Empathy means now there is no distance any more. Now the disciple is drowned in the master – he has become a devotee. Now the master is drowned in the disciple; they are not separate entities any more. They have reached the same rhythm of being, they pulsate in synchronicity.
Then there is understanding and that understanding liberates, and that understanding is immediate. You see the master, you look into his eyes, you hear his words, you see him moving, his gestures…and they are immediately understood without any translation by the mind. The mind functions no more as a mediator. It is direct communion – not even communication but communion.
The first step is that of a student, curious but still a spectator, far away, collecting information, knowledge. The second step is that of a disciple, no more a spectator but a participant, no more interested in knowledge but tremendously interested in knowing. And the third step is that of a devotee, utterly one with the master, partaking of his being, drinking out of his inexhaustible source, drunk – drunk with the divine.
Only the devotee understands absolutely, the disciple understands a little bit, the student only hears mere words.
Remember, you have to pass through these stages too. And it all depends on you: one can remain a student forever. If you keep the distance, if you are afraid to come close, you will be here and yet not here.
Come closer – spiritually closer. Bring your beings, unafraid, closer to the master, closer to his light. Yes, that light is not only light, it is fire too; it is going to consume you. Be consumed, because in that fire there is great hope of a rebirth.
These small Zen stories on the surface look like just ordinary anecdotes – they are not. They carry immense significance. Before we enter into the story, a few things have to be understood.
The other day there was a question from Satsanga. He said, “Osho, why are you not a little more diplomatic with the politicians and the priests? – because that will save us a lot of trouble.”
I can understand what he means; I can understand his worry. He would like me to be a little more diplomatic – but a master cannot be diplomatic. It has never been so, it is impossible. Diplomacy is cunningness, diplomacy is the art of lying. Diplomacy is the way of persuading others without telling them the truth. Diplomacy is a game. Politicians play the game; mystics cannot play it.
A mystic is one who calls a spade a spade. He is straight, whatsoever the cost. He cannot deceive, he cannot lie, he cannot keep quiet. If he sees something he will say it, and he will say it as it is.
Gurdjieff used to say, sometimes to very prominent people, famous in some way or other – great authors, painters, poets, politicians, the people who dominate this world, the great egoists…. He used to say to these people a very significant thing – remember it. Suddenly he would say to them, “You have a very good facade.”