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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 real silence is not forced at all. The real silence comes out of understanding. You understand why the mind goes on making noise, you look into it, you watch it: Why? You go into its noises - they must have some message for you. You go into its dreams - even if they look absurd they must be conveying something from the unconscious to you. Just by cutting those messages you are not going to grow - because you are cutting your own unconscious. When you still your mind you are doing one thing: you are stilling your unconscious. You are saying, “I don’t want to hear.”

But the unconscious has something valuable to say to you. The whole of psychoanalysis is a proof for it, that the unconscious has something to convey. And the unconscious is more in tune with God than your so-called conscious. And the conscious tries to force the unconscious not to say anything.

No, no song will be born out of it. You can force a child to sit silently, out of fear. You can give him an electric shock, and you can tell him to sit silently otherwise more shocks will be given. And he will sit silently. But is this the silence you call peace? And he is boiling within, he is a volcano within, he is getting mad within. But he is sitting silently because of the electric shock.

That’s what people do - they silence the mind by fasting. That is giving shocks to the mind. You say, “Do this - otherwise I am going to fast. I will starve you. Do this - otherwise I am going to stand in the hot sun for twenty-four hours. Do this - otherwise I will stand in the freezing river the whole night.”

There have been sects - Christian, Hindu, Jaina, and a thousand others - sects of masochists. Sects who have been torturing their bodies like anything; neurotic people. If you torture too much you make the mind very afraid. The afraid mind becomes still. It says, “Okay. I will keep quiet.” But can a song be born out of this quietude? Can there be a dance, can there be a celebration out of this forced silence? There cannot be.

That’s why your saints miss songs. Your saints look sad, dull, dead. You will find dust in their eyes, not radiance. You will not find flowers blooming in their heart, no. No white lotuses grow in your so-called saints’ hearts. They are just deserts - dead, dry, no juice flows.

I am not for it. That is not my cup of tea, I don’t purchase it. And I would like you to understand very deeply, because people who go on the path always fall into this trap. It seems easier. Without understanding the mind, just force it. To understand seems to be a longer way. But there are no shortcuts.

The spiritual growth comes the harder way, the longer way. One has to go with the mind with deep understanding. Go on, layer by layer - with great patience the work has to be done. And with great playfulness the work has to be done.

And then one day, when you have understood all the messages of the mind, the mind becomes silent. Because there is nothing more to say. It has been heard; it has reached to the master. Then the mind becomes silent on its own accord. It falls silent without any effort on your part, effortlessly falls into silence. Then silence has a beauty, then silence is a benediction.

The second question:

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