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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   Tao: The Pathless Path, Vol. 1
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Chapter 4: No Bargain with Reality

Doing nothing, one feels as if one is a fool. One has to do something - if you cannot do anything, at least smoke. People start smoking whenever they don’t have anything to do; smoking is a complementary thing. Whenever you don’t have anything to do at least you can smoke; you feel occupied. People feel foolish if they have nothing to do. Have you not observed this phenomenon in yourself? If you are just sitting, you start feeling restless - you have to do something. If somebody comes, you will pretend to do. You will start reading the same newspaper you have read already just for show. Somebody has come, so you take the newspaper in your hand so that he knows you are doing something; otherwise he will think you are a fool. What are you doing? A man has to do something always and always, and continuously. People pretend, they cannot just be - it is not allowed.

In the West you have the saying that “the empty mind is the devil’s workshop”: if somebody is not doing anything that is dangerous. In fact, the active mind is the devil’s workshop. The empty mind has never done anything wrong to anybody. Hitler is not an empty mind, Buddha is an empty mind. Genghis Khan is not an empty mind, Chuang Tzu is. All the nonsense that has happened down the centuries has been done by the active mind. The inactive mind has not done any wrong because the inactive mind is not interested in doing at all - so who bothers? You cannot persuade an inactive mind to become an Adolf Hitler, it will laugh at the ridiculousness of it. “Why?” it will say. “For what?’

Alexander, while coming to India, met Diogenes - he was an inactive mind. He was lying on the bank of a river resting, taking a sun-bath naked. Alexander was very much impressed: the peace that surrounded this naked man, the silence; the beauty of this man, the grandeur, the grace, the natural simplicity, the spontaneity. Alexander felt jealous. It is said that Alexander had never felt jealous of anybody else because he had more than anybody else - why should he feel jealous? But with this naked man he felt jealous - he had something that Alexander could never even dream about. And he said to Diogenes, “If next time I am sent back to the world, I will pray and I will say to God ‘Now make me Diogenes, don’t make me an Alexander again.’”

Diogenes laughed. He said “Why wait that long? You can become Diogenes right now. Who is preventing you? You can rest here and take a sun-bath, as I am taking.’

The point was clear - as clear as it can be. Alexander felt ashamed and he said “Yes, one day I also hope.when I have conquered the whole world, then I will also rest and enjoy like you.”

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