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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   Tao: The Pathless Path, Vol. 1
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Chapter 11: Reality.That Which Works

Now what are you doing? But it seems as if the problem is solved. It appears - by naming, by labeling - as if you have solved the problem. Avoid this habit - this is one of the dangerous habits of man. And because of this habit it has become impossible to penetrate into reality. This habit has become so unconscious, so deep-rooted, so mechanical, that the moment you see something, you immediately verbalize. You see the tree and immediately you repeat inside “This is a tree - gulmohar tree or a pine tree. This is a rose, this is a marigold.” You continuously go on saying something inside whenever you are facing, encountering, anything. And if sometimes you come across something the name of which you don’t know, you feel a little uneasy: you start inquiring “What is this thing called?’ Once somebody has given you a name - any name will do - you are at ease. How do you become at ease so easily? Just by naming you think you have known.

A child is born and you give a name to the child, and the moment you give the name you have put a barrier. Now the child will be equivalent to the name, and the name is an invention. The child was a mystery, and the name is very poor. No name can cover any person because each person is such a mystery. What name can cover a person? It is impossible. I know it is needed, the name is needed for utilitarian purposes, but remember well that the name rose is not the rose. Use the name but don’t forget that the rose is a tremendous existence.

Tennyson has said “If I could understand a flower, root and all, then I would have understood the whole existence.” Yes, a small roseflower is so vast that if you can understand one small roseflower you will have understood the whole existence, because everything is so interconnected. If you want to understand the roseflower you will have to understand the earth: it comes out of it, the earth is the source. And you will have to understand the sky, because it flowers into the sky. You will have to understand the sun, because without the sun it cannot exist; the color comes from the sun. And if you go deeply into it, you will find that you will have to understand everything that exists in existence. Only then will your knowing about this rose be complete and total.

But just by calling it rose you start thinking you have known. These names give you knowledge and these names simply confuse you.

Asked Joyce, the inquiring child “Dad, is today Wednesday?”

Answered the patient father “No, daughter, today is Thursday.”

Joyce: “But you said yesterday that ‘today is Wednesday’.” Father: “Well, today was Wednesday yesterday. Yesterday Thursday was tomorrow today. When today is tomorrow, today will be yesterday. Today is today now. Now do you understand?”

Games of words, games.and nothing else. All your philosophy and all your theology are nothing but games with words, playing with words. And one can play endlessly. One word can lead to another and so on and so forth. Existence is, and existence is not a word. Existence is, and existence is not a philosophy. Existence is, and existence is not a dogma, theory, scripture. If you want to move into existence, then you have to drop all words, all verbalizing habits; you have to drop language. Language is the barrier.

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