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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 8
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Chapter 13: Stepping-stones towards Truth

It is said that if all the paintings of the world disappear, you will not be able to see the beauty of a sunset. You will not be able to see the beauty of a roseflower. You will not be able to see the beauty of a bird on the wing. You have become able to see it because painters for centuries have been preparing the right context to see it. But ask the painters themselves. Ask a Van Gogh or a Rabindranath Tagore or Nandlal Bose, and they will say that they have failed. What they had seen was something totally different. It was so alive, so pulsating! And the painting is dead; it is nothing but canvas and color. How can you put a sunset on the canvas? It will be a still life and the sunset - the real sunset - is dynamic, it is moving, it is changing moment to moment. Your painting will be just a framed phenomenon - and the sunset has no frame to it.

How can you sing a song that relates your experience of love? It is impossible; all words are inadequate. So first, when you try to express your experience, ninety percent of it is lost. And when somebody hears it, the remaining ten percent is distorted. Even if one percent reaches the other person it is more than you can ask.

When I say something to you I know how much is already lost. When I look in your eyes I again know whatsoever was left in the words has been distorted by your mind. Your mind is continuously trying to allow only that which fits with it; it does not allow that which goes against it. It does not hear it at all, and it hears only that which is nothing but a reflection of its own past.

The analyst was concerned about the results of a Rorschach test he had just given to the patient, who associated every ink blot with some sort of sexual activity.

“I want to study the results of your test over the weekend and I would like to see you Monday,” he said to the patient.

“Okay, Doc. I am going to a stag party tomorrow night. Any chance I might borrow those dirty pictures of yours?”

What he sees he believes is there; and what he sees is not there, it is his projection. What he hears may not be said at all, but one can hear it very clearly, so clearly that it is impossible not to believe in it. Your mind is coloring everything every moment.

Leonora went into a drugstore to buy film. When she came out she was ripping mad. “Rodney, go into that store and cut that man real good!” she said to her boyfriend.

“Why, honey,” asked Rodney, “what happened?”

“I told him I wanted some film,” she explained, “and he had the nerve to ask me what was the size of my Brownie!”

You can read something which is not written. You can hear something which is not told. You can see something which does not exist anywhere except in your own imagination. Then words become farther and farther away from the truth. Words are lies: lies in the sense that they are incapable of transferring the real, the existential. In the very transfer it dies.

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