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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   Zen: The Path of Paradox, Vol. 2
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Chapter 7: An Explosion of Insight

Some children were playing beside a river. They made castles of sand, and each child defended his castle and said, “This one is mine.” They keep their castles separate and would not allow any mistakes about which was whose. When the castles were all finished, one child kicked over someone else’s castle and completely destroyed it. The owner of the castle flew into a rage, pulled the other child’s hair, struck him with his fist and bawled out, “He has spoilt my castle! Come along all of you and help me to punish him as he deserves.” The others all came to his help. They beat the child with a stick and then stamped on him as he lay on the ground.

Then they went on playing in their sand-castles, each saying, “This is mine; no one else may have it. Keep away! Don’t touch my castle.”

But evening came; it was getting dark and they all thought they ought to be going home. No one now cared what became of his castle. One child stamped on his, another pushed his over with both his hands. Then they turned away and went back, each to his home.

Life is a paradox. It exists through the paradox; that’s its very way of existence. the moving wheel moves on and unmoving axle, and at the very center of a cyclone there is silence. At the very core of life there is death. This is how things are, existence is through contradiction.

Existence continuously contradicts itself, and out of contradiction is born the energy to live. Out of the tension between the contradictions is this whole play, the game. This is the dialectics - the thesis and the antithesis. And the constant conflict between the thesis and the antithesis creates energy, generates energy. Out of the friction the energy is created.

You can look around, and everywhere you will find contradiction functioning - between man and woman, between day and night, between summer and winter, between success and failure, between birth and decay. Continuously, everywhere, the game is based on the very foundation of paradox. If you don’t understand this, you will live a life of misery. If you don’t understand this, if it doesn’t get deep into your heart and become a luminous understanding to you, you will live a life of anguish. Because you will never be able to accept this contradiction - you will never be able to see that this contradiction is not really a contradiction; the opposites function as complementaries.

Once seen in that light, life becomes enlightened. Then you are full of awareness. Then you know that there is nothing wrong in death - not only that, you know that without death life will not be possible at all.

So life owes its all to death. Then death is not against life; it is not the enemy, it is the friend. Seeing this, the fear of death disappears. Seeing this, anguish disappears, anxiety disappears. Seeing this, a great rejoicing arises in your being. Not seeing this, there is conflict. Misunderstanding is what your misery is. Understanding is bliss, misunderstanding is the cause of misery.

Now try to penetrate into your innermost core and see how things are there, and what you are doing with them. If man looks withinwards he finds there, at the very core, just pure nothingness. That’s why people don’t look withinwards.

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