Chapter 9: On the Wise Ones of Old
The world is muddy. How will you find repose in it? How will you find peace in it? By lying still. You don’t do anything, don’t try to purify it, otherwise you will muddle it more. Just lie down on the bank, wait. By lying still it becomes clear on its own accord. Don’t be worried about transforming the world; don’t be worried about changing others. Who are you? And who has sent you on this mission to change others? Everybody is directly related to the divine. Why are you there to interfere? You just sit silently.
Who can maintain his calm for long?
Calmness comes, silence comes, but who can maintain it for long?
By activity it comes back to life.
By activity you can maintain it. If you try to maintain it by continuous inactivity it will be impossible; one has to move into opposites to remain always transcendental. In the day you work, in the night you sleep. If you continuously work for twenty-four hours a day it will be death; if you continuously sleep for twenty-four hours a day, that will also be death.
In the day work hard - and in working hard you are gaining the capacity to sleep. In the night sleep completely - in sleeping completely you are regaining, refreshing, rejuvenating your energies to work hard. Move into a rhythm. Lean to the right, lean to the left and always keep the balance. Repose can be maintained, calm can be maintained, only by not remaining inactive forever and ever. That mistake has been made in India; sannyasins remaining inactive continuously cannot remain silent. Be a householder and be a sannyasin together; be in the world and be out of it also, together. Remember always that life is a togetherness of opposites - a deep harmony.
He who embraces this Tao
Guards against being over-full.
Whosoever comes to know that Tao is balance, religion is balance, god is balance, guards against being over-full. Don’t move too much to one side, otherwise the balance will be lost, and imbalance is the only sin for Lao Tzu. To be balanced is to be virtuous, to be imbalanced is to be in sin.
Because he guards against being over-full,
He is beyond wearing out and renewal.
He is always fresh and young; he is never weary, he is never tired. The balance gives him eternal life. Balance is vitality. Balance is life.
Enough for today.