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Chapter 24: Following Existence

When I first heard you say, “Sitting silently, doing nothing, the spring comes and the grass grows by itself,” my Western mind thought this was a metaphor, and sought to find the meaning. Then I thought you really meant to sit silently - and I felt it was impossible. Now, sitting silently in your presence, I find that doing nothing is pure hedonism - and the grass is growing by itself. Osho, I am amazed, and my gratitude is beyond words.

The East and the West have gone so far away from each other that there is always misunderstanding: neither the East understands the West, nor the West understands the East. But in the final reckoning, the West is the loser.

For ten thousand years the East has chosen a path which is not of the mind - which is not intellectual, which is not rational, which is not logical, which is not scientific. And the West has chosen just the opposite.

The West is still far away from reaching the final heights of rational flight and perhaps will never be able to reach the end, because its inquiry is about the objects outside of you. There is an infinity of universe, and the deeper science goes, the more it finds that it knows nothing. Its knowledge only helps it to know that much more is to be known, and there seems to be no end in view.

In contrast, the East has reached its goal: it has attained to the ultimate consciousness. In a certain way, it has reached inner perfection. This creates new difficulties of misunderstanding, because the East speaks from the heights of final realization and the West can understand only relative truths which are changing every day.

They have also chosen to speak in different ways. The East speaks in poetic metaphors; the West speaks in terms of mathematics. The East speaks intuitively; the West, only intellectually.

It is one of the greatest problems to be solved - how East and West can come together. Their meeting is absolutely necessary; otherwise, whatever has been attained in the East, or in the West, will all disappear in nuclear smoke.

I can understand Kaveesha’s question. When she heard me first say the famous haiku - “Sitting silently, doing nothing, the spring comes and the grass grows by itself” - it was natural for her to understand it as poetry, as metaphoric expression. The mind trained in the Western way cannot think otherwise. It is impossible to think that it is a description of a reality.

There is no metaphor involved; it is not poetry. Haiku is not poetry. Its formation is poetic, but what it contains is reality - only the container is poetic, but the content is absolute reality.

But it is difficult for the simple reason, first: sitting silently is against the Western mind. The West has the proverb, “The empty mind is the devil’s workshop.” Sitting silently, you will be empty. And from your childhood you have heard “the empty mind is the devil’s workshop,” and the East knows something totally different. It is a workshop - not of the devil but of the divine.

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