Chapter 3: Flight from the Shadow
There was a man who was so disturbed by the sight of his own shadow and so displeased with his own footsteps, that he determined to get rid of both.
Remember: you are this man, this man exists in everybody. This is how you have been behaving. This is also your logic - flight from the shadow. This man was so much disturbed by the sight of his own shadow. Why? What is wrong with a shadow? Why should you be disturbed by a shadow? Because you may have heard - dreamers have said - that gods have no shadows. When they walk no shadow is created. This man was disturbed because of these gods.
It is said that in heaven the sun rises and gods walk but they don’t have any shadows, they are transparent. But I tell you, this is just a dream.
Nowhere does anything exist, can anything exist, without a shadow. If it is, then a shadow will be created; if it is not, only then the shadow can disappear.
To be means to create a shadow. Your anger, your sex, your greed - all are shadows. But remember, they are shadows. They are, in a sense, and still they are not: that is the meaning of a shadow. It is nonsubstantial. A shadow is just an absence. You stand, the sun’s rays fall on you, and because of you, a few rays cannot pass. Then the figure is created, the figure of the shadow. It is just an absence. You obstruct the sun, that is why the shadow is created.
The shadow is not substantial, you are substantial. You are substantial: that is why the shadow is created. If you were like a ghost then there would be no shadow. And the angels in heaven are nothing but ghosts, ghosts dreamed up by you and your ideologists, men who create ideals. This man was disturbed because he had heard that you become a god only when the shadow disappears.
There was a man who was so disturbed
by the sight of his own shadow
and so displeased with his own footsteps,
that he determined to get rid of both.
What are your disturbances? If you go deep, you will find nothing but the sound of your footsteps. Why are you so disturbed by the sound of your footsteps? You are substantial so there must be a little sound - one has to accept this.
But the man had heard the story that gods have no shadows, and when they walk no sound of footsteps is created. These gods can be nothing but dream objects: they exist only in the mind. This heaven exists nowhere. Whenever something exists sound is created around it - footsteps, shadows. This is how things are, you cannot do anything about it; this is how nature is. If you try to do something about it you will go wrong; if you try to do something about it your whole life will be wasted, and in the end you will feel that you have not reached anywhere. The shadow remains, the footsteps make sounds, and death is knocking at the door.