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Chapter 9: When Shibli Is Absent

A part is always going separate and coming nearer together again. A part is moving away from the whole and still is rooted in the whole - just like a plant moving towards the sky, away from the earth, and still rooted in the earth; trying to be a bird, but rooted, trying to reach the sky, but rooted in the earth. Only then the tree can exist. It is a subtle tension between the earth and the sky.

A part is continuously marrying the whole and continuously divorcing it. And there is the whole beauty of it: moving away and coming nearer, falling in love and fighting - and this goes on simultaneously. The oneness is not against duality; in fact the oneness is between the duality, and hence it is so alive.

God is not a dead concept. If God is simply one, the whole, it will be a dead concept. That’s why the Hegelian absolute is a dead concept - it is the god of the philosophers.

Soren Kierkegaard, one of the great Danish philosophers, has said a very beautiful thing. He said, “My God, I pray to you, but you are not the god of the philosophers. I don’t pray to the god of the philosophers,” says Kierkegaard. “I pray to the god of Abraham, Jacob and Jesus. The god of philosophers is dead. The god of Abraham, Jesus, Jacob, is totally different.”

The god of the lover, the god of the poet, the god of the devotee, is different. The god of the lover is alive. It has all the contradictions in it, and still the harmony exists.

God is harmony in contradiction. God is relaxation in tension. God is one in the many. God is formless in the form, nameless in all names.

Hindus have a very beautiful scripture. The name of the scripture is Vishnu Sahastra Nam, one thousand names of God. Hindus continuously say that God has no name, and then they write a book in which they compile simply the names, nothing else. The whole scripture consists only of one thousand names of God. Almost all the names have been compiled. God is nameless, and yet all names belong to him, because to whom can they belong? Your name is also God’s name; otherwise is not possible, because to whom will it belong?

Only God exists. So the sinner is God, and the saint is also God. In fact, between the sinner and the saint, remember, between the sinner and the saint exists the harmony. Without sinners, God will be impoverished, infinitely impoverished. Without saints, God will not be so rich. Sinners alone, and the whole harmony will be lost; saints alone, and you cannot find more boring a phenomenon, more monotonous. There will be no music.

The whole music throbs between tense notes, contradicting and yet not contradicting, going apart, and still coming together. If you understand this, then Hassan’s dream is really tremendous. God said, “Hassan, you did well. Had you chosen one, you would have missed an opportunity. I will give you both. I will give you the part in the whole, and the whole in the part.”

The whole exists in the part. The part exists in the whole. In fact part and whole are not two things. You cannot draw a dividing boundary. The part melts into the whole and the whole melts into the part.

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