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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol. 1
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Chapter 1: A Rare Kind of Magic

It seems very strange. Why should wool become the symbol of Sufism? The scholars go on saying that it is because Sufis used to wear woolen robes. That’s true. But why? Nobody has answered it. Why should they be wearing woolen robes? Mohammed says in the Koran that even Moses was wearing a woolen robe when he encountered God. When God spoke to him he was entirely in a woolen robe. But why?

There is a deep symbolism in it. The symbolism is that wool is the garb of the animals and a Sufi has to become as innocent as an animal. The Sufi has to attain to a primal innocence. He has to drop all kinds of civilization, he has to drop all kinds of cultures, he has to drop all conditionings, he has to become again an animal. Then the symbol becomes tremendously significant.

When man becomes animal he does not fall back, he goes higher. When man becomes animal, he is not just an animal. That is not possible. You cannot fall back. When a man becomes an animal he becomes a saint. He remains conscious, but his consciousness is no longer burdened by any conditioning. He is no longer a Hindu and no longer a Mohammedan and no longer a Christian. He is in tune with existence as deeply as any animal. He has dropped all kinds of philosophies, he carries no conceptualizations in his mind, his mind is without any content. He is, but he is no longer in the mind. To be without mind - that is the meaning of the woolen robe. To be like innocent animals, not to know what is good and what is bad.and then the highest good arises, the summum bonum.

When you know this is good and that is bad, and you choose good against bad, you remain divided. When you choose, there is repression. When you say “I will do this. This has to be done. This should be done,” this becomes an -ought.- Then naturally you have to repress - you have to repress that which you have condemned as bad - and the repressed part remains inside you and goes on poisoning your system. Sooner or later it will assert, sooner or later it will take revenge. When it explodes, you will go mad.

Hence all civilized people are always on the verge of madness. This earth is a big madhouse. A few have already become mad, a few are potentially ready. The difference between you and the mad people is not of quality, it is only of quantity, only of degree. Maybe they have gone beyond the hundred degrees and you are just lingering somewhere - at ninety-eight, ninety-nine - but any moment any situation can push you beyond the boundary. Don’t you see it? Can’t you observe your mind? Can’t you see the madness that goes on and on inside? It is continuously there. You avoid it; you get occupied in a thousand and one things just to avoid it. You don’t look at it, you want to forget about it. It is too scary, frightening. But it is there - and whether you avoid it or not it is growing. It is continuously accumulating momentum. It can come to the peak any time, any small thing can trigger it. When you choose, you have to repress.

The animal does not choose. Whatsoever is, is. The animal simply accepts it; its acceptance is total. It knows no choice.

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