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Chapter 13: Neither This nor That

Going yet higher, we say that he is neither a soul, nor a mind, he is neither a soul nor a mind nor an object of knowledge; neither has he opinion, nor reason, nor intellect; neither is he reason, nor thought, nor is he utterable or knowable; neither is he number, order, greatness, littleness, equality, inequality, likeness or unlikeness; neither does he stand nor move, nor is he quiescent; neither has he power, nor is power, nor light; neither does he live, nor is life; neither is he being, nor eternity, nor time, nor is his touch knowable; neither is he knowledge, nor truth, nor kingship, nor wisdom, nor one, nor oneness, nor goodness; neither is he spirit, as we can understand it, nor sonship, nor fatherhood, nor any other thing known to us, or to any other creature; neither is he of things which are not, nor of things which are; neither do the things which are understand him. As he is in himself, as he is in himself nor does he himself understand them as existing in themselves, neither is there utterance of him, nor name, nor knowledge; neither is he darkness, nor falsehood, nor truth; neither is there any entire affirmation or negation that may be made concerning him. But on the other hand we make affirmations and denials of those things which are less than him (and follow from him!) But of himself we neither affirm nor deny anything, since he who is beyond all attributes is perfect and alone the cause of all - beyond all negation the height of that which is entirely free from all and beyond all.

My God.this is pure nonsense! The only good thing about it is that this is the last sutra. This is theology at its best or at its worst - which are the same as far as theology is concerned. It is all sheer bullshit! You will have to take a jump into it and search out if something worthwhile can be found.

After a hard morning at his new job on a construction site, the Polack asked his foreman where he could go to have a shit. He was directed to a small tent. Inside was a small pit with a wooden plank set across it.

One hour later the Polack had not returned so the foreman went to look for him. He entered the tent and found him wading around in the piss and shit. “What on earth are you doing in here?” cried the astonished foreman.

“It’s my jacket, sir. I hung it on that hook and it fell in!”

“But you can’t wear it after it has been in there!” said his boss.

“Of course not,” replied the Polack, “but my sandwiches were in the pocket!”

It is going to be a little bit difficult - Dionysius himself must have felt it - but this is the way theologians have always talked. This is the way, the only way, they can understand. This is their language. It is not poor Dionysius’ fault. He was talking to theologians and, being a theologian himself, he was well-equipped with all this jargon.

As time changes, language also changes. Modern languages have become very sensible, to the point, mathematical, scientific. They don’t go round and round in circles. They have become more telegraphic: all that is unessential is dropped out.

But Dionysius is not contemporary; that you have not to forget. And there are a few gems of tremendous value, genuine gems, which are scattered among all this theological jargon. Avoid the jargon, but don’t throw the baby with the bath water. The temptation is great one feels like throwing the bath water and the baby and all! But the baby has to be saved - it has immense value.

Just the other day somebody asked, “Osho, you say the Hindu shastras are full of shit, but then why are there a few gems, beautiful gems?” There is no contradiction: gems can be found in shit. In fact, where else will you find them? That is the best place to hide them! Nobody will steal them - nobody will even think that they can be there.

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