Alice in Wonderland – confused

1001 Tales Discourses

Osho tells a story to illustrate “…’this’ means the known and the knowable, and “That” means the unknown and the unknowable. The known plus the unknown is the Truth: this plus That is satya.”

Alice in Wonderland

The Indian metaphysics divides Existence into two realms. One is “this” – that which can be pointed out; and another is “That” – that which is beyond this, which cannot be pointed out. The Sanskrit word for Truth is satya. This Sanskrit word is very meaningful and very beautiful. It is a combination of two words: sat and tat. Sat means “this” and tat means “That”; satya means “this plus That is Truth”. So first we should understand what “this” is and what “That” is.

That which can be perceived, that which can be understood, that which can be comprehended, that which can be pointed out, fingered out, that which can be shown, that which can be seen – all belong to “this”. That which cannot be seen but yet is, that which cannot be comprehended but yet is, that which cannot be contemplated but yet is, belongs to “That”. So “this” means the known and the knowable, and “That” means the unknown and the unknowable. The known plus the unknown is the Truth: this plus That is satya.

[…] ”This” is the labelled world and “That” is the unlabelled. ”This” is the realm of the mind – categories, thinking, logic, mathematics, calculation.

“That” is a mystery.

Alice went to Wonderland, and she was just confused. A horse was coming and suddenly the horse changed into a cow, just as it happens in dream.

You never object in dream. Have you ever objected? You see something, and suddenly it changes without any cause. The causality doesn’t exist in the dreamworld. A horse can become a cow, and you never ask why or how this has happened. No one asks in dreams; you cannot ask. If you ask, you will come out of the dream, the sleep will be broken. But the doubt never arises.

Why? If you pass through the street and suddenly a horse becomes a cow, a dog becomes a man, your wife or your husband suddenly becomes a dog, you will not be able to take it. It will be impossible for the mind. But in the dream you take it with no hesitation at all, with no doubt, with no questioning. Why? In the dream the logical categories are not functioning. The “why” is absent, the doubt is absent, the labelled world is absent. So, really, a horse can become a cow and there is no questioning. The horse can flow and become a cow. It is a fluid world.

So in that Wonderland, Alice was just confused. Everything flows into everything else – anything.

So she asked the Queen, “What is this? Why are things changing? And how can I function here? – because nothing can be taken for granted, nothing! Anything can be anything, and in any moment it can change. Nothing can be taken for granted, so how am I to function here?”

The Queen said, “This is an alive world. It is not dead. You are coming from a dead world; that’s why you feel the difficulty. Things are alive here, A can become B. There are no fixed categories, no categories at all. Everything is just fluid and flows into everything else. This is an alive world – you are coming from a dead world.”

Osho, The Ultimate Alchemy – Discourses on the Atma Pooja Upanishad, Vol 1, Ch 13 (excerpts)

 

Series compiled by Shanti
All excerpts of this series can be found in: 1001 Tales

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