Water seeks hollow places, love also seeks hollow places. If you are an egoist, love cannot reach you because you are a pinnacle of ego, a peak. You are so filled with yourself love cannot reach you – love needs you to be an emptiness, a space with no hindrance. Water also seeks hollow places: that’s how it moves from the Himalayas and goes and goes and goes until it reaches the ocean. The ocean is the most hollow place in the world, that’s how water reaches it. A river cannot move towards Gourishankar, it cannot go to the highest peak of the Himalayas; just the reverse happens – a river is born on the highest peaks of the Himalayas, in the glaciers, and then it moves lower, lower, lower, and goes on moving until it reaches the hollowest and lowest place in the world, the ocean. The ocean becomes its home.

Love also moves toward hollowness, emptiness – that’s why egoistic people cannot love and cannot be loved. They desire much, they ask for love, they do whatsoever can be done to attain love, but they remain a failure. They fail utterly, because the point is not how to attain love, the point is how to become hollow, how to become empty.

Love should not be sought directly, cannot be sought directly, only indirectly can you become available to it. You simply become hollow, and see – a thousand and one streams will start flowing toward you, unknown strangers will fall in love with you – not only men, but stars and stones, sand and ocean, trees and birds, wherever you move, suddenly love will start flowing toward you.

Because love is like water, it seeks a hollow place where it can rest. You pass by the side of a tree – if you are hollow, suddenly the love of the tree will start flowing toward you. It is natural. It is nothing like a miracle; it is just like water: you pour water and it will find the hollowest place to rest. Love is the water of the inner being.

Lao Tzu says:

The softest substance of the world
Goes through the hardest.

They say that within seven thousand years the Niagara Falls will completely dissolve all the hills that surround it. Up to now seven miles of hills and rocks have been dissolved by it. Within seven thousand years the Niagara Falls will disappear because there will be no hill from where to fall. The hardest stones are dissolved by softest water. And it never does anything; it is not really trying to do anything, it simply goes on flowing.

When for the first time you see a rock and a fall meeting you will certainly say this rock cannot be dissolved – so hard. But all the sands in the oceans are nothing but past Himalayas. The water has taken them and ground them to earth, the Himalayas disappear and the water continues flowing – so soft but so persistent, so soft but such a continuum, that by and by the harder substance dissolves, not knowing what is happening.

What is happening? Why does the soft element dissolve the hard element? Because the hard resists, because the hard fights, because the hard is defensive from the very beginning – that tires it. And the soft is not a fighter. From the very beginning it is not in the soft element’s mind to dissolve or destroy anybody. It is simply following its own course toward a hollow place – that’s all. It is not the enemy from the very beginning. But the hard element is aware, alert, in a fighting mood, resisting – that very resistance dissipates energy, that very resistance kills. To resist is to die.


Extract from Living Tao by Osho (Talks on Fragments from “Tao Te Ching” By Lao Tzu)

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