Chapter 8: Of the Despisers of the Body and the Joys and the Passions
Because we live in unconsciousness we never become aware of it. Zarathustra is right when he says that you say very proudly, I - but your I is nothing compared to the great intelligence of your body, which never says I, but really performs all the functions which are supposed to be done by the I.
What the sense feels, what the spirit perceives, is never an end in itself. But sense and spirit would like to persuade you that they are the end of all things: they are as vain as that.
You know your senses have been deceiving you many times. It is not only that in a desert, in the hot sun, you are deceived by a mirage.
You are thirsty. That plays a fifty percent role in creating the mirage. And because the sands are hot, and the sunrays are returning back, they create the other fifty percent. Their returning back creates the illusion of something like water, because of the ripples. The ripples are so mirror-like that even if there are trees they will be reflected in them. Then it becomes absolutely certain to the thirsty person that the water is nearby. Trees are there, and they are reflected in the water, but as you reach near the mirage there is no water at all. It was just sunrays reflecting back, creating a mirror in which the trees were reflected.
But it is not only in a desert. In your everyday life your senses are deceiving you, and every sense says, “Whatever is my experience is the reality.”
It happened once.I was standing in the garden of the library in a city where I used to study. One man came, tapped on my shoulder, and said, “It has been years I have not seen you.”
I looked at the man; I had never seen the man. I said, “You must be mistaken. Perhaps somebody else looking like me may have been your friend, but I don’t know you at all.”
He said, “I am very sorry, but you look so exactly like my friend.”
I said, “I am sorry that I look like him, but what can I do about it? I am helpless.”
The same day, I was in the market and the same man came and again tapped on my shoulder and said, “You are a strange fellow. In the morning I tapped on some innocent person thinking that you were standing there by the side of the library.”
I said, “I am the same man who was standing by the library, and this is the second time you have tapped me. But I said, “There is no problem: the third time be alert, because I don’t think your friend is here in the town. You have not seen him for years.”
He said, “I have not seen him for years.”
Then I said, “Remember, the third time if you see him, first ask him, and then.”
He said, “But you look so similar.”