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Chapter 25: Stealing the Truth

A king loved his bodyguard very much. The bodyguard was such a beautiful man with so much love and trust for the master, the king, that he could have given his life at any moment if it was needed. He was ready to serve the king in any way. They were always together - hunting, or going to war, or just going for a walk in the gardens. The bodyguard was always with the king, so there arose a certain kind of friendship.

One day the king said, “What do you think? - do you ever dream of being a king?”

The poor bodyguard said, “I am so poor, I cannot dream such costly dreams. I dream of small things, but I cannot dream of being a king.”

The king said, “Then I would like to give you, for twenty-four hours, my position. For twenty-four hours you are the king and I am the bodyguard.”

The bodyguard tried to persuade the king, “Don’t do this. Don’t do this to me. I cannot conceive of it, cannot comprehend it - you being my bodyguard.” But the king was insistent, so it happened. The bodyguard became king for twenty-four hours, and the king became the bodyguard. And the story is tremendously significant because the first thing the bodyguard-king did was to order the crucifixion of the king!

The king could not believe it; nobody could believe it. He was such a trustworthy man, what happened to him? But the order of the king is the order, so the real king was crucified. And now there was no question of twenty-four hours; he was to remain the king forever.

This is a Sufi story. And Sufis say that love and trust can both betray - just they need the opportunity. Even trust can betray, just the opportunity is needed. There is only one thing that cannot betray and that is the nameless beyond - where the two are no more two, where a kind of one spirit in two bodies, one soul in two bodies, is experienced. In the beginning it will be only for moments, because the experience is so strange, so outlandish, that you need a little time to have it again. And slowly it will grow. There comes a moment when it becomes just your way of life.

I have seen love betray - very simple. To find a love that does not betray is difficult. It is difficult to find trust that betrays, but not impossible. Just the opportunity.. For example, I have loved so many people; I have given them my whole heart, unconditionally. But now that the whole world has turned against me - which was going to happen one day or the other - even those who thought they have attained to trust are betraying. And when trust betrays, it is so ugly.

Love can be forgiven because it is biological. It is bound to change. But trust is not biological; it is a higher phenomenon. But even the people who believed that they had trust in me - and they were not befooling themselves, they really believed they had trust in me - just they had not found the opportunity to betray. Now they have found the opportunity.

It was paying to be intimate to me, to have trust in me; now it can be dangerous to have trust in me. Now it is not paying.

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