In The First Principle Osho captures the unique, colorful, seemingly crazy spirit of Zen, through talks on a collection of Zen stories - anecdotes of the often bizarre interchanges between master and disciple in the quest for truth.
From these anecdotes Osho distils Zen’s pragmatic essence for the reader and conveys an alive understanding of it’s message "the first principle" that authentic truth cannot be said with words, it can only be lived. Speaking to the contemporary, modern reader without robbing these old tales of their magic, charm and humor, Osho reminds us that "you are the shrine for the first principle. So the only way is to go within. Turn in. That is what meditation is all about."
In addition to these stories, Osho also answers questions and tells jokes on topics such as living with the contradictions of life, genuine longing as distinct from spiritual greed, what is maturity, and how one can be in an authoritative work role constantly challenging us to discover greater self-awareness and consciousness from within.

Excerpt from The First Principle

Chapter 1

"The mind cannot have any contact with reality. To live in the mind is to live like an idiot. To live with the mind, in the mind, as the mind, is to live a stupid life. The moment you become a little loosened from the mind: celebration. The moment you become a little loosened from the mind: joy. A little you become loosened from the mind: and godliness. And suddenly the doors are open. They have never been closed; only your mind was blocking the way. The mind can give you the second principle. The first principle is possible only through no-mind. Meditation means a state of no-mind. Meditation does not mean "to think about." Meditation means not to think at all. It does not mean, of course, to fall asleep. It means to fall awake. It means thoughts should disappear and only pure consciousness should be there, a presence, a luminous presence: you see; there is clarity, transparency.

Thoughts don’t allow you to see. Or, even if they allow, they distort. Or they interpret. They never allow the reality to come to you raw. They decorate it, they change it, they color it. They make it digestible to you. They make it according to you. And you are false, you are a mask, so when reality is cut according to you it becomes unreal.

That’s why the master said, "If I tell you the first principle it will become the second principle. You are asking the question from the head." The disciple was asking the question from the head. It was an intellectual question: "What is the first principle? " If the master answers it, the head will take the answer - and the head will spin philosophy around it and it will become the second principle.

The real, the true cannot be conveyed through words. It can be conveyed - yes, it can be conveyed - but the way to convey it is totally different. It is like measles: you catch them. Nobody can give them to you, but you can catch them. Truth cannot be taught but can be caught.