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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   Zen: The Path of Paradox, Vol. 2
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Chapter 5: The White Flame of Life

A child lives in a different kind of world - the distinction between the dream and the real has not yet arisen. Maybe that’s why we all remember our childhood with nostalgia. We all think it was beautiful, it was incredible, it was wonderful. What was the wonder of it all? The wonder was, there was no distinction between reality and a dream - you could easily slip from one dream into another dream. It was easy to get out of one dream and enter into another; there were no hindrances.

The child had no problems because he had no fixed beliefs. Liquid beliefs.and no belief was yet a settled phenomenon, no belief had yet become a concrete thing. All was liquid, flowing - and so was the child and his consciousness.

Men live in a different kind of reality than women, because they live in a different system of thoughts and a different system of beliefs. Man lives in an aggressive belief, woman lives in a receptive belief. All that they do, all that they think, all that they believe, is deep down very different.

When a man thinks about a woman he thinks about love, he never thinks about marriage. When a woman thinks about a man, she thinks about marriage. Love is secondary, security is first. She lives in a different kind of world - maybe in the future she may not, but in the past the only problem for the woman was how to be secure. She is fragile, she is soft, she is weaker, she is afraid. All around is a man-created world, and she is a stranger in it. She needs security. So when she falls in love, the first concept, the first idea, is how to be secure, safe. She would not like to make love to a man unless marriage is settled. Marriage has to be the first thing, then anything else can follow.

Man is less interested in marriage, very much less interested. In fact not interested at all. If he agrees, he agrees only reluctantly - because marriage means responsibility. Marriage means bondage, marriage means now you are imprisoned. Now you are no more free to move with other women. For a man, marriage looks like a prison. For a woman, marriage looks like safety, security, a home. For a woman marriage means home, and for a man marriage means slavery. Total different beliefs, so they act differently. Conflicting beliefs.

For a young man the world is different, for an old man it is different. For the young, death does not exist. Death has not yet shadowed his belief-system at all; he lives as if he is going to live for ever. He is ambitious, he wants to do something, he wants to show to the world: “I am here. The world should know that I have come into the world.”

A small boy was saying to his mother, “The world has changed a lot.” The mother was surprised by this statement, because the child was only five. What world has he seen, to say that the world has changed a lot? And she asked, “What do you mean, the world has changed a lot? I don’t see much change since you came into the world. Five years is not a long time. And how do you know? You have not yet lived long enough to say such a thing.”

And the child said, “Yes, the world has changed a lot. Now I am in it.” The world is no more the same, certainly. And everybody wants, when he is young, to show his mettle. Death does not matter yet, life is all.

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