SPIRITUALITY TAO KO HSUAN SPIRITUALITY TAO KO HSUAN
THE HARMONY OF THE WHOLE
THE HARMONY OF THE WHOLE...
simply means the ultimate principle that binds the whole existence together. The
existence is not a chaos that much is certain; it is a cosmos. There is immense
order in it, intrinsic order in it, and the name of that order is Tao. Tao
simply means the harmony of the whole. No temples have been built for Tao; no
statues, no prayers, no priests, no rituals -- that's the beauty of it. Hence I
don't call it a doctrine, nor do I call it a religion, it is a pure insight. You
can call it Dharma; that is Buddha's word for Tao. The word in English that
comes closer or closest to Tao is "Nature" with a capital N.
THE VENERABLE MASTER SAID:
THE SUPREME TAO IS FORMLESS, YET IT PRODUCES AND NURTURES HEAVEN AND EARTH.
THE SUPREME TAO HAS NO DESIRES, YET BY ITS POWER THE SUN AND MOON REVOLVE IN THEIR ORBITS.
THE SUPREME TAO IS NAMELESS, YET IT EVER SUPPORTS ALL THINGS.
I DO NOT KNOW ITS NAME BUT FOR TITLE CALL IT TAO.
THE CLASSIC OF PURITY is one of the most profound insights into nature. I call it an insight, not a doctrine, not a philosophy, not a religion, because it is not intellectual at all; it is existential. The man who is speaking in it is not speaking as a mind, he is not speaking as himself either; he is just an empty passage for existence itself to say something through him.
That's how the great mystics have always lived and spoken. These are not their own words -- they are no more. they have disappeared long before; it is the whole pouring through them. Their expressions may be different, but the source is the same. The words of Jesus, Zarathustra, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Krishna, Mohammed are not ordinary words; they are not coming from their memory, they are coming from their experience. They have touched the divine, and the moment you touch the divine you evaporate, you cannot exist any more. You have to die for God to be.
This is a Taoist insight. Tao is another name for God, far more beautiful than God because God, the word "God", has been exploited too much by the priests They have exploited in the name of God for so long that even the word has become contaminated -- it has become disgusting. Any man of intelligence is bound to avoid it because it reminds him of all the non-sense that has happened on the earth down the ages in the name of God, in the name of religion. More mischief has happened in the name of God than in any other name.
Tao in that sense is tremendously beautiful. You cannot worship Tao because Tao does not give you the idea of a person. It is simply a principle, not a person. You cannot worship a principle -- you cannot pray to Tao. It will look ridiculous, it will be utterly absurd, praying to a principle. You don't pray to gravitation, you cannot pray to the theory of relativity.
Tao simply means the ultimate principle that binds the whole existence together. The existence is not a chaos that much is certain; it is a cosmos. There is immense order in it, intrinsic order in it, and the name of that order is Tao. Tao simply means the harmony of the whole. No temples have been built for Tao; no statues, no prayers, no priests, no rituals -- that's the beauty of it. Hence I don't call it a doctrine, nor do I call it a religion, it is a pure insight. You can call it Dharma; that is Buddha's word for Tao. The word in English that comes closer or closest to Tao is "Nature" with a capital N.
This profound insight is also one of the smallest treatises ever written. It is so condensed -- it is as if millions of roses have been condensed in a drop of perfume. That's the ancient way of expressing truth: because books were not in existence, people had to remember it.
It is said that this is the first mystic treatise ever written down as a book. It is not much of a book, not more than one and a half pages, but it existed for thousands of years before it was written. It existed through private and personal communion. That has been always the most significant way to transmit truth. To write it down makes it more difficult because then one never knows who will be reading it; it loses all personal contact and touch.
In Egypt, in India, in China, in all the ancient civilizations, for thousands of years the mystic message was carried from one person to another, from the Master to the disciple. And the Master would say these things only when the disciple was ready, or he would say only as much as the disciple could digest. Otherwise words can also produce diarrhea they certainly do produce it -- our century suffers very much from it. All the mystics for centuries resisted writing down their insights.
This was the first treatise ever written; that's its significance. It marks a certain change in human consciousness, a change which was going to prove of great importance later on because even though it is beautiful to commune directly, person to person, the message cannot reach many people; many are bound to miss. Yes, it will not fall in the wrong hands, but many right hands will also remain empty. And one should think more of the right hands than of the wrong hands. The wrong people are going to be wrong whether some profound insight falls in their hands or not, but the right people will be missing something which can transform their being.
Ko Hsuan, who wrote this small treatise, marks a milestone in the consciousness of humanity. He understood the significance of the written word, knowing all its dangers. In the preface he writes: "Before writing down these words I contemplated ten thousand times whether to write or not, because I was taking a dangerous step." Nobody had gathered that much courage before.
Ko Hsuan was preceded by Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, Lieh Tzu. Even they had not written anything; their message was remembered by their disciples. It was only written after Ko Hsuan took the dangerous step. But he also says, "Ten thousand times I contemplated," because it is no ordinary matter. Up to that moment in history no Master had ever dared to write anything down, just to avoid the wrong people.
Even a man like Buddha contemplated for seven days before uttering a single word. When he attained to enlightenment for seven days he remained utterly silent. wavering whether to say anything or not. The question was: Those who cannot understand, what is the point of saying to them such profound insights? They will misunderstand, they will misinterpret, they will do harm to the message. Rather than allowing the message to heal them they will wound the message itself -- they will manipulate the message according to their minds, prejudices. Is it right to allow the message to be polluted by foolish people, by mediocre people, by stupid people?
Buddha was hesitant, very hesitant. Yes, he also thought of the few people who would be able to understand it, but then he could see that "Those people who will be able to understand my words will be able to find truth on their own because they cannot be ordinary people, they will be super-intelligent people, only then will they be able to understand what I am saying to them. If they can understand my words they will be able to find their own way, they will be able to reach the truth on their own, so why bother about them? Maybe it will take a little longer for them. So what? -- because there is eternity, time is not short. But the message, once it gets into the wrong hands, will be corrupted forever." Even to utter he was hesitant.
I can understand Ko Hsuan's contemplating over the matter ten thousand times -- whether to write it down or not -- because when you say something to people, if they are stupid people, they are bound to forget it very soon. If they are mediocre people they will not bother even to listen; they won't care. But once it is written down then they will read it, study it; then it will become part of their schools, colleges and universities, and stupid scholars will ponder over it and they will write great scholarly treatises on it. People who know nothing will be talking about it for centuries and the truth will be lost in all that noise that scholars make -- they will argue for and against.
It is said that once a disciple of the devil came running to him and he said, "What are you doing sitting here under this tree? Have you not heard? -- one man has found truth! We have to do something, and urgently, because if this man has found truth our very existence is in danger, our very profession is in danger. He can cut our very roots!"
The old devil laughed. He said, "Calm down, please. You are new, that's why you are so disturbed by it. Don't be worried. I have got my people, they have already started working."
The disciple asked, "But I have not seen any of our people there."
The devil said, "I work in many ways. Scholars are there, pundits are there, philosophers are there, theologians are there. Don't be worried. They will make so much noise for and against, they will create so much argumentation that the still small voice of truth will be silenced by them. We need not worry. These scholars and pundits and these professors are my people: I work through them -- they are in my service, they are my secret agents. Don't be worried. You may not have seen my well-known disciples there because I cannot go directly, I have to go in disguise. And I have arrived there and my people have started working -- they have surrounded the person. He cannot do any harm. And soon he will be dead -- he is old -- and then my people will be his apostles, his priests, and they will manage the whole affair."
Priests are in the service of the devil, not in the service of God. The so-called great scholars who go on and on with logic-chopping, hair-splitting arguments are in the service of the devil, not in the service of God.
Once you write down something you are giving a chance to these people; they will jump upon the opportunity, they won't miss the opportunity. They will mess the whole thing up, they will create great confusion around it. That is their expertise.
Hence I can understand Ko Hsuan contemplating ten thousand times whether to write it or not. But finally he decided to write and I think he did the right thing. One should never be afraid of darkness. Light, howsoever small, is far more powerful than darkness howsoever big, howsoever old. In fact, darkness has no power, light has power.
These words are powerful words. And the way mystics speak the truth, it is almost beyond the scholars; they really cannot destroy its beauty. In fact, they cannot even touch its truth; it is impossible for them for the simple reason that the mystics speak in a paradoxical language, they don't speak logically. Hence they are beyond the grasp of the scholars. The scholars can only see contradictions in them because the scholar functions through logic and all the mystic expressions are paradoxical -- illogical or supralogical. And particularly Taoist sayings are superb in that way -- nobody has been able to transcend their paradoxes. Even in this small treatise you will come across paradoxes almost in every sentence, in every utterance.
That, too, has to be understood. Why do mystics speak in paradoxes? To remain unavailable to the scholars. The paradox can be understood only by a meditator; it can never be understood by a person who lives in the head, in the mind. Unless you have tasted something of the no-mind, you cannot understand a paradox. That is a safeguard, that is an inbuilt safeguard: speak paradoxically, speak as if you are almost mad.
Once a journalist came to see George Gurdjieff. He was drinking his morning tea. He always avoided journalists because they are the most stupid people around, and his way of avoiding them was unique. He asked the woman disciple who was pouring tea for him, as the journalist sat by his side, "What day is it today?"
And the woman said, "Today is Saturday."
And Gurdjieff became so angry that he went into a rage and threw the cup on the floor. The cup was shattered into thousands of pieces. The journalist became very much afraid... because it WAS Saturday.
And Gurdjieff said, "You always go on talking nonsense to me! Just the other day you were telling me that it was Friday and now today it is Saturday? How can it be? How can Saturday come after Friday?"
The journalist thought this man was mad. He simply escaped without even saying goodbye, and Gurdjieff had a good laugh. The woman was very much shocked. She was new; she did not know that this was his way of avoiding wrong people. She said, "But why did you become so angry?"
He said, "You will understand if you remain here a little longer. Now this man will never come back; for his whole life I have put him off. And he will go and spread rumors about me to his professional colleagues, so not only has he been thrown out, many more who may have bothered me will never come here."
He was thought to be a madman, utterly mad.
The paradoxical statements of the mystics have a purpose. The purpose is: the scholars avoid them. The moment they come across a mystic, deep down they know this man is mad -- they won't bother about such a man. Secondly: the paradox is the only way to indicate something that is really true. Logic is always half, it never takes in the whole, it cannot take in the whole. Life consists of polarities: just as electricity consists of positive and negative poles, the whole of life consists of polarities. And polarities are only apparently opposite to each other; deep down they are not opposite to each other. Deep down, for those who understand, for those who have the intelligence to see that deeply, they are not opposites, they are complementaries.
But for that you will need a deep experience of meditation; mind only won't help. Mind will say, "These are contradictory statements. This man is saying one thing at the beginning of the sentence and by the time he ends the sentence he has uttered just the opposite." But the mystic knows what he is doing: he is trying to put the whole truth in it. But the whole truth can be understood only by a person who has tasted something of the whole.
Mind always splits things: it divides, it separates, it functions like a prism. When a white sunray passes through the prism it becomes divided into seven colors. That's how a rainbow is created: it is created by very small drops of water hanging in the air; those drops of water function like prisms and the sunrays passing through them become divided into seven colors. The mind is a prism: it divides everything into MANY. The truth is one, but if you look through the mind everything appears to be many. And the mystic's way of saying things is such that he wants to put all the colors of the rainbow again back together as they were in the very beginning before passing through the prism.
Because of this paradoxical way of expression scholars avoid them. People who live in the mind cannot comprehend them; it is a safeguard. That's how such beautiful treatises have survived for centuries.
Ko Hsuan is simply writing it, remember it; he is not the creator of the treatise. He has also experienced the same truth because the truth is always the same whoever experiences it. Whenever one experiences it, it is always the same, it does not change; time makes no difference. But what he is saying has been transferred by word of mouth for centuries, maybe for thousands of years. That's why we don't exactly know whose words they are.
He simply says:
THE VENERABLE MASTER SAID...
WHO IS THIS MASTER? Nothing is said about him. Perhaps the Master simply represents all the Masters of the past and all the Masters of the present and all the Masters of the future. Maybe it simply represents the essential wisdom -- not any particular person, but simply the principle.
Nothing is known about Ko Hsuan, nothing at all. Hence for at least a few centuries it had been thought that these words belonged to Lao Tzu. But Lao Tzu has a different way of speaking, a totally different way; these words can't be coming from Lao Tzu. We have gone into the words of Lao Tzu; he is even more mad than Ko Hsuan, he is even more mystical. And it is a well known fact that he never wrote anything other than TAO TE CHING, and that too he wrote under pressure, at the last moment, when he was leaving China to die in the Himalayas.
He had decided to die in the mountains, and one cannot find a more beautiful place to die than the Himalayas -- the silence of the Himalayas, the virgin silence, the beauty, nature in its most profound splendor. So when he became very old he said to his disciples, "I am going to the Himalayas to find a place where I can disappear into nature, where nobody will know about me, where no monument will be made in honor of me, no temple, not even a grave. I simply want to disappear as if I had never existed."
When he was passing through the country he was stopped at the border because the king had alerted all the borders and ordered that "If Lao Tzu passes out of the country through any gate he should be prevented unless he writes down whatsoever he has experienced." His whole life he had avoided it. In the end, it is said, because he was caught on the border and they wouldn't allow him to go to the Himalayas, he stayed in a guard's but for three days and just wrote down the small treatise, TAO TE CHING.
So this cannot be that THE CLASSIC OF PURITY belongs to Lao Tzu. But because nothing much is known about Ko Hsuan, people used to think that they must be words of Lao Tzu and Ko Hsuan must be a disciple of Lao Tzu who has simply written them down -- the notes of a disciple. That's not so. Ko Hsuan himself is a Master in his own right.
In his preface to this small treatise he says a few things which have to be remembered. First he says: "When I attained to union with Tao I meditated upon this insight ten thousand times before writing it down." He says, "When I attained to union with Tao..." He is not just a disciple, he is an enlightened man. He has attained to union with Tao. He is not writing notes heard from somebody else, he has experienced it himself. He has attained to the ultimate union with Tao: he has become one with nature.
He says in the preface, "It is only for the seekers of the beyond; the worldly cannot understand it." He makes it clear in the preface that if you are a worldly man it is better not to bother about it. Don't waste your time, it is not meant for you, it will not be of any use to you. It may even confuse you, it may even distract you from your worldly affairs. It is better not to get involved with things in which you are not really interested. It is better not to be accidental.
There are many people who are accidental, just by the way. They will meet somebody and they will become interested.
Just the other day I received a letter from Amritsar. From the International Hotel in Amritsar a man writes... You will be surprised to know that when I was talking about THE DHAMMAPADA, the last series, I mentioned a man, Michael Tomato, who had written to me from a hotel in Bangalore because he came across a sannyasin who told him that in my ashram, in Sufi dancing, his president, Reverend Canon Banana, was being laughed at. He became angry. He wrote a very angry letter to me saying: "This is not good that you should allow such things in your ashram, because it is insulting to our great nation of Zimbabwe."
The nation was born just seven days before that and this man, Reverend Banana, had become president just two days before Michael Tomato met this sannyasin -- just two days before that -- and we have been using the word "banana" in Sufi dancing for years! In fact, it may be because of our prayers that one of the bananas has become the president, because prayers have their own ways of working miracles.
That time I told you that this man was angry and that his name was Michael Tomato, and just jokingly I mentioned that soon another letter would be coming to me from a certain Michael Potato. It has come! This letter comes from the Amritsar International Hotel. Two sannyasins are staying there and this man saw them. This man comes from the West, but he has become a converted Sikh. Seeing two orange people he became interested; he introduced himself. And those sannyasins must have wondered when they heard his name, Michael Potato Singh, because now he has become a Sikh. They said, "Wait, we've got the tape -- you listen to it!"
He listened to the tape and he thought, "This is a miracle! How did Osho know about me?" So he has dropped his new religion. He is coming here! Soon he will be here.
Now these are accidental people. I was just joking, in a way knowing perfectly well that in this big earth there must be someone who is known as Michael Potato, but I was not hoping that so soon, just after one month, we would find him! Now, he had become a Sikh, so he dropped Sikhism. He writes: "I have cut my hair and I am coming, and I want to be a sannyasin because you are the right man I have been searching for my whole life."
These are accidental people. This is not the way to grow. These people are like driftwood: they simply go on moving with any wave, they are just at the mercy of the winds, having no sense of direction.
Ko Hsuan says: "It is only for the seekers of the beyond." He makes it clear that if you are a seeker of the beyond, if you are ready to risk... because the search for the beyond is risky. It is the greatest adventure, tremendously ecstatic, but not easy at all; it is arduous too. It has its ecstasy, it has its agonies -- it has its own cross. Of course, resurrection comes through it, but it cannot happen unless you are crucified. So he makes it clear that it is only for the seekers.
One has to be very certain about oneself whether one is a seeker or not. Are you really interested in truth? -- because every child is distracted from the very beginning. No child seems to be interested in God, but parents go on forcing the idea of God on every child. If by chance you happen to be born in a family of atheists, then they impose the idea of atheism on you. If you are born in a communist country, then of course communism will be imposed upon you. If not the Bible, then DAS KAPITAL. If not the holy trinity, then the unholy trinity of Marx, Engels and Lenin, but something is bound to be imposed upon you.
No parent is loving enough to leave you alone to yourself to grow, to help you, to nourish you and to give you total freedom to be yourself, authentically yourself. Hence there are many people who think they are seekers of God -- they are not. Their whole seeking is an imposed phenomenon, a conditioning. And if you are only searching for God because you have been told, you have been continuously told again and again, then the word has become a reality in you but it is not part of you, it is not intrinsic; it has come from the outside. You are just like a parrot -- or maybe even parrots are more intelligent than you are.
An overly enthusiastic Italian communist finds a parrot who can sing the popular communist song "Bandiera Rosa". He buys it and takes it home, but after a few days the wife can no longer stand it. The parrot keeps singing the song the whole day long.
In a moment of rage she knocks the parrot over and then covers it with a cloth. When the husband comes back she tells him everything.
In despair the man lifts the cloth to see how the parrot is.
Opening one eye the parrot whispers, "Hey, comrade, are those dirty fascists gone-a?"
Even parrots are far more intelligent than so-called human beings. They go on simply repeating cliches that have been handed over to them by their parents and the priests and the teachers, schools, colleges, universities. This whole society goes on conditioning you in a certain way, and after twenty-five years of conditioning, if you forget what you really want to do, what you really want to be, it is natural.
The first thing to be decisive about is whether there is a deep longing to know the truth. Are you ready to risk everything for it, even your life if the need arises? If it is so, "Then," Ko Hsuan says, "These words are for you." If you are only a worldly person -- by "worldly" he means one who is interested in money, power, prestige -- then it would be better if you don't bother about such great things; they are not for you -- at least not yet.
You have to become fed up with all your so-called worldly desires. First go into those desires. Unless you become tremendously frustrated, unless you see that they are all futile: that whether you succeed or fail you always fail; that whether you have money or you are poor you are always poor; that whether you are a beggar or an emperor you are always a beggar... When that insight dawns on you, then only you can really become a seeker of the beyond. Otherwise, if you pretend to be a seeker of the beyond, you will bring your whole world with you, you will bring all your desires with you.
That's why people think of God, of heaven. It is not that they are interested in God and heaven, they are only interested in power, prestige. Maybe they are afraid of death and out of fear and out of greed they start praying to God. But a prayer that arises out of fear and greed is not prayer at all.
A real prayer arises out of gratitude, never out of fear and greed. A real prayer arises out of love for truth, whatsoever it is. Otherwise your worldly desires will again be projected onto God, onto heaven.
If you look into the descriptions of paradise of different religions and different countries you will be surprised: what they desire is projected. For example, the Tibetan paradise is described as warm -- obviously, because Tibetans suffer from cold so much that they would like heaven to be full of sun and warmth so that they can at least take a bath every day. In Tibet the scriptures say that it is your duty to take one bath at least every year!
The Indian paradise is cool, in fact, air-conditioned. They did not know the word at that time so it is "air-cooled". It is bound to be so -- India has suffered so much from heat. And you know through your own experience now that all that the Indian mind wants is a little shade and coolness. So the Indian paradise is always full of cool breezes and there are big trees, so big that a thousand bullock carts can rest under a single tree. The Indian idea of shade and coolness...
The Tibetan hell is absolutely icy and the Indian hell is full of fire.
Now, there cannot be so many hells and so many paradises; these are our projections. Whatsoever we desire we project onto heaven and whatsoever we are afraid of we project onto hell. Hell is for others, for those who don't believe in our ideology, and paradise is a reward for those who believe in our ideology -- the same worldly things. These are not religious people.
In the Mohammedan heaven there are streams of wine. This is very strange: here you condemn wine -- it is a sin -- and there you reward your saints with wine!
All the paradises of all countries are full of beautiful women because they are all created by men, so I have never come across a description of beautiful men. If women... and, of course, sooner or later the Lib women are going to write about their own paradise. They won't talk about beautiful women, they will talk about beautiful men -- henpecked husbands, always following the women like shadows, obedient, etcetera, etcetera, just like servants. That's how women have been painted by men in their heaven. And they are always young, they never grow old. This is strange!
If you look at the idea of God, all the religions think of God as a very very old man. Have you ever thought of God as a young man? No country has ever thought of God as a young man because you cannot trust young people: they are dangerous and they are a little foolish, too. A wise man has to be very old, so God is very old. But the women he is surrounded with are all very young, in fact, stuck at the age of eighteen; they don't grow beyond that. Very stagnant! They must be getting tired of remaining eighteen for millions of years!
But this is man's idea: here the saints renounce women, they renounce sex; they condemn sex, they praise celibacy -- and, of course, they are hoping they will be paid well, they will be rewarded. These are our worldly desires again coming back from the unconscious; you cannot push them away. Unless you have encountered them, unless you have watched them, you cannot just repress them.
Ko Hsuan is right: he says, "The worldly cannot understand it." They are bound to misunderstand.
The new patient comes into the analyst's office. He is a theologian, a great scholar, and a philosopher. He says, "Doctor, I came here because everybody says I think too much of myself."
"Let's get into this," says the doctor. "To analyze your problem it is necessary that you tell me your story; it is necessary that you tell me your problem from the very beginning."
"Okay," says the professor, and sitting down continues. "In the beginning all was darkness."
You see? And he has come to tell the analyst, "People think I think too much of myself." And he really begins from the very beginning! His understanding is bound to remain with him wherever he goes, whatsoever he does. Whatsoever he chooses is going to be out of his mind and mentality.
A jealous Italian husband comes home early one night. He finds his wife in bed, smoke hanging in the bedroom. Suspicious, he starts beating his wife.
"I swear-a I'm alone!" cries the wife. "Don't-a beat-a me! You might-a be punished. Remember, up-a there, there is-a someone who knows-a everything!"
From the top of the closet a male voice says, "Yes, but the one under the bed knows even more!"
How long can you repress? How long can you hide? It is going to come up, if not from the front door then from the back door.
Two madmen looked at the clock: it is twelve o'clock.
One says, "It is midday."
The other says, "It's midnight."
The discussion becomes so heated that they decide to ask the director. "Is it midday or midnight, sir?" they ask him
The director looks at his watch and says, "Well, I don't know -- it's stopped."
In a madhouse you can't expect the director to be less mad than the other madmen. In fact, he may be the director because he is more mad! He may be the oldest inmate, hence he has been chosen to be the director.
The father calls his son and asks him, "Is it true that you are planning to leave home as Mother tells me?"
"Well, yes," the boy firmly replies.
"Well," says the father in serious voice, "when you decide to go, tell me -- I'll come with you!"
Ko Hsuan says in his preface: "I received it from the divine ruler of the Golden Gate."
Truth is always a gift, it is not an achievement because all achievements belong to the ego and truth cannot be part of-your ego trip. Truth happens only when the ego is dropped, so you cannot say, "I have achieved it," you can only say, "It has been given." It is a gift. Ko Hsuan is right: he says, "I received it..." Hence, remember it, you have to be at the receiving end. You are not to be aggressive about truth. The real seeker is not an achiever, he is not aggressive he is not masculine, he becomes feminine. He is just like a womb -- he receives. He empties himself totally so that space is created to receive.
And that's the whole art of meditation. That's what we are doing here, and that's what for centuries mystics have been doing and Masters have been telling their disciples to do: Empty yourself totally, become a nothingness. And the moment you are totally nothing, at that very moment, truth descends in you; you become full of it. First you have to be empty of yourself and then you become full of God, Tao, Dharma, or whatsoever name you would like to choose for it.
He says: "I received it from the divine ruler of the Golden Gate." This is a mysterious saying, "the Golden Gate." That is Taoist way of saying that God is not really a person but a gate, an opening into existence, and if you are empty, the door opens WITHIN you. It is your ego that is blocking the door, it is you who are blocking the door; except you there is no hindrance. Remove yourself, don't come in between and suddenly the Golden Gate opens. And it is called golden because the moment you pass through it you are pure gold. The dust disappears, is transmuted, is transformed; it becomes divine.
This is the definition of alchemy: transforming dust into the divine, transforming base metal into gold. And it happens simply by becoming a receiver. You have to be utterly a non-entity.
Ko Hsuan says: "It has been previously only transmitted by word of mouth. Those who will be able to comprehend the meaning will become ambassadors of the divine and enter the Golden Gate."
This small preface says: "Those who will be able to comprehend it, understand it, will become ambassadors of the divine..." Not that they HAVE to become, they WILL become so naturally, without any effort, effortlessly. They will start radiating God, they will start radiating light, they will become luminous. Miracles will start happening through them without any effort.
It is said that many miracles happened in Ko Hsuan's life. They are the same miracles which have been happening to many mystics. For example, it is said he was able to walk on water. The same is said about Jesus. It is not a fact, remember -- Jesus is not so foolish, neither is Ko Hsuan so foolish as to walk on water. There is no need to walk on water. Then what does it mean? It is a poetic expression, it is a metaphor. It simply means they were able to do the impossible .
And what is the most impossible thing in the world? The most impossible thing in the world is to transcend the world. The most impossible thing in the world is to know oneself. The most impossible thing in the world is to become utterly empty.
These are just metaphors, "walking on water"; don't take them as facts. They are poetic ways of saying certain things.
The second thing said about him is that he knew the secret of the elixir of life, that is the secret of alchemy. One who knows his consciousness, the consciousness which is just a witness to his thoughts, one who comes to know his state of no-mind, knows absolutely that there is no death for him -- no birth, no death -- that he has never been born and will never die, he has gone beyond both. This is the secret of life, this is the secret science of alchemy.
And the third thing said about him is that he ascended to the beyond in the full light of the day. That is said about Mohammed also and about many others. These are all beautiful ways of expressing the inexpressible. These people have ascended to the ultimate, not by any back door; they have achieved to the ultimate in the full light of the day. Those who had eyes have seen them ascending. Those who had ears have heard the music when they were ascending. Those who had hearts to feel have felt it, their transformation. These people lived on the earth and yet they belonged not to the earth. They were not earthly people, they were utterly unearthly.
Don't be misguided by religious fanatics who go on emphasizing that these metaphors are not metaphors but facts, that these poetic expressions are not poetic expressions but part of history. Be a little more poetic if you really want to understand the mystic way of life.
The perfection of the paradise was such that Peter got bored. One day, when everyone was sitting all together, he said to God, "I am so bored... I'd love to visit earth now and then, wouldn't you?"
"Not at my age," replies God.
Says Jesus, "Once has been enough for me."
Says the Holy Ghost, "Not until they stop shooting at doves!"
Jesus is called by his father who tells him that he has to sacrifice himself once more for the redemption of mankind.
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Though rather unwillingly, Jesus says okay.
He goes around heaven saying goodbye to all his friends and promising to come back in thirty-three years. Then, followed by all the angels, he comes down to earth.
Thirty-three years go by, but there is no sign of Jesus. Finally, after eighty years, an old lean man comes to heaven saying that he is Jesus. He is taken to God who recognizes him immediately and exclaims in astonishment, "What happened? Why did you take so long?"
"Well, you see, Father," replies Jesus, "there is no more capital punishment on earth. I was condemned to a life sentence!"
Jesus is walking amongst the people and performing miracles. Suddenly a man falls at his feet and says, "Lord Lord, cure me, cure me!"
"Calm down, son. Have faith and you will be cured."
Jesus moves closer to the man and looks into his eyes, then backs away and signals to Peter to come over. As Peter draws near, Jesus whispers to him, "It's not going to work, Peter. Pretend we have to go -- he's got cancer!"
Reality is reality!
Either these miracles are metaphors or some coincidences. For example, Lazarus coming back to life: he may just have been in a coma or it is just a beautiful metaphor, because every Master calls his disciple to come back to life from his grave, because ordinarily you are dead; you have not tasted of life at all. You are all Lazaruses! And he was dead for only four days; you have been dead for millions of lives. It would certainly be a miracle to call you forth! And if you listen and come back to life it would be just as much a miracle done by you as it would be a miracle done by the Master. In fact, you will be doing a greater miracle than the Master!
The same miracles are described in all the lives of the saints; there are not many differences for the simple reason that every mystic lives such a life that he is in the world and yet not in the world. How to express it? How to say something significant about him? It can be said only through miracles. The language of miracles is the only possible way to express something, at least to hint at something, that is indescribable.
But there are foolish people who cling to these things and then they start creating a history. They are not helpful in spreading the divine message; they create obstacles, hindrances. In fact, many more intelligent people would be with Jesus if all these miracles and the nonsense attached to them were dropped. Yes, fools would desert him because they are only with him because of the miracles, but intelligent people would be with him.
And that's my effort here. I want you to be aware, intelligent, conscious. And if you choose to be with me it should not be for any foolish reason.
Just three, four days ago I received a letter from Australia from a new sannyasin, a young woman who had read only one of my books, it must have been because of the title, BE REALISTIC: PLAN FOR A MIRACLE. So she read that book and she started planning for a miracle: she became a sannyasin and then she started planning to come to India. Her. friends laughed, her family laughed. They said, "You are mad!" But she was so convinced that she didn't listen to anybody. She had been out of work for many months so she had no money, and because for many months she had been unemployed she had borrowed from almost everybody she knew; she could not get any more money from anybody else. So there was no possibility of her coming to India, but she started planning.
And one day at a friend's house she saw a magazine with an advertisement for a ninety-day trip to India. She looked into it and she said, "It must be Osho who is doing the miracle!" You had to read a book... you had to purchase the book and read the book and then answer a few questions in only twenty lines. She had only six dollars left but she purchased the book -- that was the price of the book. She read the book because the last date was coming so close that day and night she had to read the book. It was one thousand pages long! And then she answered.
She writes to me: "I don't know who was answering. You must have been answering!" Now, I have no idea what she is talking about. I have not answered at all -- I must say it before it is too late! But she says, "You must have answered because," she says, "I don't have any idea what I wrote -- I don't even remember what I wrote." Naturally, because if for three days she was reading day and night, how could she know what she was writing? And how could she remember some stupid book, one thousand pages long? And the book must be stupid, because this is not the way to sell a book of any value; this is the way to sell stupid books.
And she was determined that it was going to happen. But this is a series of coincidences! She went, handed over the answer because it was the closing date. She was not in her senses about what was happening and who was doing it. The next day while she was going to some friend's house, on the way suddenly she had the idea that she had to run back home -- the telegram had come! She rushed back. Yes, there was a telegram. Now, even if I tell her that I had nothing to do with all these things she won't listen to me. She won't believe me, she will believe in her own experience, obviously. And the telegram said, "Come immediately ,and contact us." She rushed there -- she had won the first prize! Now she is coming for ninety days. She says, "Osho, you have done it. You promised and you have done it!" Now, I am not guilty at all!
Sometimes coincidences and sometimes a series of coincidences is possible which can make a person believe. And when these things happen -- and these things can happen, it is such a vast world -- people are bound to believe. People are gullible.
But my effort here is to make you intelligent, not believers. There are no miracles. There is only one miracle -- THE miracle I call it -- and that is your being utterly empty. The death of the ego is the only miracle; if that happens you have attained the Golden Gate, you have passed through the Golden Gate. You have known what eternity is; you have gone beyond time.
Now these small sutras:
THE VENERABLE MASTER SAID
THE SUPREME TAO IS FORMLESS...
FROM THE VERY BEGINNING Ko Hsuan wants you to know that Tao has no form. So you cannot make a statue of Tao, you cannot create a temple around Tao, you cannot create rituals; no priesthood is possible.
THE SUPREME TAO IS FORMLESS...
It is the universal law of existence. You cannot worship, you cannot pray. All your worship is foolish and all your prayers are unheard and will remain unheard. There is nobody to hear your prayers or to fulfill your prayers. Your prayers are your desires in a new form. Watch your prayers -- what they are. The garb is religious, the jargon is religious, but nothing has changed; the desires are the same. People are asking for money, power, prestige. Whatsoever you are asking for you are asking for something wrong because there is nobody to give you anything. The very idea of getting by asking is absurd. Be utterly silent.
Tao is not the path of prayer, it is the path of meditation.
... TAO IS FORMLESS,
YET IT PRODUCES AND NURTURES
HEAVEN AND EARTH.
It does not mean that Tao is indifferent to you; it simply means you cannot worship it, you cannot pray to it. But it goes on nourishing you, you are nourished by it; it nurtures you. The whole breathes it. It is the heartbeat of the cosmos, but not a person.
THE SUPREME TAO HAS NO DESIRES...
So if you want to have a communion with Tao you will have to drop all desires. People simply go on changing their desires, but they basically remain the same. People go on changing their outer structures of life; they call it character. Somebody smokes, you may not smoke; then you start chewing gum. It is the same stupidity. Or you may stop chewing gum, then you start doing something else. But because you are the same, nothing is going to change. If you go to the moon you will do the same stupid things that you are doing here. Everything will be different and nothing will be different.
A couple has been captured by a flying saucer from Mars and are taken to the living room of the spacecraft. There they are received by a Martian couple, are offered green drinks, and begin chatting. After several drinks, everyone relaxes. The man from earth asks the Martians, "How do you procreate?"
"My wife and I will demonstrate for you," answers the Martian.
They go over to a refrigerator-like closet and the female picks up a bottle containing brown liquid and the husband picks up a bottle containing white liquid. They go over to a table where there is an empty jar. Each pours the liquid into the empty jar.
"Now we put the jar in this closet," explains the Martian, "and in nine months we will have another baby. How do you do it on Earth?"
So the earth couple demonstrates for the Martians. They take off their clothes and lie down on the floor with the man on top of the woman. As they are coming and going, they notice the Martians are laughing at them.
"What are you laughing at?" they ask.
"Excuse us," they answer, "but we find it very funny because that is the same way we make coffee!"
You can be here, you can be on the moon, you can be on Mars, you can change outer things -- it makes no difference. Either you will make love in a stupid way or you will make coffee in a stupid way, but you will do something stupid!
Unless intelligence arises in you, unless your unconsciousness is transformed into consciousness unless your darkness disappears and becomes light...
THE SUPREME TAO HAS NO DESIRES
YET BY ITS POWER THE
SUN AND MOON REVOLVE IN THEIR ORBITS.
THE SUPREME TAO IS NAMELESS,
YET IT EVER SUPPORTS ALL THINGS.
I DO NOT KNOW ITS NAME...
THESE ARE IMMENSELY VALUABLE WORDS I DO NOT KNOWN... That's how the people who know speak. The people who claim that they know are utterly ignorant. The real knower functions out of a state of not knowing.
Ko Hsuan says:
I DO NOT KNOW even ITS NAME
BUT FOR TITLE CALL IT TAO.
But we have to call it something. See the non-fanatic attitude. You can call it anything -- XYZ. Tao simply means XYZ. Just because we have to call it something, we call it Tao. If you choose some other name there is no problem.
So when Buddhists reached China they were surprised because Taoist mystics simply agreed with them. They said, "Perfectly right! We call it Tao, you call it dharma. It is the same thing, because we define Tao as nameless you define Dharma as nameless. We say Tao is formless, you say Dharma is formless, so there is no problem. We are only speaking different languages, but we are indicating towards the same truth."
That is one of the most beautiful things that has ever happened in history. When Buddhism reached China there was no conflict, no argumentation, no conversion, and yet Buddhists and Taoists met and mingled and become one, absolutely one. It has not happened in the history of Christianity or in the history of Judaism or in the history of Mohammedanism, their history is full of ugliness. It has happened only in the of tradition of Buddha and Lao Tzu: a very rare phenomenon -- no argumentation. They simply tried to understand each other and they laughed and they hugged and they said, "Perfectly true!"
A Christian missionary went to see a Zen Master and he started reading the beatitudes from the Bible. And he said, "Blessed are the meek for theirs is the kingdom of God."
The Master said, "Stop! That's enough. Whoever has said it is a Buddha!"
The missionary was utterly dumb. He had come to argue, he had come to convert. He had come to convince the Zen Master that Buddha is wrong and Jesus is right. And this man said, "Whosoever has said it -- I don't know who has said it -- but whosoever has said it is a Buddha. There is no need to read more; that one sentence is enough. You can taste the ocean from anywhere, it tastes the same -- it is salty. This one sentence will do!"
The same happened in China. Buddhists went there and the whole of China became Buddhist without anybody converting anybody else. Because Taoism was so generous and Buddhism was so understanding; there was no question of converting. The whole idea of converting anybody is ugly, is violent. They never argued -- yes, they communed, they nodded at each other's understanding and they said, "Yes, that's true. That's what Lao Tzu also says. That's what Buddha has said in his own words."
And out of this meeting -- which is the rarest in the whole of humanity -- Zen was born. Out of the meeting of Buddha and Lao Tzu, out of the meeting of Buddha's insight and Taoist insight, out of the meeting of Dharma and Tao, Zen was born. Hence Zen is a rare flowering. Nowhere else has it happened that way -- so silently, without bloodshed, without a single argument. There was no question of argument; the difference was only of language.
This is how a truly religious person is. He is not a fanatic -- he cannot be.
Ko Hsuan says:
I DO NOT KNOW ITS NAME
BUT FOR TITLE CALL IT TAO.
It is a nameless experience, but we have to call it something so we will call it Tao. That is arbitrary. If you have some other name -- God, LOGOS, DHARMA, truth NIRVANA -- you can choose from those names; they are all beautiful because it has no name of its own so any name will do.
My sannyasins have also to be in this attitude, this approach should be our approach. You should not be part of any dogma -- Christian, Mohammedan, Hindu. You should not belong to any church; that is all childish, political. A religious person is absolutely free from all dogma. Only in freedom understanding grows.
My sannyasins have to understand this approach towards life; this is very fundamental. Once you are rooted in it you will start growing. Great foliage will happen to you and great flowering and fulfillment.
OSHO - Tao, The Golden Gate Volume 1 Chapter
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