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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol. 1
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Chapter 3: Tariqa - The Method

But don’t laugh at her, you will not be able to do that either. We know people only by their faces. Why? Because we know ourselves only by our faces as seen in the mirror. You would not recognize even your own head if you had not seen it in a mirror before - or would you? If you had never seen yourself in the mirror, and some day somebody brought your head in front of you, would you be able to recognize it? You would not recognize it at all. Your acquaintance with yourself is also very superficial. It’s okay with the others, you look at them from the outside; but at least with yourself you are not outside, you are inside - can’t you look at yourself from the inside? No, even to look at yourself you need the help of an outside mirror. So the mirror reflects, and you become an outsider to yourself - then you can see. And then you know that face, that body, that form.

Our so-called knowledge of ourselves and others is very much body-rooted. Hence we never enter deeper into any other dimension than the body. That dimension is called sharia. It is the outer dimension of religion. When a Mohammed walks on the earth, or a Buddha, or a Mahavira, you simply watch the body. You watch his behavior. You watch how he sits, what he eats, what he wears, how he talks, his gestures - you watch these things. And out of these things you create a certain discipline and you start following that discipline. This is a dead religion; this is a corpse religion. At this point Mohammedanism exists, Hinduism exists, Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism.. All the -isms- exist at this point.

The crowd believes in sharia, that’s why the crowd always remains irreligious. The crowd as such is irreligious. You can find only individuals religious, never a crowd. A crowd, by its very nature, is insane; a crowd, by its very nature, is political, never religious. In fact, if you are alone you cannot be political. Have you ever thought about it?

If you are left alone on the earth you can’t be political. For politics the other is a must. If you are left alone on the earth you can be religious, there will be no hindrance, but you cannot be political. Politics needs the crowd, the collective mind. Religion needs only you - you are enough unto yourself. Your very aloneness becomes the passage towards religion. That’s why when a person wants to be religious he goes into aloneness, he seeks solitude. He goes to the mountains or to the desert. He wants to escape from the crowd because the crowd is basically mad. Søren Kierkegaard, one of the most perceptive thinkers of the West, has said “the crowd is the untruth.”

Truth is always individual - a Buddha has it, a Mohammed has it, a Jesus has it. Truth is always a flowering of the individual consciousness. But the crowd never has it, the crowd always has the untruth. Even from a Buddha or a Christ or a Mohammed the crowd gathers the superficial: what he eats, when he goes to sleep. People even come and ask me. They say, “Osho, when do you go to sleep? What hour exactly? - because we would also like to follow it.” For what? “What do you eat - what vegetables, what fruits? - because we would also like to eat in the same way.” For what?

But that’s how the mind of the crowd functions; it always goes for the nonessential. What I eat is meaningless, what I am is meaningful. What I do is irrelevant, what I am is relevant. Man is not equal to his behavior, he is more than that. And the greater the man, the bigger the difference.

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