When the Shoe Fits by Osho – Duke Hwan and The Wheelwright (Chapter 9)

Posted: April 29, 2010 in Book Notes
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[Quotes by Zhuangzi 庄子]

Duke Hwan of Khi, first in his dynasty,
sat under his canopy reading his philosophy.
And Phien the wheelwright was out in the yard
making a wheel.

Phien laid aside hammer and chisel,
climbed the steps
and said to duke Hwan,
“May I ask you, Lord,
what is this you are reading?”

Said the duke: “The experts, the authorities.”
Phien asked: “Alive or dead?”
The duke said: “Dead, a long time.”
“Then,” said the wheelwright,
“you are only reading the dirt they left behind.”

The duke replied, “What do you know about it?
You are only a wheelwright.
You had better give me a good explanation
or else you must die.”

The wheelwright said,
“Let us look at the affair from my point of view.
When I make wheels, if i go easy they fall apart,
and if I am too rough they don’t fit.
But if I am neither too easy nor too violent
they come out right,
and the work is what I want it to be.

“You cannot put this in words,
you just have to know how it is.
I cannot even tell my own son exactly how it is done,
and my own son cannot learn it from me.
Se here I am, seventy years old, still making wheels!

The men of old took all they really knew
with them to the grave.
And so, Lord, what you are reading there
is only the dirt they left behind them.”

  • The longer a person has been dead, the greater is the tradition. Time hallows everything.
    • If Buddha or Jesus is alive, you can barely tolerate him.
    • Death destroys the body, and the the link with you is broken. Now you can imagine (a spiritual image), and it is up to you to give all the qualities to him – you project.
    • It is difficult to project onto a living man because the reality is there, and he will destroy all your projections. He will not be ready to become a prisoner of your projections.
  • More depends on the disciple and his receptivity, and less on the master.
    • You have to be receptive and allow; you have to be receptive and let him penetrate into you.
  • With a dead master, you cannot learn anything. The word is with you, the Bible with you; you can become a great scholar, a philosopher, you can think and spin many theories around it, you can create a theology of your own but Jesus will not be there. You have to live with Jesus. His presence is the most significant thing.
  • Mind always like theories, words, philosophies.
    • It is a game the mind likes very much because nothing is lost.
    • It strengthen the mind – the more you know, the more information you gather, the more your mind feels, “I am somebody”.
    • Jesus was not a man of words, he was a man of experience. He talked simply in small stories, anecdotes, and parables.
  • Science tries to discover the objective, art goes on trying to find the subjective in the objective.
    • Religion is more like art than like science. And it is even more subtle than art, because art represents the objective and religion represents the subjective.
    • Religion symbolizes the subjective, you cannot find anything like it in the world.
    • Unless you go within yourself you will not be able to find the meaning, the significance. You can carry the word, but the word is not reality. You may repeat the word ‘god’ but you don’t know anything about God.
  • You already carries the other world within you, but it is mixed too much with this world. A separation is needed:
    • Separation of the essential from the nonessential.
    • Separation of the possessor form the possession.
    • Separation of the spirit from the body – the center from the circumference.
  • Doubt is a self-creating process – one doubt creates another.
  • Don’t pay much attention to doubt, pay much attention to trust – by and by the energy from doubt is absorbed by the energy of trust.
    • You have to trust when doubt is there.
  • It is not movement that leads you somewhere, it is direction.
  • In New Delhi on a confectioner’s shop there is a sign – ‘Eat here, a million flies cannot be wrong!’
    • When ten million people follow, then you feel that this is the authority, you feel a million people cannot be wrong. But these are flies!
  • Be with the living and you will become more alive, because whatsoever you do changes you.
    • If you can believe in living authority you will be transformed.
    • Carry the dead and they will make you dead – that is how you have become dull and insensitive.
  • Every religion tries to prove that their authorities are very, very old, extremely ancient.
    • Somehow the mind thinks that the older a thing is the better; as if truth is wine – the older the better. The older a thing the more authority it has.
    • Actually, the more alive it is, the more profound.
    • Just by becoming old, you think something valuable has happens.
  • There are things which can be learned only through your totality; intellect alone will not help.
    • In college you can learn philosophy, mathematics, science – everything, but you cannot learn a skill. A skill is learned only through a master who knows, and simply by watching him you start feeling him.
  • Everything goes on changing, nothing is static. Nothing is old ever, except the human mind.
  • Once you have learned how to learn then the innermost keys can be given to you immediately.
    • Sufis say that the question is not what you learn – the subject is not the question – but how you learn.
    • First you have to learn the craft from the master and then he will teach you the innermost thing.
  • The men of old took all they really know with them to the grave.
  • Science is a tradition; religion is individual.
    • If something is discovered by Newton, it will be there, written in the books in the libraries; Einstein can be benefited by it.
    • Religion always disappears with the person who discovers it – religion has to be discovered again and again and again.

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