Seventh. Now at the very end of our long list I introduce you to two books of which I think you must have already tasted: Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, and the eighth is Alice Through the Looking Glass. Both are nonserious, that’s why I love them. Both are written for children, that’s why I immensely respect them. Both are full of beauty, grandeur, mystery and small parables which can be understood on many many levels. I have always loved one parable, for example....
Alice comes to the King – or perhaps it was the Queen, it does not matter – and the King asks Alice, “Did you meet my messenger coming towards me on the way?”
Alice says, “I met nobody, sir.”
The King then says, “Then he must have reached here by now.”
Alice could not believe her ears, but just out of respect, amazed, Alice still remained silent, quite an English lady.
Gudia, are you there? Just the other day you were asking me, “Is there still an English lady in me, Osho?” Just a little bit, nothing much – nothing to worry about. And a little bit is good.
Alice must have been a perfect English lady. Out of formality she did not even giggle. She had said that she had met nobody, and the King thinks that she had met somebody called Nobody. My God, he thinks that Nobody is a man, that Nobody is somebody...!
Again Alice says, “Sir, did I not tell you that I met nobody? Nobody is nobody!”
The King laughed and said, “Yes, of course nobody is nobody, but why has he not arrived yet?”
Such beautiful small parables in both the books, Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass. And the most strange fact to remember is that Lewis Carroll was not the real name...because he was a mathematician and a schoolmaster; hence he used a pseudo-name. But what a calamity, the pseudonym has become a reality to the whole world and the real man is completely forgotten. It is strange that a mathematician and schoolmaster could write such beautiful books.
You will wonder why I am including them. I am including them because I want to say to the world that to me, Jean-Paul Sartre’s Being and Nothingness and Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland are all the same. It does not matter. In fact, if I have to choose between the two I will choose Alice in Wonderland and throw Being and Nothingness in the ocean, so far away in the Pacific that nobody will find it again. To me these two small books have great spiritual value. Yes, I’m not joking...I mean it.