Talks on Fragments from Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching



We talk about the sufi meditation tradition  but we also have a few other web pages, the Sufi Meditation master and Sufis People are Sleeping or Are You Angry, Mr Sufi? OR generously, Sufi is a Feeling of the Heart explained by Osho. Or perhaps you like ZEN Zen Meditation Stories or Zen and the Stars or TAOISM KO HSUAN Stories of the Tao by Ko Hsuan and other Taoist Meditations. Or PATANJALI The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali One or The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali Two or TANTRA Tantra and Tantric Meditations or even the Meditations of the Peace of the Guida Spiritual and now DON JUAN AND CARLOS CASTENADA The Teachings of Don Juan, and Don Juan, Castaneda and A Separate Reality AND  JESUS - WHEN JESUS WENT UNTO THE MOUNT OF OLIVES. AND Meditation Wisdom Jesus and the Selfish Competitive Ego AND JESUS - JESUS The Flute on Gods Lips and Meditation Jesus and The Conditioned   Mind  OR THE UPANISHADS This Direct Knowing Natchiketa with the Lord of Death, Yama From the Katha Upanishad AND The Kundalini Energy of Prana and Apana - None Can Transcend It and Lao Tsu's Tao Te Ching - Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching one, Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching two, Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching three, Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching four, Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching five, Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching six, Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching seven, Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching eight, Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching nine, Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching ten

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 The first question:

 Question 1



 CENTURIES OF WRONG upbringing have completely confused your mind about enlightenment. The very word seems to be unearthly, other-worldly; the very word seems to be something which is after death or for those who are already dead. This is absolutely wrong. If you want to be happy there is no other way than enlightenment. If you want to be ordinary nobody has ever been ordinary without enlightenment. If you want to love and be loved it is impossible without enlightenment. So you will have to understand my concept of enlightenment. It is just to be ordinary, healthy, aware, whole, total.

 Every mind is seeking some extraordinariness. That is what the ego is: always trying to be somebody in particular, always afraid of being nobody, always afraid of emptiness, always trying to fill the inner void by anything and everything. Every human being is seeking extraordinariness -- and that creates misery. It is not possible. Nobodiness is your very nature, nonbeing is the very stuff you are made of. Howsoever you try you will never succeed; even Alexanders fail. You cannot be somebody because that is not possible in the nature of things. You can only be nobody. But there is nothing wrong in being nobody; in fact, the moment you accept your nobodiness, immediately bliss starts flowing from you in all directions -- because misery disappears. Misery is the shadow of the ego, the shadow of the ambitious mind. Misery means you are doing something impossible and because you are failing in it you are miserable. You are doing something unnatural, trying to do it and failing, so you feel frustrated, miserable. Hell is nothing but the end result of an impossible, unnatural effort. Heaven is nothing but to be natural.

 You are nobody. You are born as a nobodiness with no name, no form. You will die as a nobody. Name and form are just on the surface; deep down you are just a vast space. And it is beautiful, because if you are somebody you will be limited. It is good that God doesn't allow anybody to be somebody; if you are somebody you will be finite, limited, you will be an imprisoned being. No, God doesn't allow that. He gives you the freedom of nobodiness -- infinite, nonending. But you are not ready. To me, enlightenment is all about this phenomenon: to recognize, to realize, to accept the fact that one is a nobody. Suddenly you stop trying the impossible. Suddenly you stop pulling yourself up by your shoelaces. You understand the absurdity of it -- and you stop. And laughter spreads over your being. Suddenly you are calm and collected. The very effort of wanting to be somebody is creating trouble.

 And when you try to be somebody, you cannot love. An ambitious mind cannot love. It is impossible, because he has first to fulfill his ambition. He has to sacrifice everything for it. He will go on sacrificing his love. Look at ambitious people -- if they are after money they always postpone love. Tomorrow when they have accumulated a lot of money then they will be in love; right now it is impossible, it is not in any way practical; right now they cannot afford it. Love is a relaxation and they are running after something to achieve -- a goal. Maybe it is money, maybe it is power, prestige, politics. How can they love now? They cannot be here and now -- and love is a phenomenon of here and now. Love exists only in the present, ambition exists in the future: love and ambition never meet.

 You cannot love. And if you cannot love, how can you be loved by anybody else? Love is a deep communion of two beings who are ready to be together -- this moment, not tomorrow; who are ready to be total in this moment and forget all past and future. Love is a forgetfulness of the past and the future and a remembrance of this moment, this throbbing moment, this alive moment. Love is the truth of the moment.

 The ambitious mind is never here, he is always on the go. How can you love a running man? He is always in a race, in a competition; he has no time. Or he thinks that somewhere in the future, when the goal is achieved, when he has attained the power he seeks, the riches he desires, then he will relax and love. This is not going to happen, because the goal will never be achieved.

 Ambition will never be fulfilled. It is not the nature of it to be fulfilled. You can fulfill one ambition; immediately a thousand other ambitions arise out of it. Ambition never stops. If you follow it, if you understand, it can stop right now. But if you give energy to it, how can you love? That's why people are so miserable trying to be somebody -- miserable because they are not getting love, miserable because they cannot love.

 Love is an ecstasy: ecstasy of a no-mind, ecstasy of the present, ecstasy of a non-ambitious state, ecstasy of emptiness. Wherever lovers are, there is nobody: only love exists. When two lovers meet they are not two. They may appear two to you, from the outside. But the inside story is totally different: they are not two. The moment they meet the two-ness disappears, only love exists and flows. How is it possible unless you are an emptiness within, a nothingness, so that there is no barrier, nothing between you and your lover? If you are somebody and your lover or beloved is also somebody, then two persons are not meeting but four: two real nobodies who are standing in the background and two somebodies -- false egos shaking hands, caressing, making gestures of love. It is a drama to look at: ridiculous! Whenever lovers meet there is nobody, and two nobodies cannot be two. How can two nothingnesses be two? Nothingnesses have no demarcation line -- a nothingness is a vastness. Two nothingnesses become one. Two somebodies remain two.

 That's why love becomes such an ugly affair -- the love which is called love by you, not by me. Your love is an ugly affair, the ugliest. It has to be so. It could have been the most beautiful phenomenon in the world but it has become the ugliest: lovers constantly fighting, quarreling, creating misery for each other. Sartre says, "The other is hell." He is saying something about your love. Whenever you are alone you feel relaxed, whenever you are with the lover a tension arises. You cannot live alone because the deepest nobodiness hankers... it has a thirst, a deep hunger. So you cannot remain alone. You have to move -- you seek togetherness, but the moment you are together it is a misery. All relationships create misery and nothing else. Unless you are enlightened, love becomes just a conflict, a quarrel. One by and by gets adjusted to it. That means one by and by gets dull, insensitive. That's why the whole world looks so dead, so stale. It stinks. All relationships have gone stale, they have become ugly. So if you want really to love and be loved... that is not possible right now as you are; you have to disappear. You have to leave -- so that a clean nothingness is left, a fresh nothingness is left behind. Only then can the flower of love bloom. The seeds are there but the ego is like a rock, and the seeds cannot sprout on it.

 And you say you want to be ordinary? -- and you want to love? -- and you want friends? -- and you want to enjoy? This is exactly what enlightenment is all about! But if you go to the priests and to the preachers and to the organized religions and the churches, their enlightenment is different. They are against love; they are against ordinariness; they are against friendship; they are against enjoyment; they are against everything that your nature naturally seeks. They are the great poisoners.

 But if you have come to me you have come to the right person -- the right person in the sense that my enlightenment is of this world. I'm not saying that there is no other world. I am not saying that the earthly existence is the only existence -- no. Don't misunderstand me. But the other depends on this, the other world depends on this world, and the sky depends on this earth. If you want to move higher you have to be rooted deeper here in this earth. You need roots in this life, then flowers will come in the other life. The other life is not against this life; in fact, the other life is just the flowering of this life. God is not against the world, he is not outside it; he is in it, hidden in it. You need not go against the world to seek him -- if you go you will never find him. He is hidden here and now. You have to seek, you have to go deep into this existence -- and that is the only way to find him. This whole life, this whole existence is nothing but a temple, and he is hiding inside it. Don't escape from it.

 I am not against this life; in fact I am not against anything. I am for everything, because if it exists there must be a purpose to it. God cannot create things without any purpose -- he is not mad. Existence is very purposeful, meaningful; if this life exists it means the other life cannot exist without it. It is the base.

 But you carry your notions when you come to me. When you come to me and I talk about enlightenment, you understand me in terms of what you have been taught about enlightenment. When you come to me and I talk about renunciation, sannyas, you understand something else, not what I am saying. I have to use your language, and the words are all contaminated. They have been used millions of times by millions of people with different connotations, different meanings; and I am giving them different dimensions of meaning.

 Enlightenment is a man who is fully aware of his inner emptiness and is not fighting it; rather, he enjoys it, it is blissful. Through the enjoyment of his own emptiness he becomes available to others; others can enjoy, others can come and participate in his mystery. His doors are open, he invites friends and lovers, and is he is ready to share, he is ready to give. When you give out of your emptiness you are never afraid of giving because you cannot exhaust the emptiness. You go on giving, you go on giving, you go on giving -- it is always there, you cannot exhaust it. Only finite things can be exhausted, that's why they create miserliness -- you are afraid to give. A man who feels he is empty, why should he be afraid to give? He can give himself totally, and unless that is possible love is not possible. Love is a holy phenomenon, love is not profane. Every love worth the name is sacred. And when you enter into love you enter into the world of purity, innocence. When you love you enter the temple of the divine.

 Enjoy! I am not for sadness and long faces. I am not here to make you more miserable -- you are already too miserable. I am not here to give you more sadness. I am here to awaken you to the bliss that is your birthright, that is naturally available to you. But you have forgotten how to approach it, and you are going in wrong directions: you seek it somewhere where it is not; you seek it outside and it is inside; you seek it far away and it is near; you seek it in the distant stars and it is just in front of you.

 In English there are two words -- beautiful. One is "obvious": obvious means just in front of you. It comes from a Latin root meaning just in front of you. And then there is another word: "problem." It comes from a Greek root which also means just in front of you. The root meaning of "obvious" and "problem" is the same. The obvious is the problem, that which is just in front of you is the problem -- because you cannot see it, your eyes are wandering into distant lands. The obvious has become the problem. And enlightenment is to become aware of the obvious, and when you become aware of the obvious the problem disappears.

 To live a life of no problems is to live an enlightened life. It is a totally different way of being: it has nothing to do with achievement, it has nothing to do with learning, it has nothing to do with effort, practice. The only thing that is needed is to be a little more alert so that you can look at, see, watch that which is in front of you. The solution is closer, very very much closer to you than you can imagine. Don't seek it far away; it exists within you. Once you are settled inside, centered, rooted, I give you all freedom -- go, and love. Go and be in the world; now you will be able to enjoy it, you will be able to taste it, you will be able to penetrate into its deepest possibilities. And whenever you enter into the realms of depth, always you will find the divine there. In love, go deep and you will find God; in food, eat well, with alertness, awareness, and you will find God.

 The Upanishads say ANNAM BRAHM -- the food is God. And the Upanishads say that sex is just a brother, a twin brother, of the final ultimate bliss. A twin brother of the ultimate final bliss -- sex! You have condemned it too much. It may be the lowest rung of the ladder but it belongs to the ladder. The highest rung belongs as much as the lowest; in fact, everything belongs to God and is divine.

 This is enlightenment: to be able to see in everything the sacred throbbing. Religion is not against anything, religion is the search to find the holy everywhere. And it is there, waiting for you.

 You have come to the right place. Your mind may like to escape from here, because this is going to be a death to your mind. It is the right place for you, but the wrong place for the mind. It is the absolutely right place for your being, but for your ambitions, your ego, your pride, your stupidities, it is the most wrong place you can find anywhere on the earth at this moment.

So you decide. If you want to be stupid, escape. Then the mind will go on befooling you that you are in love and enjoying -- and you know you are not enjoying, and you know that you are not in love. Then the mind may go on befooling you that you are indulging -- you cannot indulge. You are not even there to indulge. You don't exist. You don't have an integrated being in any way. You may wander around and deceive yourself but if you really want to be loved by a woman and you want a woman to love, and you want friends, and you want to enjoy life -- I am giving you the keys to it.


 The second question:

 Question 2



 HE IS FOR THE RAREST of seekers because he is total. The mind is afraid of totality, the mind is always searching for perfection. The mind is a perfectionist.

 Try to understand these two dimensions: the dimension of perfection and the dimension of totality. With perfection the ego can exist perfectly; in fact, it cannot exist without the dimension of perfection. The ego is always trying to be more and more perfect, and when you want to be perfect you have to choose -- you cannot be total. If you want to be wise you have to choose: you have to drop foolishness, you have to fight against ignorance. And if you want to be perfectly wise you have to cut out all the possibilities of ignorance, of foolishness, of madness.

 But a total man is totally different. He is wise in his foolishness; he is foolish in his wisdom. He knows that he is ignorant -- that is his wisdom. In him opposites meet. Says Lao Tzu: Everybody seems to be wise except me. I appear to be a fool. Everybody is trying to be wise, trying to be knowledgeable, trying to be intelligent -- cutting out, hiding, suppressing foolishness. But foolishness has a beauty of its own -- if it can be joined together with wisdom. Then wisdom is total. And the greatest wise men in the dimension of totality are always fools also. They are so simple and so innocent that they look foolish. Lao Tzu must have looked foolish to many people. He was; he was both. And that is the difficulty: mind seeks perfection. Who will go to Lao Tzu? Nobody wants to be both foolish and wise. And you cannot even understand how one can be both. How can one be both?


 It is reported that a Sufi mystic was traveling and came to a town. And his name had reached there before him, his fame was already known. So people gathered together and said, "Preach something to us."

 The mystic said, "I am not a wise man, because I am a fool also. You will be confused by my teachings, so better let me keep quiet." But the more he tried to avoid it, the more they insisted, the more they became intrigued by his personality.

 Finally he yielded and he said, "Okay. This coming Friday I will come to the mosque..." It was a Mohammedan village. "... and what do you want me to talk about?"

 They said, "Of course, about God."

 So he came -- the whole village gathered, he had created such a sensation. He stood at the pulpit and asked a question: "Do you know anything about what I am going to say about God?"

 The villagers of course replied, "No, we don't know what you are going to say."

 "Then," he said, "it is useless, because if you don't know at all, you will not be able to understand A little preparation is needed, and you are absolutely unprepared. It is going to be futile and I will not speak." He left the mosque.

 The villagers were at a loss: what to do? They persuaded him again the next Friday. The next Friday he again came. He asked the same question; all the villagers were ready. He asked, "Do you know what I am going to talk to you about?"

 They said, "Yes, of course."

 So he said, "Then there is no need to talk. If you already know -- finished. Why unnecessarily bother me and waste your time?" He left the mosque

 The villagers were completely puzzled: what to do with this man? But now their interest was going mad. He must be hiding something! So they again persuaded him somehow.

 He came, and again he asked the same question: "Do you know what I am going to talk about?"

 Now the villagers had become a little wiser. They said, "Half of us know, and half of us don't know."

 The mystic said, "Then there is no need. Those who know can tell those who don't know."


 This is a wise and foolish man -- he looks foolish but he is very wise in his foolishness; he looks very wise but he is behaving like a fool. If you understand life, the deeper you go the deeper you will understand that the whole is worth choosing. That means there is no need to choose. Choice will dissect the whole and whatsoever you get will be fragmentary and dead. Wisdom and foolishness are together in life; if you dissect them then wisdom will be separate and foolishness will be separate, but both will be dead. The greatest art of life is to let them grow together in such a balance that your wisdom carries a certain quality of foolishness, and your foolishness carries a certain quality of wisdom. Then you are total.

 That's why: rarest are the seekers who will go to Lao Tzu. He will seem to be absurd because sometimes he will behave like a wise man and sometimes he will behave like a foolish man. And you cannot rely on him, and he is not predictable, and nobody knows what he is going to do the next moment -- he lives moment to moment. And you cannot make a doctrine out of him: he is not a wise man, he is foolish also. That foolishness will disturb you. And he is always inconsistent -- on the surface. Of course, deep down exists a consistency, absolute consistency: he is so consistent that his wisdom and foolishness are also consistent, but for that you will have to go deeper into this man. Just a surface acquaintance won't do, just familiarity won't do; you will need satsang. You will have to be in a deep participation with his being, only then will you be able to understand the totality.

 Buddha is wise, Mahavir is wise. You cannot find a single bit of foolishness in them, they are perfection. Lao Tzu is not, Chuang Tzu is not, Lieh Tzu is not. They are contradictory, paradoxical, but that is where their beauty is. Buddha is monotonous. If you understand Buddha today you have understood his yesterday and you have understood his tomorrow also. He is a consistent thing -- clean, logical, moving in a line, linear.

 But Lao Tzu is zigzag, he runs like a madman. You will understand, as we go into his sayings; you will understand that he runs like a madman. His assertions don't make sense on the surface. They are the most sensible utterings, but to know the sense you will have to change completely. Buddha is on the surface -- logical, rational; you can understand him without becoming a meditator; without flowing into his being you can understand him. He is understandable; not Lao Tzu. This totality.... Lao Tzu accepts this world and the other, and he accepts totally. He is not bothered about the other world; he knows that the other is going to grow out of this -- that is going to grow out of this, so why bother about it? Live this as beautifully as possible, as totally as possible, and the other will come out of it naturally. It is going to be a natural growth.

 If you meet Lao Tzu he will be puzzling. Sometimes he will say something, another time he will say something else; he will assert a sentence and in the next sentence he will contradict it. That's why only very rare seekers reach to him; that's why there exists no organized religion for Lao Tzu. It cannot exist. Only individual seekers can reach him because organized religion has to be perfectionist, has to be according to the mind, has to be according to you; because organized religion means a religion more interested in the crowd, more interested in the mob. It has to exist with the mob and with the crowd.

 Lao Tzu can remain uncontaminated, pure. He does not compromise. His totality becomes incomprehensible -- that's why rare seekers reach him, because he is total.

 The more total a person is the more incomprehensible he becomes, because the more he becomes like God. He is not clear-cut. He is not like a garden made by man; he is a wilderness, a forest, with no rules, no plans, unplanned, a wild growth. That is the beauty. Howsoever beautiful a garden planted by man is, the man is too apparent there, the hand of man is too apparent there. Everything is planned, cut, planted by man -- the symmetry, and everything. But in a wild forest you don't have any symmetry, you don't see any logic. If God is the gardener, he must be mad. Why does he grow such a forest? Buddha is like a garden, a garden of a royal palace; Lao Tzu is like a wild forest: you can be lost in it. You will feel fear and danger will lurk at every step and every shadow will scare you to death. That's why Confucius said: Don't go near him. No one knows his ways. Either he is mad or he is the most wise man. But nobody knows who he is.


 The third question:

 Question 3



 THE VERY DESIRE to merge with the universe is keeping you separate. Drop the desire and there is a merging.

 You cannot merge by an intense desire, because the very desire will keep you separate. Who is this who is desiring? To whom does this intense desire belong? An intense desire creates an intense ego -- and a suppression. And who told you that you are separate and you need to be merged? You have never been separate, so why are you chasing yourself? You are merged.

 Look at the difference of the point of view. Lao Tzu says you are merged in existence, you are not separate. You have never been, you can never be separated. How is it possible? You exist in the ocean of the divine, or Tao, or whatsoever you name it. How can you be separate? So first a wrong notion that "I am separate," then another wrong notion comes out of the first -- that "I have to merge." And if you try to merge you will remain separate. Just look and watch and see: you have never been separate. Who breathes in you? You think you? Who lives in you? You think you? Who is born in you? Have you got any notion? That which is born in you, that which is living in you, that which is breathing in you, is the whole. And these are just thoughts: how to merge? -- then you will never be able to merge. Just look at the state of affairs. You are already in it.


 It is said that when Lin Chi approached his Master, crying and weeping with tears flowing from his eyes, and asked how to become a Buddha, the Master hit him hard on the face, slapped him hard.

 He was shocked and he said, "What are you doing? Have I asked anything wrong?"

 The Master said, "Yes. This is the most wrong thing that one can ever ask. Ask again and I will hit you harder. How foolish! You are a Buddha... and you ask how to become a Buddha?"

 Once you get into the trap of how to become a Buddha, for millions of lives you will miss the whole point. You have always been a Buddha.


 It happened in Buddha's own life. In his past life he heard about a man who had become a Buddha. So he went and touched his feet. But he was completely surprised, because when he touched the feet of the Buddha, the Buddha immediately touched his feet.

 So he said, "This is puzzling. I touch your feet because I am an ignorant man, searching and seeking. But why do you touch my feet? You are already enlightened."

 The Buddha laughed and he said, "You may not know. I see you don't know yet who you are. But I know you well. Once I realized who I am, I realized what this whole existence is. But you may not be aware yet. It may take a little time for you to become aware of who you are."


 Buddhahood is not an achievement. It is just a recognition of who you are, it is just a remembrance. So don't ask me how to merge. And if you have an intense desire to merge, the more intense the desire the more difficult will be the merger. Desire is the barrier. You please drop the desire and just look all around. Who are you? God exists, not you. You are a false notion, an idea, a bubble in the head -- an air bubble, nothing more. And if there is too much intense desire, nothing happens -- only the air becomes hot, a hot air bubble, that's all. Cool down a little. And just look around: you have always been in the ocean, you have never been anywhere else. You cannot be, because nothing else exists. There is no space except God -- or Tao. So the sooner you realize the foolishness of desire, of merging, the better. You are already that which you are seeking.

 This is the message of all the awakened ones: you are already that which you are seeking. You are already the goal. You have never left home.

 There is a beautiful story -- it looks a little profane, but only Zen Buddhists can do that. They love their Master so much, they love Buddha so much, that they can even afford profanity.


 There is a story that a monkey came to Buddha.


 Monkey represents man, monkey means the mind. The mind is a monkey. Charles Darwin came to know it very very late, but we have always been aware that man must have come from monkeys, because he is still monkeyish. You just watch the mind, its constant chattering, and then watch a monkey in the tree. You will feel a similarity.


 A monkey came to Buddha, and he was no ordinary monkey. He was a king, a king of monkeys -- that means absolutely a monkey.

 The monkey said to Buddha, "I would like to become a Buddha."

 Buddha said, "I have never heard of anybody having ever become a Buddha while remaining a monkey.

 The monkey said, "You don't know my powers. I am no ordinary monkey. " No monkey thinks that he is ordinary, all monkeys think that they are extraordinary; that is part of their monkeyness. He said, "I am no ordinary monkey. What are you talking about? I am a king of monkeys."

 So Buddha asked, "What exceptional or extraordinary powers do you have? Can you show me?"

 The monkey said, "I can jump to the very end of the world." He had been jumping all along in the trees. He knew how to jump.

 So Buddha said, "Okay. Come onto the palm of my hand and jump to the other end of the world."

 The monkey tried and tried, and he was really a very powerful monkey, a very intense monkey. He went like an arrow, and he went and he went... he went. Months and -- the story says -- years passed. And then the monkey came to the very end of the world.

 He laughed; he said, "Look! The very end!" He looked down. It was an abyss: five pillars were standing there to mark the boundary. Now he had to come back. But how would he prove that he had been to these five pillars? So he pissed near a pillar -- a monkey! -- to mark it!

 Years passed and he came back. When he reached Buddha he said, "I have been to the very end of the world, and I have left a mark."

 But Buddha said, "Just look around."

 He had not moved at all. Those five pillars were the five fingers of Buddha. And they were stinking.... He had been there with closed eyes... must have been dreaming.


 Mind is a monkey with closed eyes, dreaming. You have never gone anywhere, you have always been here and now -- because nothing else exists. Just open the eyes. Just open the eyes and have a look around, and suddenly you will laugh. You have always been rooted in the ultimate being, there is no need to merge. The only need is to become alert about where you are, who you are.

 And drop that stupidity of intense desire. Desire is a barrier; intense desire is of course a greater barrier. Desire clouds the mind. Desire makes smoke around you, a smokescreen, and then you cannot see what is in fact the case.


 The fourth question:

 Question 4



 YOU ARE COMPLETELY WRONG. If hate kills love and anger kills compassion then there is no possibility -- there is no possibility of there ever being love or ever being compassion. Then you are caught, then you cannot get out of it. You have lived with hate for millions of lives -- it must have killed love already. You have lived with anger for millions of lives -- it must have murdered compassion already. But look... love is still there. Hate comes and goes; love survives. Anger comes and goes; compassion survives. Hate has not been able to kill love; night has not been able to kill the day and darkness has not been able to murder light. No, they still survive.

 So the first thing to understand is: they have not been killed. That is one thing. And the second thing will be possible only later on, when you really love. You have not really loved; that is the trouble, not hate. Hate is not the trouble -- you have not really loved. Darkness is not the trouble -- you don't have light. If light is there, darkness disappears. You have not loved. You fantasize, you imagine, you dream -- but you have not loved.

 Love. But I'm not saying that just by loving hate will immediately disappear -- no. Hate will fight. Everybody wants to survive. Hate will struggle. The more you love, the stronger hate will come. But you will be surprised: hate comes and goes. It doesn't kill love; rather, it makes love stronger. Love can absorb hate also. If you love a person, in some moments you can hate. But that doesn't destroy love; rather, it gives a richness to love.

 What is hate in fact? -- it is a tendency to go away. What is love? -- a tendency to come closer. Hate is a tendency to separate, a tendency to divorce. Love is a tendency to marry, to come near, to become closer, to become one. Hate is to become two, independent. Love is to become one, interdependent. Whenever you hate, you go away from your lover, from your beloved. But in ordinary life going away is needed to come back again. It is just like when you eat: you are hungry so you eat, then hunger goes because you have eaten. When you love a person it is like food. Love is food -- very subtle, spiritual, but it is food: it nourishes. When you love a person the hunger subsides; you feel satiated, then suddenly the movement to go away starts and you separate. But then you will feel hungry again; you would like to come nearer, closer, to love, to fall into each other. You eat, then for four, five, six hours, you forget about food; you don't go on sitting in the kitchen, you don't go on sitting in the mess. You go away; after six hours suddenly you start coming back -- hunger is coming.

 Love has two faces to it: hunger and satiety. You misunderstand love for hunger. Once you understand that there is no hate but only a situation to create hunger, then hate becomes part of love. Then it enriches love. Then anger becomes part of compassion, it enriches compassion. A compassion without any possibility of anger will be impotent, it will have no energy in it. A compassion with the possibility of anger has strength, stamina. A love without the possibility of hate will become stale. Then the marriage will look like an imprisonment, you cannot go away. A love with hate has a freedom in it -- it never becomes stale.

 In my mathematics of life divorces happen because every day you go on postponing them. Then divorce goes on accumulating and one day the marriage is completely killed by it, destroyed by it. If you understand me, I would suggest to you not to wait: every day divorce and remarry. It should be a rhythm just like day and night, hunger and satiety, summer and winter, life and death. It should be like that. In the morning you love, in the afternoon you hate. When you love you really love, you totally love; when you hate you really hate, you totally hate. And suddenly you will find the beauty of it: the beauty is in totality.

 A total hate is also beautiful, as beautiful as total love; a total anger is also beautiful, as beautiful as total compassion. The beauty is in totality. Anger alone becomes ugly, hate alone becomes ugly -- it is just the valley without the hill, without the peak. But with the peak the valley becomes a beautiful scene -- from the peak the valley becomes lovely, from the valley the peak becomes lovely.

 You move; your life river moves between these two banks. And by and by, the more and more you understand the mathematics of life, you won't think that hate is against love: it is complementary. You won't think that anger is against compassion: it is complementary. Then you don't think that rest is against work: it is complementary -- or that night is against day: it is complementary. They make a perfect whole.

 Because you have not loved, you are afraid of hate -- you are afraid because your love is not strong enough: hate could destroy it. You are not certain really whether you love or not, that's why you are afraid of hate and anger. You know that it may completely shatter the whole house. You are not certain whether the house really exists or is just imagination, an imaginary house. If it is imagination the hate will destroy it; if it is real the hate will make it stronger. After the storm a silence descends. After hate lovers are again fresh to fall into each other -- completely fresh, as if they are meeting for the first time again. Again and again they meet, again and again for the first time.

 Lovers are always meeting for the first time. If you meet a second time, the love is already getting old, stale. It is getting boring. Lovers always fall in love every day, fresh, young. You look at your woman and you cannot even recognize that you have seen her before -- so new. You look at your man and he seems to be a stranger; you fall in love again.

 Hate does not destroy love, it only destroys the staleness of it. It is a cleaning, and if you understand it you will be grateful to it. And if you can be grateful to hate also, you have understood; now nothing can destroy your love. Now you are for the first time really rooted; now you can absorb the storm and can be strengthened through it, can be enriched through it.

 Don't look at life as a duality, don't look at life as a conflict -- it is not. I have known -- it is not. I have experienced -- it is not. It is one whole, one piece, and everything fits in it. You have just to find out how to let them fit, how to allow them to fit. Allow them to fit into each other. It is a beautiful whole.

 And if you ask me, if there were a possibility of a world without hate I would not choose it; it would be absolutely dead and boring. It might be sweet, but too sweet -- you would hanker for salt. If a world were possible without anger I would not choose it, because just compassion without anger would have no life in it. The opposite gives the tension, the opposite gives the temper. When ordinary iron passes through fire it becomes steel; without fire it cannot become steel. And the higher the degree of temperature, the greater will be the temper, the strength, of the steel. If your compassion can pass through anger, the higher the temperature of the anger the greater will be the temper and the strength of the compassion.

 Buddha is compassionate. He is a warrior. He comes from the kshatriya race, a samurai. He must have led a very angry life -- and then suddenly, compassion. Mahavir comes from a kshatriya clan. In fact, this looks absurd but it has a certain consistency to it: all the great teachers of non-violence have come from the kshatriya race. No Brahmin has preached nonviolence. We know of only one Brahmin, who is known as one of the avataras, Parusharam. He was the most violent man the world has ever known -- a Brahmin, the most violent! The twenty-four teerthankaras of the Jains are all kshatriyas, Buddha is a kshatriya. They talk about non-violence, compassion; they have lived violence, they know what violence is, they have passed through it. Even if a Brahmin tries to be nonviolent, his non-violence cannot be more than skin deep. Only a kshatriya, a warrior, who has lived through fire, has a strong compassion or the possibility for it.

 So remember, if inside your heart extremes are fighting, don't choose. Allow them both to be there. Be a big house, have enough room inside. Don't say, "I will have only compassion, not anger; I will have only love, not hate." You will be impoverished.

 Have a big room; let both be there. And there is no need to create a fight between them; there is no fight. The fight comes from your mind, from your teachings, upbringing, conditioning. The whole world goes on saying to you: Love. Don't hate. How can you love without hate? Jesus says, "Love your enemies." And I tell you, "Hate your lovers also" -- then it becomes a complete whole. Otherwise Jesus' saying is incomplete. He says, "Love your enemies." You hate only; he says love also. But the other part is missing. I tell you: Hate your friends also; hate your lovers also. And don't be afraid. Then by and by you will see there is no difference between the enemy and the friend, because you hate and love the enemy and you love and hate the friend. It will be only a question of the coin upside down or downside up. Then the friend is the enemy and the enemy is the friend. Then distinctions simply disappear.

 Don't create a fight inside, allow them both to be there. They both will be needed -- both will give you two wings; only then can you fly.


 The last question:

 Question 5



 THEY ARE. They are much more practical, much more helpful. But they are helpful because they don't change you completely; they compromise, they don't transform you totally. They look helpful; they are practical, that's certain -- Mohammed or Moses -- absolutely practical because with your mind they fit. That's why they look practical. Whatsoever you think is practical they also think is practical.

 Lao Tzu is totally different from your mind and that is the possibility of transformation. With Mohammed you will not be transformed. You may become a Mohammedan, you may become a good man, you may become virtuous even, but you will remain on the same track -- the dimension will not change. With Mahavir you will remain the same -- better but the same, modified but the same, refined, painted, renovated -- but the same. With Lao Tzu you will be destroyed completely and will be reborn. He is death and resurrection.

 Try to understand why it is so. You can understand Mahavir; his calculation is of your mind -- his logic is not beyond you. That's why he looks practical. And it is not coincidence that all his followers became businessmen -- calculating, mathematical, practical people. It is not coincidence that all Jains became businessmen: they are more mathematical, more clever, calculating. And it is not coincidence that Jews are the most calculating men on the earth, the most calculating community -- clever. Jains and Jews are almost the same; Jains are the Jews of India. Why is it so? Moses is practical, Mahavir is also practical.

 I am reminded of an anecdote; it belongs to the very beginning of the world.


 God was in search of a community that would take his ten commandments. The world was going a little chaotic, and morality and ethics were needed. So he approached many communities, but nobody accepted.

 He reached the Hindus and said, "I have ten commandments to offer to you. This is a whole philosophy of life."

 And the Hindus asked: "For instance? Just tell us about one commandment..."

 And God said, "Be true. Be honest."

 The Hindus said, "It will be difficult in the world of maya. In this illusion, one needs untruth also. Sometimes, in this world of dreams... how can one be always true? It will be difficult, and why create unnecessary difficulties?"

 He asked other races. Some people said that it would be too much not to be adulterous, because life would lose all interest. Adultery gives life interest, a fantasy. It would be too much, then life wouldn't be worth living.

 And God became frustrated. From everywhere he was rejected.

 And it is said then he approached Moses, and he said: "I have got ten commandments for you." Now he was afraid because this was the last race. "Would you like to have them?"

 He was expecting that Moses would ask, "What are these commandments?" But he never asked. He asked: "What is the price? How much does it cost?"

 And God said, "They are free of charge."

 And Moses said, "Then I will have two sets of them."


 Calculating, mathematical, clever, intelligent -- Jews are only two per cent of the people in the world but they get eighteen per cent of the Nobel prizes. Two per cent of the people and eighteen per cent of the Nobel prizes! It is a very very difficult phenomenon. Two per cent of the people but they run almost the whole world, and everywhere they are rejected, everywhere condemned. But they are so practical and so clever. The three persons who have ruled this whole century are all Jews: Marx, Freud, Einstein. Three persons who have ruled the whole world -- they are all Jews.

 Why does it happen so? Simple. They are not impractical. Lao Tzu is impractical. Lao Tzu in fact praises impracticalness.

 There is a story:


 Lao Tzu was passing with his disciples and they came to a forest where hundreds of carpenters were cutting trees, because a great palace was being built. So the whole forest had been almost cut, but only one tree was standing there, a big tree with thousands of branches -- so big that ten thousand persons could sit under its shade. Lao Tzu asked his disciples to go and inquire why this tree had not been cut yet when the whole forest had been cut and was deserted.

 The disciples went and they asked the carpenters, "Why have you not cut this tree?"

 The carpenters said, "This tree is absolutely useless. You cannot make anything out of it because every branch has so many knots in it. Nothing is straight. You cannot make pillars out of it. You cannot make furniture out of it. You cannot use it as fuel because the smoke is so dangerous to the eyes -- you almost go blind. This tree is absolutely useless. That's why."

 They came back. Lao Tzu laughed and he said, "Be like this tree. If you want to survive in this world be like this tree -- absolutely useless. Then nobody will harm you. If you are straight you will be cut, you will become furniture in somebody's house. If you are beautiful you will be sold in the market, you will become a commodity. Be like this tree, absolutely useless. Then nobody can harm you. And you will grow big and vast, and thousands of people can find shade under you."

 Lao Tzu was passing through a town. All the young men of the town were forced to be enlisted in the military.

 They came across a hunchback. Lao Tzu said, "Go and inquire why this man has been left and not enlisted into the military."

 The hunchback said, "How can I be enlisted? You see, I am a hunchback. I am of no use."

 The disciples came and Lao Tzu said, "Remember. Be like this hunchback. Then you will not be enlisted to murder or to be murdered. Be useless."


 Lao Tzu has a logic altogether different from your mind. He says: Be the last. Move in the world as if you are not. Remain unknown. Don't try to be the first, otherwise you will be thrown. Don't be competitive, don't try to prove your worth. There is no need. Remain useless and enjoy.

 Of course he is impractical. But if you understand him you will find that he is the most practical on a deeper layer, in the depth -- because life is to enjoy and celebrate, life is not to become a utility. Life is more like poetry than like a commodity in the market; it should be like poetry, a song, a dance, a flower by the side of the road, flowering for nobody in particular, sending its fragrance to the winds, without any address, being nobody in particular, just enjoying itself, being itself.

 Lao Tzu says: If you try to be very clever, if you try to be very useful, you will be used. If you try to be very practical, somewhere or other you will be harnessed, because the world cannot leave the practical man alone. Lao Tzu says: Drop all these ideas. If you want to be a poem, an ecstasy, then forget about utility. You remain true to yourself. Be yourself. Hippies have a saying: Do your thing. Lao Tzu is the first hippie in the world. He says: Be yourself and do your thing and don't bother about anything else. You are not here to be sold. So don't think of utility, just think of your bliss. Be blissful, and if something flows out of your bliss it is okay -- share it. But don't force yourself just to be a utility because that is how suicide happens. One kills oneself. Don't be suicidal.

 All the teachers of the world will be more practical than Lao Tzu, that's why they have much appeal. That's why they have great organizations: Christians -- almost half the world has become Christian -- Mohammedans, Hindus, Jains, Sikhs -- they are all utilitarians. Lao Tzu stands alone, aloof. Lao Tzu stands in a solo existence.

 But Lao Tzu is rare and unique. If you can understand him you can also become rare and unique. And the way is to be ordinary -- then you become extraordinary; the way is to be just the last, and then suddenly you find you are the first; the way is not to claim, not to claim the credit, and then nobody can take it from you; the way is to exist as a non-being, as a nobody, and then, in a subtle and mysterious way, you and only you become somebody -- somebody the whole existence feels blessed with, feels blessed by, somebody with whom the whole existence celebrates.



Osho Tao: The Three Treasures, Vol 1 Chapter 2

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