Salt Man and the Theorists – a story

salt field reflection b&w


“Once it happened that there was a great festival near a sea, on the beach. Thousands of people were gathered there and suddenly they all became engrossed in a question — whether the sea is immeasurable or measurable; whether there is a bottom to it or not; fathomable or unfathomable? By chance, one man completely made of salt was also there. He said, ‘You wait, and you discuss, and I will go into the ocean and find out, because how can one know unless one goes into it?’

So the man of salt jumped into the ocean. Hours passed, days passed, then months passed, and people started to go to their homes. They had waited long enough, and the man of salt was not coming back.
The man of salt, the moment he entered the ocean, started melting, and by the time he reached the bottom he was no more there. He dissolved into the Ocean. He came to know about the Ocean, but became the Ocean itself  and couldn’t come back to tell his experience. And those who didn’t know, they discussed it for a long time. They may theories and counter theories , and finally arrived at some conclusion, because the mind loves to reach conclusions.
Once a conclusion is reached, mind feels at ease — hence so many philosophies exist. All philosophies exist to fulfill a need: the mind asks and the mind cannot remain with the question, it is uneasy; to remain with the question feels inconvenient. An answer is needed — even if it is false it will do; mind is put at rest. we are all men of salt as far as the ocean is concerned — the ocean of life and death. We are men of salt, we will melt into it because we come out of it. We are made by it, of it. We will melt!
So mind is always afraid of going into the ocean; it is made of salt, it is bound to dissolve. It is afraid, so it remains on the bank, discussing things, debating, arguing, creating theories: all false — because they are based on fear. A courageous man will take the jump, and he will resist accepting any answer which is not known by himself.
Jesus says, ‘Truth liberates.’ Have you seen anybody being liberated by theories? Experience liberates, yes, but theories about every experience? No, never! But the mind is afraid to take the jump, because mind is made of the same stuff as the universe; if you take the jump you will be lost. You will come to know, but you will know only when you are not.
The salt man came to know. He touched the very depth. He reached the very center but he couldn’t come back. Even if he could, how would he relate…? Even if he comes, his language will belong to the center, to the depth, which is Silence, and your language belongs to the bank, to the periphery which is theory, philosophy and words.”

– edited from a talk by Osho.

*** ***

Veil of words, veil of theories and ideas, all just to feed the mind, to keep oneself engaged ! The more we talk, the more we are avoiding the Truth. That is why Lao Tzu said,

“He who knows, does not speak. He who speaks, does not know.”

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2 thoughts on “Salt Man and the Theorists – a story

  1. I like to think we are made to explore, to figure out and to enjoy the ocean.of void we are made of. Our imagination is capable flying us among the stars without the risk to be melted. However, we might slow down our explorations, because some say, think it was Douglas Adams, when we finally manage to reveal the truth what the Cosmos is all about, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory wHich states that this has already happened.
    So, I say, we just keep calm and keep theorising. 😀
    Thanks for nice tale and have a nice day Vidhya!

    Liked by 1 person

    • ‘keep calm and keep theorizing’ – 🙂 really like that. I was reminded of this story on the back drop of plethora of hard hitting blogs, counter blogs, mud slinging blogs…. Totally amused me. It’s a challenge to be here yet state sane and not get into the so called powerblogging bandwagon. We love to argue, theorize and that is why all this blogging. But, as you said, there could be a way to consciously awaken to truth and come back even!

      Liked by 1 person

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