You told a story about ten years ago that I have not been able to understand:
A seeker is lost in the mountains; he is tired and thirsty. It is night and he sees a silver bowl with crystal clear water which he drinks, and then he sleeps. In the morning light he sees that the bowl was in fact a dirty old skull.
He laughed and became enlightened.
What did he see, Osho?
The story is simple, but with immense meaning. The seeker saw in the skull the whole reality, and our illusions about it. He saw what we think is, and what really is – and the difference is tremendous.
He would not have taken that water, drunk that water, if he had known that it was in a dirty old skull. He thought it was a beautiful bowl with crystal clear water.
Our life is lived in illusions of crystal clear water, but reality is totally different. Seeing the difference he laughed at himself. And to be able to laugh at oneself can become a breakthrough – one can become enlightened.
People laugh at others, and people feel hurt if somebody laughs at them, but to come to an understanding where you see your own stupidity…and your whole life is full of it. We live in dreams, illusions, hallucinations. They do not correspond to reality at all. The reality is the dirty old skull. He laughed at himself, and in that very laughter he became a different man. Now he will live with reality, whatever it is. Now no illusions will be needed, no hallucinations will be needed to cover it, to hide it. He has seen the point.
The story is simple, but it is the story of the whole pilgrimage from darkness to light, from illusions to reality.
Just watch your mind, how it creates illusions about everything and then gets disillusioned and disturbed. You love a man, you love a woman – you create a certain illusion about the man or the woman. It is not the truth. Deep down you know it too. You are imposing an image. Soon it will be shattered, because against reality no illusion can last long. Soon you will find a dirty old skull.
Then ordinarily you will be disappointed, miserable, and you will miss the point. If you could have laughed you would not have missed it.