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    The Ultimate Alchemy, Vol 1

    The Ultimate Alchemy, Vol 1


    The Tradition of the Upanishads and the Secrets of Meditation
    15 February 1972 pm in Bombay, India


    THERE are some points to ponder over before we step into the unknown. The unknown is the
    message of the Upanishads. The basic, the most foundational, always remains unknown; that which
    we know is always superficial. So some points must be understood before we can go deep into the
    realm of the unknown. These three words – the known, the unknown, and the unknowable – must
    be understood first, because the Upanishads are concerned with the unknown only as a beginning.
    They end into the unknowable. The known realm becomes science, the unknown is philosophy and
    the unknowable belongs to religion.

    Philosophy is the link between the known and the unknown, between science and religion.
    Philosophy is totally concerned with the unknown. The moment something becomes known, it
    becomes part of science; it remains no more a part of philosophy. So the more science grows,
    the more philosophy is pushed ahead. The field that becomes known becomes science, and
    philosophy is the link between science and religion. So as science progresses philosophy has
    to be pushed ahead, because it can only be concerned with the unknown. But the more philosophy
    proceeds ahead, the more religion is pushed ahead, because religion is basically concerned with
    the unknowable.

    The Upanishads begin with the unknown; they end with the unknowable. That’s how
    misunderstanding arises. Professor Ranade has written a very deep book on the philosophy ofthe Upanishads, but it remains only a beginning. It cannot penetrate the deeper valleys of the
    Upanishadic mystery because it remains philosophical. The Upanishads begin with philosophy, but
    that is only a beginning. They end in religion, in the unknowable. And when I say ”unknowable”, I
    mean that which cannot be known.

    Whatsoever the effort may be, howsoever we may try, the moment we know something it becomes
    part of science; the moment we feel something as unknown it is part of philosophy – the moment we
    encounter the unknowable, only then is it religion. When I say the unknowable, I mean that which
    cannot be known but which can be encountered; it can be felt, it can even be lived. You can be
    face to face with it. It can be encountered, but still it remains unknowable. Only this much is felt –
    that now we are deep in a mystery which cannot be solved. So before we enter this mystery, some
    points have to be understood; otherwise there will be no entrance.

    One is: how to listen, because there are different dimensions of listening. You can listen with your
    intellect, with your reason. Mm? – that is one way of listening to a thing: the most common, the most
    ordinary and the most shallow – because with reason you are always either in defense or in attack.
    With reason you are always fighting, so whenever someone tries to understand something through
    reason he is fighting with the thing. At the most, a very rudimentary understanding is possible,
    just an acquaintance is possible. The deeper meaning is bound to be missed because the deeper
    meaning requires a very sympathetic listening.

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