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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 9
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Chapter 1: Be on Guard

The priests have all the answers. Ask them anything, any stupid thing. They can’t say, “We don’t know,” that is impossible. The priests have never said that they are ignorant; their whole business depends upon their knowledgeability.

Socrates says: I know only one thing, that I know nothing. That is exactly Buddha’s approach too - and Socrates and Buddha were contemporaries; they have much in common. If Socrates was born in India he would have been called a buddha. He also trusts innocence, the innocence of a child who knows nothing. If you can become a child again, then only the doors of the mysterious can open for you. You can see. The dust on your eyes is nothing but knowledge, information, scripture.

The psychotherapists are called by people “shrinks”; they are! A psychotherapist’s whole effort is to reduce you; he is a reductionist. He studies rats, and whatsoever he comes to know about the rats he applies to you. It is so disgusting, so humiliating, so absurd, illogical! He studies the lowest to know the highest.

You can know nothing of the flower by studying the seed, by dissecting the seed, by analyzing the seed. For thousands of years you can go on analyzing the seed; you will never come across the colors of the rose, the lotus, or the fragrance. You will never know what fragrance was hidden in the seed. Analysis cannot yield it to you.

Studying rats and then applying that knowledge to man is simply saying that man is nothing but a kind of animal, a little more complex maybe, but nothing more than that. Reductionism means always bringing things to “nothing buts.”

The real understanding of man is only possible not by studying the rats but by studying the buddhas, the christs, the krishnas - the highest. By studying the peaks you will know exactly who you are, not by the lowest denominator but by the highest manifestation. When you study a buddha, a great longing arises in you to reach to those heights. When you study rats, then there is no longing. In fact, you feel very satisfied whatsoever you are. In fact, you feel greatly contented that you are a little better than the rats, a little more complex, a little more clever. You feel gratified. Religion disappears.

Religion lives in your longing to reach to the peaks, to attain to the ultimate heights, to bring your total potential into manifestation, into actuality. Religion is the science of self-actualization.

If a psychotherapist can be called a “shrink,” then a real religious person should be called a “stretch.” He stretches you to the ultimate possibilities.

Now the sutras:

For if in your renunciation
you are reckless and break your word,
if your purpose wavers,
you will not find the light.

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