Chapter 4: Don't Compare
In the West, via negativa has never been the predominant gestalt. Nothing like Buddhism has ever happened in the West, nothing like Zen. It could not have happened, it was not possible. The whole Judaic tradition out of which Christianity and Islam are born is basically affirmative: “God is” and Buddha says, “God is not.”
Remember the Eastern meaning. When Buddha says, “God is not,” he is not an atheist. He is simply saying that the nature of God is nothingness. He is not denying God at all; he is not agreeing with Epicurus or with the Charvakas. When he says, “God is not,” you have to remember, you have to be constantly aware that his “not” is not your “not.” His “not” does not say that God does not exist. His “not” simply says that God exists as nothingness. Hence we cannot say God is, because that will make your gestalt change to the positive. Either you can say God is nothingness or you can say God is not. And of course saying God is nothingness will not come closer to the truth. “God is not” comes very close, so close that one step more and you will disappear into nothingness. But that nothingness is overfull, it is pregnant. It is the nothingness that is found inside the seed.
If you cut a seed, what you will find? - nothing. But you know perfectly well that nothing contains millions of flowers - invisible, but they are there, all the colors, all the fragrances. Nothing can be felt right now, but the potential is there.
Enjoy this silence and don’t compare, and don’t call it empty. You are absolutely on the right track; this is the way for you.
I cannot conceive of Ashoka dancing; that will look very ridiculous. When you see Ashoka next time, just think.Ashoka dancing! It will look absurd, it is not possible. Ashoka singing - impossible! He tries because he sees so many people dancing and singing.
He writes jokes many times to me but I have never chosen a single joke, because he has no sense of humor at all! But he tries, poor man, tries his best!
Once he wrote to me, “Osho, what do you think about it? I have an idea that I would like to start an ashram magazine just full of humor.”
I said, “My God - and Ashoka will be the editor of the magazine!” If he wanted to start a magazine on boredom or something like that it would have been perfectly logical, but he wants to start a magazine full of humor and he has no sense of humor at all, no possibility even! But there is no need.
Go on falling deeper and deeper into your silence. And never, never compare yourself, your experiences with others, because everybody has to go in his own way. Of course in the end, the one who has come dancing to the ultimate and the one who has come in silence meet and merge into one experience.
Bliss is not right now the thing for you. It may happen as a by-product at the final stage.
A joke for you, Ashoka. Think over it. Perhaps you may get it!