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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 4
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Chapter 10: Aes Dhammo Sanantano

The cross in its original sense represented time and eternity. It does not represent simply Jesus’ crucifixion; the cross is an older symbol than Jesus. In fact it is only a part of the ancient Eastern symbol, swastika, just a part of it. The swastika in the East has always represented time and eternity; the cross also represents time. Time is horizontal, it is linear; it moves from one moment to another moment. And the vertical line on the cross represents eternity - depth, height. In time you swim, in eternity you dive.

Herenow simply means this gap between the past and the future, this small interval. From this small interval you enter into a totally different world - that is called “the other shore.”

You need not be puzzled. But sometimes if you catch hold of metaphors too literally you can become very much confused. And I have to use metaphors; there is no other way to express that which cannot really be expressed, to express that about which the only right course is to be silent. The only possible way is to use metaphors, parables, stories, because they give you indirect hints.

The reality is so delicate and so fragile; it is like a very delicate flower. If you try to catch hold of it directly you destroy it. You cannot hold it in your fist; it is very mercurial. You can only move in a very indirect way, and very subtle has to be your movement - not even the footsteps should be heard. You can only whisper with reality; you cannot shout and you cannot argue.

That’s what a metaphor is: a dialogue which is done in whispers, a dialogue which is done in a poetic way; not prose, not clear-cut, not mathematical - vague, mysterious. You cannot attack reality; you can only persuade, you can seduce reality. It is a love affair, not a rape.

That’s where religion and science are different. Science is a kind of rape on reality. It tries to snatch truth from reality forcibly, violently; hence it destroys the natural equilibrium, the natural balance. It destroys ecology, it destroys the harmony, the accord of existence. It is a rape, because science speaks in the language of conquest.

Religion is a love affair, it is not a rape. Religion woos reality, persuades, slowly, slowly in a very indirect way. One has to be exquisitely graceful, hence these metaphors.

“The other shore” is a beautiful metaphor, but let me remind you: this is the other shore, this is that. You are not going to change the shore, you are simply going to change your consciousness. The change has not to happen in the outside - not that you take a boat, a ferry, and you go to the other shore. That will be a change in the outer circumstances. No, you drop the mind and you become consciousness, and the other shore has arrived. You have not moved even a single inch, you may not have done anything at all - you may have been simply sitting with closed eyes..

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