Ever taste an Oregon peach? Boy are they good. They taste just the way a peach should taste: soft, sweet, and juicy. Mmm! But wouldn’t you rather taste one yourself instead of listening to me rave on about it? It’s like truth. Why would you ask someone else what truth is? Not that I haven’t asked my share of questions about it. But peaches or truth: Why would you not want to experience something that good yourself, instead of watching someone else have all the fun? I might draw you a good map where to find the Hood River Valley where these divine Oregon peaches come from — just as any master worth his salt will point your eyes in the right direction of the moon — but there a Zen phrase that goes something like: “Look where I’m pointing. And don’t bite my finger!”
I used to think a lot about truth. I harassed poor Osho on more than one occasion about it. Like the time I asked him: “Beloved Master, What is the difference between my mind and no-mind.” To which he responded: “Milarepa, it is basically the difference between you and me.” The next day, he surprised me with a question he wrote himself and signed my name to: “Bhagwan, why am I a philosopher?” This was the last time I ever asked him or anyone else about truth — ultimate or otherwise. One might say from that moment on I started eating the peaches.
When I was growing up, truth was something you got into trouble for telling. Later, truth became something to pondered over whether or not to tell my girlfriend. Then I met Osho, who would say things like ” truth is that which can’t be said” and then talk about it for hours — literally!
The truth is: I don’t know what truth is. It’s one of those big words like love. If you really want to know about love, ask a woman — right? Every woman seems to know for certain what love is. Truth is: I have never met one who didn’t. But what about the Truth? Maybe when you put a big ‘T’ on it, it becomes a male thing, something male minds like to chew on — like enlightenment. Hey, now there is a big bone for the mind. Don’t believe me? Just try asking your girlfriend tonight, “Hey honey, what is enlightenment?” And see how it feels to sleep on the sofa.
It is a funny thing, truth. It is hard to say exactly what it is. But it sure can create a lot of trouble for some people. Like Mansoor, the Sufi mystic, for instance. He couldn’t help himself. He said the the truth and a crowd of people cut him up into small pieces. What did he say that stirred them up so much? How about these three words: “I am God”. Maybe it was true as far as he was concerned. But wow, It sure upset people! Pissed them off, in fact. Big time. Moral of the story? Watch out for the truth.
Yes, some people always seem to get in trouble with truth. Just like some people always seem to get in trouble with the Law. Take Osho for example. He’s had some brushes with the Law, like the occasional speeding ticket. But it’s his truthful statements like “Violence is the religion of America” that seemed to land him the hottest water and make the Ronald Reagan’s of the world shit a brick. Truth. It seems can be very uncomfortabe; otherwise, why would anyone get their knickers in a twist over Osho’s ninety-nine Rolls Royces?
Lao Tzu says: “Truth is that which can’t be said”. Well, that’s still saying something isn’t it? Still, I would have to agree, Truth is a hard thing to put into words. In fact, i am having a direct experience of it as I try to write this article on truth. If Lao tzu is right and it’s true one cannot say exactly what it is, at least one can allude to it and have fun trying.
One might say truth is inspirational. The truth is: nothing inspires more than seeing it manifest in another human being, even oneself. And certainly, to live in truth requires courage — maybe more courage than most people can afford or are wiling to risk. In my book, to live in truth one needs to have the courage to stand alone and be oneself, even if it means standing up to the whole world. Notice I live in truth, not live my truth. I think it shows a big misunderstanding to say “living my truth”. This statement has never made sense to me. My truth? What exactly does this mean? Can one own the truth? No. I think truth is something bigger than that.
One thing I can say about truth is that when I am in love, I feel closest to it. When I am in love, life feels worth living and has meaning, purpose, and value. In love, I feel my unique place in the vast scheme of things and a deep sense of at-homeness in myself. When I feel most alive, love flows effortlessly in my life. This is the truth.
One might say truth is like a woman. Shy. The truth is: I find truth hiding ever so shyly in small, everyday things of life: ordinary things like a good cup of tea. Even an Oregon peach. Although I am not sure how Osho would feel about me speaking about peaches (especially ones from Oregon) and truth in the same breath, but I suspect it might make him chuckle. For he is someone who knows better than anyone: a good belly-laugh is the best path to truth. And that’s the truth!
“A master is one who has become the truth and is available for all those who are ready to absorb him. Hence, Jesus says to his disciples, ‘Eat me.’ Truth can be eaten. It cannot be taught.” Osho, Just Like That – Talks on Sufism