Life is experience and not theory. It needs no explanation.

Life is experience and not theory. It needs no explanation. It is there in all its glory, just to be lived, enjoyed, delighted in. It is not a riddle, it is a mystery. A riddle is something which can be solved, a mystery is something which can never be solved. A mystery is something you can become one with; you can dissolve into it, you can melt into it – you yourself can become mysterious. This is the difference between philosophy and religion.

Philosophy thinks that life is a riddle; you have to solve it, find explanations, theories, doctrines. Philosophy thinks that there is going to be some answer, that life is a question mark and one has to work hard at it. Of course, if you take life as a question mark, your effort becomes intellectual. The very assumption that life is a question leads you into more and more intellectual efforts, and in search of an answer you decide upon theories. Religion says that to take life as a question is basically false. It is not a question – it is there, with no question mark. It is there as an open secret; it is an invitation. You have to become a guest, you have to move into it. It is ready and welcoming – don’t fight with it! It is not a question, don’t try to solve it! It is not a riddle. Come and become one with it, and you will know it. The knowing will come from your totality, not from the intellect. Intellect is a partial effort, and life needs you to be totally with it, to flow with it, so one with it that you cannot feel what is what, you cannot feel where you end and where life begins. The whole of life becomes you, the whole of you becomes life. This is what salvation is. It is not a solution, it is a salvation.


When the Shoe Fits: Stories of the Taoist Mystic Chuang Tzu by Osho

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