Osho-Paradoxes on the path of reality
The path to reality is full of paradoxes, hence the logical mind cannot comprehend it. Logic is incapable of understanding a paradox. Logic tries to dissolve all paradoxes, to make things straight, clear. But paradox is intrinsic to nature. Nature exists through contradictions. Contradictions are not really contradictions but complementaries.
The person who thinks about truth is bound to think wrongly. All thinking is wrong about truth, because the moment you start thinking you follow the path of logic – and reality is paradoxical; they never crisscross. They run parallel, but they never meet.
Another name for this paradoxicality of existence is mystery. Mystery is not a riddle, mystery is not a problem, because it cannot be solved. There is simply no way to solve it. It is to be lived, experienced.
Yet you will not be able to answer what it is, because the moment you try to answer it you have to bring language in – and language is logical. Language is created by the logical mind, hence language is inadequate, absolutely inadequate to express truth. Truth can be expressed only through silence, but then silence again is a mystery.
The first paradox that you will come across on the path is: the mind cannot ask a right question. It is not within its powers to ask the right question, because to ask the right question is to find the answer immediately.
In fact, the right question is the answer. In the world of the mind there is a duality: the question and the answer; they are separate. In the world of reality, the right question is the answer.
If you can ask the right question, there is no need even to ask; the very understanding of the right question is enough to understand the answer. But the right question cannot be asked by the mind; it can be asked only by the no-mind. But the no-mind never asks anything.
This is the first paradox one comes across: the mind asks questions, but all questions raised by the mind are bound to be wrong, because mind itself is wrong.
Anything that arises out of that state is going to be wrong, and a wrong question cannot lead you to the right answer.
The mind can ask millions of questions, but there is no answer anywhere for those questions. The no-mind knows the answer, but the no-mind never asks the question. It is so at ease, so at home with reality, that the question does not arise. The nonarising of the question is the answer.
So the whole effort of Bodhidharma is to change the gestalt of your being, your focus. You are focused on the dualistic mind. The dualistic mind always thinks in terms of either/or: “Either God is light or God is darkness. How can God be both?”
It becomes impossible for the mind to conceive that God is both simultaneously: light and darkness, life and death; that God is and is not, and he is both together simultaneously. The mind starts feeling crazy if you force it to think upon such matters.
The mind simply recoils, it says, “This is nonsense!”
One of the very keenest minds of the modern West is Arthur Koestler. He came to study Zen. Now, Zen cannot be studied in the first place; it is not a question of studying.
You cannot approach it through the mind, through the intellect – but that is the only approach available to the contemporary man. Contemporary man is far poorer than man has ever been before – rich in things but poor in understanding.
Arthur Koestler came to India, to Japan, traveling in search of what Zen is – studying scriptures, questioning masters, collecting notes of their answers. And then he wrote a book against Zen. I can understand why he wrote against it – because he felt the whole thing was nonsense: the whole thing appeared to him so illogical. I cannot condemn him. He represents the modern mind, he represents intellect.
If you approach through the intellect then Zen is illogical, but so is life, so is this whole existence.
Here, day and night are one; here, summer and winter are one; here, life and death are one.
Koestler should think a little bit more about life, too. Life is more like Zen than like anything else; Zen may be illogical because life is illogical. Logic is a manmade phenomenon.
Logic is a frame imposed by us on existence. We try to sort things out, and existence is a beautiful chaos. We want to figure things out, what is what, and in existence everything is turning and changing into everything else.
The mud becomes the lotus, and one day the lotus falls back into the mud again. The mud becomes the body of a human being, a beautiful body, and one day it goes back to the earth. The earth rises into a tree, becomes green, red roses flower, great fragrance is released, and one day all disappears like a dream. Again the earth is back.
Existence has no trouble with contradictions. It is the Aristotelian logic that is creating trouble for us.
The first paradox is that the mind that can ask the question is not capable of understanding the answer, and the mind, or no-mind, or buddha-mind, that is capable of asking the right question need not ask it. Before you ask, the answer is there. Let us say it in other words: the head only has questions and the heart only has answers.
Unless you reach to the depth of the heart you will not have any real answers. Yes, answers you will have, because mind is very clever at supplying false answers.
It raises false questions, it supplies false answers. That’s what philosophy is all about, that’s what doing philosophy means. Each false question is followed by many false answers; you can choose any, but they are all false. They are false because they are just guesswork.
Reality has to be encountered, embraced, tasted. One has not to be separate from it to know it, one has to dissolve oneself into it to know it.