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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   Tao: The Pathless Path, Vol. 1
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Chapter 8: Putting Shoes on a Snake

The real cannot be talked about. The moment you talk about the real it becomes an abstract concept. The moment something is expressed it becomes a concept. That’s why Lao Tzu says: The Tao that can be talked about is no longer Tao. The truth that can be uttered becomes a lie. The real cannot be talked about, the real can only be experienced. And it is good that the real cannot be talked about, otherwise people would simply gather words about the real and forget about experiencing it. By its very nature reality is elusive, it never comes into words.

So all that I can do is to show you the traps so that you can avoid the traps. If you can avoid all the traps you will fall into the real. That is the ancient-most method; the Upanishads call it neti neti, “neither this nor that.” They say: Show the disciple this is not true, that is not true. Go on showing him what is not true. When you have covered the whole field, when you have shown him everything that is not true, then suddenly he will become aware of truth because now only truth is left. So all that I can do is to talk about the traps.

The question is relevant. Many people think “You should talk only about God, about truth, about moksha, nirvana. Why should you talk about jealousy, hatred, anger?” Because if you go to other ashrams in India you will not find therapies there. You will not find encounter groups, you will not find gestalt groups, you will not find bioenergetics, you will not find Rolfing and Structural Integration. No, they simply read the scripture, they talk about truth. Here the whole approach is totally different, because you can go on talking about truth and it is meaningless unless the traps are broken. My whole effort here is to break all the traps. Once traps are broken, blocks are removed, the stream of truth flows. It is not a question of the stream, it is only a question of the rocks that are blocking the path.

The whole approach has to be understood, and that’s what I go on doing while I am talking. You may be surprised because for all of these few days I have not been talking about Tao, rather I have been criticizing Confucius. He is the trap; he has to be broken, demolished completely, with no compassion. He has to be smashed to pieces and bits, and thrown. Once Confucius is gone. Lao Tzu enters. You would like to invite Lao Tzu but Confucius is sitting on the throne; he has to be dethroned first. Once he is dethroned, suddenly you will see Lao Tzu has always been there - the presence of Confucius was hiding him.

Neti neti - the negative approach: my approach is negative. I will never talk about reality because it cannot be talked about. I only talk about what is unreal, what is wrong. Once you understand the false as the false, you will become capable of knowing the real as the real.

The third question

When am I going to become enlightened?

Please don’t be in such a hurry because I will be left without business. This is not fair. If I have so much compassion for you, you should have at least a little compassion towards me too. Go slowly. Let me also enjoy the masterhood.

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