Sorting potatoes

1001 Tales Discourses

“If your life is becoming insane just look deep down – you will find that all this deciding is driving you mad too,” says Osho.

Potatoes

I have heard about a man who was a great philosopher. He was robbed – he was coming from one town to another and he was robbed on the way. And he did not have a single paisa.

So he went to a farmer – he was a man of pride – and he said, ‘I am hungry and I have been robbed. I would like to work for you – any work you can give me – so that you can give me something to eat and a shelter for the night. In the morning I will start moving again.’

The farmer took pity on him. He was a poor man and he had no work really but he could see this man’s pride. So he said, ‘Okay.’ He took him into his house where there was a big pile of Irish potatoes and he told him, ‘You have to sort them out. Make one pile of the biggest, another of the smallest, and just in the middle, of those which are between the two – neither big nor small.’ He left.

After four, five hours he came back. Not even a single potato had been moved. And the philosopher was perspiring and was very anxious. The farmer asked, ‘What has happened? You look so tired and so exhausted and I don’t see that any work has been done.’ The philosopher said, ‘What you are talking about? The deciding, all this deciding, is driving me mad. Which one is the bigger and which one is the smaller and which one is just in the middle…. All this deciding is driving me mad. I have not been able to decide.’

If your life is becoming insane just look deep down – you will find that all this deciding is driving you mad too. What to do? What not to do? Where to go? Where not to go? All is unknown and mysterious. And whatsoever you do, there is doubt about whether this is right or not. If you don’t do it there is doubt – maybe it was right. All this deciding…. If you want to push the river you will become insane.

Osho, Sufis, the People of the Path – Talks on Sufism, Vol 1, Ch 12, Q 2 (excerpt)

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

Comments are closed.