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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   Tao: The Pathless Path, Vol. 1
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Chapter 9: Only Forgotten

When you are totally empty, God comes in. The devil can exist only with an active mind, never with an inactive mind. The devil can exist only with an occupied mind, not an unoccupied mind. The devil can ride only on thoughts, he can use thoughts and desires. How can he use emptiness? And they seem to be true. Hitler is not empty, neither is Genghis Khan, neither is Tamerlane; they are very active people. The devil has entered through them in the world. Bodhidharma is empty, Lieh Tzu is empty, Nagarjuna is empty - the devil has not come even close to them. Nothing wrong has ever come out of these empty people, only good; and only good has flowered. Great has been their fragrance. Centuries have gone by, but their fragrance is as fresh as ever.

Ordinarily, emptiness has never been thought of as a value, so the questioner seems to be right. He says,

“Why do you value emptiness?
In emptiness there is no valuing.”

What type of value? What can you do with emptiness? Value comes with use. Try to understand it: value comes when something is useful. How can you value something which is not? Not only that it is not useful, it is not - how can you value it? But that is the approach of the negative.

Lao Tzu says: The room is valuable not because of the walls, but the emptiness within. You use the room not the walls. Of course, when you make the house you make the walls, not the emptiness; nobody can make the emptiness. Emptiness is eternal, it is of God; it is not man-made. Houses are made by man, not emptiness. But what do you use? Do you use the walls or do you use the space inside? The word room is good: room means space. You use the room, the space, the roominess. In the wall, through what do you pass, come, and go in? The door. The door is empty. Door means the empty, that which is not - hence you can come in and out. You use the door, you don’t use the wall. And you use the room, you don’t use the wall. What do you use when you use an earthen pot? The earthen wall or the emptiness within? When you go to the well to draw water and you bring water home, what do you use? The emptiness of the earthen pot. That emptiness is valuable and that emptiness is not created by you.

Taoists say: That which is not created by man is valuable. That which is created may have a relative value, a market value, but really it is not valuable: it has no value. A man-made thing is a commodity. Of course if you go into the market-place and you start selling emptiness, nobody will purchase it. There is no value in it and people will laugh.

Lao Tzu is passing through a forest, and the forest is being cut. Thousands of carpenters are cutting the trees. Then he comes near a big tree - a very big tree, one thousand bullock carts can rest underneath it - and it is so green and beautiful. He sends his disciples to inquire of the carpenters why this tree has not been cut yet.

And they say “It is useless. You cannot make anything out of it: furniture cannot be made, it cannot be used as fuel - it gives too much smoke. It is of no use. that’s why we have not cut it.”

And Lao Tzu says to his disciples “Learn from this tree. Become as useless as this tree then nobody will cut you.”

Uselessness has great value.

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