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Chapter 5: The Odyssey of Aloneness

I was traveling in a train in the middle of the night and I entered the compartment which was reserved for me. It was a small, two-couch compartment. One, the upper one, was already occupied, the lower was reserved for me. As I sat on the lower bunk and gave the money to the porter, and gave instructions to the servant about when I would like to have tea in the morning, and when I would like to have my breakfast, I had no idea who was on the upper berth. But the man said, “Is that not you there, Osho?”

I looked up, I could not recognize the man. I said, “Yes, but who are you?”

He said, “Have you forgotten me? I am Sharanananda.” He was a very famous Hindu sage; but he was blind. I had met him twelve years before. In those twelve years I must have met millions of people; it was impossible to remember him. How could he manage to remember me when he was blind, birthblind?

I said, “Sharnananda, you are doing a miracle! You can’t see me, yet you recognize me. And I can see you but I could not recognize you.”

He said, “It is because of your eyes. I cannot see - I remember through my ears. Your sound, your way of speaking: those little things become part of my memory. And the meeting with you was so memorable, and the way you talked.. I could even hear the same way, the same sound, while you were talking to the servant, to the porter. I immediately recognized you. Nobody else talks like you.

“When you said to the servant, ‘Don’t wake me up because my morning begins when I wake, so let the tea wait. When I am awake, I will ring the bell, then you bring the tea.’ The moment you said, ‘My morning begins when I wake,’ I said this man cannot be anybody else. I don’t know anybody else in the whole world whose morning begins when he wakes up - the morning begins when it begins - but you can say that, only you can say that!”

A seer is one who is not groping in darkness, and just imagining things. Yes, a blind man’s imagination becomes very powerful because he cannot see; his whole energy is available inwards. Otherwise, the energy moves outside from the eyes, eyes are the doors opening outwards. When the eyes are closed, the energy moves inwards.

That’s why meditators close their eyes. It is a simple strategy: close the eyes and you lock the doors; the energy cannot move out, it moves in. So blind people become very imaginative. They can talk of color although they have never seen it. They can talk of light although they have never seen it. But still, howsoever beautiful their imagination, it is untrue, it is not real.

In India we call these people kavis, poets. But don’t go to see them, because the poet will be a very ordinary person. Just the other day - it has happened so many times I feel it almost a rule to be followed. Just the other day I saw for the first time a film of an Urdu singer, Gulam Ali. He is one of the topmost Urdu singers in the East, he has his own way and style. There are many singers, but Gulam Ali stands far above any of them. But I had always heard Gulam Ali on records, I had never seen him; it had never happened.

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