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    The 99 Names of Nothingness

    The 99 Names of Nothingness

    1 May 1978 pm in Chuang Tzu Auditorium

    Khabira. It is a sufi name, a name of God. Literally it means: one who sees all, the cognizant one,
    the seer of all. And that is hidden in everybody – the witness. What we see may be true, may not be
    true, but the seer is always true. The seen may be, may not be. In the night you see a dream, in the
    morning you find it was not true, but the one who saw the dream is still true. In the morning, in the
    night, all the time he is true. You see a rope and you think, in the darkness of the evening, that it is
    a snake. But when you come close you know that it is false, it is not so. But the seer was not false.
    Even in seeing something hallucinatory, the seer remains true; the seer is never false.

    ’Khabira’ means: the one who sees, the witness inside. Sufis have beautiful names for God; in all
    they have ninety-nine names for God. One wonders why not one hundred? It looks so incomplete.
    For a certain, subtle reason, the hundredth name has been kept silent. That is the true name of God
    which cannot be uttered. The tao that can be uttered is not the true tao and the God that can be
    spoken of is not the true God, because the word ’God’ falsifies the reality of God. So the hundredth
    name is the true name – what Hindus call ’satnam’, the true name – but it can’t be uttered. It will
    lose its beauty if it is uttered. It remains unuttered, at the deepest core of the heart. But ninetynine
    names can be uttered just as a help to reach the hundredth. The hundredth name is almost a
    nothingness – what buddhas have called ’nirvana’, nothingness.

    So I call these the ninety-nine names of nothingness; one of them is ’khabira’. Get into the idea of it
    and become more and more of a seer. Change the gestalt from the seen to the seer. Looking at the
    tree, remember the one who is looking; eating, remember the one who is eating; walking, remember
    the one who is walking. Rather than emphasising the outer, emphasise the inner, and slowly slowly
    it becomes clear who this seen is. That is our true reality and that is what God is.

    Latifa. That too is a sufi name for God. It means: the subtle one. The gross one is visible, the subtle
    one is invisible. The gross is the outside, the subtle is the inside. The gross is objective, the subtleis subjective. And people go on searching for God in the gross. They say ’We would like to see
    God.’ But only the gross can be seen; the subtle has to be felt. The gross can be seen with the eyes
    open, the subtle has to be seen with eyes closed. The gross is not there as an object. You cannot
    encounter it. God is inside you, as you. You cannot stand outside God and see Him; you can see
    Him only from the inside by being Him.

    And these are the two ways to approach reality...

    One way is that of science – the gross, the objective. The other way is of religion – the subtle,
    the subjective. If you see a flower,.you can look at it scientifically. You look at the chemistry of it,
    at the form of it and the substance that makes it. You dissect it and you come to know about the
    components of it. But something is missed in that very analysis. The beauty is missed, because
    beauty is not a component of the gross. And if you ask the scientist ’Where is the beauty that was in
    the flower?’ he will say ’That was not there, it was illusory. I have dissected it all and all, and these
    are the things that I have found. These chemicals were there, this matter was there, these atoms,
    these molecules were there. But there was no beauty. And this is all, this is the totality...’ But you
    know and the scientist knows in his own poetic moments, that there was beauty. When he gives the
    flower to his wife, he is not giving her something chemical. He is giving to her something aesthetic,
    something beautiful. But when he is a scientist, he denies it.

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