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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   Zen: The Path of Paradox, Vol. 3
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Chapter 2: Only One Exists

If you want to sneeze, you will have to sneeze - I cannot do that for you. If you want to blow your nose, you will have do it yourself - I cannot do that for you. There are a few things you will have to do for yourself. This is one of the most fundamental things in life, and it is good that you have to do it yourself. Otherwise, even in your freedom you will be a slave. If I bring you out of your darkness, or anybody else, that light won’t he much of a light. You will be imprisoned in that light - you have not come of your own accord, you have not flowered of your own accord.

Have you not watched sometimes? Small children try to open a bud forcefully. The bud can be opened. but then it is not a flower. Even when it is open it is not a flower; something is missing; something of great significance is missing. The soul is missing. The flower has soul when it flowers on its own, then it has life. When you force it, you destroy it. All that is beautiful in life can only happen, it cannot be done.

There is a very beautiful anecdote about a Zen Master, Joshu:

One day, Joshu fell down in the snow and called out, “Help me up! Help me up!”

A disciple of Joshu came along and lay down beside him.

Joshu laughed, got up, and said to the disciple, “Right! Perfectly right! That’s what I am doing to you too.”

Joshu has fallen in the snow, and he shouts, “Help me up! Help me up!” Now there is no need! If you have fallen, you can get up; if you can fall, you can get up. The same energy that makes you fall can make you get up. The person who cannot get up, cannot even fall. The same energy that takes you astray can bring you home. The person who cannot come home cannot be astray either, because energy is needed.

The same energy that makes you a sinner can make you a saint. In fact, to be a sinner is more complex, more difficult, more arduous. To be a saint is not so complex, so arduous. And to be religious is not arduous at all. It is the same energy! You are keeping your eyes shut and you are investing much energy in keeping them shut. The same energy that is keeping them shut, relaxed, will help them open.

The disciple is a real disciple. He understands Joshu perfectly well. He knows that he has created a situation, he has fallen knowingly. Maybe the disciple was passing and Joshu has fallen - it is a situation - and he calls, “Help me up! Help me up!” And the disciple comes and lies down by his side himself. He does not help him at all. What is he doing?

He is not trying to help him at all, he’s simply sympathizing. He is saying, “What can be done? Okay, I am your disciple, I will lie by your side. What else can I do?”

A master sympathizes with you, he has compassion. What else can he do? He cannot hold your hand - a real master will not - because to hold your hand is to keep you always dependent. To bring you out forcibly is to keep you inside still. The moment the master leaves your hand you will go back to your old world, to your old mind. It was not yet finished, it was still clinging inside you.

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