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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   Zen: The Path of Paradox, Vol. 2
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Chapter 2: Selling Water by the River

The first question:

Peace of mind can be gained by withdrawal from the world, by stilling the vortices of the mind. But how much inner peace is appropriate in a world that contains Attica, Vietnam, Johannesburg, Biafra, Pakistan and Sub-Sahara Africa?

The world contains Vietnam, Attica, and things like that, because the peace of mind is missing. The root cause is that man is not silent. Hence violence, all kinds of violence. Because of Vietnam and because of Attica, much peace of mind is needed. They are symptoms of something like cancer inside human consciousness. They are not diseases themselves, they are simply symptoms. And they cannot be cured directly - until and unless the root cause is cut absolutely, destroyed absolutely.

Man has lived in war, down the ages, always. Out of three thousand years, only seven hundred years were not of war - and not in one stretch. Sometimes for one day there was no war on the earth, sometimes for a few days; otherwise the war has continued.

War is the greatest thing that man has remained involved with. Destruction seems to be very attractive; killing and murder seems to be the goal of the human mind. In three thousand years, man has fought five thousand wars. Vietnam is nothing new, it is as ancient as man. It is not something that is happening today, it has been always there - because man is ill.

And you ask me, “How much inner peace is appropriate.?” As much as you can manage - the more you have, the better. Because only pools of peace will destroy the compulsive attraction towards violence. Only pools of peace all over the world, many many buddhas, will be able to create a new vibe, a new wave, a new consciousness, in which war becomes impossible - in which all energy moves in a creative way, all energy moves towards love.

So don’t say.I understand the logic of it. The logic is, if man becomes very peaceful then he will not bother about Vietnam. I understand what you mean by your question. You mean, if people become very silent and very peaceful they won’t care what is happening in the world around them, they will become indifferent. So how much peace is appropriate? - that’s why you ask the question.

But try to understand. The war is not the disease itself. Peace is missing in the heart - hence the war exists. The war is a consequence: more peace, less war. If peace becomes predominant, war will disappear.

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