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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   Zen: The Quantum Leap from Mind to No-Mind
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Chapter 14: Mind with a Small m

These people are talking about things which cannot be said, but out of compassion they are trying to make all kinds of effort to indicate to you your very being, which is your freedom; otherwise everybody is a prisoner.

When I was imprisoned in America, the sheriff of the jail fell in love with me. He said to me, “Do you feel humiliated, because your hands are cuffed, your feet have chains, your waist has chains, do you feel humiliated?”

I said, “Everybody is a prisoner, just these handcuffs and these chains don’t make any difference. You are also a prisoner but your chains are invisible.”

He was a little puzzled, an old man, but very intelligent. He said, “I don’t understand.”

I said, “You will have to meditate to see the point that your body is your prison, your mind is nothing but your chains. And I am not humiliated; these handcuffs and these chains that you have put on me simply show, expose, the reality of everyone. As far as I am concerned, I am free. No chain, no handcuffs, no prison cell can prevent me. I can move out, open my wings and be in the eternal; they do not matter.”

He was very respectful. He used to come to see me about six times a day and he asked me, “What do you go on doing all the time? I am the sheriff over seven hundred prisoners here, but you are a strange prisoner, you simply go on sitting.”

I said, “It is such a rare opportunity not to move, not to do anything, not to remember when it is seven o’clock to go to my people. I'm absolutely free, I have never been so free.”

He said, “You are strange, but the whole staff has fallen in love with you.”

The moment I left that jail he said, “I know you have to go from here, but deep down nobody on my staff, or the prisoners, want you to leave. Why can't you stay here? In just three days the whole climate of my jail has changed.”

I said, “I would love to be here, but my people are waiting. But next time, when I decide to have another taste, I will come directly to North Carolina in America.”

He said, “You are always welcome, whether you are arrested or not, whether any court wants you to be in the jail or not. As far as I’m concerned, my doors are open.”

There is only one freedom, the freedom to be; there is only one life, and that is hidden within you. The moment you touch it, you have moved beyond words, you have heard the celestial song and a dance that continues from eternity to eternity.

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