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On The Softest Substance



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The other night I was reading a Sufi story -- I loved it, I rejoiced in it, it was sheer beauty, and I would like to share it with you.

It happened that a Sufi dervish, in search of God, was wandering from one country to another. He came across many teachers but nobody could satisfy him; nowhere could he find a place where he could surrender his heart. Disappointed, despondent, he decided to move into the forest and to be alone; to listen to the inner master and to forget about outer masters. He came across a beautiful oak grove. Many oak trees, old, ancient, had made a grove -- their branches were entangled with each other in such a way that there was a natural protection from the rain, from the sun and from the elements of nature. And nearby was a lake. The grove was very silent and it was so deep in the forest that nobody ever passed by it.

The Sufi went into it, he loved it, the place had a charm of its own. He started meditating there. Once a week for a few hours he would move out and go to the nearest village to procure some food, and then for seven days he would be lost in his meditation.

Sufis continuously repeat the name of God, 'Allah'. The mantra of the Mohammedans means: 'There is no God but God', but Sufis have cut it down to a single word, 'Allah' or 'God', because they say it is possible that some day you may die when you are just in the middle of repeating the mantra. If you are repeating the mantra and you die just in the middle of it, you would have said: 'There is no God', so you die an atheist. At the last moment you don't bear witness to the Divine; on the contrary, you die in a negativity. So they say that it is dangerous, and they don't repeat the Mohammedan mantra in its complete form, they simply repeat 'Allah, Allah, Allah' so that at the last moment their heart is filled, their breath is filled with the name of Allah, with the remembrance of him. That's what they call ziqra.

The Sufi chanted his mantra -- 'Allah, Allah, Allah' -- for months. He started feeling very calm and quiet and cool and collected. It was so silent around the grove, so peaceful, and the same peace started filling him inside, in the interior-most parts of his being: But he was not happy. It was not enough. Enlightenment, nirvana, was yet far away.

Years passed and the grove became almost a sacred spot. Luxuriant growth happened to the oak trees, suddenly they became as if young again, with new foliage, and the whole grove was filled with beauty -- but there was sadness in the heart of the Sufi. But he waited, and he did whatsoever could be done: he was continuously filled with prayer, meditation. Eighteen years passed, but he was as far from nirvana as ever. Of course he was now peaceful and silent -- but yet not blissful. Something had dissolved but nothing had descended; something had left, he was empty, and emptiness of course is silent -- but he was not filled. The emptiness had remained emptiness and now there was nothing more to do.

One dark night, in the middle of the night, suddenly a suspicion arose in his mind, a doubt came -- because eighteen years is a very long time and he had put all his effort, all his being into it, he had not held anything back, so if it had not happened now then it seemed it would never ever happen. A doubt arose. He started thinking: Is it possible that this oak grove is not allowing my prayers to go out as it is not allowing rains and sun to come in? The foliage is so thick, maybe my prayers reach only to the underside of the leaves and they don't go beyond, so God has not heard me. As the sun can never penetrate this grove, maybe my prayers have not penetrated the outer cosmos. This grove has been an exploiter, a bloodsucker.

He became so afraid of the grove that he simply escaped from it in the middle of the dark night.

But at that very moment, miles away from the grove, on the road a beggar was passing, going from one town to another. Suddenly, from out of the blue, a deep urge came into him to go into the forest. He resisted the urge, it was dangerous, the forest was filled with wild animals and there was no point in going into it because he had to reach the other village by the morning, and half the journey was yet incomplete. For what should he go into the forest? But it was as if something had started pulling him, he was helpless, he could not do anything. He started running into the forest as if mad and sometimes he would think: What am I doing? But the body was moving on its own, he was no more the master. He wanted to escape, it was absolutely dangerous, he was afraid, trembling -- but helpless. But when he reached near the grove, then he understood.

A subtle call was coming from the grove: Come to me! It was not audible to the outer ears, but something in him could hear it. And the grove was unbelievable! The whole forest was filled with darkness but the grove was glowing with a subtle blue light. It was almost as if it was of another world, as if a buddha was sitting underneath the trees, as if somebody had become enlightened underneath them, and the light of enlightenment and the peace and bliss of nirvana was spreading all around. He felt subtle ripples all around the grove -- a magnetic field. Now the fear disappeared. He entered the grove, and just by entering, he was transformed, he became totally a new person. He could not believe himself: he was just an ordinary man, neither particularly good nor particularly bad, just an ordinary plain man.

Deep in the confusions of ordinary life, deep in the troubles of ordinary life, neither a theist nor an atheist... in fact he had never thought about God in particular, he had never taken any decision about religion, he had been really indifferent to it. Life had so many problems and he was very much in it... but suddenly, entering the grove, he was caught in a whirlwind. He sat underneath the tree, and he couldn't believe it -- he had never used this posture before, he was sitting like a Sufi Dervish. And then a stirring started in his being -- the innermost core of his being was stirred, and a sound started rising. He couldn't believe what was happening, it was unbelievable. Then a sound burst upon him which he could not recognize, but by and by as things settled and the excitement was gone, he could hear the sound, the nebulous sound became clear; the formless took the form and now he could hear -- it was nothing but 'Allah, Allah', and he was repeating it in spite of himself. He was not doing it, he was not the doer, he could only bear witness to it -- it was happening.

It was as if he was just the shore of some cosmic ocean and tidal waves were coming and splashing all over him -- 'Allah, Allah, Allah' -- a tide of the ocean shattering on the shore; he was just the shore. Bathed, transmuted, a million times he died and was reborn in that night.

For eighteen years the dervish had remained there and nothing had happened, and in eighteen hours the beggar was a Buddha -- and he had not done a thing. I love the story. Lao Tzu would have loved it, Lao Tzu would have understood it. What is the secret of this? It looks a little irrational: the man who had been praying for eighteen years attained nothing and the man who had never prayed attained everything within eighteen hours. What is the secret key to understand this story?

Lao Tzu has a word. The word is wu wei. It means: action without action. It means: action like no-action. It means: being active and not being active together. That is the secret key. The dervish was overdoing it; he could not maintain himself in the middle. He overdid it, and overdoing is always undoing.

Life is a balance, and he couldn't attain to a balance. In his greed to attain, in his ambition to attain, he moved to the extreme and became too active. And whenever you are too active, whenever you are only active, then things of the world may happen to you but things of the other world cannot happen -- because you are too excited, too feverish, you are not the right receptacle yet. The right receptacle is one who is balanced: balanced between activity and inactivity, balanced between activity and passivity, balanced in all the dualities. The dervish was too good a man: the goodness became imbalance. He avoided the whole world, he moved to one extreme, he renounced, and then he became expectant, continuously expecting. The beautiful foliage of the tree was not a barrier -- his own foliage of expectations was the barrier, the hindrance. Yes, the prayers could not reach God -- but not because of the oak tree. The oak tree was absolutely innocent. The prayers could not reach God because he was covered with expectations. His prayers were beautiful but deep down the ugly worm of expectation was there. His remembrance of God was continuous, but just behind the remembrance followed a shadow of greed and desire and ambition. That destroyed the whole thing.

Even the oak trees were benefited and blessed by his prayers but he could not be blessed by his own prayers. The oak trees became more beautiful, attained to a new youth and new life, as if touched by eternity. Even in their dark corners of being a light started burning, but the dervish remained empty. He could not be filled because he could never forget himself.

To remember God is good, but until you forget yourself the remembrance is not total. How can you both exist together, God and you? That's not possible.

And then suddenly, when he left, this eighteen years of constant remembrance, the constant repetition of the mantra, gave the oak grove a new magnetic field. Now the oak grove was a whirlpool of cosmic energy, of consciousness; now the oak grove was ready to give, to return -- because life is a give and take, take and give. You cannot go on taking, you have to give. In life there is no miserliness; life only takes to give. And now the oak grove was ready, pregnant, to give: it was like a woman pregnant with a child to be born. The oak grove started creating its own vibrations around the forest for anybody to come and accept the gift. In that whirlwind the beggar was caught.

The beggar was an ordinary man, neither very good nor very bad, nothing in particular -- in fact a little more balanced than the dervish, who was a good man, a saint. This beggar was sometimes a sinner and sometimes a saint -- nothing in particular. And he could never expect because he had never even prayed, he was not even a believer. He was so much engaged in the ordinary activities of the world that his greed had never reached to the point where it became other-worldly.

When he entered the grove he was plain and simple and innocent like a child. Then suddenly he was transformed. He was not self-conscious: that is the key. He was not, in fact, looking for God. When you are looking you will miss, and if you are looking too intently you will certainly miss. But if you are just relaxing you may meet him, because God comes to you when you are not particularly after him -- when you are after him you are a little aggressive. God comes to you when you are more like a feminine being than like a male mind. That is the meaning of Lao Tzu's feminine being -- you await.

In the West one very, very rare woman of this century, Simone Weil, has written a book called 'Waiting for God'. This is the right attitude. What else can you do? What else do you know? You can simply wait, await. You receive, you cannot go and attack.

The beggar was a beggar, attuned to receive. A beggar is attuned to receive -- always with his begging bowl, a receiver. A beggar is feminine. And here lies the mystery of the Indian concept that unless you become beggars, bhikkhus, you will not attain. It is not exactly that you have to become a beggar and move on the street in rags and create nuisance, no. The meaning is that a beggar knows how to be receptive; a bhikkhu knows how not to aggress upon, how to simply wait at the door, just wait. And if nothing is given, then a real beggar has no complaint against you because what complaint can be against you? It is for you to decide whether to give or not. A real beggar, a bhikkhu -- Buddha called his sannyasins, bhikkhus -- a real bhikkhu thanks you, and whether you give him something or not, is not the point. He thanks you if you give, he thanks you if you don't give -- because if he cannot thank you when you have not given then he was not a receptor, then some aggression was within him. Then he was waiting with expectations that something was going to be given and: If it is given I will thank, if it is not given then I will curse.

In Indian languages we have two words for beggar: the 'right' beggar we call a bhikkhu or bhikshu; the 'wrong' beggar we call a bhikhari. They come from the same root, but a bhikhari is not a bhikkhu and a bhikkhu is not a bhikhari. A right beggar begs without expectation, he has no claim. How can you claim? If you have no claim you are not aggressive, if you are not aggressive you thank, and whether something is given or not is irrelevant.

That man was a beggar but he must have been a bhikkhu, not a bhikhari. He must have been a 'right' beggar. He entered the grove and attained enlightenment -- became a Buddha in eighteen hours. This is the beauty of inaction. He didn't do anything on his own, he simply allowed himself to be there. He remained available, that's all. And whatsoever happened, happened, he was just a watcher, a witness to it. That beggar cannot say: I attained buddhahood. How can he say that? There was no attainer, no reacher, there was no-one who was trying to attain anything. He was moving in the unknown; he was moving in the unfamiliar and the strange; he could not even recognize what the sound was -- it all happened to him.

Because of such phenomena, teerthas, sacred places and temples, have become very important, because sometimes something can happen to you when you are not the doer. The very spot is so charged with the magnetism of somebody else that you are caught into it, you become a receptive agent, something starts happening to you. And to know the beauty of something happening without your doing is the greatest thing in the world. To know that feeling of beatitude, to know that feeling of grace filling you, you are not doing anything and everything is happening....

Now, listen to this sutra of Lao Tzu:



What is the softest substance of the world? There are two: in the outside world the softest substance is water; in the inside world the softest substance is love. And water and love are both alike in many, many ways. They have to be understood.

Water seeks hollow places, love also seeks hollow places. If you are an egoist, love cannot reach you because you are a pinnacle of ego, a peak. You are so filled with yourself that love cannot reach you -- love needs you to be an emptiness, a space with no hindrance. Water also seeks hollow places: that's how it moves from the Himalayas and goes and goes and goes until it reaches the ocean. The ocean is the most hollow place in the)e world, that's how water reaches it. A river cannot move towards gourishankar, it cannot go to the highest peak of the Himalayas; just the reverse happens -- a river is born on the highest peaks of the Himalayas, in the glaciers, and then it moves lower, lower, lower, and goes on moving until it reaches the hollowest and lowest place in the world, the ocean. The ocean becomes its home.

Love also moves towards hollowness, emptiness -- that's why egoistic people cannot love and cannot be loved. They desire much, they ask for love, they do whatsoever can be done to attain love, but they remain a failure. They fail utterly, because the point is not how to attain love, the point is how to become hollow, how to become empty. Love should not be sought directly, cannot be sought directly, only indirectly can you become available to it. You simply become hollow, and see -- a thousand and one streams will start flowing towards you, unknown strangers will fall in love with you -- not only men, but stars and stones, sand and ocean, trees and birds, wherever you move, suddenly love will start flowing towards you. Because love is like water, it seeks a hollow place where it can rest. You pass by the side of a tree -- if you are hollow, suddenly the love of the tree will start flowing towards you. It is natural. It is nothing like a miracle; it is just like water: you pour water and it will find the hollowest place to rest. Love is the water of the inner being.

Lao Tzu says:



They say that within seven thousand years the Niagara Falls will completely dissolve all the hills that surround it. Up to now seven miles of hills and rocks have been dissolved by it. Within seven thousand years the Niagara Falls will disappear because there will be no hill from where to fall. The hardest stones are dissolved by softest water. And it never does anything; it is not really trying to do anything, it simply goes on flowing. And when for the first time you see a rock and a fall meeting you will certainly say this rock cannot be dissolved -- so hard. But all the sands in the oceans are nothing but past Himalayas. The water bas taken them and ground them to earth, the Himalayas disappear and the water continues flowing -- so soft but so persistent, so soft but such a continuum, that by and by the harder substance dissolves, not knowing what is happening.

What is happening? Why does the soft element dissolve the hard element? Because the hard resists, because the hard fights, because the hard is defensive from the very beginning -- that tires it. And the soft is not a fighter. From the very beginning it is not in the soft element's mind to dissolve or destroy anybody. It is simply following its own course towards a hollow place -- that's all. It is not the enemy from the very beginning. But the hard element is aware, alert, in a fighting mood, resisting -- that very resistance dissipates energy, that very resistance kills. To resist is to die.

Jesus has a very, very beautiful saying, unbelievably beautiful and paradoxical. He says: Resist not evil. Christian theologians have not been able to explain it or explain it away either -- it is a problem for them, an enigma. Resist not evil? What is Jesus teaching? Jesus is teaching Tao. Jesus is teaching the secret of wu wei. He says: Resist not evil and the evil will die. And you will survive because the evil is always self-protective, always in defense, always guilty, always protective, conscious, rationalizing, and making new defense arrangements. It will die by itself if you simply don't resist. It may be a rock now, very hard, a granite rock -- and your non-resistance is just like water -- so soft that you can never think that you can win, but....

In India we have a saying, a saying which is very, very deep: 'SATYAMEVAJAYATE' -- 'Truth always wins; untruth never.' Somebody asked Buddha: We see just the contrary in the world. You say: 'SATYAMEVAJAYATE' -- 'Truth wins, truth is always victorious,' but we see just the reverse in the world. We see liars winning, and truthful people being defeated. We see cunning, dishonest people victorious, and honest, sincere people always victims, always the defeated. Buddha said: Eventually truth wins and untruth fails. Eventually, in the end.

In the beginning all appearances say that the rock will win because it is a granite rock and this poor water, with no power in it, not even a shape, no resistance, so humble, without any ego, so humble that it is always seeking a hollow place to hide, non-ambitious, not trying to go to Delhi, just going towards a hollow place, just to hide from the world and be there -- this water, how can it win? Truth seems to be like water, it is like water. Untruth is a granite rock, and Buddha says: Yes, eventually truth wins and untruth is defeated. It may take a long time, it may take seven thousand years yet for Niagara to dissolve all the hills around it, but what are seven thousand years in eternity? Nothing, not even a single second.

If you look at eternity, the softer is the victorious and the harder is the defeated; but if you look with a very, very nearsighted mind, the harder seems to win. If you see Buddha and Alexander standing together, can you think that Buddha will win? Of course not -- Alexander will. All logic will say that Alexander will win. If you see Lao Tzu standing by the side of Adolf Hitler, can you think Lao Tzu will win? Lao Tzu will be so humble and Hitler so arrogant. Hitler is a granite rock, but look at the longer range, look with vision, and you will see all Hitlers becoming sands, all Alexanders dissolving into sands. And Lao Tzu and Buddha... they go on winning. They don't fight and they win, and those who fight, they are defeated.



Have you ever loved someone? Love is so soft that you cannot think that love can win, but it always wins. It is always the man who is defeated, never the woman. If a woman is defeated you can be sure that something of the man has entered into her, and if a man wins you can be sure that he has something of the feminine, of the soft, within him -- because the soft wins, the hard cannot win.

You can beat the woman you love, you can force her to do things, you can be violent to her, but finally, eventually, she will win. If she loves you she is going to win; if you love her you are going to be defeated. And she never really fights. If she starts fighting she will be defeated because then she loses the whole quality of softness. This is what is happening in the West.

The new, liberated woman is not soft, she is very hard. She is going to be defeated. She is trying to use male methods against men; she will be defeated. And even if she is not defeated she will be left alone to herself, love-less. I have seen many lib-movement women come to me, I always see them like deserts, dry. The clouds of love have disappeared from their life. They have become fighters. They have lost the lucidity and softness of water, they have become hard.

I was reading a manifesto of one branch of the lib movement. The manifesto is of a society by the name of SCUM. The full name is 'Society to Cut up Men'. Society to cut up men? In the manifesto it is said that all men should be destroyed; they should be killed, murdered, wiped off the earth, they are not needed. And if women feel like loving they should never fall in love with a man, they should become lesbians -- they should fall in love with other women.

The woman who wrote that manifesto committed suicide just a few years ago -- she couldn't kill men but she killed herself. If you fight with men, with the methods men have originated, they will dry up your womanhood completely. something soft within you will disappear. They suit men because men are hard, men are granite rocks -- they don't suit women at all. Once you try those methods you will be like men. Of course you will feel that you are more powerful, but you are foolish because you don't know that finally power never wins. Finally only humbleness wins.

I have been watching men and women and their relationships in millions of ways. Notwithstanding all pretensions of men, which are not worth considering, it is almost impossible for a woman, if she remains woman, not to win. A woman can allow the man to pretend that he is the winner but all women know that they are the winners. In fact, to call any husband henpecked is wrong, because all husbands are.

The otherwise is not possible, because the woman is so soft, so ready to adjust like water. How can you destroy her? Her softness by and by wins you; her grace, her love, her humbleness, her egolessness, by and by wins you.

Alexander may be a great soldier outside his house but when he enters his house he is just an ordinary mouse. No woman believes that you are a great soldier; even if she says so, even if she persuades you to believe that you are the real master of the home, you are not. That's not possible, not because the woman is playing politics against you, no. It is a just a natural phenomenon -- the soft wins, and the woman is a softer element than the man. Hard elements have their own use, but as far as the final victory is concerned it is the soft. Of course you cannot defeat a man if he is also feminine -- a buddha cannot be defeated by a woman, impossible, because a buddha is more feminine than any woman. Lao Tzu cannot be defeated, he is more humble than any woman.

If you want to win according to Lao Tzu you should be soft, humble, non-resisting.



Even if a granite rock has no crevice the water will penetrate it, it will go through it -- because it has no form. Water is so humble that you can give it any form and it is always ready to take that shape, that form. You put it in a glass, it becomes the glass; you put it in a bucket, it becomes the bucket. It never resists, never cries, never complains, never protests. Water is catholic; water is not a protestant. It simply yields. And so is love -- love is catholic, it is not a protestant, it simply yields. It trusts so much that it can take any shape, it is never afraid. Any shape you want to give it, it is ready to take, because in any shape it remains the same. The shape or the form is not the thing, the real thing -- the innermost being remains the same.

Harder elements are afraid, more afraid, less certain about their innermost core of being, more clinging to the form. A rock is afraid that if the form is broken, where will it be? Water is not afraid. Form is not its being -- whatsoever the form it will be the same. Love is not afraid, it can take any form; hate is afraid, hate is a hard thing.

Just the other day somebody was asking me: Why is it so that when we hate we hate so intensely, but when we love we don't love so intensely? Because you know only one intensity, the intensity of a hard substance; you don't know the intensity of a liquidity, of a liquid phenomenon. You know only the hardness of steel, you don't know the softness of a flower.

And you are afraid, so when you hate you can hate perfectly deeply you can hate totally, you can go and destroy the enemy completely but you never give such a creative energy to your lover. You can go and destroy the enemy, you can give him poison and kill him; but if your love were as intense as your hate you could give your life to your lover. It is the same phenomenon: hate is destruction, love is creation. In hate you go and destroy the other, in love you destroy yourself and give yourself totally to the other.

No, you never give yourself that totally, you always withhold yourself, the major part you always withhold. Who knows, any moment things might change, then you can withdraw your hand. So you only put your hand into the love phenomenon; the whole body remains outside so that you can pull it back any moment things go wrong.

Just a part.... All marriages are part marriages, hence marriage can never be free from divorce. A part marriage -- how can it be free from divorce? Whether the law allows it or not, that is not the point, only a total marriage can be free of divorce. Total marriage means a merger, and a merger is possible only if you are soft -- how can you merge if you are hard?




Lao Tzu says: THROUGH THIS I KNOW THE BENEFIT OF TAKING NO ACTION -- because all actions are aggressive, all actions are male. In action there is the odor of male chauvinism, in the very phenomenon of action, aggression exists. Love cannot be action, it can only be inaction; prayer cannot be action, because it is the highest form of love -- it can only be inaction. That's why the Sufi dervish missed and the beggar attained. The Sufi dervish was too active, continuously praying, the doer. His ego must have become more and more subtle and stronger and stronger and stronger. It must have become like a blade of a sword, sharp, strong, subtle. The beggar could attain, he was just a beggar and he was not doing it, it was happening.

Never try to do things which cannot be done, which only happen. Never try to 'do' prayer, just be in a mood of receptivity and allow it. Just sit under a tree, and wait -- and I tell you that any tree can become the oak grove. You just sit silently and just wait. If suddenly you feel a stirring in the heart and a name comes bubbling up, if something surfaces, takes possession -- pray! If you feel some gestures happening, let them happen, don't be in any way the controller. If tears start flowing, let them flow -- then that is the prayer of that moment. If you suddenly feel that you would like to roll down on the earth, roll down on the earth. Let that be the prayer that moment. That's how existence wants it at that moment. Only in that way, in that moment, can you attain to prayer. Allow!

Existence is vast. Allow the existence, break down all your barriers -- and just wait.

It happened to one of the greatest Sufi mystics. His name was Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi; he was one of the great Sufi mystics and poets. He was passing through the street of his town, and he passed the street where goldsmiths were working. He had been praying hard, but nothing had happened. Nights and days he prayed -- but only frustration and frustration happened, and always the hands were empty. Prayer was elusive, he couldn't catch hold of it; he tried hard, clenched his fist hard -- but whenever he opened his fist there was nothing.

He was passing through the market-place along the street of the goldsmiths. They were hammering gold plates and there was much noise. He just stood there. Suddenly something caught hold of him, he was possessed. They were hammering on the gold plates and he started hearing the name of Allah in the hammering -- 'Allah, Allah, Allah.' He couldn't believe it. A subtle tuning happened and he was filled with such ecstasy and bliss, he started dancing. He whirled. On that day, in that small town, because of those goldsmiths and their hammering and the noise, the first dervish whirling was done; that was the first time the whirling dance was done.

He never intended it, but what can you do when you feel so blissful, when something takes possession? What can you do when your heart is feeling so happy, except dance? He danced and danced and danced for hours and the whole market-place gathered together and they thought he had gone mad. People started thinking: This is always happening to religious people, he has gone mad. That day he became a buddha.

And many attained through dancing. That day he unknowingly discovered a method, he discovered a device. For others it was a device, for himself it was a spontaneous phenomenon.

Just waiting and watching, he must have been in that market-place without any expectation of meeting God there -- whoever expects to meet God in a market-place? Nobody ever does. If you go to the Himalayas you may expect, but in the market-place nobody does.

And in the street where goldsmiths work, nobody ever expects. It is so noisy, such a nuisance -- but there it happened. There Jalaluddin became one of the greatest masters ever. But it happened. Then there was no need to pray. Then he never prayed again in the old way, then he waited always for the right moment. Whenever the right moment comes, when the universe wants you to dance, you dance, when the existence wants you to sing, you sing -- but it is nothing on your part. You are not the doer.





There is no comparison to that moment, to that ecstasy and bliss which suddenly happens and takes possession of you -- you are possessed.

Don't seek God. Only seek a situation where you can be possessed. Don't try to move directly -- just wait. And suddenly from an unknown dimension he comes and fills you with an unknown light. You will never be able to utter a single word about it -- the tongue is not made for that, lips are incapable of that. All that they can say is always about and about and about, it is never the thing. That's why Lao Tzu says: Tao cannot be uttered, and that which can be uttered cannot be Tao.

In silence it is heard and known; in silence it is felt and lived; in silence you become it, it becomes you. Not through action will you reach but through inaction and silence.

But that doesn't mean that you go to a cave and sit and drop all actions, no. That's what was done by that dervish, who sat for eighteen years and missed. There is no need to go anywhere. Rather, try to understand the knack of balancing between action and inaction. Even while you are doing things always remember you are not the doer, he is the doer. Always remember that the whole is working through you, you are not more than a reed, a reed flute. The voice, the song, the music, all are his, all are of the whole.

In action you remember that action is his, you are just a watcher, a witness. Then inaction enters into action, When action becomes inaction, when they are both together, balanced, you are no longer part of this world; the duality disappears in that balancing. In that centering the duality is no longer there, you have transcended. Tao is transcendence, truth is transcendence.

Balance between any duality and suddenly the door opens. The door has always remained opened, only you are so much engaged in actions that you don't have the space to see that it is open.

Yes, Lao Tzu is true --





Next: Chapter 8, In Existence There Is No Question, First Question


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