Understanding is Revolution - Osho on Tao

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Tao knows nothing of discipline. Tao is anarchic, spontaneous, effortless. All disciplines are unnatural — they have to be. Nature needs no discipline, it is sufficient unto itself. Trees and rivers and animals and stars — they don’t know anything of discipline. Discipline is man-created, man-made and because of discipline man becomes split. One part starts manipulating the other part, then a rift is created. The mind tries to manipulate the body, and the body tries to manipulate the mind in subtle ways, or at least tries to sabotage it. This conflict creates confusion: all conflict is confusion. Because of conflict the fusion cannot happen: you cannot be one, you cannot be fused in one, hence confusion. And the ultimate result can only be schizophrenia. You go on fighting and fighting, and by and by you are no longer one individual, you become many — at least two, and if worse happens, then many — then you become a crowd. And when you are not one, you cannot be happy. Happiness is a function of unity. Happiness is the music that happens when you are in unison, when everything fits together, when everything harmonises, when there is no conflict not even a trace of it, when you are an orchestra not a crowd…. Nobody is trying to manipulate, nobody is trying to become the master, nobody is trying to exploit, oppress… the whole being is overflowing with joy.

Tao is spontaneity, it is not discipline, hence Tao is the ultimate in religion — no religion touches that peak. The moment a religion starts becoming a discipline, it has already fallen very low. There are three stages of a religion. Just like there is childhood, youth and old age in the life of a man or a woman, so there are three stages in the life of a religion. When religion is born — the childhood of religion, when a Master is alive, fresh, and the energy is flowing from the source and the fragrance is coming, when Buddha is alive or Lao Tzu is alive or Jesus is alive — then religion has its first, virgin, innocent state: the childhood. It is as fresh as the dewdrops in the morning, fresh as the rose flower, fresh as the stars, innocent; it knows no discipline, it knows only spontaneity.

Then, close to a Master people start gathering. That is bound to happen — a magnet is there, people start gathering. The second stage comes: the stage of organic religion. The first stage is individual, rebellious, spontaneous; there is no question of any effort, any discipline, any scripture; God is in the nude, truth is as it is no camouflage, no dressings. Then people start gathering. The second stage is not so rebellious for these people, and, because of these people, by and by discipline arises. The Master goes on talking of spontaneity, but the followers cannot understand spontaneity; they translate it in terms of disciplining themselves. The Master says ‘Just be’. they ask ‘How to be?’ Their question of the ‘how’ by and by brings in discipline; they create the discipline. Let me say it in this way: the Master brings spontaneity, the disciples bring discipline. The words ‘disciple’ and ‘discipline’ come from the same root When disciples have gathered about a Master, they start translating what he is saying, what he means. They start interpreting, and of course they interpret according to their minds — there is no other way. If you interpret at all, you will misinterpret.

The real disciple is one who does not interpret, who does not translate, who listens passively, who is not asking ‘how’, who is not in a hurry to get some result, who is not goal-oriented, who is not greedy. The greedy disciple immediately creates a discipline. This is the second stage — still alive; I call this stage the organic stage of religion. The Master is there, the disciples have come, there is organic unity but….In the first stage there was only the centre, now there is a circumference; and the circumference will go on becoming bigger and bigger and bigger, and the bigger it is the less true it will be. The further away the circumference goes from the centre, the further away it goes from truth, innocence. It becomes knowledge, it becomes discipline, dogma, but still a little light comes through all these screens. Then, at the third stage when the Master is gone, religion becomes an organised religion. It is no longer organic now because the centre has disappeared. Now the circumference tries to exist without the centre — it becomes a church, a creed, theology. Now religion is very old; and some day, somewhere, the religion dies but the church continues.

You ask ‘Where does educating the subconsciousness conflict or harmonise with Tao, as it implies discipline with self-effort from an external expression?’ Tao never allowed itself to become even an organic religion — naturally, it never allowed itself to become a church. It has remained spontaneous, hence there are no followers, there is no church like the Vatican, or the Shankaracharya — nothing like that. Tao has remained available for those who are courageous enough to be spontaneous. It needs great courage to be spontaneous because to be spontaneous means to remain in a state of constant uncontrol. Spontaneity means not to interfere with your nature — let it be whatsoever it is and let it go wherever it is moving; to be like wind, to be like a river not knowing where it is going — not caring where it is going, not bothering, not trying to plan, not trying to project. To be natural needs great courage, hence there are very few people who have attained to Tao. There are millions of Christians, millions of Mohammedans, millions of Hindus, millions of Buddhists, but Tao has remained a transcendence, a fragrance — untethered, unimprisoned — hence its beauty, its sublime exquisiteness, its superb truth.

The superconscious, the conscious, the unconscious: these divisions exist because you nave tried discipline, otherwise there is an indiscriminate consciousness inside you. There are no divisions. Freudians, Jungians, Adlerians, and other psychologists, talk as if these divisions were naturally there, as if they were part of the facticity of humanity. They are not right. The unconscious exists because man has repressed; the moment repression disappears, the unconscious also disappears. The unconscious is not a natural division of your consciousness. You have done something with your consciousness: you have forced many things inside your being which you don’t want to look at; you avoid, hence the creation of the unconscious. A Buddha knows no unconscious. I don’t know any unconscious. All that is in me I am aware of, I allow it, it is in my vision; there is no dark basement where I go on throwing things. The basement starts existing only when you start repressing. Repression creates divisions, then you become more and more confined because you cannot look deeper: you are afraid, you cannot dare, you cannot afford to… the unconscious is created. Once the unconscious is created, then there is a small overlapping of the conscious and the unconscious; that is called the subconscious. The unconscious means complete darkness, the conscious means light. Of course, between this darkness and light there is an overlap, a small boundary, which is neither dark nor light: that is the subconscious.

These three divisions exist because of you, not because of nature. But psychologists go on talking as if they have found some natural division. There is no division at all. The moment you allow spontaneity to explode, your consciousness starts spreading. One day your whole being becomes light; there are no dark corners because there is nothing to hide. You stand nude to your own vision… nothing to hide, nothing to escape from, nothing to be afraid of — you have accepted yourself. In deep acceptance you become one. Tao says that man has an undiscriminated consciousness. You cannot call it ‘the conscious’, you cannot call it ‘the unconscious’, you cannot call it ‘the subconscious’, because these divisions are really fabricated, man-made. When a child is born he has no unconscious, he has no conscious — he is indiscriminate, he is one. But immediately we start educating him, immediately we start training him: Be like this and don’t be like that; so whatsoever we deny, he has to reject. Those rejected parts go on piling up inside him and if he has to look at them it hurts — they are his own rejected parts — as if you had cut his limbs; it is painful to look at them, it is better to forget them. To forget seems to be the only way, and when you forget something that is inside you, the unconscious is created.

The unconscious disappears when you again become spontaneous like a child. The whole teaching of Tao is to be again like a child. It means to undo all that the society has done to you; it means to destroy, to dismantle, the structure that society has put around you; to claim your freedom again which is your birth-right; to be radically transformed; to go beyond the structure of the society, to go above. To go to nature against nurture: that’s what the message of Tao is. There is no discipline in Tao — Tao is not Yoga. Tao is just the diametrically opposite standpoint to Yoga. If Patanjali and Lao Tzu met, they would not be able to understand each other — impossible; Patanjali would talk about discipline. If Patanjali met Confucius, they would become friends immediately; Confucius also talks about discipline, control, character. Lao Tzu talks about characterlessness. Remember the word ‘characterlessness’ because Lao Tzu says that the real man has no character — cannot have a character; character means something of the past. A real man lives in the moment. He does not live through the past, he has no ideas to live — he simply lives, he responds to the present moment. And he has no scriptures to follow, no moralities to follow, he has no commandments. His only attitude is that of spontaneous responsibility: whatsoever is facing him, he responds to totally, he responds fully.

A man of character can never respond fully. He has ideas, he has to do things in a certain way. Before the situation arises he has already decided how to act, he has rehearsed. The man of Tao lives without rehearsal; he never manages, he never jumps ahead. Let the moment come and he is there to reflect it — whatsoever is needed will come out of his being. He trusts nature: his trust is absolute, utterly absolute. The man of character does not trust nature. He says ‘I should cultivate good character, otherwise in a certain situation I may behave in a bad way.’ He does not trust himself. Look at the absurdity: he does not trust himself and HE is going to cultivate and HE is going to manage… and he does not trust himself. His self-distrust is there so he becomes a pseudo person, then he loses authenticity. He smiles because he has to smile, he loves because he has to love, he behaves in a certain way because that is how one should behave — but all false. Nothing comes from his heart, nothing flows through his heart, nothing has the touch of his being; everything is just managed. Naturally, he lives a very pseudo life: his love is not alive, his smile is painted, his gestures are all impotent, meaningless. He manages — that’s all, but he never lives.

Tao has no discipline. It does not trust in character, it trusts in being, in your nature. And there is no effort, because all effort is going to create trouble. Effort means conflict, effort means imposing something, effort means that you are at war with yourself. Tao trusts in effortlessness. Jesus says to his disciples: Look at the lilies in the field, they toil not, they labour not. They don’t plan for the tomorrow yet they are tremendously beautiful. Even Solomon was not so beautiful when he was attired in all his beautiful dresses and diamonds and ornaments. Even then he was not as beautiful as these lilies in the field. What is the secret of the lilies in the field? They live naturally, they bloom naturally: there is no effort, ‘they toil not’…

No, there is no discipline and there is no effort in Tao, there is only understanding. Remember, let me repeat it: there is only understanding. Effort means you have not understood rightly — that’s why you have to make effort. If I say ‘Love is enough’ and you understand me, will you make any effort? That very understanding will bring a change. Understanding is revolution. If you understand, love is enough. You understand that the lilies in the field are beautiful, if you understand what beauty is — to be natural is to be beautiful — are you going to make any effort to attain this beauty? How can you be natural through effort? To be natural you have to drop all effort. And will you try to drop your effort through some effort? Then you will be getting into the same trap again. It is not going to change you. Just see the fact. Just see the fact and let the fact be there. Let it penetrate into your heart, let it sink in and you will see that the very understanding of the fact has transformed you. Suddenly you see that you are a totally different man, the old man is gone and the new is born — there was no effort.

And one thing more about it: Tao is sublime laziness. It does not believe in aggression, it does not believe in the male element. Tao is feminine: passivity, receptivity. Try to understand this. There are two ways to approach truth. One way is that of aggression, almost like rape. That’s why I always say science has raped: it is aggressive, it has been coercive on nature, it has forced nature to reveal its secrets. It is very crude, primitive, because one has to rape only when one cannot love. A rapist is one who is incapable of love. If you can love a woman, can you even think of raping a woman? It will not even come into your dreams — it is impossible. When one fails in loving then the rape arises. Violence arises only when love fails, aggression arises only when love fails. Science is a failure — failure in the sense that we could not persuade nature. It would have been better to persuade. Tao persuades nature. There is no need to coerce; love, and by and by nature reveals its secrets to you. Science tries to force. You come to know some facts but they are ugly, they are abortive, they are not naturally born; and something of your violence goes on echoing and re-echoing…

Life is very deeply interconnected: whatsoever happens here will have repercussions there. Tao says: Never coerce nature, otherwise nature will throw all coercion back on you, and you will be destroyed. Persuade, love. And, as Tao says don’t coerce outer nature, Tao says don’t coerce inner nature too. Science tries to coerce outer nature, Yoga tries to coerce inner nature — so science and Yoga can go together very well; they are fellow-travellers. Einstein could have understood Patanjali very easily, and Patanjali could have understood Einstein very easily. But neither Einstein nor Patanjali would have been able to conceive of what Lao Tzu is saying. He would look mad, he would look absurd. He brings a totally different dimension into the world — the dimension of the feminine. Man is aggressive, woman is receptive. Woman is a womb: receptivity. Lao Tzu says that truth has to be received, not sought. Seek, and you will never find, says Lao Tzu. Wait, wait in openness, wait in vulnerability and you will find, because truth will come to you. Invite, and wait. Love, and wait. Be in a let-go. That is the meaning when I say ‘sublime laziness’. It is inactivity, yet it is not lethargy; inactivity, yet full of radiance; not doing anything, but pulsating with energy. In fact, a person who is not doing anything should pulsate with tremendous energy, because he is not putting his energy anywhere; so energy is accumulating: he becomes a reservoir — radiant, alive, throbbing, streaming. In that great energy-moment which is yet inactive, truth happens — hence I call it ‘sublime laziness’…

There is one question, very much related to this question. The questioner says ‘When I came here, in the beginning I was a great spiritual seeker and I was making great effort. Now I have become a sort of materialist because now I am making no effort to reach spirituality, to attain NIRVANA and enlightenment, so what has happened to me, Osho? Have I fallen from grace?’

You have risen in grace. What you were thinking to be materialism is true spirituality, and what you were thinking to be spirituality was just greed and materialism. You were trying to become enlightened — that was materialism, because that was greed. To have any goals is to be a materialist; not to have any goal is to be spiritual. To try to attain something is to be greedy, to be desirous, to be ambitious — that is all an ego trip. To drop all those trips, and live here-now, and love the small things of life, is to become spiritual. That is the difference between the so-called ‘ordinary spirituality’ and the spirituality that is of Tao. If you go and you find Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu or Lieh Tzu, you will not be able to recognise them.; they will be very ordinary. You will have to be with them to feel. They don’t impose any extraordinariness, they will not show you miracles, and they will not show you SIDDHIS and powers; they will be very ordinary. To be ordinary is the message of Tao, to be so ordinary that you don’t have any idea to be anything else, to be so contented, so contented…. Eating, drinking, loving, talking, listening, walking, sleeping, sitting in the sun or under the moon. Looking at the trees: these small things become sublime when you look with a contented eye. When you are happy, everything becomes tremendously beautiful, everything becomes luminous. It depends on you…

Try to understand me. Here I am trying to put things upside down because things have been upside down too long. They have to be put right and that is the only way. If somebody is standing on his head for many days, how to put him right? Put him ‘upside down’ then he will be rightside up. The so-called spirituality is nothing but garbed materialism. You have to look into things. A man who has no desire is spiritual. A man who does not hanker for any ego-trip is spiritual. A man who is not worried about KUNDALINI and CHAKRAS and SAHASRAR, the one-thousand-petalled lotus opening, that man is spiritual, that man has the quality of being a spiritual man. In his ordinariness he is extraordinary. In his mundane life he has a holiness.

Even the division between the spiritual and material is a materialist’s division. A spiritual person knows no divisions; a spiritual person simply accepts whatsoever is; and this ‘isness’ is one. There is nothing like the spiritual and the material — that again is the division of the ego; all divisions are of the ego. When the ego disappears there is no division, there is one, undivided reality. Call it spiritual, call it material — it does not matter; when there is only one, any name will do. In the name of spirituality people have been crippled, destroyed, paralysed…

Tao says: You are already that. There is no need to become — you are already that. You are a being — there is no becoming. You are that already — start living it. See the revolutionary message. There is no need to improve upon yourself, you are already that which you can be. Just start delighting in it, celebrate, live. And the more you celebrate, the more you live in a natural way, the more you will start feeling your innermost core. And in the innermost core of your being is Tao: it is your nature, the Way.


Listen to complete discourse at mentioned below link.

Discourse Series: Tao: The Pathless Path, Vol 1 Chapter #2