Mysticism is the whole truth


Osho answers Yoga Anurag’s question: According to what I have been hearing you say, the title of this series, Theologia Mystica, seems to be a contradiction in terms.


Yoga Anurag, it is true, but the title was given by Dionysius himself, so at least I am not responsible for it. In a way, mysticism is bound to be a contradiction in terms, whether the word theologia is in it or not. Mysticism itself, by its very nature, is a contradiction, because it is not an ism. It is not a creed or dogma in which you can believe. You can be a mystic, but there is nothing like mysticism. And when one is a mystic the paradox deepens, it does not disappear. When one is a mystic there is no one left. There is a mystery, but with no center to it. It is like a cloud: translucent darkness, infinite darkness.

One of the most important statements about mysticism in the Western hemisphere is the book called The Cloud of Unknowing. The name of the author is not known; it is good that we don’t know who wrote it. It indicates one thing: that before he wrote it he had disappeared into a cloud of unknowing. It is the only book in the Western world which comes close to the Upanishads, The Tao Te Ching, The Dhammapada. There is a rare insight in it.

First he calls it a cloud. A cloud is vague, with no definable limits. It is constantly changing; it is not static – never, even for two consecutive moments, is it the same. It is a flux, it is pure change. And there is nothing substantial in it. If you hold it in your hand just mist will be left, nothing else. Maybe your hands will become wet, but you will not find any cloud in your fist.

That’s what happens to the mystic: he becomes wet, really wet. Those countries where alcohol is prohibited they call dry, and those countries where alcohol is not prohibited they call wet. But the only wet person is the mystic. He is a real alcoholic! He cannot be helped by Alcoholics Anonymous. If a mystic enters there, they will all become alcoholics themselves!

But for Dionysius it is even more a contradiction because he was a theologian. His whole book is written with a disguise, as if it is a treatise on theology; mysticism is just something by the side, secondary, not primary. Hence the name Theologia Mystica – as if mysticism is only a consequence of getting deep into the world of theology. Just the reverse is the case.

The word “theology” means logic about God; theo means God. But there can be no logic about God. There is love about God, love for God, but no logic about God. There are no proofs possible. The only proof is the existence of the mystic. The presence of Dionysius, of Ramakrishna, of Bahauddin – the presence of these people is the proof that God exists, otherwise there is no proof. Because Buddhas have walked on the earth, there are a few footprints of God left behind on the shores of time.

Philosophers have argued for centuries, but all their arguments are utterly futile and impotent; they have not come to a single conclusion.

The mystic has to speak in contradictions because he is speaking about the whole, and the whole contains the contradictions. It contains the day and the night, both. If you call God the day, then it is only half the truth; if you call him the night, that too is only half the truth.

Hence Dionysius calls God translucent darkness – as if the sun has risen in the night.

The whole consists of both life and death. If you call God life, only life, then it is a half-statement. And remember a half-truth is far more dangerous than a complete lie because the complete lie is bound to be discovered sooner or later – just a little intelligence is needed. But the half-truth is very dangerous; even intelligent people, very intelligent people, may not be able to find that it is untrue. That is the danger of half-truths: they look like truths and they are not. They can keep you deceived for centuries.

Mysticism is the whole truth; it has to be contradictory. Somewhere logic and love have to meet, because they both exist. Hence Theologia Mystica. Somewhere man and woman have to meet and merge and disappear into each other because they both exist and they are both halves of one whole. Hence the beauty and the bliss of a real meeting between a man and a woman: the orgasmic joy is possible only because two halves of a single whole have come together. Both were suffering, both were missing something. Suddenly, all that feeling of missing has disappeared. Of course, the meeting between a man and a woman can only be momentary. Again they are separate, and again the misery sets in, and again the desire to be united. Because the meeting is physical it cannot be very deep and it cannot be lasting either.

But the meeting of the mystic with the whole is absolute; there is no coming back. He has gone beyond the point of no return. He has dissolved himself like a dew-drop slipping out of the lotus leaf into the lake. He has become the lake. Then whatsoever he says will be contradictory, because a part of it will be the vision of the dew-drop and a part of it will be the vision of the total lake, a part will be the standpoint of the part and a part will be the standpoint of the whole. Hence all mystics have spoken in contradictory terms.

This is one of the reasons why intellectuals are against them, because the intellectual demands consistency and the mystics cannot be consistent. By the very nature of things that is not possible. He is helpless – he has to be contradictory. He has to say, “I am contradictory because I am vast enough to contain contradictions.”

Logic is a small thing, love is infinity.

Osho, Theologia Mystica, Ch 11, Q 1

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