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OSHO Dhammapada-Buddhism-Buddha

THE DHAMMAPADA: THE WAY OF THE BUDDHA, VOL. 5

Chapter 2: The heart has no questions

Question 2

 

Energy Enhancement         Enlightened Texts         Dhammapada         The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 5

 

The second question:
Question 2
BELOVED MASTER,
IF HEAVEN AND HELL ARE ON THE SAME PLANE, ONLY DIVIDED BY A TATTERED FENCE, WHY IS THE POSITIVE SIDE OF THE MIND SUPPOSED TO BE BETTER THAN THE NEGATIVE?

Saguna, it is the same question put in a different way: mind is negative, heart is positive. The language of the mind is rooted in no; the mind immensely enjoys saying no. The more you can say no, the more you are thought to be a great thinker.

There is a beautiful story by Turgenev, THE FOOL.
Once in a town there was a man who was condemned by the whole crowd as the greatest idiot who had ever lived. Obviously he was continuously in difficulty. Whatsoever he would say, people would start laughing, even if he was saying something beautiful, true. But because it was known that he was an idiot, people would think that whatsoever he did and said was idiotic. He might be quoting sages but still people would laugh at him.
He went to a wise old man and told him that he felt like committing suicide, that he could not live anymore. "This constant condemnation is too much -- I cannot bear it any longer. Either help me out of it, or I am going to kill myself."
The old wise man laughed. He said, "There is not much of a problem, don't be worried. Do only one thing, and come after seven days -- start saying no to everything. Start questioning each and everything. If somebody says, 'Look -- look at the sunset, how beautiful it is!' ask immediately, 'Where is there any beauty? I don't see any -- prove it! What is beauty? There is no beauty in the world, it is all nonsense!' Insist on proofs; say, 'Prove where beauty is. Let me see it, let me touch it! Give me a definition.' If somebody says, 'The music is ecstatic,' immediately jump into it and ask, 'What is ecstasy? What is music? Define your terms clearly. I don't believe in any ecstasy. It is all foolishness, all illusion. And music is nothing but noise.'
"Do this with everything, and after seven days come to me. Be negative, ask questions -- questions which cannot be answered: What is beauty? What is love? What is ecstasy? What is life? What is death? What is God?"
After seven days the idiot came to the wise man -- followed by many many people. He was garlanded and beautifully dressed. The wise man asked, "What happened?"
And the idiot said, "It was magic! Now the whole city thinks that I am the wisest man in the world. Everybody thinks I am a great philosopher, a great thinker. And I have silenced everybody, people have become afraid of me. In my presence they remain silent, because whatsoever they say, I immediately turn it into a question and I become absolutely negative. Your trick worked!"
And the wise man asked, "Who are these people who are following you?"
He said, "These are my disciples -- they want to learn from me what wisdom is!"

This is how it is: the mind lives in the no, it is a no-sayer; its nourishment comes from saying no to each and everything. The mind is basically atheistic, negative. There is nothing like a positive mind.
The heart is positive; just as mind says no, the heart says yes. Of course, it is better to say yes than to say no, because one cannot really live by saying no. The more you say no, the more you become shrunken, closed. The more you say no, the less alive you are. People may think you are a great thinker, but you are shrinking and dying; slowly you are committing suicide.
If you say no to love, you are less than you were before; if you say no to beauty, you are less than you were before. And if you go on saying no to each and everything, chunk by chunk you are disappearing. Ultimately a very empty life is left -- meaningless, with no significance, with no joy, with no dance, with no celebration.
That's what has happened to the modern mind, to the modern man. The modern man has said more no's than ever before. Hence the question: What is the meaning of life? Why are we alive at all? Why go on living? We have said no to God, we have said no to the beyond, we have said no to all for which man has lived down the ages. We have proved to our heart's content that all the values man has lived for are worthless -- but now we are in difficulty, in deep anguish. Life has become more and more impossible for us. We go on living only because we are cowards; otherwise we have destroyed all the reasons to live. We go on living because we cannot commit suicide; we are afraid of death, hence we go on living. We live out of fear, not out of love.
It is better to be positive, because the more positive you are, the more you are moving towards the heart. The heart knows no negative language. The heart never asks, "What is beauty?" It enjoys it, and in enjoying it, it knows what it is. It cannot define it, it cannot explain itself, because the experience is such that it is inexplicable, inexpressible. Language is not adequate enough, no symbols help. The heart knows what love is, but don't ask. The mind knows only questions and the heart knows only answers. The mind goes on asking but it cannot answer.
Hence philosophy has no answers... questions and questions and questions. Each question becomes, slowly slowly, a thousand and one questions. The heart has no questions -- it is one of the mysteries of life -- it has all the answers. But the mind will not listen to the heart; there is no communion between the two, no communication, because the heart knows only the language of silence. No other language is known by the heart, no other language is understood by the heart -- and the mind knows nothing of silence. The mind is all noise: a tale told by an idiot, full of fury and noise, signifying nothing.
The heart knows what significance is. The heart knows the glory of life, the tremendous joy of sheer existence. The heart is capable of celebrating, but it never asks. Hence the mind thinks the heart is blind. The mind is full of doubts, the heart is full of trust; they are polar opposites.
That's why it is said that it is better to be positive than to be negative. But remember: the positive is joined with the negative, two sides of the same phenomenon.
I am not here to teach you the ways of the heart. Yes, I use them, but only as a device: to bring you out of your mind I use the heart as a vehicle; to take you to the other shore I use the heart as a boat. Once you have reached the other shore, the boat has to be left behind; you are not expected to carry the boat on your head.
The goal is to go beyond duality. The goal is to go beyond no and yes both, because your yes can have meaning only in the context of no; it cannot be free of the no. If it is free of the no, what meaning will it have? Your yes can exist only with the no, remember; and your no can also exist only with the yes. They are polar opposites, but they help each other in a subtle way. There is a conspiracy: they are holding hands, they are supporting each other, because they cannot exist separately. Yes has meaning only because of the no; no has meaning only because of the yes. And you have to go beyond this conspiracy, you have to go beyond this duality.
Saguna, it is the same question as Somendra's only asked in a different way, from a different angle. But it is not a new question, it is not a different question; it is the same question verbalized differently.
I am not teaching you the positive way of living, I am not teaching you the negative way of living: I am teaching you the way of transcendence. All dualities have to be dropped: the duality of mind and heart, the duality of matter and mind, the duality of thinking and emotion, the duality of the positive and the negative, the duality of male and female, yin and yang, the duality of day and night, summer and winter, life and death... all dualities. Duality as such has to be dropped, because you are beyond duality.
The moment you start moving away from both yes and no, you will have your first glimpses of the ultimate. Hence the ultimate remains absolutely inexpressible; you cannot say no, you cannot say yes.
Gautama the Buddha never said no to God, never said yes to God. He seems to be the only person in the whole history of man who is neither an atheist nor a theist. This is unique, something immensely valuable. He is a pioneer; he is breaking into a new dimension, he is a breakthrough.
People were continuously asking, as they have always asked, "Does God exist?" and they expected a categorical answer, yes or no. They were very puzzled by Buddha, because he would never answer clearly whether God exists or not. On the contrary, he would divert the question into something else; he might start talking about something else. And his impact and his magnetism were such that you would forget all about what you had come to ask him; you would remember only later on that he deceived you. You had asked about God and he didn't say a single word about it.
Many thought, "He does not believe in God and that's why he keeps silent about God, because he is afraid that if he says no then religious people will leave him." Many thought, "He knows God is, but he does not say so because he does not want the atheists to leave him." And many thought, "Because he knows nothing, he is utterly ignorant, that's why he remains silent about the most fundamental question." But they were all wrong.
He was silent because God means something which is transcendental; yes is irrelevant as much as no is irrelevant. Nothing can be said about God; to be silent about him is the only right answer. He was REALLY answering. Very few, rare people understood him.

Once a man came. He touched Buddha's feet and asked him, "Does God exist?" -- the perennial question.
Buddha said -- that was always his way, it will show you his method -- he said, "When I was young I used to love horses very much." Now, the man is asking about God, and he starts talking about horses! But he was a sweet talker... the man became interested in horses, and Buddha said, "I came across four kinds of horses. One is the most stupid and stubborn kind: you beat the horse, still he would not budge. Many people are like that. The second kind is: you beat him and he would move, but he would move only if you beat him, if you whip him. Many people are like that. And the third kind you need not beat -- you simply show him the whip and that's enough; if he knows you have the whip in your hand, that's enough. And I have also come across very rare horses: even the whip is not needed -- just the shadow of the whip is enough."
And then he closed his eyes and sat silently. The man also closed his eyes and sat in silence with Buddha.
Buddha's chief disciple, Ananda, was present; he was watching the whole thing. He could see that the man had asked about God, and Ananda was also curious about what Buddha was going to say -- and he started talking about horses! Ananda was not happy about it: "This is no way, this is devious, this is cheating the person. He is asking about God and you talk about horses!" He made it a point, "When this man is gone I am going to ask. This is too much! If he talks about God, at least you can talk about meditation, but not about horses! If you don't want to talk about God, talk about meditation, talk about silence, but something relevant. Talk about desirelessness, or at least you can say, 'God is indefinable. Nothing can be said about God, but I can show you the way so you can also experience it.' That would be right, compassionate. But what kind of a joke is this -- you talk about horses?"
But more than that, he was puzzled when Buddha closed his eyes and the man also followed. And there was such great silence, so solid, so substantial, almost tangible; you could have touched it, you could have felt the texture of it. Ananda was not a very silent man, but even he was moved by these two men facing each other sitting in such a tremendous silence. He could see Buddha's face and he could see the face of the man becoming transformed just before his eyes. A grace descended, a great peace arose.
And then after an hour or so the man opened his eyes, touched Buddha's feet in deep gratitude, thanked him and went away.
Ananda asked Buddha, "It is incomprehensible to me: he asks about God and you talk about horses. But I know you, I have heard you doing this to many people -- but more than that I am puzzled about what transpired between the two of you. I know you, so it was not a great puzzle for me that you closed your eyes and you became silent. I know that it is more difficult for you to talk than to be in silence -- silence is natural to you, spontaneous to you -- but what happened to the other man? I could see that he was becoming silent and after a few minutes he was in such a deep silence -- as if he had lived with you for years. Even I have not known such silence! And then what happened in that silence? What communion happened? What communication happened? What transpired? For what was he grateful? Why did he thank you so much?"
Buddha said, "There are four kinds of horses -- you are the first kind, Ananda, and he is the fourth! Just the shadow of the whip is enough, he understood. And I was not talking about horses, I was talking about God; but God cannot be talked about directly. And I was not talking about horses, I was talking about meditation. But I knew the man -- he is also a lover of horses. When I saw him coming on his horse I knew it immediately: he had such a rare kind of horse, only a lover of horses could choose such a horse. That's why I talked about horses -- that was the language he could understand, and he understood it. And when I closed my eyes he saw the shadow of the whip. He closed his eyes -- he understood that the ultimate cannot be talked about, but you can be silent about it, utterly silent about it, and in silence it is known. It is a transcendental experience: it is beyond mind and beyond heart, it is beyond yes and beyond no, it is beyond negative, beyond positive."

But if you are going to choose between the negative and the positive, then I will say: choose the positive -- because it is easier to slip out of the yes than to slip out of the no -- because no does not have much space in it; it is a dark dark prison cell. Yes is wider; it is more open, more vulnerable. To move from no you will find it very difficult: you don't have much space, you are enclosed in it from every side, and all the doors and all the windows are closed. No is a closed space.
To live in the negative is the most stupid thing a man can do, but millions are living in the negative. Modern man particularly is living in the negative. He is repeating the story of Turgenev, THE FOOL, because living in the negative he feels great, his ego feels very satisfied. Ego is a prison cell created by the bricks of no's; negativity is its food.
So if you have to choose, Saguna, between the negative and the positive, choose the positive. At least you will have a little wider scope; a few windows and doors will be open, the wind and the sun and the rain will be available to you. You will have a few glimpses of the open sky outside and the stars and the moon. And sometimes the fragrance of flowers will start coming to you, and sometimes you will be thrilled by the joy of just being alive. And it is easier to move from the yes to the beyond.

From the no come to the yes, and from the yes go to the beyond. The beyond is neither positive nor negative -- and the beyond is God, and the beyond is enlightenment.


Next: Chapter 2: The heart has no questions, Question 3

 


    Energy Enhancement         Enlightened Texts         Dhammapada         The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 5     

 

ENERGY

ENHANCEMENT MEDITATION

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 HOME PAGE

 

GAIN ENERGY APPRENTICE LEVEL1

THE ENERGY BLOCKAGE REMOVAL PROCESS

LEVEL2

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MASTERY OF  RELATIONSHIPS TANTRA APPRENTICE LEVEL4

 

STUDENTS EXPERIENCES  2005 AND 2006

 

MORE STUDENTS EXPERIENCES

 - FIFTY FULL TESTIMONIALS

2003 COURSE

 
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