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Taoism - Daoism - Tao - Dao
Chuang Tzu: When the shoe fits
THE PRINCE OF WU TOOK A BOAT TO MONKEY MOUNTAIN. AS SOON AS THE MONKEYS SAW HIM THEY ALL FLED IN PANIC AND HID IN THE TREETOPS.
ONE MONKEY, HOWEVER, REMAINED, COMPLETELY UNCONCERNED, SWINGING FROM BRANCH TO BRANCH -- AN EXTRAORDINARY DISPLAY.
THE PRINCE SHOT AN ARROW AT THE MONKEY, BUT THE MONKEY DEXTEROUSLY CAUGHT THE ARROW IN MID-FLIGHT.
AT THIS THE PRINCE ORDERED HIS ATTENDANTS TO MAKE A CONCERTED ATTACK. IN AN INSTANT THE MONKEY WAS SHOT FULL OF ARROWS AND FELL DEAD.
THEN THE PRINCE TURNED,TO HIS COMPANION YEN PU'I: 'YOU SEE WHAT HAPPENED? THIS ANIMAL ADVERTISED HIS CLEVERNESS. HE TRUSTED IN HIS OWN SKILL. HE THOUGHT NO ONE COULD TOUCH HIM. REMEMBER THAT! DO NOT RELY ON DISTINCTION AND TALENT WHEN YOU DEAL WITH MEN!'
WHEN THEY RETURNED HOME, YEN PU'I BECAME A DISCIPLE OF A SAGE TO GET RID OF EVERYTHING THAT MADE HIM OUTSTANDING. HE RENOUNCED EVERY PLEASURE. HE LEARNED TO HIDE EVERY DISTINCTION.
SOON NO ONE IN THE KINGDOM KNEW WHAT TO MAKE OF HIM. THUS THEY HELD HIM IN AWE.
This story carries one of the most secret keys of Tao. Tao says that whatsoever is beautiful in you, hide it, never act it out; whatsoever is truthful in you, valuable, hide it, because whenever a truth is hidden in the heart, it grows like a seed hidden in the earth. Don't throw it out. If you throw a seed on the street for everybody to see, it will die, and die to no purpose. It will simply die, there will be no rebirth.
Treat all that is beautiful, good and true, just like a seed. Give it some soil, a hidden place in the heart, don't display it. But just the opposite is done by everybody: whatsoever is wrong, you hide it, you don't want it to be known by others. Whatsoever is ugly you hide and whatsoever is beautiful, even if it is not, you try to advertise it, you magnify it, you display it. Hence the misery -- because the ugly grows and the beautiful is lost. The untrue grows, it becomes a seed, and the truth is thrown away.
The precious is thrown and the rubbish grows; you become like weeds. No flower comes to your life because you have never done the right thing -- hidden the seed of the flower within. This opposite is the path, and I say this is one of the most secret keys of Tao.
A man of Tao remains ordinary, absolutely ordinary. Nobody knows who he is, nobody knows what he carries within him, what treasure. He never advertises, he never tries to display. But why do we advertise? Because of the ego. You are not satisfied with yourself, you are satisfied only when others appreciate you. KOHINOOR is not enough. You may have a valuable stone, but it is not enough; others must appreciate it. Others' opinion is more valuable -- not your being. You look into others' eyes as if they are mirrors and if they appreciate you, applaud you, you feel good.
Ego is a false phenomenon. It is the accumulation of others' opinions, it is not a knowledge of the self. This self, the so-called self which is really the ego, is nothing but the accumulation of reflections -- and then there is always fear. Others may change their mind, you are always dependent on them. If they say you are good you have to follow their rules to remain good, you have to follow them to remain good in their eyes, because once they change their opinion you will no longer be good. You have no direct approach to your being, it is via others. So you not only advertise, you magnify, you falsify. You may have a little truth, a little beauty, but you magnify it and it becomes ridiculous.
I remember -- and I will never forget it -- the first time Mulla Nasrudin was introduced to me. A mutual friend introduced us. The friend said, among other things, that Mulla Nasrudin was a great writer. And he smiled knowingly. So I asked Mulla Nasrudin: What have you written? He said: I have just finished Hamlet. I couldn't believe my ears, so I asked him again: Have you ever heard of a guy known as William Shakespeare? Mulla Nasrudin said: This is strange, because before, when I wrote Macbeth, somebody asked the same thing. And he asked: Who is this man William Shakespeare? It seems that he keeps on copying me. Whatsoever I write, he also writes.
You think that everybody is copying you and the reality is that you go on copying everybody else. You are a carbon copy, you are not a real person, because a real person never needs any display.
I have heard that it happened once at a hill station, on the lawn of a big hotel, that three elderly women were playing cards. A fourth approached and she asked if she could join them. They said: Of course, you are welcome, but there are a few rules. And they handed her a printed card, with four rules on it. The first was, never talk about mink coats, because we all have them. Second, never talk about your grandchildren, because we are all grandmothers. Third, never talk about jewelry, because we all have precious jewelry purchased from the best of places, and fourthly, never talk about sex -- what was, was!
But everybody wants to talk about himself, his mink coats, his jewelry, his children, his sex. And everybody bores everybody else. And if you tolerate bores, you tolerate them only because it is a mutual understanding: if he is boring you he will allow himself to be bored by you. You are just waiting -- when he stops his display, you can start your own. And the whole of life becomes a false, a continued display. What do you achieve through it? Just a false feeling that you are important, extraordinary.
How can one become extraordinary by having mink coats? How can one become extraordinary by owning valuable jewelry? How can one become extraordinary by doing this or that? Extraordinariness is not concerned with what you do, it is concerned with what you are. And you are already extraordinary, everyone is unique, there is no need to prove it. If you try to prove it, you will just prove the opposite. If something is already the case, how can you prove it? If you try to prove it you simply show that you are not aware of the uniqueness that has already happened to you.
So if you want to prove something it shows that you are doubtful about it. You want to destroy your doubt through others' eyes, through their opinions. You are not really convinced of your beautiful person, you would like others to say that you are beautiful.
In a small village it was the custom of the village priest that whenever he married somebody he would kiss the bride. It was an old tradition. One woman who was going to be married was very concerned. She thought herself very beautiful, as every woman does. It is womanly, it is nothing new. Really, every woman thinks so -- even the ugliest. She thought herself very beautiful and she was very concerned and worried. She said again and again to the would-be husband, to the groom: Go and tell the priest that I don't want to be kissed after the marriage.
Just before the marriage, she again asked the groom: Have you been to the priest and told him? The groom very sadly said: Yes. The bride asked: Why are you so sad? The groom said: I told the priest and he was very happy. He said: 'In that case I will charge only half the usual fee.'
You may go on thinking yourself a beautiful person but nobody thinks that way about you because everybody is concerned with his own beauty, not with yours. And if anybody nods and says, 'Yes, you are beautiful', he or she is just waiting for you to nod about his or her beauty. It is a mutual bargain: You fulfill my ego, I fulfill yours. I know well that you are not beautiful, you know well that I am not beautiful, but I fulfill your ego, so you fulfill mine.
And everybody seems to have such a need to feel unique. That means you have not come upon your own being which is unique without any need of proof. Proofs are needed only for lies -- remember. That is why you cannot prove God -- because he is the ultimate truth. Proofs are needed only for lies, truth needs no proof; it is -- simply it is.
And I tell you that you are unique, extraordinary. Don't try to be so, it is ridiculous, you simply become a laughing stock and everybody smiles when you turn your back. If you are not convinced about your uniqueness who is going to be convinced about it? Conviction is beyond proof. And how does it come? It comes through self knowledge.
So there are two ways; Knowledge -- direct, knowing oneself directly, immediately -- this is the right way. And the wrong way is knowing oneself through others, what they say. And if you don't know yourself, how can they know you? They are very far away. You are the nearest person to know yourself. If you don't know your reality, how can others know?
But because we lack self knowledge we need a substitute: ego is the substitute and ego is on constant display. You are just like a display window in a market. You have become a commodity, you have made yourself a commodity on display, always on display, always begging for somebody to say: You are good, beautiful, you are saintly, you are great, extraordinary.
Tao is against this, because Tao says that this is how you waste your life. The same energy can move directly towards your being and when the being is revealed it is extraordinary.
So a man who is in search of self knowledge will remain ordinary in the eyes of others. He will not bother, he will hide himself, he will not display. He will not be on exhibition, he will not be a stage-show. He will remain silent, live silently, enjoy life silently. He would like nobody to bother about him, because whenever somebody bothers about you, thinks about you, it is going to be difficult and complex -- self knowledge becomes more and more difficult.
You have to go there alone, and if you are looking at the crowd, and if you think that the crowd has to follow you, you will never reach it.
If you are an exhibitionist then you will remain a commodity, a thing. You can never become a person, because 'person' is hidden deep in the recesses of being. It is the deepest possibility in the whole of existence. You are the greatest abyss. Nobody else can go there with you. You will have to go alone. And if you are too concerned about others, what they say, what they think, you will remain on the periphery. That is one thing.
The second thing is: just to be on display you hide whatsoever is ugly. In clothes, in words, in gestures, in masks, in actions, you try to hide whatsoever is ugly and wrong. What are you doing? This wrong will become a seed inside and it will grow. And the more you push it in, the more you are throwing it towards the source of all energy; it will be strengthened. And the beautiful you throw out -- it will never become a seed.
Just do the opposite. If you have something ugly, show it to others: it disperses. If you are an angry man, tell everybody: I am an angry man, don't love me, don't be a friend to me. I am a very bad man. I am ugly, I am immoral, I am greedy, I am sexual. Say whatsoever is ugly about you, not only say it but authentically act it out. And you will be surprised that whenever something is thrown out, it disperses.
And hide the beautiful; let it go deeper so that it can get roots in your being, and it will grow. But you have been doing just the opposite.
Now try to understand this story.
THE PRINCE OF WU TOOK A BOOT TO MONKEY MOUNTAIN.
Chuang Tzu always watched monkeys. He was deeply interested in them because they are the forefathers of man. And a monkey is hidden in you! This whole world is nothing but a monkey mountain, all around are monkeys.
What is the characteristic of a monkey? What is the deepest character in the monkey? It is copying. Gurdjieff used to say that you cannot become a man unless you stop being a monkey -- and he was right. Somebody asked him: What is the deepest characteristic of a monkey? He said: Copying, imitation.
The monkey is a perfect imitator. What have you been doing your whole life? Have you been a man or a monkey? You imitate, you just look around and you follow; following, you become false. You see somebody walking in a certain way, you try to walk that way; somebody is wearing a particular dress, you would like to have that dress; somebody has got a car, you would like to have that car -- everything!
You never look at what your need is. And if you do look to your need, life can become a blissful existence, because needs are not much. Imitation will lead you on a path which reaches nowhere in the end. Needs are not much, needs are always few; if you look to YOUR need, you can be satisfied. Contentment is easy, because what is needed? Few are the needs. But if you imitate, then millions of unnecessary needs crowd all around. And there is no end to them, because there are millions of people and you would like to imitate everybody. It becomes impossible; you start living everybody's life and then you forget that you were here to do your own thing, and you have become an imitator.
You are here to fulfill your own destiny and that destiny is individual, it is nobody else's. This existence has given you birth to fulfill a particular destiny which cannot be fulfilled by anybody else. No Buddha can do it, no Jesus can do it, only you can do it. And you are imitating. That is why Hindus say that unless you stop imitation you will be thrown again and again into existence -- that is the theory of rebirth. You will be thrown in again and again unless you fulfill your destiny -- unless you flower, you will have to come back. How can you flower if you imitate? You see a musician and you want to be a musician; you see an actor and you want to be an actor; you see a doctor and you want to be a doctor. You want to be everything except yourself -- and that is all that you can be, nothing else. Nothing else is possible, and nobody else is like you, so nobody can become your ideal.
Love a Buddha, Buddha is beautiful -- but don't imitate, else you will miss. Jesus is wonderful, but he is needed no more; existence has fulfilled that destiny, that work is complete. He has come to a flowering. That is why whenever a person has flowered he never comes back. Love Jesus, but don't be an imitator, otherwise you will end up unfulfilled, in misery and anguish. You cannot really follow anybody. You can take hints, but then you have to be very alert; hints should not become blind imitations.
If you see a Buddha, take how he has flowered as a hint. What are the methods? What has he been doing? Try to understand it, and let that understanding be absorbed. By and by you will start feeling your path. It will never be like the Buddha's, it can never be, it will be absolutely different. But absorbing Buddha will help. You will have to grow in your own way, but absorbing him will make you more understanding. That is the difference between an authentic disciple and a follower who is false.
A disciple is something completely different from a follower, and I would like to tell you to be my disciples but not my followers. What is discipline? Discipline is learning. The root word of discipline comes from learning. It is nothing to do with self control, no. A disciple is one who is ready to learn; a disciple is one who is ready to absorb; a disciple is one who is open, receptive; a disciple is one who is ready to become a womb. He is not antagonistic, he is not fighting and arguing. He is trying to understand, and when you try to understand, the head stops functioning. Because the head can do two things: it can either fight or it can follow. It can either be a blind follower or a blind enemy, but it can never be a disciple.
A disciple is totally different because he is not head-oriented; a disciple is heart-oriented. He loves the master, absorbs him, and then goes on his own way.
It is a very indirect, very delicate thing. It is not direct. You cannot just look at the master and do whatsoever he is doing -- then you will become a follower. You cannot learn the words and start repeating them -- then you will become a follower, then the effort has been in the head, and the head is the problem.
Whenever you are not fighting and not in search of somebody to imitate, your consciousness falls from the head to the heart. Then you are open, then you are simply in love. That is what is meant by SHRADDHA, faith, trust. It is neither belief nor disbelief.
Don't think that trust or faith is belief, it is not. Belief is in the head, disbelief is in the head, trust is in the heart. It has nothing to do with belief or disbelief. Believing or not believing is not a concern at all; you simply love.
You see a rose flower. Do you believe in it or do you disbelieve in it? You don't do anything, you simply look at it. Nobody is a follower, nobody is against. The sun rises in the morning. What do you do? Are you a believer or a disbeliever or do you follow the path of the sun the whole day because you are a follower? Either way you will go mad. You simply enjoy, you absorb the morning, the freshness of it, the youngness, the newness -- with the sun everything is becoming alive. You enjoy the very life and become more alive through it. You look at a rose and something of the rose reaches to your heart. Outside the rose is flowering, inside, the heart starts flowering. You reach a master, a Buddha or a Jesus, a Chuang Tzu. What do you do? Do exactly as you would do with a rose or with a sunrise. No need to follow, no need not to follow, just absorb.
Jesus's last words to his disciples were: Eat me, let me be your drink and your food, let me flow in your blood, absorb me. When he says 'eat me', that means absorb me, digest me; don't follow outwardly, digest me, and then you will have your own inner light.
A real master never gives you rules, he gives you the eye. He never shows you the path, never says this is the path, follow. He simply gives you the light and says: Now take the light and go into the darkness, this light will show your path.
A false master always gives you a map: This is the map. Don't go astray, follow this map. He never gives you the light. If you have the light then there is no need of the map, you will find your path.
And everybody's path is going to be different because everybody is different. Let this understanding go deep into your heart: there are not two persons similar, there cannot be. Existence is not repetitive, existence is not yet exhausted, existence goes on flowering in new uniquenesses. Everybody is extraordinary. No need to prove it. If you want to prove, you will become a monkey, not a man. Stop copying. It is easy to copy, difficult to understand. That is why one copies, because it is so easy -- just a rule has to be followed. You need not have any understanding about it: a clear-cut rule is given and you follow it. People come to me and they say: Give us clear-cut rules, so that we can follow. They are saying: we are not going to grow, we are not going to become mature ourselves. You simply give us clear-cut rules: what to eat, what not to eat, when to get up early in the morning and when to go to bed. Just give us clear cut rules so that we can follow. You want to become a monkey, not a man.
A man will never ask for clear-cut rules, he will ask for understanding, so he can find his own way, so he can move in the wide world. He need not have a map with him, no need of any compass. Just your inner light will show your path.
And there is beauty because there is freedom. When there is no freedom, there is no beauty. Bondage, slavery, is the ugliest thing in the world.
THE PRINCE OF WU TOOK A BOAT TO MONKEY MOUNTAIN. AS SOON AS THE MONKEYS SAW HIM, THEY ALL FLED IN PANIC AND HID IN THE TREETOPS.
ONE MONKEY, HOWEVER, REMAINED, COMPLETELY UNCONCERNED, SWINGING FROM BRANCH TO BRANCH -- AN EXTRAORDINARY DISPLAY.
That monkey must have been a leader of the monkeys, a president, a prime minister. When all ordinary mortals flee, how can a leader? How can a leader, a great leader, follow ordinary monkeys? He had to show himself, his toughness. Otherwise, in the eyes of the monkeys, his prestige would be gone. It was not a show for the Prince, it was a show for the other monkeys. If you want to remain a leader you have to be tough. If you want to remain a leader you have to go on display.
All the political leaders are always on display. You never know their real faces, nobody does. Not even their wives and children know their real faces. They have become so efficient that nobody knows who they are, they always go on, just showing. It is said that if a politician says yes to something, it means perhaps; if he says perhaps, it means no. And if he says no, he is not a politician at all. Whatsoever a politician says, he never means it; whatsoever he means he never says it. And through a politician you can understand yourself because he is just a magnified picture of you. The leader is just a magnified picture of the follower and it is always easy to see things in a magnified picture. With a magnifying glass you can see.
It is good to try to understand leaders of men because they are the great monkeys. And you think you are following them? Basically, deep down, they are following you. A leader is always a follower of his own followers because he always has to look where you are going, what you are doing. He must know beforehand where the wind is blowing so that he can be just ahead.
Once Mulla Nasrudin was going somewhere on his donkey. And the donkey was going fast. A friend asked: Where are you going, Nasrudin? Nasrudin said: To tell you the truth, I don't know. Don't ask me. Ask this donkey. The man was puzzled so he said: What do you mean? Mulla Nasrudin said: You are a friend, so I must be truthful and frank. This donkey is adamant and stubborn, as all donkeys are, and he creates difficulties. When I pass through a market or a town, if I insist that we should go this way, he insists on going the other, and then in the marketplace it becomes ridiculous, I become a laughing stock. People say that not even your donkey follows you! So I have made it a rule that wherever he goes, I go with him. Everyone thinks that the donkey is following me but that is not true. But the donkey feels happy and my prestige is safe.
Every great leader goes on just following his followers. He goes on seeing where the wind is blowing and he must always be ahead. That is the secret of being a great leader -- you must be able to know what the people want. You must give them a slogan before they become aware of what they want. Then they follow you.
This monkey must have been a leader. It had to be shown that he was not afraid, even of a great prince. Other monkeys had fled, poor ordinary monkeys, but he was no ordinary monkey, he was a king himself. He must stay out, he must remain there; that is how he will get more prestige in the eyes of the monkeys.
ONE MONKEY, HOWEVER, REMAINED, COMPLETELY UNCONCERNED, SWINGING FROM BRANCH TO BRANCH -- AN EXTRAORDINARY DISPLAY.
THE PRINCE SHOT AN ARROW AT THE MONKEY.
And your princes are also not very different. This was insulting to the Prince, this monkey was being insulting. It was natural that all the monkeys had taken flight. But now, a great prince, and here was just an ordinary monkey trying to display, showing that he is tough. No, this could not be allowed because the Prince had his own followers. The Prince had to look to other men, what they would think if even a monkey did not bother, was unconcerned with the Prince. The monkey had to be killed. The logic remains the same whether you are a man or a monkey.
'THE PRINCE SHOT AN ARROW AT THE MONKEY, BUT THE MONKEY DEXTEROUSLY CAUGHT THE ARROW IN MID-FLIGHT.
AT THIS THE PRINCE ORDERED HIS ATTENDANTS TO MAKE A CONCERTED ATTACK.
Because this monkey seemed to be much too arrogant, very egoistic. Look... the Prince can see the ego of the monkey but he cannot see his own ego.
And this is happening all over the world. In every relationship, you can always see the ego of the other, but you cannot see your own -- and the other one goes on seeing your ego. This is a story written by a man, just think if a monkey had written the story, it would have been absolutely different. Just think, a Chuang Tzu amongst monkeys writing this story.... Then he would have written that the Prince was very arrogant, stubborn and unnecessarily violent -- because the monkey was not doing anything wrong, he was just enjoying himself. Why should the Prince be offended? Why should he have felt that this monkey had to be killed? That prince must have been a very, very egoistic person. He tried to kill, and the monkey was simply defending himself, nothing else.
If you look at the story from the standpoint of a monkey it will be totally different, but the base is the same and this always happens. A man of wisdom always looks at every problem from the other's point of view also. You cannot be wise if you have only one point of view. Sometimes try to stand in others' shoes and just look from there.
Many couples come to me, wife and husband, and there are great problems, the greatest, because that is the basic unit of life. Much tension, much ego, much falsity goes on and on and on, and it becomes a hell. Couples come to me and I always suggest that for one day they try the other's role: let the wife become the husband and the husband become the wife. For twenty-four hours try the other's role and then it will be very easy to understand the other. Even in a one-hour dialogue play the other's role and reply from the other's point of view and you will feel very relaxed.
One must be flexible enough to see what the other is feeling at that moment. The husband comes home and he says something and he feels very innocent, but the wife feels offended. He can't understand what is happening, he has not said anything. Just meditate a little, be in the wife's place, think that you are the wife and the husband comes in and says the same sentence. How would you feel? Immediately you will be able to understand why the wife is feeling that way. And if you can understand the other, you will be able to understand yourself more. The other always sees that you are an egoist. You never see it, you are blind to yourself.
The Prince was also blind. He could see that this monkey was trying to display but he couldn't see why he himself was feeling offended. Let him display -- monkeys are monkeys, let him enjoy; he is not doing any wrong to anybody, just jumping from one branch to another, swaying, playing a game. Let him play. Why was the Prince so concerned? He felt that he was being insulted, that this monkey was trying to say: You are nothing, I am unconcerned. You may be a prince of men but monkeys don't bother about you. And I also am a prince and you are nothing before me. Can you sway like me from one branch to another?
It is said that when Darwin discovered that man evolved from monkeys, somebody retorted: First ask also the monkeys. I am also of the opinion that if we ask the monkeys they would not say that man is an evolution. He is a fall -- a fall from the monkeys. Look... monkeys are stronger than you, they can do a few things that you cannot do. They are much happier than you, they enjoy life more than you. So what have you gained through your evolution, your mechanical gadgets, your weapons, your atomic bombs? Why do you think it is an evolution, a growth, a development? Ask the monkeys, they will laugh and they will say that you are fools. You cannot even walk on all fours. You cannot climb a tree like a monkey.
The monkey and the Prince are both in the same boat.
THE PRINCE SHOT AN ARROW AT THE MONKEY, BUT THE MONKEY DEXTEROUSLY CAUGHT THE ARROW IN MID-FLIGHT. The Prince is more violent than the monkey because the monkey's display is simply to ask: Why should you kill me? But man is more violent than any animal.
There is a zoo in Tokyo -- if you ever go to Tokyo, never miss the zoo. Go there! All sorts of wild animals are there, hundreds of cages, and there is a last cage on which there is a notice board: 'The Most Dangerous Animal of All'. But the cage is vacant, empty. If you look -- and you will look -- for the most dangerous animal of all, you will find him, because there is a mirror.
The monkey was innocent in his ego. Animals have their egos but they are still innocent, not so violent. But man is violent, man seems to be the only violent animal. Tigers kill, lions kill, but just to eat, never otherwise. Man kills not only to eat, he enjoys killing. Hunting is a game for him. He will simply kill to kill -- and no animal in the world kills his own brothers and sisters, no! A lion will not kill another lion, a monkey will not kill another monkey. Man is the only animal which kills other men. There is an in-built protection in every animal; zoologists say that every animal carries an in-built mechanism not to kill the same species. But it seems that something has gone wrong with man, he kills his own species. There is nothing like war in the animal world, although individuals fight. Animals have more understanding. If two dogs fight, sooner or later, within minutes, they come to an understanding. Man never comes to an understanding; unless he kills, there seems to he no solution. Even dogs are more intelligent. If two dogs bark, show their teeth, jump at each other, that is just a show, they are trying to feel the pulse, who is the stronger. It is a mock-fight. They have not yet started and when one feels that he is not so strong then he knows it is futile to fight. He simply shows with his tail -- stop! And then the thing is finished, they have come to an understanding. A hierarchy is established -- the stronger will of course win, so why go through a fight unnecessarily?
Only man is foolish, the most foolish animal, because he will never believe' that the weaker will be defeated and that the stronger will be victorious. It is ordinary arithmetic that the stronger will win, so why fight? There is no need. Hitler can bark at Stalin, Stalin can bark at Hitler and they can both call their mathematician and count who has the most airplanes, the most bombs. Within minutes the thing can be settled -- then you just show by your tail. No need to go to war, because a war will only prove what can already be done on a table -- that is, who the strongest is. Why such a wastage, such a wastage of human beings?
But no, it is impossible. Human beings are such egoists that even the weaker thinks that somehow he is going to win. No animal deceives himself so much. Mock fights are there just to judge who is stronger, then it is finished. You will say of a dog who puts down his tail, that he is a coward. No, he is not, he is simply intelligent. He is weak, so what is the need to get into a fight? It is proved, and it is proved innocently without any bloodshed. The same thing is going to be proved even through a fight. Why go to war unnecessarily?' This is more economical.
AT THIS THE PRINCE ORDERED HIS ATTENDANTS TO MAKE A CONCERTED ATTACK. Look at the foolishness! Just to kill a monkey a concerted attack is needed, many men attacking the monkey from all sides. IN AN INSTANT THE MONKEY WAS SHOT FULL OF ARROWS AND FELL DEAD. And the Prince must have felt very good, he had done something. But look at the foolishness -- a concerted attack by so many people, and with the Prince there must have been at least a hundred attendants. A hundred men killing a monkey and then feeling good, victorious. The monkeys must be laughing at what you have done.
THE MONKEY WAS SHOT FULL OF ARROWS AND FELL DEAD. THEN THE PRINCE TURNED TO HIS COMPANION YEN PU'I.... And look how even in our foolishness we prove that we are wise! This Prince had killed unnecessarily and in no way could this be called a victory. Just to kill one monkey took a concerted attack of a hundred persons with arrows; and the monkey was without any weapon, naked, with no protection.
Is it a victory? It is not a victory at all, it is not even diplomacy. Even ordinarily, if we fight a warrior, we give a weapon to the other. He must have a sword, he must have the same protection. They were all protected. But an unprotected innocent animal had been killed.
The Prince is foolish, but look at his advice even from our foolishness we go on feeling that we are wise. What did he say? He said to his companion, Yen Pu'i: 'YOU SEE WHAT HAPPENED? THIS ANIMAL ADVERTISED HIS CLEVERNESS, HE TRUSTED IN HIS OWN SKILL. HE THOUGHT NO ONE COULD TOUCH HIM. REMEMBER THAT! DO NOT RELY ON DISTINCTION AND TALENT WHEN YOU DEAL WITH MEN!'
This is one of the subtle things to be understood. We are always wise if we have to advise others but when we are in the same trap, with the same problem, the same crisis, we are not so wise. If somebody else comes to you with a problem, you will give him good advice and the advice may be right. But if you have the same problem you will not be able to give yourself the same advice. Why? Because when it is somebody else's problem you are detached.
This Prince told his companion: 'YOU SEE WHAT HAPPENED? THIS ANIMAL ADVERTISED HIS CLEVERNESS, HE TRUSTED IN HIS OWN SKILL. HE THOUGHT NO-ONE COULD TOUCH HIM. REMEMBER THAT! DO NOT RELY ON DISTINCTION AND TALENT WHEN YOU DEAL WITH MEN!'
He could see the foolishness of the monkey but he could not see the foolishness of what he had done. And, as I feel, he had done a more foolish thing than the monkey.
He had also advertised his skill, he had also shown his talent, and not only with men but with monkeys too. He displayed who he was: hc was not an ordinary man, he was an extraordinary Prince. He was no ordinary mortal. And then he gave this advice to his friend: DO NOT RELY ON DISTINCTION AND TALENT WHEN YOU DEAL WITH MEN. But the advice is right.
And it happened, as it happens many times, that the friend took the advice and it transformed his whole being. The Prince remained the same. So if you can learn, you can learn from fools also. If you cannot learn, even a Buddha is useless, you will not learn. And sometimes it happens that the people who advise you remain the same. If you can learn you can transform yourself.
Sometimes teachers are left behind and disciples move fast and reach the goal. Because you can give good advice to others it doesn't mean that you have attained that truth.
This is good. The advice is beautiful and Tao says the same thing. Tao has the same teaching but not with the same mind as the Prince. Chuang Tzu has put the teaching in the Prince's mouth but the Prince is just like a scholar, a pundit, who shows the words but who has not lived it through. It is not a live experience; it is just a doctrine. The Prince must have heard it from somewhere, from some Taoist source, because this is one of their keys.
YOU SEE WHAT HAPPENED? THIS ANIMAL ADVERTISED HIS CLEVERNESS, HE TRUSTED IN HIS OWN SKILL. HE THOUGHT NO-ONE COULD TOUCH HIM. REMEMBER THAT!
Don't display, don't exhibit, otherwise you will cause unnecessary troubles, you will invite unnecessary problems. You may even get so involved in it that it may prove your death.
DO NOT RELY ON DISTINCTION AND TALENT WHEN YOU DEAL WITH MEN.
This advice came from the mouth of the Prince. The friend was really a wise man because he wasn't concerned whether the Prince himself followed what he was saying. And it SHOULD happen in life that you are not concerned, you should simply take the advice and become changed. But you are concerned.
What is the use of thinking about the bottles? Just take the content. What is the use of asking about the container? Just taste the contents, and if the contents are good, forget the container. This Prince was in the same position as the monkey, even worse, but he uttered one of the secrets of Taoist teachings. He may have read about it, he may have been taught it, and suddenly the situation provoked his knowledge. So he said to the companion: Don't display! Don't become an exhibitionist, otherwise you will be in trouble. And don't rely on distinction and talent when you deal with men. Why? Because every man is an egoist. If you depend on your talent you will be in trouble because you will create enemies. If you depend on distinction you will be in trouble because all around you there will be enemies. Nobody wants you to be superior to them.
Once Mulla Nasrudin came to me, very excited. He said: Now you have to help me I asked him: What is the matter? He said: I feel terrible, it is awful. Recently I have been developing an inferiority complex. Help me! Do something! So I said: Tell me something more about it. Why are you developing an inferiority complex? He said: Recently I have been feeling that everybody is as good as I am.
Whenever you show your talent you are showing that the other is not as good -- and the other will be offended. Remember, the Prince is offended just by a monkey swaying in the trees....
If you show your distinction, if you say that you are something, if you try to prove your talent in subtle ways, everybody will be offended. And they cannot forgive you, they will take their revenge. With every man of distinction the masses take revenge. It may be that Jesus was crucified because the masses could not tolerate his superiority -- and he was superior. They could not tolerate this man of quality. He was extraordinary, they had to kill him. Athens could not tolerate Socrates. He was rare -- one of the most unique minds ever born, so penetrating that there is no comparison. Athens could not tolerate him, everybody felt offended.
Chuang Tzu says: Don't rely on talent when you deal with men. Remain hidden! It has to be remembered that a Taoist master has never been crucified or poisoned. Never! Because they never rely on talent. They never say that they are distinct from you. They never say that they are higher than you, more divine than you, holier than you, no. They never say anything. They behave in such a way that everybody around them will feel that they are superior to them.
Chuang Tzu himself lived such an ordinary life and such a beautiful life, that nobody even suspected that here was a man of very extraordinary dimensions. He would pass through villages, and the villages would not even become aware that Chuang Tzu had passed.
Once it happened that the emperor heard about Chuang Tzu from some source, and the rumour was that he was a very wise man. So he sent his prime minister in search of him. But where to find him? He had no home, no address, he was a wanderer. Chuang Tzu used to say that if you stay in one place it is difficult to hide, people will start suspecting. Because you have something, they will suspect, and by and by they will become aware. So before they become aware leave them otherwise you will be in trouble. So he was a constant wanderer -- no address, no home. Where to find him?
But they tried, when the emperor orders it has to be tried. They asked many Taoist teachers: Where can we find Chuang Tzu? They said: Very difficult, nobody knows. He moves like the wind, unknown, like a cloud, whereabouts unknown. But you go, and if some villager says that there is a man here who is absolutely ordinary, then catch that man, he may be Chuang Tzu. And they found him in that way.
In a village some people reported: Yes, there is a man who has just come to this village, absolutely ordinary. You cannot find a more ordinary man than he. When asked where he was, they said: He is fishing on the bank of the river. They went there and said to Chuang Tzu: The Emperor has enquired about you; and we have been searching for you. Would you like to come to the court? Would you like to become a member of the court -- advisor to the king?
Chuang Tzu said: Wait, and let me think. And the next day, when they came to ask him, he was not found in that village; he had escaped. People had suspected, they had come to know.
A man of Tao moves absolutely without identity. Why? Because if you show talent then people cannot forgive you. People can forgive fools, but they cannot forgive wise men. That is why Jesus was crucified, Socrates was poisoned. You feel so utterly inferior before a Jesus or a Socrates, how can you forgive them! It is natural, you will make a concerted attack. You will all make a concerted attack to kill that man. Then you will feel that a burden has been thrown.
A Jesus is so superb -- if he just stands by your side you feel inferior. He has to hide himself. This teaching is very basic. And the Prince told these words to his companion, Yen Pu'i.
WHEN THEY RETURNED HOME, YEN PU'I BECAME A DISCIPLE OF A SAGE TO GET RID OF EVERYTHING THAT MADE HIM OUTSTANDING. HE RENOUNCED EVERY PLEASURE. HE LEARNED TO HIDE EVERY DISTINCTION.
SOON NO ONE IN THE KINGDOM KNEW WHAT TO MAKE OF HIM. THUS THEY HELD HIM IN AWE.
Many things: this man, Yen Pu'i, was really a wise man. He didn't bother about who had given the message to him. He didn't bother about the vehicle, he simply took the message.
Remember this... you always bother about the vehicle. If I say something to you, you start thinking about me, if this man is reliable, if this man has attained what he says. First you would like to be convinced about me -- but that is impossible. What I am saying, look at that -- forget me completely. It is my business whether I have attained or not, it is none of your business. Why are you concerned about it? Whatsoever I am saying, if you feel the fragrance of it, try the medicine, not the doctor. Don't be concerned with the doctor, be concerned with the medicine because finally it is the medicine that is going to cure you. And it is possible to find the right medicine even from a quack doctor. The opposite is also possible: it is possible to find the wrong medicine from a right doctor. The real thing is the medicine.
This man, Yen Pu'i, must have been a very wise and intelligent man, otherwise he would have thought This fool, this fool of a Prince, he is giving me advice and he himself lives with distinction, lives an exhibitionist's life.
Nobody lives like kings, they are always on display, on the throne. And they want to make it clear to everybody that nobody is like them. They create a distance between ordinary mortals and themselves -- a gap. You cannot go and put your hand on a king's shoulder. No! He will feel offended: What are you doing? Are you saying that you are similar to me? You will be killed.
It is said that Hitler never allowed anybody to put a hand on his shoulder. Never! Not a single friend. Nobody was allowed to use his name Hitler, he was to be called Fuehrer. Nobody was allowed to use his proper name because that would show friendship. He never loved any woman, because it is very difficult to love a woman and not to make her equal to you. It is impossible. And women are so intelligent and cunning; if you love them they will not only try to be equal, they will try to be superior -- and they can prove it. He never loved a woman. He had some relationships, but never a love relationship -- just sexual. And he would treat the woman just like a servant, not only a servant, but a slave.
He lived with a woman for many years, and one day a small incident happened. The woman wanted to go and see her mother, her mother was ill and in hospital. And Hitler said: No! He was very dictatorial; if he said no, he meant it. The woman thought that she wouldn't discuss the matter any more, when Hitler went to the office she could go just for a few minutes and see her mother and come back. There was no problem.
Hitler went to the office. The woman went to see her mother and came back before Hitler returned. At the gate he enquired if his girl friend had been out. She had been out. He enquired if she had been to the hospital. Then he went in and without asking anything, he killed her, shot her dead immediately. What type of love is it when only slaves can be tolerated?
Love makes you equal. An egoistic person cannot love because love equalizes. There are only two forces that equalize: one is love, another is death. When you love a person you have become equal to that person. And if you really love, in that moment of love, you will feel that the whole existence is equal, nobody is inferior and nobody is superior. Everybody is unique, different, but nobody is inferior, nobody is superior.
In love you feel a communion with the whole existence, everything becomes equal, equally valuable. And death is a great equalizer. When you die all distinctions drop, and a dead Hitler is just like a dead dog -- no difference. Can you see any difference between a dead dog and a dead Hitler, or even a dead Buddha? No distinction can be made, the body is just the same: dust unto dust. And those who can love can become, and feel, an equality with the whole existence -- even with rocks.
If you are in love, you will feel a vibration that everything is equal, even a rock is as equal as you. Then there is no death because then you cannot die -- you have felt such a unity with existence. This unity will continue. The form will disappear, the body will be no longer there, but the inner most unity will remain. In new waves you will arise, in new trees you will flower, in new beings you will dance, but you will continue.
This is one of the most paradoxical things -- that you are unique and yet one with the existence. This paradox cannot be explained, you have to experience it. You are unique and yet one with the existence.
WHEN THEY RETURNED HOME, YEN PU'I BECAME A DISCIPLE OF A SAGE.
He didn't bother whether the Prince had taken his own advice to his heart or not. The Prince continued the same, the old, but Yen Pu'i changed his whole existence; he became a disciple of a sage. And if you want to change your life you have to become a disciple, because alone it is really difficult, alone it is almost impossible. You need the help of someone who has known. You need to trust in someone who has gone ahead of you.
Discipline means to learn from someone, to surrender to someone, to be receptive to someone; not to follow and imitate, but just to absorb his understanding so your own inner flame is lit; just to come to a lighted flame so that your own flame is lit. Then you can move on your own, then you have become a universe unto yourself. But before that it is very difficult to find, difficult to move, difficult to reach the right path.
Near a sage many things become possible -- many impossible things become possible because a sage is the only miracle in the world. He lives in the body and he is no longer the body, he is here with you and no longer with you, he touches you and yet a vast, infinite distance exists between you and him. A sage is the only miracle. If you live around him, just silently, just absorbing, drinking his wine, soon you will feel the miracle and that it has started to change you.
It is just like when you are ill, you go to Switzerland. What can Switzerland do? But the whole climate is healthy, in that healthy climate your disease cannot persist. Your disease needs support and there is no support for it, so it falls, without support it falls.
Near a sage, you have changed your climate. You live with people who are ignorant just like you, you live in a climate, a milieu, then you come near a sage -- you have changed the climate, you have come to the Himalayas, to the Alps, to Switzerland. Now the climate is different, now he is not going to support your illnesses. He will by and by take away all supports. Without the supports the illness fails. And when there is no illness, your own health flowers.
All that needs to be done is to remove the illnesses -- health is already there, it is not to be given to you. Only remove the illness and health flowers. Near a sage, the climate changes. But you have to be open. If you go to Switzerland, and you have iron, steel armour around you, you will not be changed because your steel armour will carry its own climate within. Go to a sage without any armour, without any defense -- that is what the meaning of surrender is.
WHEN THEY RETURNED HOME, YEN PU'I BECAME A DISCIPLE OF A SAGE TO GET RID OF EVERYTHING THAT MADE HIM OUTSTANDING.
Look... all that we do in our life is learn how to become outstanding. How to be first in class, first in the university, how to get the gold medal, how to be a Nobel Prize Winner, how to be outstanding in some way or other -- anything will do.
Once Mulla Nasrudin knocked at the door of the manager of a great circus, and he said: You have to look at me, I have a terrific act! I am a dwarf. The manager looked at Nasrudin. He was six feet two inches tall, and he was saying: I am a dwarf! So the manager said: What are you saying? You seem to me six feet two inches tall! Nasrudin said: Yes, that is right; I am the longest, tallest dwarf in the world.
The mind goes on finding ways and means to be outstanding. If you cannot be anything else, at least you can be the tallest dwarf. But be something, somebody. The whole education, culture, civilization teaches you to be outstanding, and Tao says: Don't be outstanding, drop all that is outstanding; just be ordinary, just be simple. Easy is right; to be ordinary is to be right, because to be ordinary you will be easy. If you want to be extraordinary, outstanding, you will always remain uneasy and tense because you have to prove something. You have to convince others, and your whole life will remain always indecisive. With indecision there will be a wavering inside, a trembling.
.... YEN PU'I BECAME A DISCIPLE OF A SAGE TO GET RID OF EVERYTHING THAT MADE HIM OUTSTANDING. HE RENOUNCED EVERY PLEASURE. HE LEARNED TO HIDE EVERY DISTINCTION.
SOON, NO ONE IN THE KINGDOM KNEW WHAT TO MAKE OF HIM. THUS THEY HELD HIM IN AWE.
And Tao says, that when nobody knows what to make of you -- you are so ordinary that nobody knows what to make of you, nobody knows any utility for you, you cannot be used, you are so ordinary, without any talent -- then, they say, the real mystery reveals itself through you. Then you become a real mystery. When you cannot be used you become god like. What is the meaning? Whenever you are used, you become a thing; whenever you cannot be used, you become a person.
A person is not a utility; a thing is a utility. If somebody asks you: Who are you? You say: I am a doctor. What do you mean? It means that society is using you as a doctor. It is a function, not a personality. It is not your person, not your being, it is a utility -- society is using you as a doctor.
Somebody is a carpenter, somebody else is a shoemaker. Is this your being? Or just a utility in society? Society is using you as a thing, and the more valuable your use, the more society will value you. But if you drop all talents, if you become just ordinary, and nobody knows what to do with you, nobody can use you, you have gone beyond society. Now you are no longer a thing, you have become a person. And this does not mean that you will not do anything, you will, but nobody will use you. You will 'do' on your own, it will be your flowering.
A rose flowers, not for those who will pass, not for those who will see, not for those who will smell the fragrance. No! It flowers on its own. A man of Tao flowers on his own. He is like a rose, he is not a utility. And a man who has not known his innermost being is always like a thing, always on display in the window of a shop; always waiting for somebody to come and use him with all his certificates, distinctions, talents; always crying: Come and use me, make me a thing. I am a most valuable thing, you will never get any thing better than me. Come and use me! This is your whole cry.
And if this is your cry, you will become a thing.
A man of Tao drops all distinctions, he burns all certificates, he destroys all bridges, he remains in himself, he becomes a flower. And this flowering is purposeless -- it has no utility. Many are benefitted by it, but it is not for them, it is for one's own self. He has attained his own destiny. Then there is fulfillment.
As a thing you will remain unfulfilled because you have to be a person, an authentic person. You have not to be a thing, not to be a husband, because to be a husband is a thing; you have not to be a wife, because to be a wife is to have a utility. Just be a flower, then you can love. But there is no need to be a husband, no need to be a wife. You can share, but there is no need to advertise. A flower flowers; it does not need any advertisement. If somebody partakes of its pleasure and happiness, it is okay; if nobody passes by the spot, it is also okay. When you flower for yourself, everything is okay, nothing is wrong. When you are for somebody else, just waiting in a showcase, labelled, priced, catalogued, advertised, you will never reach to a fulfillment because a thing is a dead thing, only a person is alive.
Be alive, and be a person. And this you can never be if you go on copying. If you remain on the monkey mountain you will never be the real, you will continue to be the false. Drop all falsities, exhibitions, displays. Just be yourself, ordinary and unique, and fulfill your destiny. Nobody else can do it for you. You can absorb me, you cannot follow me. I never followed anybody, I had my own path. You will have your own path. You will move on a path on which nobody has ever moved and nobody will move on it ever again.
In the spiritual world no footprints are left. It is just like the sky: a bird flies -- no footprints are left, nobody can follow. Just take a delight in me, be happy with me and you will absorb. And that will become a light within you and that will show you the path. But don't copy, don't believe or disbelieve, don't be head-oriented. Don't be a monkey -- be a man.