Tao The Pathless Path Vol 1 07

Seventh Discourse from the series of 14 discourses - Tao The Pathless Path Vol 1 by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

Tzu Kung grew weary of study and told Confucius, “I want to find rest.”
“There is no rest for the living.”
“Then shall I never find it?”
“You shall. Look forward to the lofty and domed mound of your tomb and know where you shall find rest.”
“Great is death! The gentleman finds rest in it, the mean man submits to it!”
“Tzu Kung, you have understood. All men understand the joy of being alive, but not its misery, the weariness of growing old, but not its ease, the ugliness of death, but not its repose.”
Philosophy is the enemy of truth. And when I say philosophy, I mean all philosophy, mine included because philosophy creates a screen of words, and you cannot see reality as it is. It distorts reality, it interprets reality, it gives a garb to reality, it hides reality, it covers reality.
Truth is naked, truth is all over, truth is within and without; and the only barriers are the words, the theories, the theologies that you have learned. They don’t allow you to see that which is, they come in the way, they are prejudices. All philosophy is a prejudice and no concept is a bridge – all are barriers.
One day or other, an authentic inquirer comes to that great moment of realization when he feels weary, tired – tired of all this nonsense that goes on in the name of thinking. The word god is not God. How long can you go on playing with the word? The word food is not food. How long can you go on carrying the word food and remain hungry? One day or other, you will become aware that what you are carrying is only a word – it cannot nourish you, it cannot give you life, and it cannot give you peace, and it cannot give you anything. Of course it promises all, that is how philosophy becomes so important – because of its promises. But all those promises are empty; they are never fulfilled. Philosophy has never helped anybody to realize truth.
This great moment of realization has come into the life of Tzu Kung. He was the chief disciple of Confucius.
Tzu Kung grew weary of study…
To look is one thing, to study is diametrically opposite. If I say to you, “Go and see the roseflowers in the garden,” and rather than going to the garden you go to the library and you study about roseflowers – that is study. About and about, around and around it moves; it never touches the real point.
Tzu Kung grew weary of study… Enough of the words. Enough of the theories, dogmas. Enough of the doctrines. I call this a great moment in the life of an inquirer. Everybody has to pass through words because we have been trained for words. Everybody has to pass through theories; we have been given theories from our very childhood. We have been brought up according to prejudices, doctrines, churches, schools. Somebody is a Christian and somebody else is a Mohammedan and somebody else is a Hindu, and we have been brought up conditioned. The moment you start asking, “What is truth?” your mind starts supplying words; it knows the answers. Those answers are all false, those answers are all borrowed, but it gives you beautiful answers. They satisfy you for a while, and if your inquiry is not great, they may satisfy you forever. Only a great inquirer sees the point that words are meaningless.
Language is not the door toward reality, but silence is. The inner talk must cease; only then will you have clarity. Only then will reality reveal itself to you. You go on chattering inside, and your mind goes on functioning, constantly, obsessively, like a maniac. And the mind is a maniac: it goes on creating new words, new combinations, new theories; it goes on speculating. It is a great inventor as far as theories are concerned and it does not allow you even a single interval, a gap, to look at what is there. The inner talk must cease, then suddenly there is no barrier; there never has been.
The Zen monks say: From the very beginning the truth is unhidden; the truth is in front of you. What are you seeking? Where are you running? The truth is in front of you, but your eyes are closed through prejudices.
Tzu Kung grew weary of study… He has learned much and now he realizes that learning has not nourished him. It has not strengthened him, it has not delivered anything; it has not made him any more real than he was before. He is not yet anywhere, he is yet hollow. There is no integration. He does not know in fact who he is. He became weary. He must have been a great inquirer – even Confucius could not deceive him.
Confucius is a great scholar: he can supply answers for every question possible, and he can invent beautiful answers. All those answers are fabricated, homemade, but they can befool fools. They can make many people feel that they know. They can become consolations. His knowledge, his respectability, his impeccable character… He is a man of virtue, remember, a very moral man, a man of character, of great mannerism, etiquette: a gentleman. The “gentleman” is the goal of all Confucian philosophy: a man must become a gentleman. He is impeccable, you cannot find a loophole in his character; all virtues have become real in him. A moral man with great knowledge, supported by tradition, convention, scripture – respected by the kings and the queens, respected all over the country – but even he could not deceive Tzu Kung.
Tzu Kung grew weary of study… When you become weary of study, the great moment has come when a student becomes a disciple. When you are weary of study, then you make a hundred and eighty degree turn. Then you are no longer interested in theories. You want the real; you want the food to eat so that you can be nourished. And you don’t want any more recipes, you don’t want any more cook books; you want the real food.
…and told Confucius, “I want to find rest.”
Words create restlessness. Doctrines, dogmas, make you more tense because they lead you astray; they lead you away from reality. The further away you are from reality, the more restless you will be. Let that be a criterion. Whenever you feel restless, that means you have gone far away from reality. Whenever you are close to reality, there is tremendous rest, calm, quietude, grace, silence, peace. You are at home because reality is your home. Restlessness simply means you are going away and your whole being is being uprooted from your home, hence restlessness.
Tzu Kung said, “I want to find rest. Enough of the theories, and enough of the studies. I have studied all that can be studied. I have become a great learned man, your greatest disciple, but that is not satisfying. Help me to find rest.”
Have you noticed? The more you know – of words, scriptures, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Gita, Koran, Bible, Vedas – the more you will feel that your mind is getting more and more mad; you are being pulled in all directions. One theory says something, another theory says something else; they contradict each other, they are always at each other’s throats. Great argument and no conclusion. Down the centuries philosophy has not come to a single conclusion. For five thousand years philosophers have been discussing, but there has never been any conclusion – any conclusion on which they all can agree. There has never been any agreement. It has not happened, and it is not going to happen.
Two philosophers cannot agree because agreement is possible only when you know reality – then there is agreement. If you know reality, and I know reality, there is agreement because then there is no problem. You know reality, I know the same reality – how can there be argument? But argument is possible if I have my theory and you have your theory, then there is no possibility of agreement. Agreement happens only through experience. Experience is conclusive. Argumentation is inconclusive. One argument leads to another and so on and so forth. When two persons are arguing, both cannot be right. Both can be wrong, but both cannot be right.
It happened…

Mulla Nasruddin and his wife were arguing one day – the husband and wife argument – and it came to the natural conclusion that by and by Mulla started feeling, “Why did I start at all?”
He was feeling hungry, and the wife was not even thinking of cooking food. So he went to the wife and said, “Sorry, I confess I was wrong.”
The wife said, “That won’t do. You will have to confess that I was right. Just your being in the wrong does not make much difference; you will have to confess that I was right. Give a positive statement! Because you may be wrong and still you may think inside yourself that I am also wrong, so that is not of much use.”

Both persons can be wrong. Remember, truth is one; untruths can be as many as you want. Religion is one – cannot be two because truth is one; but philosophies can be as many as you want. Everybody can have his own philosophy: it is your dream about reality. You can manufacture a theory on your own, you cannot manufacture reality. Philosophy creates restlessness. When you are inconclusive, you are hanging in limbo. And that hanging in the middle, neither here nor there, is what philosophy creates in a man. He starts feeling that he knows, and he also goes on feeling deep down that he doesn’t know. Now this is a very tense state. You know that you don’t know and yet you feel that you know. You feel that you know and yet you know that you don’t know. Now you are becoming split, you are becoming schizophrenic. And in this state of inconclusive mind one always feels incomplete, and incompletion hurts. One wants to know the complete truth, the whole truth.

A salesman came into a hotel. The manager said, “It will be difficult for me to find a room for you though there is a room vacant, which I cannot give out.”
The salesman said, “What is the reason? Why can’t you give it out if the room is empty?”
The hotel manager said, “A great politician is staying just beneath that room. A room is vacant on the second floor, but on the ground floor beneath that room a great political leader is staying. And he gets mad at small things. If you walk around in your room, or if you make some noise, then he will create a great fuss, and I don’t want any trouble. Please go to another hotel.”
“But,” the salesman said, “I have looked all around. All the hotels are booked. So please, have mercy on me, and I promise you that I will not even move in the room. The whole day I will be working in the town, and at night I will simply come and go to sleep. By the morning I will be gone to another town, but give me the room.” So the room was given.
In the middle of the night, the salesman came back, tired, sat on his bed, took off one of his shoes and dropped it on the floor. Then he suddenly remembered that the great political leader might be disturbed, so he took off the second shoe very silently, and without making any sound he put it on the floor and went to sleep.
After an hour, the great politician came and knocked on his door. The man opened the door and saw the politician mad, red with anger, and he could not understand why. He wondered, “What could I have done? I have been asleep for one hour!” And he said, “Sir, have I done anything wrong? Maybe in my dream? Or maybe I have made some sound or said something? But I am sorry, I didn’t mean it.”
The politician said, “That is not the thing. What happened to the other shoe? For one hour you have been keeping me awake. I heard the noise – the first shoe fell on the floor and I said, ‘So this man has come!’ And then I was waiting for the second shoe! By and by, I became almost mad. I couldn’t sleep. What happened to the second shoe?”

That happens to a mind which remains in an inconclusive state: something goes on hanging, like a sword. You can understand the difficulty of the politician. He must have tried to go to sleep but he must have been visualizing the second shoe hanging in the air. “What happened?”
The mind is at rest only when there is conclusion, otherwise never. Philosophy never leads to any conclusion. Only reality is conclusive; only experience, only existence, is conclusive.
Tzu Kung grew weary of study and told Confucius, “I want to find rest.”
“There is no rest for the living.”
said Confucius.
The viewpoint that there is no rest for the living is based on a certain philosophy: that life is struggle, that life is action; that life is conflict, that life is a war to survive – how can you rest? The same philosophy has become predominant in the West: Darwin, the philosopher of “the survival of the fittest,” and Nietzsche, “the will to power.” Confucius is deeply understood in the West; he is a Western man. He was born in the East, but he is not Eastern at all. His attitude toward life is that of activity. It is a yang attitude, a male attitude – fight, conflict, struggle, conquer, prove your will. You are here to prove your will; you have to show the world that you are somebody. You have to leave a mark on history; otherwise your life is meaningless. You have to compete, you have to struggle – only then can you leave your mark on history. If you remain silent and restful, how are you going to leave your mark on history?
Lao Tzu has not left any mark on history; Tamerlane has left his mark on history. Chuang Tzu has not left his mark on history; Nadir Shah, Alexander, Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, Mao – they all have left their marks on history. Mao was a Confucian, he believed in Confucius, and he tried hard to destroy all Taoist possibilities and potentialities in China. He destroyed many Taoist monasteries; he wanted to uproot them completely. Why? Because they don’t teach any struggle. If you don’t teach any struggle, how can you teach revolution?
The attitude of Tao is of cooperation, not conflict. The attitude of Tao is not to be against nature but to be with it, to allow nature, to let it have its way, to cooperate with it, to go with it. The attitude of Tao is of great relaxation.
Remember, it is not of inactivity. It is neither about activity nor about inactivity – it is transcendental. The Taoist term is wu wei: it means action through inaction. That is the goal of Tao: do, but don’t be the doer. Act, but let Tao act through you – simply be cooperative. Then, through Tao, you can be restful in life.
But how can you be restful with Confucius? He’s right: he says that as far as his philosophy is concerned: “There is no rest for the living.”
You have to struggle hard, you have to prove your mettle; you have to prove your will. Life is here so that you can use the opportunity to prove yourself. It is a competition, a cutthroat competition; everybody is at each other’s throat, and if you relax, you are gone. Fight hard! In every way remain alert and don’t think of rest. The word rest to the Confucian mind is escapist. Don’t ask for meditation; that is escapism. Don’t go to the Himalayas, and don’t sit silently – that is escapism. Do something! Life is for doing and death is for non-doing: that is their logic. Naturally, one day you will be dead, and then you will be at rest, so why worry about it? Their division is clear-cut, and to logical minds it appeals.
He said:
“There is no rest for the living.”
“Then shall I never find it?” asked the disciple.
Naturally, if there is no rest for the living, then when? “When am I going to get rest? Am I not going to find it ever? Is this nightmare to continue forever and ever? And is there no end to it?”
Confucius said:
“You shall. Look forward to the lofty and domed mound of your tomb and know where you shall find rest.”
“You shall.” Mind these words. This is the greatest deception ever invented by man: “You shall. Not now, somewhere in the future, not here, somewhere else.” All the so-called religions have used this deceptive device. They promise. They say, “You will find everything that you want, but not now. Tomorrow.”
And tomorrow never comes – it cannot come by its very nature. The future never comes because whenever it comes, it is the present. It is always now, and now, and now. Wherever you will be, it will be now and here.
The promise is: “You shall.” The promise is very cunning. That’s what all the religions have done. “In heaven you will find peace, rest, happiness. In moksha, in nirvana, somewhere far away there exists the land of peace and happiness. You will reach there one day, but not now. And if you want to reach there, sacrifice your present-day happiness for it. The price has to be paid,” they say. And the price is this: “Sacrifice your present for the future. Sacrifice the real for the imaginary. Sacrifice life for afterlife, or death.”
They have convinced humanity, and almost all have sacrificed their lives. Nobody comes back from heaven to relate whether it happens. Nobody comes after death to say, “Yes, Confucius, it is true.” So the deception remains because it cannot be contradicted. It is very clever – it is impossible to contradict it. You cannot disprove it, though you cannot prove it; but you cannot disprove it either.
“You shall.” Just listen to these words: “You shall.” This is your whole conditioning. In childhood the parents say, “Not now. When you are older you shall. When you are older.”
When you are young, they start saying, “Not now. When you are old, retired, with a good bank balance; all is done and the time to rest and to relax has come – then.” When you are old, they say, “After death.” They go on postponing. The carrot of the future goes on dangling in front of you, and the closer you come to it, the more it goes on receding. Meanwhile, you go on missing all that was possible.
A future-oriented philosophy is poisonous. A future-oriented philosophy is like opium: it drugs you, and it does not allow you to live your life right now, herenow. And this is the only life. Now look at Confucius’ answer. The disciple wants to find rest; he is told: “There is no rest for the living.” “Life is struggle, so don’t ask for rest. Rest happens, certainly, but not now, never now. You shall. Look forward… Always look forward, don’t look herenow. Don’t look right in the moment; live for the future and sacrifice the present.”
This, I say, is the greatest deception ever invented by any man. It has worked well. The priest and the politician both live on it – the future. The communist goes on saying, “Wait! Sacrifice for the future. Sooner or later there is going to come a society, a classless society; then everybody will be happy.” You are unhappy, you are miserable, you want rest now and they say, “Don’t be worried. Rest will be possible. Look forward. Let the revolution happen, and then things will be good. If you want the future to be happy, sacrifice. Sacrifice!” The Fascists say, “Sacrifice, so that the Fatherland can win. And once the Fatherland has won and once the Nordic race has proved that it is the superior race, then there will be peace on earth.”
The politician lives and exploits in the name of the future. The present is ugly, miserable, horrible. He creates imaginary goals, utopias – he decorates them very beautifully, he makes them very colorful – and you become enchanted, so you won’t look around yourself. It is ugly, it is horrible, it is miserable – within and without. You are simply tears and nothing else; only anguish, hell. They say, “You shall. Look forward. That great day is coming.” The politician lives on it, and the priest lives on it. The politician and the priest are not very separate: they are partners in the same business. The business is not to allow man to be herenow because once a man is herenow, he’s so happy that he won’t listen to any politician, and he won’t listen to any priest.
If man is allowed to be herenow, he will be so peaceful and so restful that he will not bother about any heaven. He has achieved it – who bothers about your paradise? Your paradise seems meaningful because man is miserable. For paradise to remain meaningful, man has to remain miserable. The priest exists because of the idea of paradise: he will show you the way; he holds the key, he has a direct line to God. You don’t have this connection, so you have to persuade and bribe the priest so that he will take care of your interests and persuade God that you should be given happiness. You have suffered enough, and you have suffered very righteously; you have sacrificed all – for your religion, for your country, for humanity. “Sacrifice for anything, but sacrifice!” that is their slogan. Anything will do, any nonsense ideal will do, but sacrifice.
Old ideals are dropped because they become rotten, and man becomes fed up with them. Then new ideals are invented; then we sacrifice for them – that’s what has happened down the ages. Only ideals change, but the sacrifice continues. Sometimes it is God you have to sacrifice for. The Mohammedan priest goes on saying that if you die on the field fighting for your religion, your paradise is absolutely certain. So die courageously, knowing well that you will be received well in heaven. The Communist says that if you are dying for the revolution you are great. Your name will resound down the ages; you will be remembered as a martyr; you will be respected. Just do one thing: don’t live, sacrifice.
A very absurd situation. Your parents go on sacrificing for you. Your father, your mother, sacrifice for you. They say, “I am sacrificing for my children.” Naturally they take revenge because when the mother sacrifices for the child she is destroying her own life. She will take revenge. She will say again and again – she will make it clear to you again and again, “I have sacrificed for you. Know well, remember well, that I sacrificed my life, my youth – everything for you.” And she will try to persuade you to do the same for your children. So you will sacrifice for your children, and then you will persuade them to do the same with their children – so nobody ever lives.
One generation sacrifices for another, and if you don’t sacrifice, then you become disrespected. Nobody respects you; then you are a criminal. If you don’t sacrifice for others, they say, “What are you doing? You are not a good man, you are immoral. Sacrifice is good. To live for oneself is selfish.” Just look at what these people have been doing: to be happy is selfish, to sacrifice is good. By sacrificing you will be unhappy, and an unhappy man creates unhappiness around himself. An unhappy man will take revenge – he can never forgive; his life has been destroyed. They say that the wife has to sacrifice for her husband and the husband has to sacrifice for his wife. What for? Both sacrifice, so both miss life.
I teach you pure selfishness. Never sacrifice for anybody. Just live your life authentically and then you will never take revenge on anybody. You will never have any grudge against anybody. A man who has no grudge against anybody is a loving man; compassionate, kind, sharing. And a man who has no grudge against anybody – against his children, his wife, is tremendously beautiful. He creates a milieu of happiness around himself. Whosoever comes into his milieu shares his happiness.
Be selfish.
Just look at these trees. No tree is trying to sacrifice for another tree, hence they are green. If they start sacrificing, no tree will be green, and no tree will ever flower. Look at the stars. They are very selfish – they shine for themselves; they don’t sacrifice. Otherwise, all of existence would become ugly and dark. Selfishness is natural. And the self that I am teaching to you is what Tao is: your very nature. Listen to it, follow it. Your nature is saying to you, “Be happy.”
If Tzu Kung had asked Lao Tzu this, he would have said, “Great! Congratulations! You are tired of study? Very good. So drop all thinking; now meditate. You want rest? It is possible right now.” Lao Tzu would not say, “You shall.” The future is meaningless, it is a trick – a trick to console you. You don’t have what you need right now, but you shall. You can hope, and through hope you can poison your whole being.
The priest and the politician want you to become martyrs, and martyrs are not good people because they are very angry people. They have missed their life, they are bound to be angry – it is natural. You have forced them to destroy their life, you have persuaded them, you have bribed them to destroy their life – how can they be happy? And how can they ever be able to forgive you? Impossible.
Live for yourself and you will live for everybody else, but it is not a sacrifice. Live for yourself, be really authentically selfish – that is the way of nature. Take care of your happiness, your rest, your life. You will be simply surprised that when you are happy, you help others to be happy because you understand by and by, that if others are happy you will be happier. Happiness can exist only in an ocean of happiness. It cannot exist alone.
Remember the logic, the deep logic, of selfishness. Happiness cannot exist as an island, no. If everybody were unhappy here, then it would be very difficult for you to be happy – almost impossible because an ocean of unhappiness all around would go on crashing on your shores. The misery all around you would affect you; it would penetrate your being. So a happy person by and by comes to understand the basic, the fundamental law: if I want to be happy, it is good to make people happy around me. But he is not serving others, remember. He is not sacrificing himself. He is simply selfish. He wants to smile, he helps you to smile too because a single smile cannot exist; it will look very absurd. Just think: you are sitting here, only one person smiles and all are serious. He will look a little embarrassed. He will start feeling guilty: Why did he smile when nobody is smiling? Something has gone wrong. He should be more careful next time; he will think. No, when you all laugh then it is very simple to laugh; the whole creates the possibility of laughter. We depend on the whole; we are part of the whole.
By being happy you create a possibility for others to be happy. This is real service – this is not sacrifice at all; you are not becoming a martyr. A mother is happy; that’s why she loves the child. She is so happy that she wants to share her happiness with the child. She will never have a grudge. In fact, she will feel grateful to the child: because of the child she had so many beautiful moments. She will always feel grateful to the child. “Because you came to me, because you chose me to be your mother, you chose my womb, you have made me so happy. You have given me such beautiful moments which would not have been possible without you. I am grateful.” The child will feel grateful to such a mother who is grateful to him, and he will never be against his mother – it would be very difficult. Ordinarily, I never come across a person who is not against the mother or against the father. It is very rare.
Gurdjieff used to say to his disciples, “Unless you have forgiven your fathers and mothers you cannot grow.” You will say, “What nonsense! What is he saying?” “Unless you forgive…” He had it written on his door: Unless you forgive your fathers and mothers don’t enter here. Nobody has been able to forgive their father and mother because the father and mother sacrificed too much.
The father and mother have been so miserable because of their children. They go on saying how much they have suffered. No mother says, “I have enjoyed your being my child so much.” No father says, “By coming to our house you have brought light to us, love to us, God to us.” If they had, the children would be able not only to forgive, they would be able to love, they would be able to be grateful.
Once Tao is understood, the whole business of psychoanalysis will disappear because the whole business of psychoanalysis depends on the fact that you cannot forgive your mother and your father. Lying on the couch of a psychoanalyst, what do you do? You just rage against your mother and your father. What do you do in primal therapy? Janov would be meaningless if Tao were understood. What do you do when you kick and scream in Primal Therapy? Whom are you kicking? Your mother and your father. Whom are you screaming at? Your mother and your father.
If you listen to a patient on the psychiatrist’s couch, all that he talks about is ninety per cent concerned with his mother. Mother seems to be the problem. It is, but the reason is that the politician and the priest have contaminated the mind of humanity. They always say, “You shall… Look forward… You will be happy in the future.”
The present moment is all that you have. Use it intelligently, don’t be deceived by anybody.
Confucius says: “You shall. Look forward to the lofty and domed mound of your tomb…” “The lofty and domed mound of your tomb…”? A tomb is a tomb, and an ugly thing – however beautiful you make it. You can make it a marble tomb, and you can write the name in golden letters, but it doesn’t deceive anyone; it is meaningless. Inside is just death, and an ugly death because of a life unlived. A life never lived is ugly. Life postponed is ugly; life lived is beautiful. There are very few people who live their life; only they have a beautiful death. Then death too is beautiful because they become so capable of living that they, one day, start living their death too. They live their life; then they live their death.
Unlived life cannot lead you to a beautiful death. Yes, you can make a marble tomb and you can write the name in gold letters and put beautiful poetry on it; and you can burn candles, and you can offer flowers, but this is all phony. Whom are you trying to deceive? For all this marble and gold letters and the flowers and the candles, the man cannot live; the man is dead. And he never was allowed to live – because of you. Look at this dangerous sentence from Confucius: “Look forward to the lofty and domed mound of your tomb and know where you shall find rest.”
Unless rest is achieved in life it cannot be achieved in death. Let this be an absolute rule: whatever you achieve in your life, you will be able to keep in your death, not otherwise. If you have achieved meditation, your death will be meditative. If you have achieved love, your death will be full of love energy. If you have achieved godliness, your death will be divine.
Remember: death cannot achieve anything; the achievement comes through life. Death is just the final reckoning, the final judgment. Death simply closes your life, and the judgment becomes final. If a man was a great lover and he loved, and loved unconditionally, and his life was a flame of love, a light of love, then death will close the chapter with this flame burning bright. But if the death closes your life and it was just a misery and nothing else – just a hoping for the future, never any authentic experience – then you die hollow; then you die in a futile way. That’s what Gurdjieff calls, “the dog’s death.” Then you simply die, but you don’t achieve anything; there is nothing.
Nobody achieves anything through death unless he achieves it through life. Death is a single moment. What can you achieve in a single moment? You missed a seventy-eighty-year life, and you hope that you will attain something in a single moment? For eighty years you lived unconsciously, in turmoil, in madness, in nightmares, and then suddenly in death you will become restful? No, sir, you will be turning and tossing in your tomb; you will not find rest.
Confucius is wrong, absolutely wrong. He is giving a consolation. This is criminal. To give such consolations is a crime against humanity because you can distract somebody. And he succeeded in distracting this disciple.
“Great is death! The gentleman finds rest in it, the mean man submits to it!”
…Said the disciple. Confucius succeeded in distracting him. The great moment was destroyed. Tzu Kung arrived very close to the door through which he could have escaped, but Confucius pulled him back. And the disciple started talking again in terms of philosophy, dogma, study. That’s what he had learned through scriptures: “Great is death!” He did not know. He did not even know rest – how could he know death? Death is ultimate rest, absolute rest. He did not even know relative rest. He did not know what life is; he was in turmoil, split. And he started saying, “Great is death!” Listening to the master he was again clouded by words.
Confucius was a great teacher, very charismatic, his impact was great: he has ruled China down the centuries. He is still influential, he still dominates Chinese thought. In India there was a man, Manu, who can be compared to Confucius. Manu still dominates India, and he is the same type of man – nothing different. Indian society is based on the laws of Manu, and Chinese society is based on the laws of Confucius. And both men have destroyed their countries.
“Great is death!” Listening to the master, to his teacher, the disciple was again befogged; the master’s charisma functioned – he was deceived. He forgot that he had said, “I want to find rest, and I have become weary of all the studies.” He was just at the turning point where the student could become a disciple. He missed again. He again fell back into the old trap which is always easy to fall into because one knows it very well, it is familiar. “Great is death!” Not knowing anything about life, not knowing anything about rest, he asserted a profound truth: “Great is death.” He must have read it. Yes, in the scriptures it is written: “Great is death.” But death is great only when life is great.
Remember, your death is your death; my death is my death. My death will depend on my life; your death will depend on your life. If your life is great, your death will be great because death is a culmination of your life. If you have lived well, totally, you will attain to a great peak, a Himalayan peak. But if you have just been crawling on the ground, you have not lived at all. You were just dreaming and hoping and desiring, and never a single moment of life came to you, never a single moment of authenticity. You were always playing roles and hiding yourself behind masks; you were never a real person, you were always phony – your death is going to be phony; it cannot be great. The end can be great only if the whole journey has been great. Each step of the journey contributes to the end. It is simple, obvious. If you have been dancing your life, your death will be a great dance. If you have just been crying and weeping, your death will be just a crying and weeping – it cannot be otherwise; it concludes your life.
So remember: everyone lives his life and everyone dies his death. Death is as unique and different as life is unique and different. When Buddha dies, of course Buddha dies. When Lieh Tzu dies, of course Lieh Tzu dies. Their death has a glory, a fragrance – it is a flowering. In a single moment their whole life comes to the ultimate flame. They have achieved, they have arrived home. Your death is nothing but a beginning of another weary life. Here you die; there you are born. From one door you enter, from another door you are back to life again – and of course the same rut, the same wheel moves.
“Great is death!” But not on the lips of Tzu Kung. Yes, if Lao Tzu were saying it, it would be okay. Death is not great even on the lips of Confucius because the whole approach is wrong. “The gentleman finds rest in it…” Remember the word gentleman. That is the highest value in Confucian ethics: the gentleman. And who is a gentleman? – a phony person. Who is a gentleman? – a hypocrite. Who is a gentleman? – one who is masked in manners, etiquette, character; a man who is conventional, traditional. A gentleman is not an individual; he is just a member of a society. He does not exist on his own; he has no life of his own. He exists only as a part of a society, so whatsoever the society allows is his life, and whatsoever the society does not allow he denies himself. He chooses society instead of nature. That is what a gentleman does: he chooses man-made law against God-made law. A gentleman is one who has betrayed God, a gentleman is one who has chosen society. Society is neurotic, and society is ill, and society is not normal at all. No normal society has yet existed on the earth. Only rarely have a few individuals been normal. Society is abnormal – a great crowd of mad people. A gentleman is one who follows this crowd. A gentleman has no soul. Of course, society respects him tremendously; society has to respect this man; society calls him a mahatma, a saint, a sage. Society respects him because the gentleman has sacrificed his life for society.
A real man is rebellious, a real man does not bother about respectability, a real man lives his life naturally. He does not bother about what society says or does not say. Society is not a consideration for a real man. If you want to be phony, then society has to be considered at each step: what to say, how to say it, when to say it, when not to say it; how to live, how not to live. Society has determined everything. You have just to fit in; you have just to be a cog in the wheel. A real man can never be a cog in the wheel. A real man is not respected. How can the society respect the real man? Hence Jesus was crucified; hence Buddha was stoned; hence Socrates was poisoned.
Society accepts these people only when they are dead. Then there is no problem because a dead Jesus cannot be rebellious; a dead Socrates cannot be rebellious; a dead Buddha becomes an avatar. An alive Buddha is dangerous, but a dead Buddha can be worshipped in a temple. Remember, whenever these great real people die, only then do people worship them. When they are alive, people are very much against them. The same people who crucified Jesus have become Christians – the same people. The people are all the same. Jesus was intolerable, but a dead Jesus is perfectly okay – what can he do? A dead Jesus is in your hands: you interpret him; you put theories around him. He cannot have his own say, you speak through him. It always happens.
If you really want to be an authentic person, never bother too much about what society says about you. I am not saying to go specifically against society, no – that is not rebellion, that is reaction. You go according to your nature. If it fits with the society, perfectly good, there is no need to go against it. If it does not fit with society, perfectly good, there is no need to follow society.
There is a difference between the rebellious person and the reactionary. The reactionary is one who will go against society whatever the case may be; he has decided to go against the society even if the society is right. Sometimes society is right because society cannot be absolutely wrong all of the time, even a mad person is sometimes right.
It happened…

A great political leader was addressing the inmates of an asylum, and he had spoken for only five, seven minutes when a madman stood up and said, “Stop this fool! He is mad! He does not know what he is talking about.”
Of course the politician was very angry and he said to the superintendent, “Throw this man out!”
The superintendent said, “For the first time in seven years, he has said something significant, something meaningful. I cannot throw him out. For seven years he has been uttering nonsense, and now, for the first time, he said something which is not nonsense! I cannot throw him out. But don’t be worried. The doctors say that this man can say only one thing in seven years which will be right. So don’t be worried, he will not disturb you again. In seven years, only for a single moment does he become sane; otherwise he remains insane.”

Even mad people sometime say right things. Even this mad society is sometimes right, otherwise it would not exist. To exist, at least something must be right, otherwise life would become impossible. A reactionary is just the same traditional person who has moved to the other extreme. The traditional person follows the society right or wrong. “Right or wrong this is my country. Right or wrong this is my religion. Right or wrong this is my priest. Right or wrong this is my scripture.” That is the traditional man. Then one day somebody turns to the other extreme. He says, “Right or wrong I am not going to follow society.” This is the reactionary. They are both the same person, no difference.
Who is a rebellious person? The rebellious person is one who does not bother about the society at all – he simply lives through his innermost core. He follows his Tao. If society fits with his inner Tao, good, he goes with society; he is not reactionary. If society does not fit with his inner Tao, he goes alone. He is not a traditional, conventional person. His constant criterion is his inner soul.
Gentleman means one who has been persuaded by society to sell his authentic being and to borrow from society a false mask.
“Great is death! The gentleman finds rest in it…” Now what has a gentleman to do with rest and death? A gentleman cannot find rest even in life; a gentleman is very repressed. A gentleman must not allow his whole being free play; he denies a thousand and one things, and those boil within him – how can he find rest? If you cannot find rest in life, how are you going to find it in death? Then don’t befool yourself, this is opium. Your hope that something will happen in death which has never happened in life is a drug.
A gentleman has never loved as he wanted to love, a gentleman has never been angry, he has never hated anybody – not that he has not hated, he has just not shown it. All that a gentleman can do is change his expressions; the inner being is never changed. Anger arises in him, but he does not show it – he represses it. So he goes on and on accumulating a thousand and one things inside him which create chaos, which are boiling inside. He can burst any moment – a gentleman is a dangerous person to live with. Never live with a gentleman, or with a lady. A woman is beautiful, a lady is ugly. A woman is natural, a lady is fabricated.

One bum arrived at the office of a psychiatrist, very beggarly, hungry, dirty, and the psychiatrist said, “I can see that you will not even have enough to pay the fee, but I feel sorry for you. What do you do for your living?”
And the bum said, “I have fabricated three million houses.”
And the psychiatrist shouted, “This is a lie!”
And the bum laughed and said, “Didn’t I say they were all fabricated?”

Fabricated – the gentleman, the lady, are fabricated people, just cultivated, painted, not true, not honest. When they feel anger, they smile; when they hate you, they embrace you. You can never depend on them; you can never decide when they are really smiling and when they are pretending. In fact, after long practice, even they cannot decide whether they were really laughing or pretending to laugh, whether they really loved this woman or they were just pretending.
Many people come to me, and they say, “We cannot decide whether there is really love or not.” One has lived in lies so long, maybe for so many lives, that one has lost track. One cannot even feel what is right and what is wrong, and what is true and what is untrue. It happens every day: somebody comes and says, “I am in love with this woman, but I cannot decide whether I really love her.” What does it show? You have lost all contact with your own being; you have become alienated from yourself. You have become a stranger to yourself. This should be a simple thing. It is as if somebody says, “I cannot decide whether this rose is a real rose or just painted. I cannot decide.” What does it mean? “I cannot decide whether these trees are green or somebody has just thrown green paint on them.” But these trees are outside you. Maybe sometimes you can be deceived – maybe the tree is false, is made of plastic – but you cannot decide about your own inner feelings. What does it show? It simply shows that you have forgotten the language of truth. You have lied for so long, so long, that lies have almost become your truth.
A gentleman is an inauthentic person. Never be a gentleman, never be a lady. Those are roles, acting. Be human beings. Be true – it is your life. Be authentic so that you can grow because all growth happens only when you are true and authentic. Maybe this will cost you much – one has to pay; maybe there will be pain – all growth is through pain; maybe you will always be in difficulties, but there is nothing to be worried about – they are worth it.
Socrates died, was poisoned, don’t you ever feel jealous of him? You are alive; wouldn’t you like to exchange your life for Socrates’ death? His death was truer than your life. Jesus was crucified. He was only thirty-three; he had not known much of life but wouldn’t you like to exchange… Wouldn’t you be on that cross instead of living your bogus life? At least he was true – on the cross, but true.
You are untrue. An untrue life is worse than a true death: a true death is better. An untrue happiness is worse than a true unhappiness – let this be remembered always. True tears are better than false smiles because growth comes through being true. Growth never comes through falsity, and the ideal of the gentleman is the ideal of the false man.
“Great is death! The gentleman finds rest in it, the mean man submits to it!” Remember this too: Confucius is always comparative. He always creates this distinction between the gentleman and the mean man, the superior and the inferior, the extraordinary and the ordinary. Tao says that nobody is superior and nobody is inferior. Nobody is great and nobody is mean because we belong to one reality, to one Tao. How can we be mean or superior or inferior? That is impossible – we are made of the same stuff. It is God that pulsates in you; it is God that pulsates in me; it is God that pulsates in the trees and in the rocks. Nobody is superior and nobody is inferior. The very idea is egoistic, but the Confucian philosophy is centered on the ego.
Now Tzu Kung says: “Great is death! The gentleman finds rest in it, the mean man submits to it!” Now he is enjoying that he is a great man, a gentleman, so he is persuaded by Confucius through his ego: “You are a great man, a gentleman, a superior being. You will find rest in death. You are not mean, so don’t be worried – only mean persons don’t find rest in death. And don’t hanker for rest in life,” because that too is meanness according to Confucius. Rest is not possible, rest is escapism.

Confucius was always worried about Lao Tzu and his teachings. Once he went to see Lao Tzu. Of course, he was older than Lao Tzu so he wanted Lao Tzu to behave in a mannerly way, as an older man expects. Lao Tzu was sitting, and he would not even stand to greet Confucius. He did not even say, “Sit down, sir,” and he didn’t pay much attention to him. Confucius became very angry. “What type of master is this?” He asked, “Don’t you follow any manners?”
Lao Tzu said, “If you feel like sitting, sit; if you feel like standing, stand. Who am I to say anything about it? It is your life. I don’t interfere.”
Confucius was shocked. Then he asked something about the superior man, the gentleman, and Lao Tzu laughed. He said, “I have never come across any superior or inferior men. Men are men as trees are trees, and everything participates in the same existence. Nobody is superior and nobody is inferior. That is all nonsense and rubbish!” Confucius became very afraid. Lao Tzu had tremendous silence around him; he was a pool of silence.
Confucius came back. His disciples asked, “What about Lao Tzu?”
He said, “Never go near this man, he is dangerous. If you come across a tiger, you can save your life in some way. If you come across a lion, you can save yourself. But this man is very dangerous. He is like a dragon, a flying dragon! He will kill you! Never go. Whenever you hear that Lao Tzu is around, escape.”

Confucius was very worried about Lao Tzu’s teaching. The teaching is so utterly different, so utterly true, so utterly amoral, so utterly rebellious and so utterly individual. It believes in no man-made laws, only in nature. To trust in nature is Tao.
Lao Tzu says, “You can rest in life; even while you are walking you can remain unmoving. Your innermost center can remain unmoving; you can become the center of the cyclone. The wheel moves but the hub remains. The wheel goes on moving, but it moves on something which is not moving. Act, do, but remain a non-doer deep within. Talk, speak, but remain in silence deep within.”
Lao Tzu says, “Let contradictions meet. Let paradoxes dissolve. Be paradoxical because life is paradoxical. Live, and yet live as if you were dead. Then, when you die, die as if you were entering into another life – a higher life, a greater life. Let paradoxes meet, mingle, fuse, into one unity.”
Confucian thought consists of division, classification, categorization: Life is life, life is struggle. Death is death, death is rest – clear-cut divisions.
Lao Tzu says that there are no distinctions, no clear-cut distinctions. Life is death, death is life. A man can live tremendously and yet deep down remain absolutely transcendental, away, far away, distant, not involved at all. You can walk through the river and your feet can remain untouched by the water; you can be a lotus flower. That is the true life. You speak and yet you speak not. Something in you remains far away. You touch the earth and yet something in you remains high in the skies.
Confucian life is a very ordinary life; very logical, mathematical, classified, but very ordinary. Taoist life is really extraordinary, very rich because it contains both the negative and the positive, both the yin and yang, both conflict and cooperation, both love and hate, both life and death.
Always remember, let there be a harmony in the contradictions within you, then you will reach the highest point and the highest peak. Don’t choose one, choose both together. Be courageous. Don’t be miserly in choosing. When life gives you a paradox, choose the whole paradox; swallow it all whole, and digest it completely and you will become a flying dragon.
“Tzu Kung,” said Confucius, “you have understood.”
Of course, Confucius must have been very happy. He has converted the disciple back to the old rut: “Tzu Kung, you have understood.” He has missed the opportunity to understand, but Confucius says:
“…you have understood. All men understand the joy of being alive, but not its misery, the weariness of growing old, but not its ease, the ugliness of death, but not its repose.”
Again the same division: there are few people who understand the beauty of life, but not the ugliness of it. Then there are some who understand the ugliness of life, but not the beauty of it. There are some who understand the ugliness of death, but not the repose of it. And then there are some who understand the repose of death, but not the ugliness of it – but both are the same. You choose one category, somebody else chooses another category.
Confucius is saying: “Tzu Kung, you have understood. All men understand the joy of being alive, but not its misery…” Again a split. He says: “…men understand the joy of being alive, but not its misery…”
“You understand the misery of it. The weariness of growing old all men understand, but not its ease; you understand its ease. The ugliness of death all men understand; you understand its repose.” This is again choice. Both should be chosen together. Both should be chosen so together that there is no choice. Life is ugly and life is beautiful; and death is ugly and death is beautiful. Existence exists through dialectical processes.
Your left leg moves because your right leg stands still: the movement becomes possible because one leg is standing still. Then your left leg stands still and your right leg moves: the movement is possible because of no movement.
I can speak to you because something deep inside is always silent. The word is meaningful, significant, only because of the silence. If there were no silence, then the word would be meaningless, then it would be gibberish. When the word is meaningful, always remember that the meaning comes through silence; silence pours into the word and the word becomes luminous.
Love is beautiful because there is the possibility of hate, otherwise love would be so sweet that it would create diabetes! Just sugar, sugar, sugar… No, the salt is also needed; hate gives salt to life. Activity is good, but if there is no inactivity in it, it will create neurosis – obsessive action. Inactivity is good, but if there is no activity in it, it will be a sort of death, a lethargy, a dullness. Both are good, the whole is good.
Tao says: the whole is good. Don’t choose. Let it be as it is. As it is, it is a wise arrangement. There cannot be a better world than this. There is no possibility of any improvement. You accept both, and through that acceptance, you transcend.
Tzu Kung was close to the door through which he would have escaped into the open sky. He was misled again. Remember, in your life there will also be many moments when you can escape, but your past is heavy – it pulls you back. Confucius could succeed because Tzu Kung’s whole past was nothing but theories, words, philosophies, doctrines; and they understand each other’s language. He pulled him back. Again that great moment was missed. And these great moments come very rarely.
Sometimes I see somebody come to me; he wants to be initiated into sannyas, but then he says, “But I am hesitating.” And I watch. He is just standing at the door through which he can escape, but he is hesitating: the past pulls him back. Now it depends. If you are courageous, you take the step because you know your past – it has not satisfied you – so what is the point of falling back into it again?
This Tzu Kung knows that he has become weary of study, now what will he do with Confucius? There is study and study and study – nothing else. Confucius knows no meditation, he believes in no ecstasy; he is just a moral teacher – very earthly. He does not know anything greater than society, bigger than society; he has a very narrow outlook. Now what is he going to do? He will be studying again; he will be pondering again over the books, he will be studying the old, traditional, rotten books, again. Repeating again what he has already been doing.
Always remember that when a new moment, a new insight, hovers around you, choose the new because the old has not done anything for you; what is the point of going back? Even if the new proves wrong, then too, choose the new. At least it will be a new adventure; you will come to know something. Even if you don’t reach the goal, at least you will have learned some courage to move into the unknown, to embrace the unknown. That will be your gain. But never choose the old. Whenever there is a possibility for the new, go into the new. And go fast because the old is very heavy – it will pull you back.
Again and again I see a few people just sitting before me, hanging between their past and their present. Remember, the present is very small and the past is very long, so of course its weight is big. Unless you are very courageous you will never get out of it. It is very comfortable and convenient to remain with the past, but comfort and convenience are nothing. Growth is all.
If growth comes through discomfort, inconvenience – good. Then inconvenience is good, beneficial; then discomfort is good, beneficial. But always remember one thing: go on growing. Don’t become a rut. Don’t start moving in the same vicious circle again and again and again.
Enough for today.

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