Chapter 8: Cut the Root
What do you mean when you say something is beautiful? Is there any criterion of beauty? Can you prove it that it is beautiful? Just standing by your side, somebody may think, “This is ugly!” - so it is nothing objective; nobody can prove anything beautiful. Thousands and thousands of books have been written on aesthetics, and it has been a long, arduous journey for intellectuals, thinkers and philosophers to define what beauty is - they have not yet been able. They have written great books, great treatises, they go round about and round about, but nobody has ever been able to pinpoint what beauty is. No, it seems impossible, because nothing like beauty or ugliness exists, it is your interpretation.
First you make a thing beautiful. This is why I say first you create the trap and then you fall into it. First you think, “This face is beautiful” - this is your creation, this is just your imagination, this is just your mind interpreting; this is not existential, this is just psychological - and then you yourself fall into the trap. You dig the hole and then you fall into it, and then you cry for help, and then you cry for people to come to your salvation.
Nothing is needed, says Tantra. Simply see the whole trick - it is your own creation.
What do you mean when you say something is ugly? If man is not on the earth will there be ugliness and beauty? Trees will be there, of course, and they will bloom; of course, rains will come, and summer and seasons will follow - but there will be nothing like beautiful and ugly, they will disappear with man and his mind. The sun will rise, and in the night the sky will be filled with stars, but nothing will be beautiful and nothing will be ugly. It was just man creating noise. Now he is no longer there the interpretations have disappeared; what will be good and what will be bad?
In nature nothing is good and nothing is bad. And remember, Tantra is the loose and the natural way. It wants to bring you to the deepest, natural phenomena of life. It wants to help you drop from the mind - and mind creates distinctions, mind says, “This is to be chosen and that has to be avoided.” To “this” you cling, and “that” you avoid and escape from. Look at the whole phenomenon. Just a look is needed, nothing else; no practice is needed - just a look at the whole situation.
The moon is beautiful, why? For centuries you have been indoctrinated that the moon is beautiful. For centuries poets have been singing about the moon, for centuries people have believed it, now it has become engrained. Of course there are a few things which happen with the moon: it is very soothing, you feel calmed down, and the light of the moon gives a mysterious aroma to the whole of nature; it gives a sort of hypnosis, you feel a little sleepy and awake and things look more beautiful; it gives a dreamlike quality to the world - that’s why we call madmen lunatics. The word lunatic comes from the word luna, the moon. They have gone mad, moonstruck.