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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   The Empty Boat
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Chapter 7: Three Friends

Life has no conclusion. Life has no foolish thought to it. It goes on and on endlessly; it is always, eternally, an onward affair. How can you conclude anything about it? The moment you conclude you have stepped out of it. Life goes on and you have stepped out of the way. You may cling to your conclusion but life will not wait for you.

Friends can discuss. Why? Because you can love a person, you cannot love a philosophy. Philosophers cannot be friends. You can be either their disciple or their enemy but you cannot be their friend. Either you are convinced by them or not convinced, either you follow them or don’t follow them, but you cannot be friends. A friendship is possible only between two empty boats. Then you are open to the other, inviting to the other, then you are constantly an invitation: “Come to me, enter me, be with me.”

You can throw away theories and philosophies but you cannot throw away friendship. When you are in friendship a dialogue becomes possible. In dialogue you listen, and if you have to speak, you speak not to contradict the other, you speak just to seek, to inquire. You speak, not with a conclusion already reached, but with an inquiry, an ongoing inquiry. You are not trying to prove something; you speak from innocence, not from philosophy. Philosophy is never innocent, it is always cunning, it is a device of the mind.

Three friends were discussing life - because between friends a dialogue is possible. So in the East it has been the tradition that unless you find friendship, love, reverence, trust, no inquiry is possible. If you go to a master and your boat is filled with your ideas, there can be no contact, there can be no dialogue. First you have to be empty so that friendship becomes possible, so that you can look without any ideas floating in your eyes, so that you can look without conclusions. And whenever you can look without conclusions, your perspective is vast, it is not confined.

A Hindu can read the Bible, but he never understands it. Really, he never reads it, he cannot listen to it. A Christian can read the Gita, but he remains the outsider. He never penetrates its innermost being, he never reaches the inner realm, he moves round and round. He cannot really read the books, it is impossible because of the conclusions in the mind. He already knows that only Christ is true, he already knows that only through Christ comes salvation; he already knows that Christ is the only son of God. How can he listen to Krishna? Only Christ is truth. Then Krishna is bound to be untrue, at the most a beautiful untruth, but never true. Or if he concedes too much, then he will say it is approximately true.

But what do you mean when you say approximately true? It is untrue. Truth is either there or not. Nothing can be approximately true. Truth is or truth is not. It is always total. You cannot divide it. You cannot say it is true to some degree. No, truth knows no degrees. Either it is or it is not.

So when the mind concludes that Christ is the only truth, then it is impossible to listen to Krishna. Even if he crosses your path, you will not be able to listen to him. Even if you meet Buddha you will not meet him.

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