TAO

Tao The Pathless Path Vol 2 01

First Discourse from the series of 14 discourses - Tao The Pathless Path Vol 2 by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.


Hui Ang visited King K’ang of Sung. The king stamped his foot, coughed and said fiercely, “What pleases me is courage and strength. I take no pleasure in men who preach morality. What have you to teach me?”

“Suppose that I have a way to make anyone, however brave and strong, miss when he stabs or strikes at you. Wouldn’t Your Majesty be interested?”

“Excellent! This is the sort of thing I like to hear.”

“But even if a stab or blow misses, it is still humiliating for you. Suppose that I have a way to prevent anyone, however brave and strong, from daring to stab or strike you. But a man who does not dare to harm you may still have the will to harm you. Suppose that I have a way to ensure that men have absolutely no will to harm you. But a man who has no will to harm you may still have no thought of loving or benefiting you. Suppose that I have a way to make every single man and woman in the world joyfully desire to love and benefit you. This is three degrees better than courage and strength. Isn’t Your Majesty interested?”

“This is the sort of way I should like to find.”

“The teaching of Confucius and Mo Tzu is what I have in mind. Confucius and Mo Tzu became princes without owning territory, became leaders without holding office. Every man and woman in the world craned his neck and stood on tiptoe in his eagerness for their safety and benefit. Now Your Majesty is the Lord of ten thousand chariots. If you were indeed to share the aims of these two men, everyone within your four borders would enjoy the benefit. You would be far greater than Confucius and Mo Tzu.”

Hui Ang hurried out. And the king said to his courtiers, “Clever, the way he talked me round with his argument!”
Tao means transcendence – transcendence of all duality, transcendence of all polarity, transcendence of all opposites. Tao is the ultimate synthesis – the synthesis of man and woman, of positive and negative, life and death, day and night, summer and winter.
How does this synthesis become possible? How may one grow into that ultimate synthesis? A few things have to be understood.
First, the principle of yin, the principle of femininity, is like a ladder – a ladder between hell and heaven. You can go to hell through it, and you can go to heaven through it. The direction will differ but the ladder will be the same. That ladder is the principle of yin, the principle of femininity. Nothing happens without the woman. The energy of the woman is the ladder of the lowest and of the highest, of the darkest valley and of the brightest peak. This is one of the fundamental principles of Tao. It must be understood in detail. Once it gets rooted in your heart, things will become very simple.
It will be good to go into the symbol of Adam and Eve.
The world does not start with Adam, it starts with Eve. It is through Eve that the serpent persuades Adam to disobey. The serpent could not persuade Adam directly – it is as if there is no direct way to man. If you want to reach man you have to go through woman. The woman functioned as a medium for evil.
Then again, when Christ is born, he is born of the Virgin Mary. The Christ child was born out of virgin femininity, out of virgin yin. The highest enters through the woman.
The lowest and the highest have both been through the woman.
Adam stands for earth, clay – red earth, to be exact. God made Adam out of red earth. Adam represents the principle of dust unto dust. Man is the outer principle, the principle of extraversion: man is the physical body.
Try to understand these symbols. Man is the physical body and God created Eve out of man’s physical body. She was something higher. First man had to be created, then woman. She was something subtler, something more refined – something of a greater synthesis. Eve was created out of a rib; Eve could not be created directly from the earth.
For example: you cannot eat mud but you can eat apples; apples are on a higher plane. They come out of the mud. The tree grows out of the mud, so the apple is nothing but earth transformed. You can eat the apple and you can digest it, but if you try to eat the earth, you will die. The apple is from the earth but it is a superior synthesis – better, more digestible.
God created Adam and mankind has taken it as though, because God created man first, he is primary. No, man was created first because he was very close to the earth. Then woman was created – she was not as close to the earth; she was created out of Adam, she was a higher synthesis.
The name of Eve is also very significant. It means the heart. Adam means the earth and Eve means the heart. God told Adam to name things, so he named everything. When he came to name Eve he simply said loudly, “She is my heart, Eve.” That became Eve’s name. Eva or Eve means the heart. Translated into the modern idiom it means the psyche. Man is the body principle, woman is the psyche. Man is body, woman is mind. Everything happens through the mind.
To do bad things, your mind must be convinced of it first; to do good, your mind must be convinced of it first. Everything happens first as an idea then it can be actualized. Your body cannot be persuaded to do something unless your mind is ready. Even if illness enters your body, it enters through the mind. Anything that ever happens, happens through the mind. That is the meaning of the parable: the serpent persuaded Eve. Only the mind can be persuaded, convinced, seduced, and then the mind can persuade the body very easily. In fact, the body follows the mind like a shadow. Once your mind has a thought, it is bound to be translated into actuality.
Through Eve, Adam fell. Through Eve, he was expelled from the garden of God. Through Eve came this great adventure we call the world. Through Eve, he disobeyed.
I have heard…

A man was brought to a court and the policeman said, “Either he is mad or he is completely drunk, because he was just standing in the middle of the road. I told him many times to move but he would not. I was surprised because I didn’t think that he was drunk and I didn’t think that he was mad. He seemed to be sane in every way and I smelled his breath and he had not been drinking. But he would not move from the middle of the road.”
The magistrate said, “Tell me. Why were you standing there? Why didn’t you move when the policeman was telling you to again and again?”
The man was a very tiny man, very weak and thin. He said, “Sir, I had to choose between the law of the government and the law of my wife.”
The magistrate said, “What do you mean?”
He said, “My wife told me to meet her at exactly that spot at twelve o’clock. So I had to choose. Naturally I chose the law of my wife.”
The magistrate laughed, “That has always been the case. You go home. If that is the problem, then one has to choose the law of the wife.”

Since Adam it has been so. The woman is the principle of the inner – not, certainly, of the innermost, but of the inner. She is just in the middle. The innermost you call the soul, the outermost you call the body, and just between the two is the psyche, the mind.
Adam followed Eve on this adventure into the world.
Then again, the parable about Jesus is the same. Jesus is born of the Virgin Mary. Why virgin? Because if you understand rightly, virgin means a mind which is absolutely pure, uncontaminated by thought. Thoughts are represented by the serpent because the ways of thoughts are very serpentine. If you watch your thoughts, you will understand why they have been represented by the serpent. Their ways are very serpentine, they walk without legs just like serpents; they wriggle within you. They are very cunning and very clever and very deceptive – like the serpent. They hide in dark holes in your unconscious, and whenever they have an opportunity, they jump upon you. In the night, in the dark night, they come out; in the daylight they hide. When you are a little alert those thoughts disappear; when you are not so alert they come out, they start influencing you.
The Virgin Mary means a mind in meditation; Eve means a mind full of thoughts, full of serpents. Jesus enters the world through the Virgin Mary, through purity, through innocence. Thought is cunning; thoughtless consciousness is innocent.
If you understand these beautiful parables, you will be surprised. We have not done justice to them. They are not historical facts; they are great metaphors of the inner being of man. Through Eve, Adam fell, and through the Virgin Mary, Jesus rose and again entered the world of God.
One thing more. It is said that the sin of Adam was disobedience. God had said not to eat the fruit of a certain tree, the Tree of Knowledge – but the serpent persuaded Eve, and Eve persuaded Adam. It was disobedience.
You will be surprised to know that the Hebrew meaning of the name Mary is rebellion. The Hebrew word is mariam. It means rebellion. Through disobedience Adam fell and through rebellion Jesus rose. Disobedience means a reaction, going against, against God; rebellion means negating the negative, going against the world, going against the serpents. Eve listened to the serpents and went against God; Jesus rebelled against the serpents and listened to God.
Disobedience is political; rebellion is religious. Disobedience only brings disorder; rebellion, real rebellion, brings a radical change in your being – a hundred-and-eighty-degree turn, a conversion.
But both Adam and Jesus happened through the feminine principle. In Taoist language the feminine principle is called yin and the male principle is called yang. Yang is ambition, yang is aggression, yang is desire and projection, yang is political. Yin is religious. Whenever you are ambitious it is impossible for you to be religious; whenever you are religious it is impossible for you to be political. They don’t go together. They don’t mix. They cannot mix. Their very nature is like trying to mix water and oil.
Ambition and meditation never mix, they cannot mix. The politician functions through the male principle and the sage functions through the feminine principle. That’s why the sages become so soft, so feminine, so round, so beautiful. A certain grace surrounds them. And the beauty is certainly not only of the body – sometimes it happens that the body may not be beautiful at all.
In early Christianity there was a principle that Jesus was the ugliest person in the world. By and by Christians dropped that idea, they didn’t like it. But it had something beautiful in it. It said that the body was ugly but still, when you came across Jesus, you would be suddenly surprised, overtaken, possessed, overwhelmed by his beauty. His body was ugly. If you saw a picture, you would see only his ugliness. But if you went to him, entered his actual presence, you would forget all about his ugliness because so much beauty was flowing, so much beauty was pouring out, raining. You would not even remember that he was ugly. So those who had not seen him used to think that he was ugly and those who had seen him used to say that he was the most beautiful person.
The body is not the question. The sage does not live in the body or as the body – he lives through the body. The politician is nothing but the body, the extrovert. The body is extrovert, the psyche is introvert, and when you transcend both, Tao arises. When you are neither extrovert nor introvert, when you are not going into the outer nor into the inner, when you are not going anywhere, there is tremendous stillness – no movement because there is no motivation. Your inner flame is no longer wavering because there is no direction to go; there is no purpose to fulfill. There is nowhere to be and nobody else to be, you are absolutely content with the moment. Then you have transcended man and woman and the polarity. In that transcendence is Tao.
This transcendence has been taught in different ways all over the world in different terms. I would like to explain one term to you because it will help. The term is Israel. It is not the name of a certain race – certainly not of the Jews – and it is not a name of a certain individual. “Israel” is exactly what Tao is.
Try to understand. The word Israel is made of three symbols: is-ra-el. Is means the feminine principle. Is comes from the Egyptian word isis. Isis means the moon goddess; the moon is the feminine principle. Remember the word moon because in Hindu metaphors the moon is also the symbol of the feminine.
In Yoga they say there are three passages in the human being: the moon, the sun, and the transcendental. Through one nostril you breathe the moon energy; through another nostril you breathe the sun energy. And deep inside, when both breathings stop, then you transcend. That is called sushumna ida, pingala, sushumna.
Israel is made of three symbols. Is comes from Isis the Egyptian goddess of the moon or the Babylonian goddess Ishtar who is also the moon goddess. This is the principle of yin, the feminine. Ra comes from the Egyptian sun god. It represents the masculine principle, yang. And el comes from elohim which is the same root from which the Mohammedans derive Allah. The Hebrew word for God is elohim; el comes from there. It represents the meeting of the feminine and the masculine and their transcendence too. Israel exactly means Tao.
If you are dominated by the sun, you will be aggressive, madly aggressive, ambitious, political, hot, burning will, desire and passion. If you are dominated by the moon, you will be cool, non-ambitious, non-aggressive, receptive, peaceful, silent. Both have to be transcended because both are lopsided. One has to come to a moment when one can say, “I am neither man nor woman.” That’s when a man becomes a Buddha or a man becomes a Christ or a man becomes a Krishna: when he is neither man nor woman, neither moon nor sun, neither “is” nor “ra,” neither yin nor yang. He simply is, purely is. All formulations have disappeared.
But this only happens by and by. First you have to drop the principle of “ra” – the principle of the sun, the male energy – and you have to move into the feminine, into the female. And from there you have to move into the beyond.
Everything happens through the feminine principle – remember it, always remember it. It is the middle principle, so whether you are going beyond or you are going below makes no difference – it is the ladder.
With the body, with the sun energy, with the male, you become a rapist, you rape life. You are not a lover. Science comes out of sun energy; science is male-oriented. That’s why the East could not develop it. The East has lived through the moon principle – passive, silent, easygoing, not trying to conquer, in deep love with nature, not trying to fight. The East has never been a rapist, the West has raped nature. Hence the problem of ecology has arisen: all nature is being destroyed.
With the feminine principle, with the moon principle, there is love. You love but you don’t rape. Sometimes the physical act may look the same, but the innermost quality is different.

I have heard about a woman who was bringing a complaint against a man in the court. The magistrate asked, “You say that this man raped you again and again. When did he rape you?”
And the woman said, “When? January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December. The whole year – rape and rape and rape and nothing else.”
The magistrate was surprised. He said, “How could he rape you the whole year?”
The woman said, “He is my husband.”
“But then why do you call it rape? Legally it is not rape.”
The woman said, “It is still rape. He did not love me.”

You can rape even your wife if you don’t love her. The physical act of making love to or raping a woman may be the same, but the inner quality differs.
With the sun energy, science is born: it is the rape of nature. With the moon energy, poetry, art, painting, dance, music are born: it is love playing with nature. The East has lived through art, through music, dance, drama. The West has been trying to use male energy too much. The West has lost balance, but so has the East; no society has yet evolved which can be called “Israel,” which can be called Tao, which has transcended both or synthesized both in such harmony that the antagonism has disappeared.
Tao is the goal: to create a human being who is fully integrated, totally integrated, and also to create a human society which is totally integrated.
Now this story. These few things I have told you will help you to understand it.
Hui Ang visited King K’ang of Sung. The king stamped his foot, coughed and said fiercely, “What pleases me is courage and strength. I take no pleasure in men who preach morality. What have you to teach me?”
Now look at the attitude. This is not an attitude of somebody who wants to learn – it is the attitude of the rapist who wants to snatch. The king stamped his foot, coughed and said fiercely, “What pleases me is courage and strength. I take no pleasure in men who preach morality. What have you to teach me?” This is no way to learn. This is insulting. No master would agree to teach this man. In fact, no master would visit the palace of such a man. This man is unworthy even of being talked to.
But this Hui Ang is a Confucian. Disciples of Confucius used to go to the courts. Their whole effort was to persuade the politicians, the ministers, the kings, the princes. They thought that if you could persuade the king, you could change the whole society. It is the oldest illusion, the ancientmost illusion – that if you can persuade the politician, it will be easy to change the society; or, if you can change the politician, it will be easy to change the society; or, if you change the ruling party, it will be easy to change the society. It has never happened.
You can change the politician; you can even convince the politician about beautiful things, but deep down the politician remains the politician. He understands only one language: the language of ambition, the language of greed, the language of the world. He is outgoing, extrovert.
He coughed, stamped his foot and said fiercely, “What pleases me is courage and strength.” The moment you say that, you have some prejudice. The moment you say that this pleases you and that does not please you, you can never learn what truth is because truth has no need to fit with your pleasure. Truth has no obligation to fit with what pleases you and what does not please you. You have to fit with truth; truth does not to fit with you.
It is said that there are two categories of men in the world: one who would like truth to stand by their side and the other who would like to stand by the side of truth. The first category is that of the politician – the aggressive, the sun-energy, the ambitious. The second category is that of the religious, the moon principle, the non-aggressive, the receptive. Remember this: never want truth to stand by your side because whatsoever stands by your side, whatsoever is ready to stand by your side, cannot be truth. It will be a lie. Only lies are ready to stand by your side, truth never. You will have to stand by the side of truth. If you have that much courage – courage to drop your old prejudices, likes and dislikes – only then can you go into truth, otherwise not.
Now what does this man say? Look at his gesture. He stamped his foot, coughed and said fiercely, “What pleases me is courage and strength. I take no pleasure in men who preach morality.” Yes, how can a politician take any interest in morality? Morality comes from the feminine principle. Look, all the great teachers in the world have created more femininity in the world – Buddha, Christ, Krishna. They have all created more and more of the feminine, the soft.
Friedrich Nietzsche criticized both Buddha and Jesus; he said they were not real men. And he was right. He said that they have destroyed manliness. And he was right – right for the wrong reasons, but still right. Buddha, Mahavira, Christ, certainly have taught something which will make you less aggressive, which will make you less violent. And if you listen to them totally, you will become absolutely nonviolent.
Naturally Nietzsche could not like it. He said that the most beautiful thing in the world was the soldier and the greatest music was war music. He said, “In my whole life’s experience, the moment that I remember again and again, the moment I call the most beautiful moment, was when a group of soldiers were marching on the road – their legs, their feet falling in tune, their boots making a rhythmic noise, their swords shining in the sun, erect, powerful, aggressive, ambitious. When I saw this group of soldiers marching in the sun it was the greatest moment of beauty that I know.”
If such a man comes across Buddha, he will wonder how Buddha can be beautiful. Sitting under the tree he is so silent that you can almost forget about him. He is almost absent. His music is that of silence. His music is that of receptivity. He is just a cool phenomenon – no heat, no passion, no desire. Sitting there silently he is almost like a tree; flowering there he is almost like a tree. And in the East, particularly in India, we have thought of a buddha as a lotus which has bloomed fully – a one-thousand-petaled lotus. Yes, he is almost like a tree.
For five hundred years in India, no statue of Buddha was made. Instead of a statue of Buddha, people worshipped a tree. Many statues were made of the tree, many pictures were made of the tree, many paintings were made of the tree, many temples were built, but there was no statue of Buddha, just the bodhi tree. Because Buddha was almost absent – he had become formless, he had become as if he were not. His music is that of silence. Nietzsche would not recognize the beauty of it; no politician would recognize the beauty of it.
This king said: “I take no pleasure in men who preach morality.” The basis of all morality is to love and the basis of all politics is to hate. The moralist says, “Love even your enemy,” and the politician says, “Hate even your friend.” If you want to see a contrast you can read Jesus and Machiavelli. Or, the Indian parallel, you can read Buddha and Chanakya. It is not just a coincidence that the part of Delhi where Indian politicians live is called Chanakyapuri – it is named after Chanakya, the Indian Machiavelli. Machiavelli says, “Don’t even trust your friend. Don’t say anything to your friend which you would not like to say to your enemy.” Why? “Because,” he says, “who knows? Your friend may become your enemy tomorrow. So don’t say anything that you would not like to say to an enemy.”
Look at Jesus. He says, “Even if somebody slaps you on one cheek, give him the other one too. Love your enemy as yourself.”
Naturally politicians cannot be ready to listen to the teachings of morality. Morality means love and politics means hate, hatred. Politicians may smile but hidden behind that smile is a horrible face. They may show a beautiful face but behind it they are preparing for hell. They may talk about peace but they prepare for war. Their whole life depends on destruction. Love is creation; hate is destruction.
Naturally the king was not interested in any kind of morality. He said: “What pleases me is courage and strength.” Why courage and strength? Why strength?
Jesus says, “Blessed are the meek,” not “Blessed are the strong,” no. “Blessed are the meek, blessed are the humble, blessed are the poor in spirit.” Not the strong, not the strong-headed but those who have soft hearts; not people like rocks but people like flowers – they are blessed.
Jesus is right, but no politician will want to listen to this. This is nonsense. The politician cannot understand this language. He has his own language: the language of cunningness, calculation, hatred, domination, destruction. The politician lives on evil. How can he listen to morality?
Remember, the language of politics is not the language of religion and the language of religion is not the language of politics. In fact, they are so far apart that they cannot even be translated into each other. Impossible. They are not only two languages, they are two different planes, two different worlds, two separate realities.
In a way the king is sincere, he is showing his real face. The king stamped his foot, coughed and said fiercely, “What pleases me is courage and strength.” Why courage? Why have people talked so much about courage – to kill people and to be killed? Why has strength been praised so much? Because without strength it is difficult to rape nature, it is difficult to rape other people, it is difficult to conquer, to dominate – it is difficult to destroy.
When a religious person talks of courage, his courage has a different meaning, remember. And when he talks of strength, his strength has a totally different meaning, remember. When a religious person calls something courageous he does not mean the same thing as the politician. For the religious, courage means to be creative; courage means to be oneself; courage means to be sincere, authentic. Courage means not to yield to lies; courage means not to allow corruption to set in in one’s own being; courage means to resist all temptations of going astray. Courage does not mean the capability to kill and be killed, no. Courage means the capacity to live and to live your own life according to your own heart.
And strength does not mean the capacity of violence, strength means the capacity to understand, the capacity to know, the capacity to love, the capacity to be open. When somebody hits you it is not strength to hit him back; that is very simple, anybody can do it. Even a child can do it. But when somebody hits you and you don’t hit back, it is strength.
When Jesus was crucified and he prayed to God, “Father, forgive these people because they don’t know what they are doing,” it was strength – the strength of the meek, the power of the humble.
Remember, the same word, if used by different people, becomes different. In fact, there should be different dictionaries: religious dictionaries, political dictionaries. There should be different dictionaries. In a better world there will be – because the same words cannot mean the same.

A diner in a restaurant rushed over to a man who was standing just near the door. “I’ve been robbed!” he screamed. “I turned my head and someone stole my brown topcoat. It had buttons on the sleeves and a fur collar!”
“Hmmmmmmm,” murmured the stranger who was standing at the door. “Come to think of it, I saw a man walking out of here just a few minutes ago wearing that very coat!”
“Quick, quick!” demanded the customer. “What did the guy look like?”
“Terrible,” the man sighed. “The sleeves were much too short for him!”
Then seeing the surprised look on the robbed man’s face he added immediately, “You see, I’m a tailor.”

Your language is your language. The words have no meaning in themselves, the meaning is brought by the person who uses them.

A rancher applied for a loan at a bank.
“How much do you want to borrow?” asked the loan officer.
“Twenty-five thousand dollars.”
“All right, but you’ll have to show security. How many bulls do you have on your ranch?”
“Two hundred.”
“That should be enough security. The loan is approved.”
Several months later the rancher returned to the bank to repay the loan.
“Here’s your money,” he declared, peeling off bills from a huge bankroll.
“Well, sir, let me congratulate you on your sudden prosperity,” said the officer, eyeing the bankroll. And for safety’s sake, may I suggest you deposit that extra money in our bank?”
Staring at him coldly, the rancher asked, “How many bulls do you have?’

Everybody has his own language. The politician has a very subtle language, a definite language and morality is certainly not part of it. By any means or methods, deception, immorality, one has to fulfill one’s ambition. So even if a politician uses morality, he uses it only as a means. Sometimes a politician may look very moral if it fulfills his purpose.
Mahatma Gandhi was a politician, not a religious man at all. When India was fighting with the British, nonviolence was fulfilling a purpose. When India became free the ideology of nonviolence became defunct, then it was not of much use. Even Gandhi approved of an Indian military army. And when it was getting ready to attack Pakistan he blessed it. When he saw airplanes flying over Delhi toward Pakistan he said, “Good. With my blessings.”
Now what had happened? This was the same man who was against all violence, but then violence was not possible, India was not in a situation to fight the British violently. So nonviolence was in favor, and Gandhi used it. But when India became independent, he forgot all his talk about nonviolence. He did not then say, “Dissolve the army now. Dissolve the police force. Let the country be ruled by love.” He forgot all about nonviolence.
That’s why I say he was a politician. If he had been a religious person then this was a real opportunity to be nonviolent. The country has become free, he should have dissolved the military, the army, the police force. In fact, he should have dropped government itself because a government is a violent organization. But he kept mum.
A politician can use morality when it serves his purpose. He can say, “Honesty is the best policy,” but remember, it is a policy. It serves his purpose. Policy means politics. And when dishonesty is the best policy, then? When it serves the purpose, then it is perfectly okay. A politician is like a whore. He can change. He is opportunistic. Whatsoever serves his purpose becomes his ideal and his principle. Deep down there is only one principle: that is his ambition must be fulfilled.
The king was in a way sincere.
“I take no pleasure in men who preach morality. What have you to teach me?”

“Suppose,” said Hui Ang, “that I have a way to make anyone, however brave and strong, miss when he stabs or strikes at you. Wouldn’t Your Majesty be interested?”
Now, no Taoist would do this. First, the Taoist would not go to the king, the king would have to come to the Taoist. And even then the Taoist may not see him because he knows that the politician is the worst man possible.
In Buddhist classifications they have divided man into three categories. The first they call adampurush, the lowest, the worst man. The second they call madhyampurush, the middle man, and the third they call mahapurush, the great man. Mahapurush is one who lives naturally, religiously, without any ambition and without any mind. He is just a part of this cosmos, not fighting, not struggling. He is just floating with it, flowing with it. He is in a deep let-go. That is mahapurush, the great man.
Then next to him comes the middle man who is not totally in the flow but sometimes there are moments when he flows. Sometimes there are moments when he freezes, sometimes he starts fighting, and sometimes he relaxes. He has a double bind. He is in the middle. Sometimes he moves to the lower, sometimes to the higher. He is still wavering. He has not yet become decisive. His integration is not complete yet.
And then comes the third category, the lowest, adampurush, the worst. He is settled at the lowest level and he does not want to move from there.
The politician is adampurush, the worst; the artist is the madhyampurush, the middle man; and the religious man is the mahapurush, the great man. And beyond the three is the fourth, turiya – one who has gone beyond all categories, the non-categorized. He is in Tao. He is beyond politics, he is beyond art, he is even beyond religion. He is simply beyond.
No Taoist will go to teach a king. That is foolish, stupid. The disciple has to come to the master. Why? Because, unless the disciple comes and seeks truth, he is not ready to learn.
The disciple must be humble. If a disciple stamps his foot, coughs and says fiercely, “What do you have to teach me?” then it is better not to teach him. He is incurable.
But there is the difference between the Confucian and the Taoist. Confucius and his followers were constantly going to the kings and the ministers and the powerful people and trying to convert them, trying to convince them. They thought that that seemed to be the easiest way to change the world. It has always been thought that if you want to change humanity, the best way is to go to the capital. No, it has proved to be wrong, absolutely wrong.
For five thousand years at least, we know well that the way to transform man does not go through the capital; it goes through the heart not the capital. You can only change a person who is ready to be changed, who is willing to be changed, who is cooperative, who is ready to learn and bow down and surrender – to receive.
But Hui Ang tried. He said: “Suppose that I have a way to make anyone, however brave and strong, miss when he stabs or strikes at you. Wouldn’t Your Majesty be interested?” Now he is trying to persuade the king in his own language. Never do that, because when you bring religion to the level of the worst man, religion is destroyed.
Tao cannot be translated into the language of greed although this is what Hui Ang is doing. He is trying to translate desirelessness into greed.
The king became interested. He said: “Excellent!” Look at the change. Just a moment before he was stamping his foot, coughing and was saying fiercely, “What do you have to teach me? I don’t want to listen to anything about morality.”
“Excellent!” he said. “This is the sort of thing I like to hear.”
Now this comes close. It is not going to change him because religion has come down to adjust to him; he has not gone up to adjust to religion. This is very irreligious. To do such a thing is irreligious. This man, Hui Ang, is falling into the trap of the politician rather than helping the politician to come out of his imprisonment. He himself is falling into the trap – to persuade the king he is bringing truth almost to the level of a lie.
What does he say? He says he can make someone: “…however brave and strong, miss when he stabs or strikes at you.” This seems good to the ego, the greedy ego, because if this can be done, then it will become unconquerable. This is worth something. Now this comes close to ambition. This becomes a policy, this becomes a strategy.
“Excellent! This is the sort of thing I like to hear.” Remember always, the sort of thing that you like to hear is always wrong because being the sort of man you are, how can you like to hear the right thing? It is very difficult to be ready to hear the truth. It shatters, it confuses, it uproots, it shocks, it dismantles, it destroys your prejudices – it hits you hard. In fact, it tries to kill you as you have existed up to now. That’s why very rare people are ready to hear the truth.
If I were to talk in terms of lies, you would find millions of people around here. I used to talk to thousands and thousands of people – great crowds used to gather. But then, by and by, I recognized the fact that they gathered not to hear what I had to say; they gathered to hear what they wanted to hear. They were not there to be transformed, they were there to be consoled, they were there to be convinced. Wherever they were and whatsoever they were, they wanted to know that they were right. The moment I started saying the truth they started disappearing. Now only rarely will a few people be coming to me because I don’t make any compromise. I will say only that which is true. If you want to agree with it, good, but if you want it to agree with you then this is not the place for you.
“But even if a stab or blow misses, it is still humiliating for you.”
Now he persuades further. He says, “I can teach a certain art so that nobody can stab you, or, even if he tries, he will miss.” Now he sees that the king is ready, persuaded. The king says: “Excellent! This is the sort of thing I like to hear.” Now Hui Ang moves ahead. He says: “But even if a stab or blow misses, it is still humiliating for you. If somebody tries to kill you, even though he misses, the effort on your life is humiliating. I can do something for that too.”
“Suppose that I have a way to prevent anyone, however brave and strong, from daring to stab or strike you.”
“I can do something more. I can create such a situation that he will not even dare to stab or make an effort on your life. What about it, sir?”
“But a man who does not dare to harm you may still have the will to harm you.”
“He may not dare to harm you but he has the idea, it is humiliating that somebody even thinks of destroying you.”
Hui Ang continues:
“Suppose that I have a way to ensure that men have absolutely no will to harm you. But a man who has no will to harm you may still have no thought of loving or benefiting you.”
“A man may have no thought of harming you, but that does not make sure that he wants to benefit you or has a loving attitude toward you.”
“Suppose that I have a way to make every single man and woman in the world joyfully desire to love and benefit you. This is three degrees better than courage and strength. Isn’t Your Majesty interested?”

“This is the sort of way I should like to find,”
…said the king. Now truth is brought to the level of the adampurush, the lowest man. In bringing truth to the lowest man, truth loses its quality of being true. It becomes a falsehood. Now it is a lie. Now it is clever argument. It is no longer a statement of truth, it is a cunning device. It is sophistry. Yes, that is exactly the word for it. This man is not a sage, he is a sophist.
You must have heard about sophists. They existed in Athens, in Greece. Before Socrates there was great power in the hands of the sophists. They traveled all over the country. They convinced everybody; they were greatest arguers but they had no principles. They would convince you of whatsoever you wanted to be convinced about. It was a sort of prostitution. They were paid and they became very affluent because they were ready to support anything. “Just tell me what you want to be convinced of” they would say, and they would convince you, they would give you beautiful arguments. They had schools to teach people argumentation.
They disappeared from the world because of Socrates. He had a great impact on the Greek mind and he destroyed that whole prostitution.
Bertrand Russell used to tell a small story again and again. I don’t know where he got it from but the story is beautiful so there is no need to worry about it.

He used to say again and again that one day a sophist came to see Socrates. He had a beautiful dog with him and Socrates looked at him and asked, “Is this your dog?”
And the sophist said, “Yes.”
Socrates said, “Is the dog male or female?”
And the sophist said, “A female.”
Socrates asked, “Is the dog a mother or not yet a mother?”
And the sophist said, “Yes, the dog is a mother.”
Socrates laughed and said, “You are the son of it, you son of a bitch.”

I don’t know where Bertrand Russell got it from but sophists were that type of people. They had no principles, they had no truth, they were opportunists. And they were ready to argue for anything. Wrong or right was not the question, they simply enjoyed argumentation. They were like lawyers. You go to the lawyer and it does not matter whether you are wrong or right, he is ready to support you, he is ready to fight for you.

Mulla Nasruddin went to a lawyer and told him the whole story. The lawyer said, “Don’t be worried, your victory is absolutely certain, a hundred percent certain. Trust me. Leave it to me. You are going to win.”
But Mulla Nasruddin got up and started to leave the office. The lawyer said, “Where are you going? You have not said anything.”
Mulla replied, “There is no need. I have told you the other man’s story, the other side’s story. Now there is no need to fight.”

But this is no way to judge. Tell any story and the lawyer says, “Yes, you are going to win.” And he will support you and he will argue for you. He has no interest in truths: his only interest is if he is paid – then everything is okay. Then what is he serving? Truth or untruth? It does not matter, it is immaterial. He serves money, prestige, power, respectability. If these things come he is ready to support anybody. He is not against crime; he is ready to protect crime if that is the way money comes.
Now, this man is a sophist, he is not a sage, he is not a master – he is not even a teacher, not even an honest teacher. He is a sophist. But he has persuaded the king: “This is the sort of way I would like to find.” But there is nothing to find.
“The teaching of Confucius and Mo Tzu is what I have in mind.”
Hui Ang is a disciple of Confucius and Mo Tzu; Mo Tzu is a disciple of Confucius. Just as Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu were the two topmost Taoists, so Confucius and Mo Tzu were the two topmost Confucians.
“Confucius and Mo Tzu became princes without owning territory…”
Now he flatters the king even more, he buttresses him more.
“The teaching of Confucius and Mo Tzu is what I have in mind. Confucius and Mo Tzu became princes without owning territory, became leaders without holding office. Every man and woman in the world craned his neck and stood on tiptoe in his eagerness for their safety and benefit. Now Your Majesty is the Lord of ten thousand chariots. If you were indeed to share the aims of these two men, everyone within your four borders would enjoy the benefit. You would be far greater than Confucius and Mo Tzu.”
Now he is buttressing the ego of the king as much as possible. He says, “Look! Confucius and Mo Tzu were not kings but they were almost like uncrowned kings. They had no territory but they were treated everywhere as great kings. They were men of character, morality, knowledge. They were respected everywhere. They became leaders without holding office.”
“Every man and woman in the world craned his neck and stood on tiptoe in his eagerness for their safety and benefit.” But if that is true, then why was Jesus crucified? If that is true, then why was Socrates poisoned? If that is true, then why was Mansoor al-Hillaj killed? No, Confucius and Mo Tzu were not real masters. They were men of character, great discipline, but a man of character is nothing but a man who follows the rules and regulations of the society. He is not rebellious, he is a conformist. The society certainly respects him, but it is because he respects the rules of the society.
Jesus had to be crucified because he rebelled. Mansoor had to be killed because he rebelled. The society takes revenge if you don’t follow the rules of the society, if you start talking in ways which sabotage the foolish rules of the society. The rules are stupid, they are meaningless, but millions of people believe in them. Once a man like Jesus or Socrates or Mansoor is there and he starts talking about truth and that truth goes against the so-called truths of the society, they are bound to take revenge.
But Confucius was respected. He was not a man of rebellion; he was just a conformist, a traditionalist. He followed the neurotic rules of the society; he followed the stupid ways of society to the very letter. Yes, he was moral, but he was not religious. A religious man has found his own law. If it fits with the society, good. If it doesn’t fit with the society, then he still lives his own law. A religious man is free; a religious man is freedom. He lives through his innermost core. He has no outer imposed discipline on himself, he lives in no cage. He lives like a free being – whatsoever the cost. Even if he must pay with his life he is ready to pay, but he is not ready to curtail his freedom. Freedom is his utmost value, his ultimate value. He can lose everything, but not freedom.
A traditional man is ready to lose freedom for cheap things – respectability, social honor. Yes, Confucius and Mo Tzu were honored, they were really honored, but the honor was because they were not free men, not men of Tao.
“Now Your Majesty is the Lord of ten thousand chariots. If you were indeed to share the aims of these two men, everyone within your four borders would enjoy the benefit. You would be far greater than Confucius and Mo Tzu.” Now he is saying, “You can become the greatest man in the world. Confucius is the last word and you can become even greater than him.”
Look – that is the way society persuades everybody. A child is born and the parents start telling him, “Be moral, have character, do this and that – you will be respected and all of society will respect you. You will become a great man, famous, well-known and well respected.” What are they doing? They are creating his ego; they are helping to create the ego in the child.
The ego is the principle of immorality and your so-called morality hangs on the principle of ego. It is based on immorality. But you have been taught to be this way: be the way society wants you to be and society will respect you. If you want respect, never rebel; if you want respect, bow down to the order of society.
And who is this society? The mob, the crowd. The majority consists of stupid people, they control the rules. Society means the lowest mob – they control everything. Yes, society will respect you if you follow it, but following it you will become stupid yourself. If you want to be respected, then you will have to become stupid; if you want to be intelligent, forget about respectability. An intelligent person will live, live tremendously, live greatly, live joyously, but he should not hanker for respect.
Disrespect is more possible than respect; poison is more possible than prestige. You may be beheaded rather than being honored – that is more likely because society has not yet come to this point of growth, it has not yet evolved so much that it can respect the real person.
That must be understood… If Socrates came back, he would be poisoned again. If Jesus came back, he would be crucified again. Time has not made much difference – society remains the same. Society has not yet evolved to the point where it can respect a true person. To respect a true person would mean that society has become intelligent.
The goal seems to be far away. Will it happen or not? It seems it would be almost a utopia if a day came when Socrates was worshipped. Do you remember the people who killed Socrates? Do you know anybody’s name? They were the respectable people; they were the guardians of morality in society. Do you remember the name of the judge who sentenced Socrates, who ordered him to be poisoned? Do you know who these people were? Where they came from? They were respectable people, they were the guardians of morality, they were the protectors of society, they were the leaders and the politicians and the priests. Nobody knows where they have gone, but Socrates remains.
The man who was the opponent, who brought the case against Socrates in the court, said that he was corrupting the minds of the young people. That was the crime that he was doing; he was corrupting the minds of the young people. That’s the crime they say I am doing. I corrupt the minds of young people. I would like to corrupt the minds of the old people but they don’t have any! So naturally I have to corrupt the minds of the young people – only they have minds.
When the man had won the case – Socrates had been sentenced and the order was declared that he would be poisoned – he looked at Socrates and said, “What do you say?” Socrates laughed and he said, “Remember one thing: for thousands of years people will think about me, but they will remember your name only because you brought the case against me – that’s all. They will know your name only because you were the man who moved the court to kill Socrates. Nothing else will be remembered of you.” And that is exactly what has happened. Nobody remembers anything about that man. Socrates will be remembered and remembered.
Who were the men who killed al-Hillaj Mansoor? Their names are forgotten. And they were the pinnacles of morality, they were the paragons of morality, they were the people who were afraid that al-Hillaj Mansoor was destroying morality, religion; that he was a dangerous man and society had to be protected from him. But who remembers their names? Their names are not known. Mansoor will live. As long as humanity continues to aspire to go beyond, as long as humanity has goals of transcendence, as long as the arrow of human consciousness moves toward godliness, Mansoor will be remembered. One day, one can hope that somewhere in the future a time will come when the real man will be respected.
Confucius is not a real man. Mo Tzu is not a real man. They are conventional people, conformists, traditional people, dead. And Hui Ang says: “You would be far greater than Confucius and Mo Tzu.”
This is the whole trick; this is how you have been distracted from your center. You have been told not to be yourself, otherwise you will not get any respect, any honor. If you want to be yourself, nobody will give you any respect – so don’t be yourself, be that which society wants you to be. This is how you have been distracted from your center and you have become pseudo-beings, phony, unreal. You are just a mask. You don’t have any soul; you have lost your soul. The soul comes into being only when you declare, “I am going to be myself. Respect or disrespect, society or no society, honor or no honor, that is irrelevant – I have decided to be myself because this is my life and I have to live it in my own way. Whatsoever the cost I will live like a free man.” Once you declare that, you become centered.
That’s what the whole effort is in sannyas, that’s what sannyas is all about: to bring you back to your center. That’s why I don’t give you any outer discipline, just an inner consciousness, an awareness; no duty, only a responsibility; no outer pattern, no style from the outside, but an inner flow, an inner glow. To live in that glow, to move into that flow and allow your life to have freedom, to be in a let-go, that’s what sannyas is. And that’s what Tao is.
Hui Ang hurried out. And the king said to his courtiers,
“Clever, the way he talked me round with his argument!”
It is not clever, it is cunning. It looks clever because all cunningness looks clever. Remember, cleverness and cunningness are not going to help – only intelligence, awareness, alertness will.
This man deceived the king, but my feeling is that you can only deceive somebody if you yourself are deceived. This man is not a master otherwise how can he deceive somebody?
Let me tell you another story which is just exactly parallel.

A great sage came to China, his name was Bodhidharma. The Emperor Wu of China came to receive him on the border. The emperor had been waiting for years because Bodhidharma was coming from India and he had to cross all of the Himalayas – it took years. Then he arrived. The emperor was a little puzzled seeing him because he looked to be a very strange man. The strangest thing was that he had a shoe on one of his feet and the other shoe he was carrying on his head. Was this man mad?
But the king was a very polite man, cultured of course. He tried not to see it because that would be too impolite. He simply tried not to see it and not to say anything about it. That would be too impolite and this was the first meeting with this great sage – and what type of man was he?
But how long could he avoid it? Bodhidharma was just standing there with his shoe on his head. The king said, “Sir, you can put it down. Why do you have your shoe on your head? It is meant for your foot.”
Bodhidharma said, “I want to make everything clear from the very beginning that I am this type of man. You can think me mad or you can think me enlightened, but I am strange. And be clear from the beginning that you are meeting a strange man. I am absurd, illogical. I am as absurd as this shoe on my head. There is no reason for it, it simply happened. I enjoyed it. And the poor shoe has always been carrying me so why can’t I carry it?”
This was just a Zen gesture. Bodhidharma was trying to fathom this man, this Emperor Wu who had invited him from India. He was trying to see whether he would be able to understand the illogic of truth. Truth has no argument to prove it; it is a statement, remember. Bodhidharma was standing there – he was a statement, illogical, absurd. Thousands of people had gathered to receive him and all were feeling puzzled.
But he was saying, “I am not going to argue. If you are going to listen to me you have to forget all argumentation. I am not going to persuade. I am not here to convince you of anything. I am a simple statement, an absurd statement, about the truth. I will not give you reasons, there are none.”
Then Bodhidharma looked at the king. The king was puzzled, he was perspiring. And Bodhidharma said, “Have you something to ask, Sir? You have called me from India and it took many years to get here. Why have you called me?”
Wu said, “I had many questions but you have confused me. But I will try. The first question: I have made many temples for Buddha – thousands – I feed thousands of Buddhist monks, I have made many monasteries for Buddhist monks and Buddhist nuns; I have done much virtuous work. What will be my gain in the other world?”
And Bodhidharma said, “Nothing! Nothing whatsoever! If you can escape hell that will be enough. The very idea of doing something for gain is irreligious, worldly. You have not done it because you love; you have done it because you are greedy. Greed will take you to hell. Listen, Wu, these monasteries and these thousands of monks that have gathered here are not going to help you. I know that they tell you again and again, ‘Great King, great is your virtue. God will be ready to receive you in heaven’ but I tell you, you will go to hell because greed is the door to hell and you are greedy and you are ambitious. Look at your ugly greed. If you want to make a temple, make it, but make it out of love. If you want to feed somebody, feed him, but feed him out of love. Finished! You have had the benefit. There is no other benefit beyond it. You enjoy feeding a man – what more do you need? The value is intrinsic. Act out of love.”
This is how a master, a real master, is.
Then Bodhidharma turned away, he didn’t enter the kingdom. Wu asked, “Why are you turning away?”
He said, “When you cannot understand me, what about the others? They will not understand me. I will stay outside the kingdom. Those who want me can come and seek me.”
And he remained outside the kingdom; he would not enter. He said, “If even the king cannot understand me, then what about the masses? Your courtiers are standing here puzzled and they cannot understand me, so what about the masses? And these foolish monks that are gathered here – they cannot understand me. So I will not come into your kingdom. I will wait outside. Those who are really desirous should come to me.”
Then he sat for nine years outside the kingdom looking at a wall. People would come and ask, “Sir, why are you looking at the wall? Why don’t you look at us?”
He would say, “It is all the same. Whether I look at you or I look at the wall is the same. I will only turn to look at you when the real person who wants to know truth has come.”
Then Hui Nang came, his first disciple. He stood at Bodhidharma’s back and he said, “Sir, I have come. Turn toward me.”
And Bodhidharma said, “Show the sign.”
Hui Nang cut his hand off, gave it to Bodhidharma and said, “Turn around otherwise I will cut off my head – what else can I show as a sign?”
And Bodhidharma turned immediately. He said, “So you have come!”

One has to pay for truth with one’s life. What about respectability, prestige? All nonsense. One has to give all – only then does one become capable of knowing the truth.
Enough for today.

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