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Chapter 10: Nature Loves to Hide

Sitting by a flower, don’t be a man, be a flower. Sitting by the tree, don’t be a man, be a tree. Taking a bath in a river, don’t be a man, be a river. And then millions of signs are given to you. And it is not a communication - it is a communion. Then nature speaks, speaks in thousands of tongues, but not in language. It speaks through millions of directions, but you cannot consult a dictionary about it and you cannot ask a philosopher what it means. The moment you start thinking what it means you are already on the path of going astray.

Somebody who had come to visit Picasso, a very learned man, a critic, he looked at Picasso’s paintings and then he said, “They look beautiful, but what do they mean? For example this painting” - the painting just before which they were standing - “what does it mean?”

Picasso shrugged his shoulders and said, “Look outside the window - what does this tree mean? And that bird who is singing? And what is the meaning of the sun rising? And if this whole exists without meaning anything, why can’t my painting exist without any meaning?”

Why do you ask what it means? You want to interpret it. You want to give it a linguistic pattern. You want to communicate, not commune. No, it doesn’t mean anything. It is there in its total glory. It is a meaning but it doesn’t mean anything. The meaning is existential. Look, watch, feel, move into it; allow it to move into you - but don’t ask questions. If you ask questions, enter a university - you cannot enter the universe. If you want to enter the universe, don’t ask.there is nobody to reply to you. You will have a totally different quality of being; only then will you be in contact with it.

It is reported of a Zen master - a very rare phenomenon, unbelievable because the mind boggles - that he had done a painting in the king’s palace, and the king was asking again and again, “Is it complete?”

And he would say, “Wait a little more, wait a little more.”

Years passed and the king said, “It is taking too much time. You don’t allow me even to enter the room” - because he would lock the room and then paint - “and I am getting old. And I am getting more and more excited as to what you are doing inside the room. Is not the painting ready yet?”

The master said, “The painting is ready, but I am watching for you - you are not ready. The painting was ready long ago, but that is not the point. Unless you are ready, to whom will I show it?”

Existence is there, always waiting, ready. At every moment, at every turn of the road, just by the corner, it is always and always waiting. It is an infinite patience, waiting - but you are not ready.

Then it is said that the king became ready and the painter said, “Okay, the time has come.”

They entered the room - nobody else was allowed in the room. The painting was really wonderful. It was difficult to say that it was a painting - it looked real. The painter had done a painting of hills, valleys, and they looked almost three-dimensional, as if they existed. And by the hills there was a small path going somewhere inside. Now comes the most difficult part of the story. The king asked, “Where does this road lead?”

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