CHI HSING TZU WAS A TRAINER OF FIGHTING COCKS FOR KING HSUAN. HE WAS TRAINING A FINE BIRD. THE KING KEPT ASKING IF THE BIRD WERE READY FOR COMBAT.
'NOT YET', SAID THE TRAINER. 'HE IS FULL OF FIRE. HE IS READY TO PICK A FIGHT WITH EVERY OTHER BIRD. HE IS VAIN AND CONFIDENT OF HIS OWN STRENGTH'.
AFTER TEN DAYS HE ANSWERED AGAIN: 'NOT YET. HE FLARES UP WHEN HE HEARS ANOTHER BIRD CROW'.
AFTER TEN MORE DAYS: 'NOT YET. HE STILL GETS THAT ANGRY LOOK AND RUFFLES HIS FEATHERS'.
AGAIN TEN DAYS. THE TRAINER SAID: 'NOW HE IS NEARLY READY. WHEN ANOTHER BIRD CROWS, HIS EYE DOES NOT EVEN FLICKER. HE STANDS IMMOBILE LIKE A COCK OF WOOD.
HE IS A MATURE FIGHTER. OTHER BIRDS WILL TAKE ONE LOOK AT HIM AND RUN'.
The human mind always ends with the ego - that is its final growth. So first try to understand how the human mind becomes the ego.
The ego is the barrier. The more you are, the less the Divine can be; the less you are, the more available you are for the Divine. If you are totally empty the Divine becomes the guest, and he can become the guest only when you are totally empty, when not even a fragment of you is left. Then you become the host and he becomes the guest. When you are not, you are the host; when you are, all your prayers are in vain, all your invitations false. When you are, you have not called him yet because your call can only be authentic when you are not. It is a silent thirst of an empty being, a silent prayer without any words of a mind which is no more, of an ego which is dissolved.
Once it happened that Mulla Nasrudin came to me, very much disturbed, sad, perplexed, and he said: I am in deep trouble. A problem has arisen. And I am not a blind believer, I am a rational man.
So I asked him: What is the problem? He said: Just this morning I saw a mouse sitting on the Koran, the Holy Koran. So I am disturbed. If the Koran cannot protect itself against an ordinary mouse, how can it protect me? My whole faith is shattered, my whole being is troubled. Now I cannot believe in the Koran any more. What should I do?
So I told him: This is the logical step. Now you start believing in the mouse, because you have seen with your own eyes that the mouse is stronger than the Holy Koran.
And, of course, strength is the only criterion for the mind, power is what mind is in search of - Friedrich Nietzsche is right.
I told Mulla Nasrudin: Man is nothing but a will to power. And now you have seen with your own eyes that a mouse is more powerful-than the Holy Koran.
He was convinced. Of course there was no way to escape from logic so he started worshipping the mouse. But soon he was in trouble because one day he saw a cat jump on the mouse. But this time he didn't come to ask me; now he had the key in his own hand - he started to worship the cat.
Soon he was in trouble again. A dog chased the cat and the cat was trembling. So he started to worship the dog. But then again he was in trouble. One day his wife beat the dog to death. Then he came again. He said: Now this is too much. I can worship a mouse, a cat, a dog, but not my own wife. But I told him: Nasrudin, you are a rational man, and this is how reason moves. You cannot go back, you have to accept it. So he said: Then I will do one thing. I will take a picture of her without anybody knowing and I will go inside my room, lock the door from the inside, and worship her. But please don't tell her.
So he started to worship her in secrecy and privacy. Things were going well. Then one day Mulla Nasrudin's wife came running to me, and she said: Something has been wrong for many days. We thought that he had gone a little crazy because he had been worshipping a mouse, then he was worshipping a cat, then a dog, and for a few days he has been doing something secret inside his room. He locks it and allows nobody in. But today, just out of curiosity, I looked through the keyhole, and it is too much to bear! I asked: What was he doing? She said: You come and see.
So I had to go, had to look through the keyhole! He was standing naked before a mirror worshipping himself So I knocked on the door, and he came out and said: This is the logical conclusion. This morning I got angry and beat my wife, and I thought: I am more powerful than her. So now I am worshipping myself.
This is how mind goes on moving towards the ego - the final goal is 'I'. And if you listen to the mind this goal is bound to come sooner or later: you will have to worship yourself. And I am not kidding.
This is how the whole of humanity has come to worship. All gods have been thrown aside, all the temples have become useless, and man worships himself.
How does it happen? If you listen to the mind it will convince you, by subtle arguments, that you are the centre of the world, you are the most significant being in the world, you are the most superior - you are God. This egoistical attitude is bound to come, it is a logical, final step. And the mind will raise doubts about everything but it will never raise any doubt about your ego. Whenever the mind feels that it has to surrender, it will raise doubts. It will say: What are you doing? Surrendering to a master? Surrendering to a God? Surrendering in a temple, or in a church? Surrendering in prayer and love? Surrendering in sex? What are you doing? You are losing yourself. Be alert and control yourself, otherwise you will be lost.
Whenever there is something where you can let go of yourself, the mind resists. That is why the mind is against love - because love is a surrendering. In love the ego cannot exist, that is why the mind is against a master, a guru, because the ego has to be surrendered otherwise the master cannot function. That is why the mind is against God, because if there is a God then you can never be the most superior, then the ego will always remain inferior, then you can never be enthroned upon the highest pedestal conceivable. You cannot allow God.
Nietzsche said: It is impossible for me to allow there to be a God, because then what will happen to me? Then where am I? If God is, then I am nowhere, so I will choose myself, not God. That is why he said: God is dead and man is now free, absolutely free. Nietzsche set the trend for this century, he was the prophet Of this century. He is at the base of you all, whether you know him or not; he is deep down in everybody who has been born in this century. Within you God is dead, only the ego is alive. And remember - they cannot both exist together.
In the Old Testament there is a beautiful sentence. The sentence is: You cannot see God alive. The meaning is the same. When you see God you have to die, you cannot see God alive. When you die, only then can you see God because you are the barrier, you are the wall. Ego or God, that is how things are going to be, you cannot manage both. And if you try to manage both, you will manage the ego and God will be dead - within you. In existence, God cannot be dead, but within you, God will be dead. He will not be there. You have pushed him out because you are too filled with yourself.
You are too much. And the ego is not porous; it has no space for anybody else. It is very jealous, it is absolutely jealous. It will not allow anybody else to enter into the inner sanctum of your being. It wants to be the superior-most ruler.
The mind is always against surrendering. That is why as the mind has become more prominent, all dimensions of surrender have disappeared. This century suffers because this century cannot surrender. This is the problem. This is the basis, the crux of the modern mind - and you go on asking: How can I love? The mind cannot love. The mind can go to war, that is easy, but the mind cannot move into love, that is impossible. Because in a war the mind can exist, it can function well; but in love, mind has to surrender.
Love means giving power to the other over yourself, and you are afraid. It means the other becomes so important, so much more important than you that if a crisis comes you would sacrifice yourself for your lover. The lover is enthroned - you are just a servant, you are just a shadow. This is difficult for the mind. That is why love is not possible and even sex becomes impossible. Because even in sex a moment comes when you have to lose yourself - only then can the orgasm happen, only then can the whole body be filled with a new energy, with new vibrations, with bio-electricity. It can become a vibrant, radiant flow - you lose yourself. But even that is not possible.
Ejaculation is not orgasm, it is just the physical part of it. Orgasm is psychic, it is spiritual. Ejaculation is just futile, it can relieve the body, that's all. It works as a safety valve: when there is too much energy you can release it through ejaculation, but that is not the real thing. The real thing is when you come to a peak of vibrancy, you come to a peak of ecstasy, and from that peak everything relaxes, your whole being relaxes. First the whole being vibrates with a new music - it is in tune with the cosmos, the ego is not there, you are just energy; there is nobody inside, just energy moving like a river in flood - and then the flood goes, the river relaxes, and you are in tune with the whole cosmos. Then it is orgasm. Orgasm is an inner phenomenon.
But orgasm has become impossible and because of the lack of orgasm ninety per cent of the people are neurotic in a subtle way. This is because you have lost the easiest approach to the Divine. You have lost the natural possibility of being one, even for moments, with the Whole. And the Whole rejuvenates, the Whole gives you life and energy, the Whole refreshes you. And the old is destroyed by the orgasm, your whole energy becomes new, fresh and young. Otherwise you go on becoming dull and dead. But this has become impossible because of the ego. The problem is the same, whether it is in the dimension of sex, or of love, or of prayer, or of meditation - the problem is the same. You have to surrender, and the ego cannot surrender, it can only fight.
Why is the ego always ready to fight? Every moment you are ready to jump upon someone, to find an excuse and fight, argue, and be angry. Why is the ego always in search of a fight? Because fight is the fuel: through fight it feels powerful; through fight it exists. Ego is the deepest violence and if you want to strengthen the ego you have to go on fighting continuously. For twenty-four hours a day you have to fight with something or other. But an enemy must be there so that you can have the challenge, the conflict, and you can maintain the ego. Ego needs constant war. Why? Firstly, through war it accumulates energy. Secondly, ego is always afraid, that is why it is always ready to fight - there is fear. Ego can never be fearless, never. Why? Because it is a false thing, it is not natural, it is not part of the Tao. It is an artificial human device, you have to manage it and maintain it continuously. If for even a single moment you don't manage it it will disappear - that is the fear.
So you are constantly alert.
If for even twenty-four hours you live an egoless existence, you will be surprised, amazed, mystified.
What happened to that ego which you have been carrying for so many lives? Even within twenty- four hours it will simply disappear because it needs a constant refueling, again and again. It is not a natural phenomenon, it has no perpetual energy in it.
Existence goes on perpetually, eternally; it has something eternal, non-exhausting. This tree may die, but immediately another tree will replace it; the energy moves into another. Your body may fall, but the energy moves into another body. You have deep down, like everything else in existence, some eternal energy which cannot be exhausted. You need fuel for the body. If you don't eat and don't drink you will die. If you don't eat, then within three months you will die; if you don't drink, within three weeks you will die; if you don't breathe, within three minutes you will die. Constant fuel is needed for the body because the body is not an eternal phenomenon.
But for consciousness no fuel is needed. When this body dies your consciousness moves into another womb. Consciousness is perpetual movement. It is non ending energy - no beginning, no end. It never started, and it will never end. That is why when you become one with consciousness there is no fear. Fear disappears only when you have hit upon the eternal source, the immortal, which cannot die - the deathless.
And the ego is very fragile; every moment it is on the verge of dying. And anybody can kill it, just a gesture can kill it, just a look. Somebody looks at you, and the ego is troubled. That man seems to be an enemy. A gesture of enmity and you feel a trembling because the ego is fragile. It is a false, artificial thing, it has to be maintained. That is why there is so much fear - and amidst this fear, this oceanic fear, you manage to create a few islands of bravery. Otherwise it would be too difficult.
You think yourself brave, even a coward, the most cowardly man, thinks himself brave, because that too is a very complex problem. The ego is afraid, fearful, inside, because death can happen at any moment. In love, death can happen; in prayer, death can happen to the ego, in any deep relationship the ego will have to die. Even if you look at a rose without thinking, the ego will have to die. Even a rose can kill it; it is so fragile, just flimsy, a dream-like thing - nothing substantial about it. So afraid, and deep down continuously thinking of death, still you go on thinking yourself to be brave. That is how this bravery, this fearlessness, this 'I am not a coward', helps your ego. If you come to know that the ego is a coward, that 'I am a coward', if you really realise and become aware that this ego is fear and nothing else, you will not maintain it. You will drop it. Why carry a disease? But the disease is hidden and you think it is not a disease, rather, it is the only health.
It happened that Mulla Nasrudin got married. He went to the hills for his honeymoon. The very first night, at midnight, somebody knocked on the door Nasrudin got up and opened the door. There was a man with a pistol in his hand, a robber. He came in. But he forgot about robbery when he saw Mulla Nasrudin's wife, a beautiful young girl. He forgot all about robbery. And he said to Mulla Nasrudin: You stand in that corner. Then he drew a circle around him, and told him: Don't step out of it - one step and you are no more. Then he kissed Nasrudin's wife and made love to her.
When he had gone, the wife said: What sort of man are you? Standing there in the circle and watching another man make love to your wife Nasrudin said: I am not a coward! And triumphantly he said: Whenever the man turned his back towards me I would step out of the circle, and not just once, thrice!
This is how the ego goes on maintaining itself, just stepping out of the circle. When the back is turned, when death is not looking at you, then you step. And not only once, thrice! And you feel good. And I tell you that everybody is standing in a corner with a circle around him. You stand inside the circle and sometimes you step out just to feel that you are not a coward. But the ego is a coward, it cannot be otherwise. You cannot see a fearless man with an ego, it is impossible, it is not in the way of nature.
Why is it impossible? How can the ego be fearless? It cannot be eternal, it cannot be immortal, death is bound to happen. The ego is a created phenomenon, created by you; it is going to disappear.
And when death is there, a certainty, how can you be fearless? Sometimes you may step out of the circle, that is all. But with ego there can be no fearlessness. So remember three words: one is 'coward', another is 'brave', and the third is 'fearlessness'. Cowardice is part of the ego, the deeper part, the real thing, and bravery is stepping out of the circle thrice. It is also part of the cowardice but hidden, decorated.It is a wound with flowers upon it, a wound hidden by flowers. Bravery is nothing else but cowardice decorated and refined; inside every brave man you will find a coward. Even your Napoleons, Hitlers and Alexanders are cowards. Their bravery is nothing but stepping out of the circle thrice - inside you will find the same trembling coward. Just to hide that coward, you project bravery - bravery is a trick. And now psychologists also know about it.
Religion has always been aware that to hide something you project the opposite. If you are a fool, you will try to project some wisdom around you to hide the fact. If you are ugly then you will beautify your body, your face, your hair, to somehow hide the fact that you are ugly. With clothes and ornaments you will try to hide it. If you are inferior inside, you will project superiority, just to show others that I am not an inferior. If you feel a 'nobodiness' - and everybody feels it because with the ego, everybody is a nobody - then you will try to project, and enforce and emphasize that you are somebody.
Cowardice and bravery are two aspects of the same coin: fear is in both, they are two faces of fear.
One is simple and direct, another is cunning and hidden - a brave man is a cunning coward.
I have heard, once it happened that a soldier fighting on the front got very scared, so he started to run towards the rear. An officer stopped him and asked: What are you doing? Where are you going? The fight is on! Are you a coward? But the man was so scared, he didn't bother to answer, he continued running. The officer followed him, got hold of him and said: Where are you running?
Why are you not answering? Do you know who I am? I am your general! The soldier said: My God, am I that far back?
Your generals, your leaders, they are always at the back. They never get killed, they are never in trouble, they are perfect cowards posing that they are the most brave. Others die for them and they remain at the back. Your Napoleons, your Hitlers, your Alexanders are all cowards projecting, creating a phenomenon that is just the opposite of their inner feeling. This has to be remembered, only then can you remember a third possibility, that is, fearlessness. A man who is fearless is neither a coward nor brave, he is neither - he cannot be because he is simply fearless. A Mahavir, a Buddha, a Chuang Tzu, a Jesus, they are not brave men, not at all, because they are not cowards.
You can be brave only if you are a coward! You can step out of the circle thrice only if you are standing in the circle, otherwise how can you step out of it? If you never agreed to stand in the circle how can you step out thrice and show your bravery?
A fearless man is one who has come to know the deathless within himself, one who has come to understand the inner, the immortal, the innermost eternal. Then there is no fear, and then there is no bravery either, because bravery is just a cover-up. This man is neither a fool nor is he wise, because wisdom is simply nothing but a cover-up. And this man is not divided into opposites, this man is a unity, he is one, he is a unique phenomenon, that is why you cannot define him. It is impossible to define a Buddha. How will you define him? Will you call him a coward? You cannot! Will you call him brave? You cannot! Will you call him a fool? You cannot! Will you call him wise? No! Because wisdom is the opposite of foolishness and bravery is the opposite of cowardice.
What will you call a Buddha? Whatsoever you call a Buddha will be wrong. You have to be simply silent before a Buddha. Will you call him a sinner or a saint? No, he is neither. How can you be a saint without sin inside? Sainthood is nothing but a decoration, a cover-up. This is the problem.
Whenever a Buddha appears, this is the problem: we cannot define him, we cannot put him into any category. You cannot label him, there is no way you can put him anywhere. Either he belongs to everywhere or he belongs to nowhere. He transcends all categories. Pigeon holes are not for him.
The whole language drops before a Buddha, the mind becomes silent. You cannot say anything which can be relevant. He is fearless, he is mindless, you cannot call him a fool or a wise man because the mind is needed for both.
And now enter this beautiful story of Chuang Tzu, it is one of his most beautiful parables.
CHI HSING TZU WAS A TRAINER OF FIGHTING COCKS FOR KING HSUAN. HE WAS TRAINING A FINE BIRD. THE KING KEPT ASKING IF THE BIRD WERE READY FOR COMBAT.
This man, Chi Hsing, was not only a trainer, he was a man of Tao. In China, in Japan, in the Far East, they have used all sorts of things as stepping boards for meditation. All sorts of things:
archery, painting, swordsmanship, even training cocks and birds to fight. Name any dimension of life and they have used it for an inner training. This man, Chi Hsing, was asked by the Emperor to train a cock for him. The King was interested in combat, in competition, and of course he was also interested in his cock winning the competition.
Even through cocks our egos fight. We use everything for the ego, even games become adulterated by it. Then you are not interested in the game, you are only interested in how to win it - that is the difference between play and a game. In play you are interested in the play itself - children's play.
Then play is beautiful, and if your whole life can become a play it will become a beautiful thing. In a game you are not interested in the play itself, you are interested in the end result. You are interested in how to win, and when you are interested in how to win, you have destroyed the game. Now it is no longer play, it has become a business.
From the very first, remember that this man, Chi Hsing, had one type of interest in training the cock, and the King had another: he was interested in combat, and the trainer was interested in something else.
Chi Hsing was training a fine bird. The King kept asking if the bird was ready for combat. The trainer said: Not yet, he is full of fire. Look... the King would have said: If he is full of fire, that is what we need Because when you fight with somebody and you are full of fire, there is more possibility of winning. The King must have been puzzled. What type of trainer was this man? He says: Not yet, because he is still full of fire. He is ready to pick a fight with every other bird, he is constantly ready to fight - that means he is afraid and he is not ready.
When you are afraid, how can you be ready to fight? Look at the different minds: the logic of the mind will say that if you are full of fire and ready to fight with everybody, then you can become a great warrior - you are already. Why are you waiting? What are you waiting for? If the fire is ready, fight! Because if you wait too long the fire may go; if you wait too long the energy may subside.
But with a no-mind it is absolutely different, the gestalt is different. The man of no-mind says:
Because he is still ready to fight at every moment, he is not yet ready. Why? Because when you are ready to fight at every moment you are a coward. Fight is a cover-up. You want to prove that you are a brave man. The very wanting, the very desire to prove, means that you are not. A man who is really wise will never in any way be searching for opportunities to prove that he is wise. A fool is always in search of a way to prove that he is wise. A man who is really in love, who has become love, will not try to prove that he is in love.
When you are not in love you try to prove in many, many ways that you are in love. You bring presents, you go on talking about love, but all your efforts say just the opposite. If you really love a person you will not even mention the fact that you love them. What is the need? If the other cannot understand your love without words, the love is not worth anything. If you have to say it, it means that something is false.
Ask a Dale Carnegie and he will say that even if you don't feel it, every morning tell your wife again and again that you love her. Whenever you have an opportunity in the day don't forget to repeat it.
When you go to sleep, repeat it again, make it a mantra. And he is right - as you are, he is right - because your wife will depend on words. You also depend on words. That is why whenever two people fall in love, in the beginning they talk so much about love. They are so poetic, and because they are courting each other, there is much romance and dreaming. By and by it subsides, because you cannot continue the same thing again and again. It looks foolish. And the moment it starts looking foolish, they start feeling that something has gone wrong. Now there is no love because the love depended only on words. In the very beginning it was not there, you talked about it, but it was not there. Your talk was a cover-up.
Remember this word 'cover-up'. In your whole life you are doing that in every dimension and Dale Carnegie looks right, he appeals. His books are being sold all over the world, millions of copies, second only to the Bible. But I tell you, beware of Dale Carnegies because they are the persons who are making you more and more false. Then you cannot be authentic. There is no need to say:
Love, I love you. Let your whole being say it. If you love, it will say it, words are not needed at all.
The way that you say it will express it; the way that you move will express it; the way that you look will express it. Your whole being will express it.
Love is such a vital phenomenon that you cannot hide it. Has anybody ever been capable of hiding his love? Nobody can hide it; it is such a fire inside. It glows. Whenever somebody falls in love you can see from his face, from his eyes, that he is no longer the same person - something has transformed him. A fire has happened, a new fragrance has come into his being. He walks with a dancing step; he talks and his very talk has a poetic flavour to it. And not only with his beloved - when you are in love your whole being is transformed. Even talking to a stranger on the street, you are different. And if the stranger has known love in his life he knows that this man is in love. You cannot hide love, it is almost impossible. Nobody has ever been successful in hiding love.
But when it is not, then you have to project it, then you have to pretend it.
A small boy was visiting a zoo and there was a deer park, full of deer. He asked the keeper: What are these animals called? The keeper replied: The same thing as your mother calls your father in the morning, when they get up. The boy said: Don't tell me that these are skunks!
Something goes sour, something becomes like a wound when it is false, something becomes ugly.
There is no ugliness except falseness. But you hide it with the opposite.
'NOT YET,' SAID THE TRAINER. 'HE IS FULL OF FIRE'. That shows that he is afraid, otherwise why is he full of fire? To whom are you showing your fire? What is the need? Fear inside, fire outside, that is the projection. He is ready to pick a fight with every other bird, unnecessarily. Whosoever comes on his path, he is ready. HE IS VAIN AND CONFIDENT OF HIS OWN STRENGTH. Not yet.
He is not ready.
When you think you are confident of your strength, remember well, you are hiding something from yourself. What do you mean when you say: I am confident? If you are really confident the word is meaningless. You are not confident, you are pretending. And not only to others, you are repeating to yourself: I am confident. You are creating an auto-hypnosis. If you repeat it long enough you may start feeling it but that feeling will have no inner energy in it.
Everybody keeps on repeating to himself: I am confident. Why? What are you hiding? If this confidence that you talk about is really there then there is no need to say anything about it. A really confident man is not even aware of it. This has to be understood - whenever something is false you are aware of it, self-conscious. When something is real, you simply forget it. Do you remember that you are breathing? If something goes wrong, yes. If it is hard and there is something wrong with your lungs and you have a cold or asthma, then you remember that you are breathing.
But when everything goes okay, you are not conscious. WHEN THE SHOE FITS, THE FOOT IS FORGOTTEN. When you are really confident, confidence is forgotten.
People come to me and they say that they have absolute confidence in me. What is this absolute?
What are you covering up? Is confidence not enough? What is absolute confidence? It is not absolute, that is why you say it. You say: I love you totally. What is this total? Have you ever heard about any love which is not total? Love is total. Why do you repeat the same word again? Inside you know it is not total, and if you don't say it who else will say it? Nobody can know it without your saying because if it was total, everybody would know.
A total love is a transfiguration; a total love is a death and a new life; a total love needs nobody to say anything about it.
I have heard about a great connoisseur, he was a wine taster. A friend invited him to his house because he had some very, very old valuable wines and he wanted to show this man his collection.
He wanted this man's appreciation. He gave him one of his most valuable wines. The man tasted it but remained silent. He didn't say anything, not even that it was good. The friend felt hurt. Then he gave him a very rough, ordinary wine. He tasted it and said: Very, very good, fine! The friend was puzzled, he said: I am puzzled, I gave you one of the rarest, most valuable wines, and you remained silent, yet to this ordinary, not even costly, rough wine you say: Very, very good! The connoisseur said: For the first, nobody is required to say anything. It speaks for itself. But for the second, somebody is needed to praise it otherwise it will feel hurt!
When you say absolute confidence you know that it is not absolute; that is why you are saying it although you may not be conscious of it. Be conscious and use words carefully.
'NOT YET,' SAID THE TRAINER. HE IS FULL OF FIRE. HE IS READY TO PICK A FIGHT WITH EVERY OTHER BIRD. HE IS VAIN AND CONFIDENT OF HIS OWN STRENGTH'.
And you can observe this in your own life also. This is happening all around. You are ready to fight with everybody - just waiting for the opportunity, just for some excuse. Someone treads on your toe and a fight starts. Why are you so ready? Because you are troubled inside, you know you are nobody. So if someone treads on your toe, immediately you say: Do you know who I am ? You yourself don't know.
AFTER TEN DAYS, HE ANSWERED AGAIN: 'NOT YET. HE FLARES UP WHEN HE HEARS ANOTHER BIRD CROW'.
The Emperor went on insisting because the day for the competition was coming nearer and nearer and the Emperor's cock must win. And this man went on delaying - and the excuses that he was giving looked just absurd Whenever there is a man of Tao his statements will look absurd. They are, because they don't fit in with your mind. He says again after ten days: 'NOT YET. HE FLARES UP WHEN HE HEARS ANOTHER BIRD CROW'. He is still immature, childish. This is not the way of a warrior, this is the way of a coward. This is not the way of a fearless man, a fearless cock, no! It is not the way of those who ate fearless.
When anybody - when any bird is crowing - why do you feel that it is meant for you? Why do you feel that the challenge is for you? Why do you take the whole world as your enemy? If you take the whole world as your enemy it means that somewhere, deep down, you have not hit upon the source.
Otherwise the whole world would be felt as friendly, friendliness would be the main note. If enemies happen that would be an exception. Now enmity is the main note and if friends happen that is an exception. And you can never know, and you can never even believe in a friend, because you know enmity so much.
It happened that Mulla Nasrudin was made a Justice of the Peace. It has to be done because there are mischievous people. If they are very, very mischievous, you make them governors. If they are even more mischievous, you send them abroad as ambassadors. If they are just ordinarily mischievous, local, then you make them Justices of the Peace. They have to be given something to do so that they don't make too much mischief.
Mulla Nasrudin is a mischievous person, but not very big; if you will allow me to say so, a very small V.I.P.not a big gun, just a local gun. So they make him a J.P. - Justice of the Peace. He changed his drawing room into a court, engaged a clerk and a watchman, got up in the early morning, and waited and waited but nobody turned up. By the evening he was very depressed and he said to the clerk: Not a single case! No murder, no robbery, no crime committed in the town. If things continue in this way then it will be a very boring job. I was very excited, but not even a traffic offence, nothing has turned up. Said the clerk: Don't be so depressed, Mulla, just trust in human nature. Something is bound to happen sooner or later. I still have got enough trust in human nature.
What type of human nature is this clerk talking about? He says that he still has enough trust, something is bound to happen. Just you wait, things will happen.
Your courts, your judges, your governments depend on you, on your nature. This whole nonsense is run because of you, and at the base it is because you are always ready to fight. If the society really becomes more and more natural, the government will disappear. It is a disease. The courts will disappear, they are not good signs. The policeman is there because the criminal is there, and the whole structure exists just because of one thing - because you are always ready to fight, to flare up. Because of your ego the government exists, the court exists, the magistrate exists. If ego is dropped the whole of politics disappears. All politics exist because of the ego.
Said he: 'NOT YET. HE FLARES UP WHEN HE HEARS ANOTHER BIRD CROW'.
AFTER TEN MORE DAYS: 'NOT YET. HE STILL GETS THAT ANGRY LOOK AND RUFFLES HIS FEATHERS'. He is getting silent, growing, becoming more and more mature, but not yet. As yet, he still gets that angry look and ruffles his feathers. Deep down in the unconscious he is still ready to fight. On the surface he is getting calm and quiet but if a cock passes he still gets that angry look.
Now it is not conscious, now it is unconscious, but he is growing, moving. Now the fight has dropped from his conscious mind but from the unconscious it has not dropped, not yet.
AGAIN TEN DAYS: THE TRAINER SAID: 'NOW HE IS NEARLY READY'. Not yet perfectly ready, but nearly ready.'WHEN ANOTHER BIRD CROWS, HIS EYE DOES NOT EVEN FLICKER. HE STANDS IMMOBILE LIKE A COCK OF WOOD. HE IS A MATURE FIGHTER. OTHER BIRDS WILL TAKE ONE LOOK AT HIM AND RUN'. There is no need for him to fight. When the fighter is mature, there is no need to fight. When the warrior is really there, fearless, what is the need to fight? His very presence will be enough other birds will run. And this happened. This bird was put into combat, he just stood there. The other birds came with much bravery, they stepped out of the circle, they were filled with ego, arrogant, and vain - but then they looked at this bird. This bird looked abnormal, not of this world at all. He was standing just like a Buddha. They tried to make him angry but not even his eyes would flicker. They jumped, they crowed, but to no effect. Then they trembled. This bird is not natural, this bird is a stranger, he does not belong to us.
They simply got the message - that this bird was neither a cowardly nor a brave bird. He was simply fearless and whenever there is a fearless being the other has to run. The training is the same for a Zen warrior, for a Samurai - the same. He has to fight but with no anger. This seems difficult, because you even love with anger, yet he has to fight without anger.
There is a Sufi story. It happened in the life of Omar - a great Mohammedan Khalipha. He was fighting with an enemy for thirty years. The enemy was very strong and the fight continued - a life-time of war. In the end, it happened one day that the opportunity came. The enemy fell off his horse and Omar jumped on him with his spear. In just one second the spear would have pierced the heart of the man and everything would have been finished. But in that small gap the enemy did one thing: he spat on Omar's face - and the spear stopped. Omar touched his face, got up and told the enemy: Tomorrow we start again. The enemy was puzzled. He said. What is the matter? I have been waiting for this for thirty years, and you have been waiting for this for thirty years. I have been waiting hoping that someday or other I would be on your chest with my spear and the thing would be finished. That opportunity never came to me, but it came your way. You could have finished me in a single moment. What is the matter with you? Said Omar: This has been not an ordinary war. I have taken a vow, a Sufi vow, that I will fight without anger. For thirty years, I was fighting without anger.
But just for a moment anger came. When you spat, just for a moment I felt angry and it became personal. I wanted to kill you, the ego came in. Up to now for thirty years that was not a problem at all, we were fighting for a cause. You were not my enemy, it was not personal in any way. I was not in any way interested in killing you; I just wanted the cause to win. But just now, for a moment, I forgot about the cause. You were my enemy and I wanted to kill you. That is why I cannot kill you.
So, tomorrow we start again.
But the war never started again because the enemy became a friend. He said: Now teach me. Be my master and let me be your disciple. I would also like to fight without anger.
The whole secret is to fight without the ego, and if you can fight without the ego then you will be capable of doing everything without the ego. Because fight is the climax of the ego. If you can do that then you can do everything. Right now you cannot even love without ego.
So this is the training of a Samurai, of a Zen warrior - to fight without the ego just like this cock.
Now he is nearly ready. But remember the words, 'nearly ready'. Why not perfect? Because the Tao says the perfect cannot exist in this world, only the nearly perfect. The moment you are perfect you disappear. Perfection cannot exist in matter, in the material. Matter itself gives a little imperfection of its own. You cannot be in the body and be perfect, a little will always be missing - and that little which is missing is the link. That is why you can be in the body. Once you are perfect you disappear. You die, but a perfect man never dies, he simply disappears. You depart, but a perfect man disappears. Departure means that arrival will happen immediately, because departure is just a part, the beginning of arrival. Arrival is the beginning of departure. You depart from this world to arrive again. A perfect man simply disappears because he is so perfect that matter cannot hold him; he is so perfect that the body cannot contain him; he is so perfect that in this imperfect world he cannot have any form. He becomes formless. That is why the trainer said: How he is nearly ready.
And you cannot imagine how he can be any more ready. This seems to be the last thing.
WHEN ANOTHER BIRD CROWS, HIS EYE DOES NOT EVEN FLICKER. - What more perfection?
HE STANDS IMMOBILE LIKE A COCK OF WOOD. - What further perfection is possible? HE IS A MATURE FIGHTER. OTHER BIRDS WILL TAKE ONE LOOK AT HIM AND RUN.
What further perfection is possible? It is possible. Because he may be standing immobile, just like a cock of wood; his eyes may be static, with not even a flicker; the other birds may run and he may win the combat; but he still is. That is why he is not perfect. He still is.
And everything that he is doing is being done through effort. That is why he is imperfect. He has been trained to do this and now he is ready. He will perform, but deep inside he is the old cock.
A slight tremor will be there. It cannot be detected, nobody can detect it, from the outside he is a perfect saint, but inside he is still the old cock, deep down at the centre he is still the same. And this is the problem. You can practise religion and you can practise it so much that you become almost perfect. But almost perfect is still imperfect and you have to be absolutely perfect. What is absolute perfection? When the training, the effort, is dropped. EASY IS RIGHT, and this cock is still with effort. He is doing it. He is immobile, but deep down it is not a non doing. He is doing it. He has been trained, disciplined.
Religion is not a discipline, it is not something to practise. It is something to flow into, to let go in. It is something not to be forced. You are not to begin from the outside and force it, you have to help it from the inside and let it flow, overflow, to the outside. It should be spontaneous.
So what is to be done? If you wait for the spontaneous it doesn't seem to come. If you practise you may become just like this cock; good for the combat, good for the other, but for yourself you remain the old. That is what has happened to many so-called saints. You go to them - their saintliness is still with effort. They are maintaining it. And whenever you maintain something it is not authentic, because the against, the opposite, is still lying there somewhere in the unconscious. It can uncoil at any moment - and if you relax it will uncoil.
Once it happened that a Sufi was brought to me. For thirty years he had been practising and he had really practised, there was no doubt about it. He was almost perfect, just like this cock. He had many disciples and they told me that wherever he looks, in the trees, in the rocks, in the stars, he sees Allah - the Divine everywhere.
The Sufi came to stay with me for three days.
He chanted continuously - the Sufis call it GIGRA - the name of Allah. Even when taking his bath he would go on chanting. I asked him: Why? If you are now able to see Allah everywhere why go on chanting his name? What are you practising for? If AlLah is everywhere and the Divine is everywhere, to whom are you calling? And who is this chanter inside? Drop it! For the three days that you are here with me drop all your practice. He could see the point, he was a humble man. He could see the point that if you are still practising then it has not been achieved.
He said: I have absolute confidence that it has been achieved. So I said: Then you drop it. The moment he said 'absolute confidence' it was clear that he would be in difficulty if he dropped it.
He dropped it, he had to, and for three days I watched him. On the third day, at four o'clock in the morning, he came running into my room, started shaking me and said: What have you done?
Everything is lost! I cannot see God now; things have started to appear again. A tree is a tree, a stone is a stone. What have you done? You have killed me. You have destroyed my thirty years' effort. You are not a friend, you are an enemy.
But I told him: Be a little more silent and sit by my side, and let us see what has happened. I am not your enemy. Because even if you continue this practice for thirty lives, nothing is going to happen.
You will always be almost ready. Any time you stop this practice, the old will be back. It has not disappeared, it is only hiding, and you are pushing it in. Your practice is nothing but pushing it in.
You stop the practice and it uncoils, it is like a spring. You go on pushing it and you think everything is okay; you take your hand off and the spring opens and uncoils and everything is back as it was.
So don't be angry and don't feel at a loss, this is a great realisation. Now don't practise, just look at the tree! You need not project God into it. This is the difference between an authentic and an inauthentic religious man. Look at the tree, don't impose God on it. If you say it is God and go on repeating it you will be almost at the point where it will start looking like God, but that God is false.
You have imposed it, it is a projection. Look at the tree and be silent. No need to project your God on the tree, the tree is God enough. It doesn't need your God to be imposed on it, you just be silent with the tree, and by and by, as you become more and more silent, by and by you will see that the tree is transforming with your silence. And one day you will realise that everything is divine but nobody can take that divineness away from you. It is not a practised thing, it has happened. The real happens not through words but through silence.
And this trainer said that now he was nearly ready, because he had practised, had been forced.
This is how many so-called saints are 'completely' ready, trained. They are good for demonstration, but deep down good for nothing. A real sage is one who lives spontaneously. All his experience is without any projection of the mind.
So what is to be done? In the beginning you will have to practise, otherwise the spontaneous may not come. And you have forced it to such hidden depths, it may not bubble up, it may not pop up into your consciousness. So what is to be done? Practise first, and practise so totally that you also come to the point where I can say to you: Now you are nearly ready. Then the next step is to drop all practice, and just watch what is happening. If you drop the practice, then everything old will start coming again. Now just be a witness and watch it. If you can watch, it will exhaust itself - no need to do anything.
Your practice is just to push the coil to the very end - the spring to the very end. What happens?
You try it with a spring, you push it to the very end and then let it go. It will not only uncoil, it will jump. This happens if you practise with your whole being as much as possible - you can never be really whole, but as much as possible.
Your mind, just like a spring, is pushed against a wall and you go on pushing and pushing and pushing. All these meditations that I tell you to do are just pushing the mind to the wall, to the very end. And the moment I see that now there is no more going ahead, the spring cannot be pushed any more, any further, you are almost ready, I will say: Drop! The spring will not only uncoil, it will jump out of you. And once the mind jumps out of you, you are freed from it. Then no practise is needed - then there is just moment to moment living, celebrating; then moment-to-moment thanksgiving; then moment to moment bliss and ecstasy.