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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   Nansen: The Point of Departure
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Chapter 2: Go Beyond Emptiness

A monk asked Nansen, “From patriarch to patriarch there is a transmission. What is it that they wish to transmit to one another?”
Nansen said, “One, two, three, four, five.”
The monk asked, “What is that which was possessed by the ancients?”
The master said, “When it can be possessed, I will tell you.”
The monk said dubiously, “Master, why should you lie?”
The master replied, “I do not lie. Eno lied.”

On another occasion a monk said to Nansen, “There is a jewel in the sky; how can we get hold of it?”
Nansen said, “Cut down the bamboos and make a ladder; put it in the sky and get hold of it!”
The monk said, “How can the ladder be put up in the sky?”
Nansen said, “How can you doubt your getting hold of the jewel?”

Maneesha, it is very rare to find an exact comparison between two mystics. But once in a while their expressions are the same, their symbols and metaphors are the same. It happens by chance because they may not have known each other at all. This is so in the case that Maneesha has brought:

A monk asked Nansen, “From patriarch to patriarch there is a transmission. What is it that they wish to transmit to one another?”

It is a very pregnant question, but almost impossible to answer. But the master’s very being is to bring the impossible within possible limits - if not the moon itself, then at least the reflection. And the reflection can be brought. And through the reflection the moon can be found.

Nansen said, “One, two, three, four, five.”

This reminds me of Kabir. I don’t think either knew of the other, but this is how Kabir used to answer questions, exactly the same. To anybody it may look like a puzzle, but it is not a puzzle. It is a way of indicating that which is impossible to say.

The experience is of nothingness. So when the experience of enlightenment happens, it is one; there is nothing else other than the illumination. But immediately you recognize the illumination, immediately recognition comes, it becomes two. At the moment you recognize, it is a vague recognition, not yet conceptualized. When you conceptualize it as enlightenment, as awakening, as buddhahood, it has already become three. When you say it to somebody else - that is the transmission - when you convey it, communicate to somebody else, it becomes four. And if the person to whom you have conveyed it understands it, it becomes five.

At each step you are going far away from nothingness, but nothing can be done about it. That’s the nature of reality. Now it is no more a puzzle when you understand what they mean by One, two, three, four, five. On the five the transmission is complete.

The monk asked, “What is that which was possessed by the ancients?”

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