What does it mean by ‘Chop wood, carry water’?

Osho said that a person must live like Chinese Mystics live. Before enlightenment the chop wood, carry water and after enlightenment they chop wood, carry water.

The mystic Osho wants to inform his disciples that the person who is determined to get real experience in his/her spiritual journey must live a simple life.

The normal person lives life to satisfy or enhance his/her desires that in other way fulfil or enhance his/her ego. This included even desires to pursue higher and higher education or serving people for sake of humanity. All that is big or association with the big is just way to enhance one’s ego.

First requirement for such ‘big’ is that the person must feel deep inside that he/she is very small and this association with this ‘big’ will make him/her someone/add weight to her/his words!

The infinite itself has manifested in the form of human being to understand the REALITY. This mountain moving trust on himself is the beginning of spiritual journey.

So before enlightenment chop wood, carry water means live simple or minimalist life. Stay away from all such people in rat race but live in the world too fulfilling your most basic responsibilities towards near ones.

Enlightenment transforms a person. The person is same as before but he starts living in a different realm. For example:

A hero during shooting of a movie has to play a role and during the role he acts as if he is the person in the role! But deep down, inside him, he too has mountain moving trust in himself being a person (hero) playing his role for this shooting as his responsibility towards his profession.

So in real life the actor knows about his REALITY before accepting his role he is going to play for that movie and during the shooting too.

Life is such a long drama that millions take birth in it and millions die in it every day, most even without knowing that it is just a drama. So being born inside a grand drama, growing young inside such drama and even condoling many for their death within the same drama makes a person realise that it is real and what he has chosen as his profession is actually his REALITY! For to develop mountain moving trust inside himself that this is not reality but just a role he is playing in the grand drama-one needs to know the real REALITY first.

But the case is just opposite the moment you realise your REALITY ie enlightenment, you are out of this drama immediately! Transformation is nothing but living same life Chop wood, carry water but now the mystic knows with mountain moving trust deep inside his heart that this is just his role in grand existential drama that is being played from eternity to eternity.

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