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Chapter 2: Attraction to the Difficult

The first question:

What you have been saying about Heraclitus, Christ and Zen seems like kindergarten teachings compared to Patanjali. Heraclitus, Christ and Zen make the final step seem close; Patanjali makes even the first step seem almost impossible. It seems like we Westerners have hardly begun to realize the amount of work that has to be done.

Says Lao Tzu, “If Tao were not laughed at, it would not be Tao.” And I would like to say to you: If you did not misunderstand me, you would not be you. You are bound to misunderstand. You have not understood what I had been saying about Heraclitus, Christ and Zen, and if you cannot understand Heraclitus, Zen and Jesus, you will not be able to understand Patanjali either.

The first rule of understanding is not to compare. How can you compare? What do you know about the innermost state of Heraclitus or Basho or Buddha, Jesus or Patanjali? Who are you to compare? Comparison is a judgment. Who are you to judge? But the mind wants to judge because in judgment the mind feels superior. You become the judge; your ego feels very, very good. You feed the ego. Through judgment and comparison you think that you know.

They are different types of flowers - incomparable. How can you compare a rose with a lotus? Is there any possibility of comparing? There is no possibility because both are different worlds. How can you compare the moon with the sun? There is no possibility. They are different dimensions. Heraclitus is a wildflower; Patanjali is in a cultivated garden. Patanjali will be nearer your intellect, Heraclitus nearer your heart. But as you go deeper, the differences are lost. When you yourself start flowering, then a new understanding dawns upon you - the understanding that flowers differ in their color, differ in their smell, differ in their shape, form and name.

But in flowering they don’t differ. The flowering, the phenomenon that they have flowered, is the same. Heraclitus is, of course, different; he has to be. Every individual is unique; Patanjali is also different. You cannot put them into one category. There exist no pigeonholes where you can force them or categorize them. But if you also flower, then you will come to understand that flowering is the same whether the flower is a lotus or a rose. It makes no difference. The innermost phenomenon of energy coming to a celebration is the same.

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