The dream within a dream within a dream… this is how the mind goes on. Once you start dreaming, there is no end to it; and what you call thinking is better called dreaming – it is not thinking. Remember, truth needs no thinking, it needs experience. When you see the sun and the light you don’t think about it, you SEE it. When you come across a rose flower you don’t THINK about it, you SEE it. When the fragrance comes to your nostrils you smell it, you don’t think about it. I am here, you are looking at me, there is no need to think about me. Whenever you are close to reality, thinking is not needed – then reality is enough, then the experience is enough. When you are far away from reality, you think: you substitute thinking for reality. A man who has eaten well is not going to dream in the night that he has been invited to a feast. A man who has fasted in the day is bound to dream in the night that he has been invited to a feast. A man who is sexually satisfied is not going to dream about sexual objects. That’s the whole of Freudian psychology: you dream about things which are missing in your life, you dream to compensate. That’s the whole Taoist approach too. What Freud says about thinking, about dreaming, the Taoist approach says about thinking as such. And dreaming is only a part of thinking and nothing else.
Thinking is dreaming with words; dreaming is thinking with pictures – that’s the only difference. Dreaming is a primitive way of thinking and thinking is a more evolved way of dreaming – more civilized, more cultured, more intellectual, but it is the same – only the pictures have been replaced by words. And, in a way, because pictures have been replaced by words, it has gone even further away from reality, because reality is closer to pictures than to words. Lieh Tzu is not a thinker. Let that sink deep in you that will help you to understand his parables. Lieh Tzu is a poet, not a thinker; and when I say ’poet’, I mean one who believes in experiencing, not in speculations. The poet is in search. His search is for the beautiful, but beauty is nothing but truth glimpsed. Truth, when you just glimpse it for a moment, appears as beauty. When the truth is realized totally, then you come to know that beauty was only a function of truth. Wherever truth exists, there exists beauty – it is a shadow of truth. When the truth is seen through screens, it is beautiful; when beauty is naked, it is truth. So, the difference between the poet and the mystic is not much. The poet is coming closer, the mystic has arrived. For the poet, there are only glimpses of truth; for the mystic, the truth has become his very life. The poet is only sometimes transported to the world of truth and then falls back again. For the mystic, the truth has become his abode: he lives there; he lives AS truth. Poets come closest to religion. Thinkers, philosophers, logicians, theologians, scientists, are very far away. Their whole approach is verbal. The poetic approach is more existential, and the mystic’s approach is existential par excellence; it is absolutely existential. Tao means to exist on the Way and to exist in such a way that the Way and you are not two. This existence is one – we are not separate from it. The separation, the idea of separation, is very illusory. We are joined together; we are one whole. We are not islands; we are one continent. You are in me; I am in you. The trees are in you, you are in the trees. It is an interconnected whole. Basho has said: It is as if it were a vast spider’s web. Have you tried? Touch the spider’s web anywhere and the whole web starts shaking, trembling; the whole vibrates. Touch a leaf on the tree and you have made all the stars vibrate with it. You may not be able to see it right now, but things are so deeply related that it is impossible not to touch the stars by touching a leaf, the mall leaf of a tree. The whole is one – separation is not possible. The very idea of separation is the barrier. The idea of separation is what we call the ego. If you are with the ego, you are not on the path, you are not in Tao. When the ego is dropped, you are in Tao. Tao means an egoless existence, living as part of this infinite whole, not living as a separate entity. Now, ordinarily, we have been taught to live as separate entities, we have been taught to have our own will. People come to me and they ask me ’How should we develop our will-power?’ Tao is against will, Tao is against will-power because Tao is for the whole and not for the part. When the part exists in the whole, everything is harmonious. When the part starts existing on its own, everything becomes disharmonious – there is discord, conflict, confusion. When you are not fused with the whole, there is confusion. If the fusion is not happening with the whole, there is bound to be confusion. Whenever you are not with the whole you are unhappy. Let this be the definition of happiness: To be with the whole is to be happy. To be with the whole is to be healthy. To be with the whole is to be holy. To be separate is to be unhealthy. To be separate is to be neurotic. To be separate is to fall from grace.
The fall of man is not because he has disobeyed God. The fall is because he thinks HE IS. The fall
is because man thinks that he is a separate entity. This is foolish: you could not have existed if your
parents were not there, and your parents’ parents, and their parents’ parents back… go to Adam
and Eve. If Adam and Eve had not existed you would not be here. So you are connected with the