Question : Beloved Osho, What is the criterion of the truth?
Osho : Sahabsadev Hasan, truth is not an experience of the mind; hence no logic can prove it or disprove it. No argument can convince you about it or unconvince you about it. Truth is an experience beyond mind, so there is no objective criterion possible. That’s why science never talks about it, because science can only talk about things which can be objectively proved.
Truth is a subjective experience, just like love. What is the criterion of love? Can you prove when you fall in love? Can you prove that really you have fallen in love? Is there a way to prove it? Is there any argument, any logic that will support you — any eyewitnesses? All that you can say is, “I know for certain that my heart is beating differently” — but that is something inner to you. You can say, “I am feeling so blissful,” but that is something subjective. You cannot bring some part of your blissfulness and show it to people as a criterion.
Love, or truth, or bliss, or God — they don’t have any criterion; they are experiences of the inner. Criteria are always of the outer. Don’t impose outer criteria for the inner — that is the fallacy of the atheist.
Why does the atheist deny the existence of God, the existence of soul, the existence of truth, the existence of a life beyond life? For the simple reason that there is no criterion, and no proof, and no evidence. No atheist has ever been defeated by any theist in argumentation — still the atheist is wrong. He is wrong because he is asking for an objective criterion for a subjective experience.
It is just like somebody asks you — you have been listening to classical music, and somebody asks — “What was the taste of it?” or “What was the color of it?” or “How did it feel when you touched it?”
You will say, “Are you mad?” Music is not an experience of the eyes, it is not an experience of the nose; music has no smell. It is not an experience of the tongue; it has no taste. It is not something tangible that you can touch. It is an experience of the ears — and for an experience of the ears, eyes cannot give any proof.
Neither is the opposite possible. For an experience of the eyes — for example, light or colors — ears cannot give any proof. And if you want proofs that are understandable by the ears, then there is no light; you have to deny it. Then there are no colors, no rainbows. You have to deny everything that belongs to the world of eyes, and almost eighty percent of your experience belongs to the eyes. Eighty percent of your life will have to be denied if you insist for some criterion that belongs, not to the eyes, but to the ears, nose, mouth, hands ….
The same is the situation about truth. Truth is the space within you when there is no thought, no feeling, no emotion — when there is utter silence and a light which is eternal, which has no fuel … because all fuels are bound to be exhausted sooner or later.
At the innermost core of your being there is a light which is inexhaustible, which has always been there and will always be there, which is beyond time and beyond space … a deep silence. Not the silence of the graveyard — not a negative silence, not a silence which means absence of noise — but a silence which means a positive, affirmative presence of peace, of coolness, of a soundless music … a light that is eternal and a life that is eternal.
When you find these things in the innermost center of your being … the whole experience of bliss, joy, the feeling of coming home, of finding yourself at last — all this is contained in the simple word `truth’. You can experience it, but you cannot find any explanation for it. You can find a way to it, you can find a method to reach it, but nobody can tell you beforehand what it is.
Gautam Buddha used to say, “Buddhas only show the way; nobody can walk the way for you. You will have to walk and you will have to find … and those who have found it have all become dumb.” It is almost like giving a dumb man delicious sweets …. It is not that he does not know the taste; he knows. He rejoices, but if you want to ask how it tastes, of course he cannot say anything; he is dumb.
All those who have known truth become dumb about truth. They can tell you how to reach it; they can show you the way. They can take you to the window, to the door, but you have to find it within yourself, following the path alone … the ultimate experience.
Only one thing can be said from the outside:
The man of truth has no fear of death.
The man of truth is never miserable.
The man of truth is never a coward.
The man of truth is constantly in a state of celebration;
the man of truth is an eternal dance.
These are the things which can be seen from the outside, but these are just faraway echoes; these are not the truth. These are the faraway echoes in the individuality of the person who has found the truth. These are the reflections — reflections of the stars in the lake. But don’t jump into the lake to find the stars! You will not find anything there. Stars are far away; these are only reflections.
In the personality, in the presence, in the gestures, in the eyes of the man of truth you will find something, if you are not completely closed, completely prejudiced, if you have not already decided for or against.
If you are open and vulnerable you will recognize that there is something charismatic, something magnetic, something that invites you to come in … something that invites you to be closer, something that creates suddenly a new dimension of search for you; something that starts silent bells suddenly ringing in your heart of which you have never been aware.
He has touched your heart. His very presence is creative, his very presence is converting, his very presence is the only criterion — but it is not logic, it is a love affair. Remember: I repeat again, truth is not a question of logic, it is a search of a loving heart.
Source: Osho Book “The New Dawn”