Singing, music, dancing, are the language of joy, of happiness. They are an expression that the person is not miserable. But it may be just an appearance, it may be just projected, it may be just cultivated; deep down the situation may be just the opposite. Sometimes it happens that you laugh because you don’t want to cry. Sometimes it happens that you smile because tears are coming and, if you don’t smile, they will start rolling down your cheeks. Sometimes you maintain an attitude, a cultivated face, a mask, that you are happy, because what is the point of showing your unhappiness to the world? That’s why people look so happy. Everybody thinks he is the unhappiest person in the world. because he knows his reality and he knows only the faces of others the cultivated faces. So everybody deep down thinks: ’I am the most miserable person, and why am I the most miserable person when everybody is so happy?’ Singing, dancing, are certainly a language of joy, but you can learn the language without knowing what joy is. That’s what humanity has done: people have learned gestures – empty gestures.
But Confucius is deceived. He says…
’MASTER, WHAT IS THE REASON FOR YOUR JOY?’
The mask has deceived Confucius; the man may be joyful, may not be joyful. The man has to be looked into directly – through his nature, not through his expression. The expression can be false: people have learned expression. Sometimes… do you watch? Somebody is smiling – on the lips, there is a beautiful smile – and look into the eyes, and the eyes say something just the opposite. Somebody says something to you, ’I love you’; and look at the face, and at the eyes, and the very vibe of the person, and it seems that he hates you. But just to be polite he is saying ’I love you’. Confucius looked only at the appearance: that is the first thing to be remembered, and he was deceived – deceived so much that he called the man ’Master’.
’MASTER, WHAT IS THE REASON FOR YOUR JOY?’
Now again, joy has no reason, joy cannot have a reason for it. If joy has any reason, it is not joy at all: joy can only be without any reason, uncaused. A disease has a reason, but health? Health is natural. If you go and ask the doctor ’Why am I healthy?’ he cannot answer you. If you go to the doctor and you say ’Why am I ill?’ he can answer you, because illness has a cause. He can diagnose your case, and he can find the reason why you are ill, but nobody has yet been able to find a reason why man is healthy. Health is natural, health is as it should be. Illness is as it should not be, illness means something has gone wrong. When everything is going well, one is healthy. When everything is in tune, one is healthy. When one is harmonious with the whole, one is healthy. There is no reason for it.
But Confucius asked
’MASTER, WHAT IS THE REASON FOR OUR JOY?’
Again Lieh Tzu is joking about Confucius, that’s how they are very subtle people. He is saying that the whole Confucian wrong attitude is there in the very question: Confucius thinks there are REASONS for joy. There cannot be any reasons for joy. Joy simply is – unexplained, unexplainable. When it is, it is; when it is not, it is not. When it is not, you can find the reasons why it is not; but when it is, you cannot find any reasons why it is. And if you can show the reasons why it is, then your joy is cultivated, not real, not true, not authentic. It is not flowing from your innermost core; it is just that you are managing it, you are manipulating it, you are pretending it. When a joy is a pretended joy, you can find out the reason. But when the joy is truly there, it is so mysterious, it is so primal, that you cannot find any reason in it.
If you ask a Buddha ’Why are you happy?’ he will shrug his shoulders. If you ask Lao Tzu ’Why are you blissful?’ he will say ’Don’t ask it. Rather than asking why I am blissful, enquire why you are not.’ It is like a small spring in the mountains: when there is no hindrance, the spring flows; when there are rocks on the way, it cannot flow. When the rocks are removed. You don’t create the spring – you only remove the negative, you only remove the obstacle. The spring was there, but because of the rock, it was not able to flow. When you remove the rock you are not creating the spring – the spring was already there. By removing the rock you have removed the negative, the obstacle, and the spring flows. Now if somebody asks ’Why does the spring flow?’ – because the spring is there, that’s why it flows. If it is not flowing, then there is a cause to it. Let this sink deep in you because it is your problem too. Never ask why you are happy, never ask why one is blissful, otherwise, you have asked a wrong question. Never ask why there is a God. If you ask, you have asked a wrong question; and all the answers that can be given are bound to be wrong because a wrong question provokes wrong answers. ’Why is God?’ – that is irrelevant; it is simply the case.
Confucius is asking something, and by asking that, he is showing his presuppositions: Confucius believes that everything has a cause. If everything has a cause, then only science can exist. Then there is no possibility for religion because science is the enquiry into the cause-and-effect relationship, an enquiry into causation, an enquiry into causality. That is the whole scientific attitude: they say that if something is there, there must be a cause to it you may know, you may not know but the cause is bound to be there. ’If we don’t know today, we will know tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, but the cause is bound to be known, because the cause must be there.’ This is the scientific attitude: everything can be reduced to its cause. And what is the religious attitude? Religion says that nothing can really be reduced to its cause. That which can be reduced is not essential. The essential simply is – it exists without any cause; it is mysterious. This is the meaning of mystery: there is no cause to it.
Confucius is asking a question according to his presuppositions, according to his philosophy, ’MASTER, WHAT IS THE REASON FOR YOUR JOY?’
Why is he asking? – so that, if the reason is known, others can also cultivate it. If somebody says ’By standing on my head I become very peaceful’, you also stand on your head, and you become peaceful. Somebody says ’I am happy because I have renounced the world’. so you also renounce the world, and you become happy. Then happiness becomes something that can be manipulated. This is how people are – imitating each other. And in fact, there is no cause for happiness. The day you understand this, you can be happy at any moment. If there is a cause, then the cause will take time: you will have to practise it, you will have to practise long. And the whole radical attitude of Tao is that you can be happy THIS moment. What does this mean? This means that there is no cause, so there is no need to practise. It is just a question of allowing it – is already there if you ALLOW. If you don’t allow, you function as a rock: if you allow, the rock is removed. It is only a question of allowing it. God is there, you allow – that’s all. If you don’t allow, he will not enter because he cannot destroy your freedom, he protects your freedom. If you say ’no’, he is not going to enter into your being. If on your door it is written that nobody is allowed without permission, he will wait. He is not even going to ask your permission – he will simply wait because even to ask your permission is to interfere with your freedom. He will wait. He will not ring the bell. he will simply wait. God is everywhere, waiting, and he waits so silently… that’s why his presence is not felt, he looks almost absent. Can’t you see it? God seems to be the most absent thing in the world. That’s why atheists can exist, and they can say ’Where is your God? We don’t see….’ He is so non-interfering; he allows you total freedom. And total freedom implies in it to go against God.
Your nature is that of bliss. You are made of the stuff called bliss. But you have to allow it, you have to relax, you have to be in a let-go; no cause is there – just let-go is needed. Hence, theoretically, it can happen at this very moment – not even a split second has to be wasted. If there is a cause, then… then a long time will be needed, and even then one never knows – you may succeed, you may not succeed. See the difference between the Hindu attitude and the Taoist attitude. The Hindu, the Jain, the Buddhist – they all say: Past lives, KARMA, has to be removed. Much has to be done, great discipline is needed – only then will you be able to attain. Ashtavakra, Lao Tzu, Bodhidharma, Lin Chi say: Nothing is needed, just allow it. Relax, allow it, and this very moment it will start pouring in you.
’MASTER, WHAT IS THE REASON FOR YOUR JOY?’
’Tell me how you have attained it. Tell me what was your process – what methodology you followed; what principles, what disciplines, what scriptures. How have you attained it?’ Now Confucius is greedy. He wants to attain the same state where the song is natural, and music flows, and one is celebrating. He is tremendously enchanted by this man because he is… IN A ROUGH FUR COAT WITH A ROPE ROUND HIS WAIST, SINGING AS HE STRUMMED A LUTE.
A poor man has nothing to be happy for, has nothing to be happy about. If he were miserable, it would be understandable; if he were depressed, it would be understandable – Confucius would have passed by him, not even noticing his existence. But this poor man who has nothing, ’a rope round his waist’… singing? Singing a song of joy? Strumming a lute? Confucius is enchanted, magnetised, but he asks a wrong question. A Taoist will never ask such a question. Joy is, and SIMPLY is; it has no cause to it, hence no methods are possible, only understanding.
That man said – ’I HAVE MANY JOYS.’
If you have many joys, you have not understood what joy is, because joy is only one. There cannot be many joys. There can be many diseases, but there cannot be many ’healths’. You may have your disease, I may have mine, somebody else has his own; but when I am healthy, you are healthy, somebody else is healthy – what is the difference? Can you make a distinction between my health and your health? There is no possibility of it: health is universal, disease is personal. Disease is of the ego, health is not of the ego. Disease is of the body, of the mind; health is of the beyond, and the beyond is one. My body differs from yours – naturally I will have a different disease, you will have a different disease, but health? Health is simply one. It has the taste, the same taste always, eternally the same.
Somebody asked Buddha ’What is the taste of your Buddhahood?’ He said ’Go and taste the sea, and taste it from anywhere – from this bank, from any bank of any beach. Or go to the middle of the ocean and taste it there, or go to the other shore – and you will find the taste always the same: the same salty taste. Buddhahood has one taste.’ Whosoever has become a Buddha has come to the same taste. Health has the same taste. When the child is healthy, the young man is healthy, and the old man is healthy, then to it has the same taste. When the woman is healthy, the man is healthy – the same taste. But diseases are different. Now, medical science says that even when two persons are suffering from the same disease, even then the two diseases are not the same. Hence sometimes it happens that you are suffering from some disease – maybe tuberculosis – and your wife is suffering from the same disease, tuberculosis, but the same medicines don’t work. You need one medicine, your wife needs some other medicine. That’s why the physician is needed; otherwise, the chemist would be enough. If once it was decided that tuberculosis needed this medicine, then what would be the point in going to the physician? The chemist could supply it.
Now, more and more, as medical science is going deeper into the phenomena of health and disease, they are becoming aware that each disease has a personality in it: it belongs to the person. So now they say: Don’t treat the disease, treat the person. Don’t be too much concerned with the disease. Look into the person. his total personality, his way of life, his attitudes, his habit patterns. Look into them, and then you will find that the name TB may be the same – because it would be very difficult to have separate names for everybody – but each person who suffers from tuberculosis suffers differently, and a different treatment is needed. Diseases are personal, but health? Health is impersonal, universal. So is joy. Misery is a disease; joy is health, well-being. Now Confucius has asked a wrong question and provoked a wrong answer. And, of course, the man does not know anything about joy.
He says – ’I HAVE MANY JOYS.’
Many? Then something has gone wrong. Joy is one. When you say you have many joys, you don’t know what joy is. You may be talking about pleasures, you may be talking about your so-called ’moments of happiness’ which are not really moments of happiness but only of less misery. A person is very miserable, then one day he feels less miserable and he says ’I am very happy.’ That is just relative; he does not know what happiness is. He only knows sometimes very intense misery, sometimes not so intense. When it is not so intense, he says ’I am happy.’ You can observe it in yourself. Have you ever known what happiness is? Do you know the taste of it? You have known only different stages of misery.
Sometimes the misery is so much that it is unbearable. Sometimes it is bearable, within control – you can tolerate it. You move from less misery to more misery, from more misery to less misery. But you have not known what happiness is, because once you have known what happiness is, then there is no need to be miserable at all – because then you have the key. You can open that door any moment you decide to open it. But you cannot open the door of happiness – that simply shows that you don’t have the key. You just know relative states of the same phenomenon: sometimes it is very dark and you cannot see at all, and sometimes it is not so dark, it is dim, but you have not known what light is. Light is not any relative state of darkness – light is not less darkness, remember light is a totally different kind of energy; it has nothing to do with darkness. Darkness and light cannot exist together in the same room. Light is a positivity, darkness is negativity – so is misery.
Said the man
’I HAVE MANY JOYS. OF THE MYRIAD THINGS WHICH HEAVEN BEGOT, MANKIND IS THE MOST NOBLE – AND I HAVE THE LUCK TO BE HUMAN. THIS IS MY FIRST JOY.’
On the surface, it looks very meaningful, appealing, because very much fulfilling to the human ego. Man has always been thinking of himself as the superior most creation of God. Man has always thought of himself only as NEXT to God and feels very happy. But how is happiness possible through the ego? Unhappiness comes through the ego. And this is one of the greatest points of the egoist: that man!s only next to God. That, too, we say only just to be polite; deep down you know that God is next to you. The very idea of ’I’ has in it an implication of being the first, and then everything is secondary. Friedrich Nietzsche is truer than many other people, he says: I cannot allow God to exist because then I am secondary, and I cannot be secondary; I cannot accept my status as secondary. If God is, then I will always be secondary. Howsoever I grow, and wherever I reach, I will be secondary – I will never be primary, the first. This is not acceptable, so he says: God is dead and man is free. God is the bondage. He is true – in a way. ’In a way’ I say because that’s how everybody thinks deep down: every ego wants God to be second.
Even when you are a great worshipper, a great so-called ’religious’ person, every moment you are trying to manipulate God according to you. ’Do my will!’ That’s all that your prayer means: ’Do according to me. Listen to me.’ Your whole effort is to convert God into your servant. You call him ’Lord’, ’Master’, but those are just briberies; you are trying to manipulate him. You say ’I am nobody, you are all’; but deep down you know who is who. In fact, even when you fight for your God, it is YOUR God. Even when you sacrifice yourself on some pedestal, on some altar, it is to your God that you sacrifice. When you bow down to an image of God in a temple, in a mosque, in a church, it is to the image that you have created, it is to your God. You are bowing down in front of your own creation. You are bowing down as if before a mirror. You are reflected there and you say ’How beautiful!’ When a Christian says ’How beautiful Christ is’, when a Hindu says ’How beautiful Krishna is’, and when a Buddhist says ’How beautiful Buddha is’ – the Buddhist will not accept that Christ is beautiful because that does not fulfil his ego. The Christian will not accept that Buddha is beautiful – that does not fulfil his ego. The Hindu cannot believe that Christ or Mohammed or Moses are beautiful – that does not fulfil his ego. Remember: we are fulfilling our egos in every way possible – gross or subtle, direct or indirect. And a religious person is one who knows this, becomes aware of this, and in that awareness, the ego disappears. A religious person has no idea of who is superior. A religious person cannot say ’I am superior to the tree, I am superior to the animal, I am superior to the bird.’ A religious person cannot say ’I am superior.’ A religious person has come to know ’I am not’, and in that experience of ’I am not’, joy flows in; the rock has been removed.
Now this man says
’I HAVE MANY JOYS. OF THE MYRIAD THINGS WHICH HEAVEN BEGOT, MANKIND IS THE MOST NOBLE…’
Why? Why is mankind the noblest? If we look at human history, mankind seems to be the most ignoble. Look at the animals: they have not been so violent, so murderous; they have not been so insane. Have you ever seen any animal turning into a politician… trying to become the president of a country? They are not insane: they live naturally. they die naturally. Animals in the wild never go mad. Sometimes they go mad when they are forced to live in a zoo – the zoo is a human creation. Animals never commit suicide, but sometimes in the zoo, they commit. Animals never turn homosexual in the natural wild state, but in the zoo, they turn. In the zoo they become murderous? dangerous. Yes, they kill, but they kill only when they want to eat. Man kills for no reason. A man goes to the wild and kills a tiger and he says ’This is play. This is a game. I was hunting.’ Have you ever heard of any lion HUNTING? They never hunt. When a lion is hungry, of course, he kills, and that’s a natural way for him.