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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   Zen: The Solitary Bird
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Chapter 4: Such a Moon

One day Kyozan was looking at the moon together with Sekishitsu and asked him, “Where does the roundness of the moon go when it becomes sharp, crescent?”
Sekishitsu said, “When it is sharp, the roundness is still there.”

Maneesha, existence can be approached only in two ways: the way of philosophy and the way of poetry. Poetry ultimately ends in mysticism. Philosophy simply goes on and on, without coming to any conclusion.

Zen is the purest poetry.

It states the existential in a poetic form.

This small dialogue will tell you the poetics of your being. All the so-called religions are non-poetic - very prose, very logical, very rational; their argument is to the mind. Poetry is the argument to the heart. Those who try to understand Zen as just another philosophy will miss it, will miss the very life of the Zen approach.

This small dialogue contains great insights, experiences, and realizations.

One day, Kyozan was looking at the moon together with Sekishitsu and asked him, “Where does the roundness of the moon go when it becomes sharp, crescent?”
Sekishitsu said, “When it is sharp, the roundness is still there.”

When it is round it is still sharp.

Nothing goes anywhere. Sometimes it is manifest, sometimes it is unmanifest, but it is always here - just like the moon. On the full-moon night you see its roundness, and then slowly, slowly that roundness is no longer round. Something starts disappearing from your vision which is not disappearing in the moon itself.

A day comes when the whole moon disappears. And on the first day of the moon it is just a small arc, it shows only for a few minutes and then is gone. But the moon as such is always there. Sometimes only a part of it is reflected by the sun - you see it. Sometimes the whole of it is reflected by the sun - you see it. But as far as the moon is concerned, whether the sun reflects it or not, it is always there.

Just think of a mirror. You are standing before a mirror - if the mirror disappears do you think you disappear? And you must have seen a house of mirrors, where there are many kinds of mirrors. In some mirrors you appear to be very tall, defeating the bamboos; in others you appear to be very short, but very fat. What the mirror says is not the truth.

The truth is in you, unreflected.

You don’t need any mirror to find it. You don’t need any lamp to go inside, because inside you there is neither darkness nor light. It is something like twilight, when the sun sets and the night has not come yet - the gap. In that gap, there is a light which is not coming from the sun.

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