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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol. 1
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Chapter 2: The Invisible Ones

So people of the heart are very compassionate. They understand. They understand why the priest is against them; they understand why the majority of humanity is not able to fall in rapport with them.

Let me tell you an anecdote.

A man was walking along and he saw a snail lost in a crevice in a wall, and for no particular reason he said to it, “Hello snail.”

Oddly enough the snail could speak and the snail could hear, and it said, “Hello,” and it moved its eyes around as best it could on their stalks to try to see what it was that was confronting him.

So the man said, “Can you hear me?”

The snail said, “Yes, of course. Who and what are you anyway?”

And the man said, “Well, I am a man.”

The snail said, “Whatever is that?”

So the man said, “Well, we are something like you. For instance, you have got eyes on stalks and we have got stalks on the other end.”

The snail said, “The other end?”

The man said, “Yes, just a minute. It’s for putting our feet on, you see - and these feet..”

The snail said, “Whatever are these feet for?”

And the man said, “The feet are for moving along on very rapidly.”

The snail said, “Really, you amaze me. Is there anything else peculiar about you?”

And the man said, “Well, you know how you have got your house on your back?”

The snail said, “Yes, yes.”

The man said, “Well, we don’t do that, you see. We have lots and lots of houses and we go in and out of them almost at will.”

The snail said, “You really are a most astonishing creature. Is there anything else strange about you?”

The man said, “Well, now, we are man, and a man can take a thing like a leaf - you know a leaf?”

The snail said, “Yes, yes, I know a leaf.”

And the man said, “Well he can make marks on this leaf and hand the leaf to another man, who could give the leaf to a third man, who could tell from the marks on the leaf what the first man was thinking.”

“Ah,” said the snail, “you are one of them, hm?”

And the man said, “What do you mean?”

“You are a liar!” said the snail. “The trouble with you liars is you tell one lie and then you tell a bigger one, and then finally you overreach yourselves.”

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