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The Prince and the Magician.
Once upon a time there was a young prince who believed in all things but three. He did not believe in princesses, he did not believe in islands, he did not believe in god. His father the king told him that such things did not exist. As there were no princesses or islands in his father's domains, and no sign of god, the prince believed his father.
But then one day the prince ran away from his palace and came to the next land. There to his astonishment from every coast he saw islands and on these islands strange and troubling creatures whom he dared not name. As he was searching for a boat a man in full evening dress approached him along the shore.
'Are those real islands?' asked the young prince.
'Of course they are real islands,' said the man in evening dress.
'And those strange and troubling creatures?'
'They are all genuine and authentic princesses.'
'Then god must also exist!' cried the prince.
'I am god,' replied the man in evening dress with a bow.
The young prince returned home as quickly as he could. 'So you are back,' said his father the king.
'I have seen islands, I have seen princesses and I have seen god,' said the prince reproachfully.
The king was unmoved. 'Neither real islands nor real princesses nor a real god exist.'
'I saw them.'
'Tell me how god was dressed.'
'God was in full evening dress.'
'Were the sleeves of his coat rolled back?'
The prince remembered that they had been. The king smiled. 'That is the uniform of a magician. You have been deceived.'
At this the prince returned to the next land and went to the same shore where once again he came upon the man in full evening dress.
'My father the king has told me who you are,' said the prince indignantly. 'You deceived me last time but not again! Now I know that those are not real islands and those are not real princesses, because you are a magician.'
The man on the shore smiled. 'It is you who are deceived, my boy. In your father's kingdom there are many islands and many princesses, but you are under your father's spell, so you cannot see them.'
The prince pensively returned home. When he saw his father he looked him in the eyes.
'Father, is it true that you are not a real king but only a magician?'
The king smiled and rolled back his sleeves. 'Yes my son, I am only a magician.'
'Then the man on the other shore was god?'
'The man on the other shore was another magician,' said the king.
'I must know the truth, the truth beyond magic,' cried the prince -- the truth beyond magic, remember these words.
'There is no truth beyond magic,' said the king.
The prince was full of sadness. He said, 'I will kill myself. If there is no truth beyond magic, then what is the point of going on living? I will kill myself, and I am saying to you, honestly.'
The king, by magic caused death to appear. Death stood in the door and beckoned to the prince. The prince shuddered. He remembered the beautiful but unreal islands and the unreal but beautiful princesses and then he said, 'Very well. I can bear it. If everything is magic and nothing is beyond magic, then I can accept death also.'
'You see my son,' said the king. 'You too now begin to be a magician.'
Now this parable is very very significant. It is very easy to change one magic for another. It is very easy to change one ideology for another. It is very easy to become a Christian from a Hindu, or a Hindu from a Christian. It is very easy to change from the world and move to a monastery, or from the monastery come back to the world and get married. It is very easy. But you are moving and changing nothing but magical worlds.
Unless you realize who you are, unless you come to the point... who is this one who is deceived? Who is this consciousness upon which this whole play of illusion goes on working, enchanting, hypnotising? Who is this basic consciousness?
Yes, a dream can be untrue, but the dreamer cannot be untrue. Even for the dream to exist, a real dreamer is needed.
This is the conclusion of the whole eastern search for truth. Let it be clear to you. In theday you live in a world; you think it is real. Your thinking does not matter much, because in the night when you are asleep you forget this real world completely. Not only do you forget about it, you don't even remember that ever you knew about it. This whole reality simply disappears. In the dream world you start thinking dreams are real. The dream when it happens is as real as this world.
Now, right now you are sitting before me. Is there any way to decide whether you are really listening to me or you are dreaming about me? Is there any criterion to decide? You may be simply asleep and dreaming. Or maybe I am asleep and dreaming about you, or maybe it is true. But how to decide?
Just the feeling that it feels real cannot make it real, because in a dream it feels that the dream is real. So just your feeling cannot be enough guarantee for reality. Because you feel it looks real does not make any sense, because in a dream you feel absolutely that it is real. You have never doubted in your dream. Of course you doubt when you are out of your dream, but that is not the point.
If someday this dream that you call your waking life is broken -- and it is broken one day, that is the meaning of becoming a Buddha -- when this waking dream is broken and suddenly one realizes that it all was just magic, illusion, a dream that you were living through, then it becomes unreal. Just as every morning you wake up and the whole night and the dream world disappears, and suddenly you realize -- there is nothing.
In the night the dream looks real, in the day whatsoever you call reality looks real, but they are suspicious, because in the night the day reality disappears, in the day the night reality disappears. And you have never been able to compare them because you cannot have them both together. Comparison is possible only when you can have on one side a pile of dreams, on the other side a pile of your so-called reality. Then you can compare.
But you cannot have them both together.
When the dream is there reality is not there, your so-called reality I mean. When the reality is there, the dream is not there. How do you compare? There is no way to compare.
So the eastern sages have been saying that there is no need. The only thing which is real, or about which you can be certain, is you; not what you see, but the seer. One can be certain that for a dream to exist -- the dream may be unreal or real, that is irrelevant – but for a dream to exist, even if it is unreal a real seer is needed.
In the night, YOU were real, the dream was unreal. In the morning, the dream is no more there, only YOU are there. Again another dream unfolds.
When one becomes enlightened even that dream disappears, but you are again real, you are still real. There is only one reality and that is your inner consciousness, your witnessing soul. Everything else may be real, unreal, and there is no way to decide it.
- The Discipline of transcendence vol.1 (Osho)
1. The Magus – John Fowls
3. The Discipline of transcendence vol.1 - Osho
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