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Chapter 7: Autumn Floods

Three Jews were going for a morning walk. They were friends, old friends, discussing many things. Then they saw the mayor’s big car pass by and the mayor waved his hand and said, “Hello!”

Now there was trouble. The first one said, “Don’t get so happy! He said hello to me - and he has to!”

The two asked, “What do you mean?”

The first one said, “I have taken ten thousand dollars from him. I borrowed the money, and for two years he has been waiting and waiting. He had to say hello to me!”

The other one said, “You are wrong! The hello was said to me - and he had to. The reason is that I have lent him ten thousand dollars. He owes money to me and he is always afraid of me. The moment he sees me he gets scared - he has to!”

The third laughed and the two others turned to him and said, “What do you mean? Why are you laughing?”

He said, “He had to say hello to me, not to you - there you are both wrong. He neither owes money to me nor do I owe money to him. Why shouldn’t he give me a clean hello?”

Once you start looking at reality through the mind then everything becomes a problem; then the ego start interpreting and then you have only interpretations. You may have proofs for them, and those proofs may look reasonable, but only to you, not to anybody else - because it is your ego that gives those interpretations. And you get more and more fixed in your interpretations because you have invested so much in them.

If somebody says something which goes against Christianity, a Christian feels hurt. If somebody says something against Hinduism, a Hindu feels hurt. Why? If you are really a truth seeker, as religious people say they are, why should you get hurt? You should inquire - he may be right. But the ego is involved. It is not a question of Hinduism being right or wrong, it is a question of you being right or wrong. How can you be wrong? If you are wrong, then your image starts shaking - you cannot be wrong. Then for small things, very small things, you start fighting and arguing. But the real fight, the basis of all fight, is that you are fighting against life. With your answers you are trying to conquer life; with your theories you are trying to manipulate life. And you think that if you know the theories then you will be the master.

Through knowledge you strengthen your ego. So if somebody says there is no knowledge through the mind, the ego simply becomes deaf. It never listens to it because it is dangerous. The mind says: “This is also a theory.” The mind says: “Even anti-philosophy is a philosophy, even Chuang Tzu is a philosopher.” Then everything is settled and you move again into your interpretations. But remember, Chuang Tzu is not a philosopher - neither am I.

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