The Only Flaw Of The Palace
There is the story of a king who once built a special palace. He made it so impregnable that no enemy could enter it. We also, in life, make just such castles and take all precautions to keep the enemy away and be absolutely safe. What does man do all his life, after all? Why does he amass wealth? Why does he yearn for position and fame? So that he may feel safe and secure and life holds no terror for him. But the fun of the whole thing, and also the secret, is that the more measures he takes to safeguard himself, his fear increases in the same proportion. The king had also conquered all there was to conquer. No the only fear was to guard himself from the enemy; for the enemy conquered is still the enemy.
He who tries to conquer others, makes enemies of all. Only he who is ready to accept defeat from another man alone be a friend in this world. The king wished to conquer the whole world so the whole world was his enemy and his fear had increased a thousandfold. When fear increased, it became necessary to make provisions for safety. He built a big palace with only one door. There were no other doors and no windows; not even a hole for the enemy to work through. Only one door — guarded by thousands of soldiers with naked swords.
The neighbouring kind came to see this much-talked-of palace. He was terribly impressed and determined to make a similar palace for his own safety. While taking leave, he praised the king for his foresight and wisdom and reiterated his desire to follow his example. An old beggar sitting by the roadside heard this talk. He laughed aloud. The owner of the palace chided him saying: “What makes you laugh, fool?”
“Since you ask, Sire, I shall take the opportunity of telling you,” said the beggar. “There is only one flaw in this marvellous structure. It is impregnable except for the door. The enemy can come through the door. If you step in and have the door covered with brick and mortar, it will be completely secure. Then no enemy can ever enter it.”
“If I do as you say, you fool, this palace will become my grave,” said the king.
“It already is,” said the fakir, “except for the door. Through this door the enemy can come, and if not the enemy, death is bound to come.”
“But I will be dead before that!” raved the king.
“Then understand this well.” said the fakir. “As many doors as you had in your palace, so much of existence was with you. As you decreased the doors so also life diminished within you. Now one door is left — one lone opening to life; close it and shut out life forever. Therefore I say, there is only one flaw.” And he broke into peals of laughter again. “I too had castles, your majesty,”the fakir continued. “Then I felt that they were no more than prison-houses. So I began to widen the doors and separate the walls. But I found that no matter how much I widened the doors the walls still remained, so I got out of the walls and came out in the open. Now I stay beneath the open skies and am alive in the perfect sense of the word.”
But have we not all built as many walls around us as we possibly could? The walls that are made of brick and mortar are not that dangerous, for they can be seen. There are other walls — subtle, imperceptible walls…. These are the hard screens — glass screens of concepts, of doctrines, of scriptures. Absolutely invisible!
These walls we have built around our souls for complete security The thicker the walls, the farther it keeps us away from the open skies of Truth. Then the soul becomes restless and struggles; and the more agitated the soul is, the more we strive to strengthen the walls. Then a fear grips us — perhaps this struggle, this restlessness, is due to the walls? The answer is “Yes.” As long as the soul is confined, it cannot attain bliss. There is no sorrow except in captivity.
Osho – “The Begining of the Begining”