dTHERE IS NOWHERE TO GO BUT IN.\u201d YOU ALSO SAY THE SAME. WE ARE FAMILIAR WITH THE WORDS, BUT OUR UNDERSTANDING OF IT DOES NOT GO BEYOND THE VERBAL LEVEL. COULD YOU PLEASE EXPLAIN THE DEEPER MEANING OF IT?
Understanding at the verbal level is not worth calling understanding. In the world of religion there is no greater deception than words. The words can be understood, there is no dif\ufb01culty in that, but that which is hidden behind the words remains uncomprehended, and that is the real dif\ufb01culty.
When the word is understood, but not that which lies behind the word, life becomes a great turmoil. We create the illusion of knowing when we do not know, and nothing is more dangerous than assuming that one knows when one does not.
The so-called religious man seems to be nothing but a hypocrite. He says one thing and lives another, and there is no harmony between what he says and what he lives. The origin of this lack of harmony is in the fact that he has substituted words for understanding.
Let us consider a few more points about this before dealing with the question. The moment we hear the words god, soul, enlightenment, we immediately think that we understand them because we know their meaning that is written in the dictionaries. We know the meaning of \u201denlightenment\u201d; we know the meaning of \u201dGod\u201d; we know the meaning of \u201dsoul\u201d; but the verbal meaning is not the existential meaning. Just to say the word god, just to hear the word god, is not to know God. The word god is not in itself God. Even if the speaker of the word has known, he cannot pass on his knowing to you. Only the words will reach you, not his experience. The words will become part of your memory. Your memory will become full and dense, a load, and will become a scripture. You will fall in the illusion that you know God because you have heard the word, have read it, and its meaning is given in the dictionary.
But without reaching out to him, how can anyone know God? If it was so simple that God could be known just by referring to a dictionary, there would be no ignorant person left on this earth; everyone would have become a knower. If the etymology and grammar of the word liberation were the key to liberation, everybody would be free, no one would be in bondage. How simple it is to know a word!
So mind, because it is afraid of the journey, creates the illusion. That mind should be afraid of the journey is only natural, because it is going to be a journey into death for it. The one who will set out in search of God will lose himself. But in referring to a dictionary there is no worry about losing oneself, in reciting the scriptures there is no question of losing oneself. But one who seeks enlightenment will disappear, because no enlightenment, no liberation, is possible without disappearance. Basically, it is the \u2019I\u2019 who is the bondage. Then how is enlightenment possible until this \u2019I\u2019 is dissolved?
This \u2019I\u2019 is the wall between oneself and God. Until this wall falls, how can God be experienced? This journey is a journey of death. The seeker has set out to die. But only through dying is the ultimate life attained; only by losing oneself is one found. Because of this, mind is afraid... so it creates illusions and substitutes.
You are thirsty and fast asleep at night, you are dying of thirst. You will have to wake up. You will have to interrupt your sleep to go and \ufb01nd some water. But no, it is then that mind creates a substitute \u2013 you start dreaming of a fountain, and in your dream you approach the fountain and drink to your heart\u2019s content. No need to interrupt your sleep! Not until you wake up in the morning do you discover that the water was no water, the fountain was no fountain, and there was no quenching of your thirst: it was all illusion. But only after waking up do you come to know this. The sleep in the night continued undisturbed; mind found the substitute to keep it so.
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