Chapter 1: On the Absolute Tao
And about Lao Tzu he said to his disciples: “I have heard about great animals like elephants, and I know how they walk. And I have heard about hidden animals in the sea, and I know how they swim. And I have heard about great birds who fly thousands of miles away from the earth, and I know how they fly. But this man is a dragon. Nobody knows how he walks. Nobody knows how he lives. Nobody knows how he flies. Never go near him - he is like an abyss. He is like a death.”
And that is the definition of a master: a master is like a death. If you come near him, too close, you will feel afraid, a trembling will take over. You will be possessed by an unknown fear, as if you are going to die. It is said that Confucius never came again to see this old man.
Lao Tzu was ordinary in a way. And in another way he was the most extraordinary man. He was not extraordinary like Buddha; he was extraordinary in a totally different way. His extraordinariness was not so obvious - it was a hidden treasure. He was not miraculous like Krishna, he did not do any miracles, but his whole being was a miracle - the way he walked, the way he looked, the way he was. His whole being was a miracle.
He was not sad like Jesus; he could laugh, he could laugh a belly laugh. It is said that he was born laughing. Children are born crying, weeping. It is said about him that he was born laughing. I also feel it must be true; a man like Lao Tzu must be born laughing. He is not sad like Jesus. He can laugh, and laugh tremendously, but deep down in his laughter there is a sadness, a compassion - a sadness about you, about the whole existence. His laughter is not superficial. Zarathustra laughs but his laughter is different, there is no sadness in it.
Lao Tzu is sad like Jesus and not sad like Jesus; Lao Tzu laughs like Zarathustra and doesn’t laugh like Zarathustra. His sadness has a laughter to it and his laughter has a sadness to it. He is a meeting of the opposites. He is a harmony, a symphony.
Remember this.I am not commenting on him. There exists no distance between me and him. He is talking to you through me - a different body, a different name, a different incarnation, but the same spirit.
Now we will take the sutra:
The Tao that can be told of
Is not the Absolute Tao.