Chapter 1: On the Absolute Tao
Lao Tzu is not like Mahavira, not mathematical at all, yet he is very, very logical in his madness. He has a mad logic! When we penetrate into his sayings you will come to feel it; it is not so obvious and apparent. He has a logic of his own: the logic of absurdity, the logic of paradox, the logic of a madman. He hits hard.
Mahavira’s logic can be understood even by blind men. To understand Lao Tzu’s logic you will have to create eyes. It is very subtle, it is not the ordinary logic of the logicians - it is the logic of a hidden life, a very subtle life. Whatsoever he says is on the surface absurd; deep down there lives a very great consistency. One has to penetrate it; one has to change his own mind to understand Lao Tzu. Mahavira you can understand without changing your mind at all; as you are, you can understand Mahavira. He is on the same line. Howsoever ahead of you he may have reached the goal, he is on the same line, the same track.
When you try to understand Lao Tzu, he zigzags. Sometimes you see him going toward the east and sometimes toward the west, because he says east is west and west is east, they are together, they are one. He believes in the unity of the opposites. And that is how life is.
So Lao Tzu is just a spokesman of life. If life is absurd, Lao Tzu is absurd; if life has an absurd logic in it, Lao Tzu has the same logic. Lao Tzu simply reflects life. He doesn’t add anything to it, he doesn’t choose out of it. He simply accepts whatsoever it is.
It is simple to see the spirituality of a Buddha, very simple; it is impossible to miss it, he is so extraordinary. But it is difficult to see the spirituality of Lao Tzu. He is so ordinary, just like you. You will have to grow in understanding. Buddha passes by you - you will immediately recognize that a superior human being has passed you. He carries the glamour of a superior human being around him. It is difficult to miss him, almost impossible to miss him. But Lao Tzu.he may be your neighbor. You may have been missing him because he is so ordinary, he is so extraordinarily ordinary. And that is just the beauty of it.
To become extraordinary is simple: only effort is needed, refinement is needed, cultivation is needed. It is a deep inner discipline. You can become very very refined, something absolutely unearthly. But to be ordinary is really the most extraordinary thing. No effort will help - effortlessness is needed. No practice will help, no methods, no means will be of any help, only understanding. Even meditation will not be of any help. To become a Buddha, meditation will be of help. To become a Lao Tzu, even meditation won’t help - just understanding. Just understanding life as it is, and living it with courage; not escaping from it, not hiding from it, facing it with courage, whatsoever it is, good or bad, divine or evil, heaven or hell.
It is very difficult to be a Lao Tzu or to recognize a Lao Tzu. In fact, if you can recognize a Lao Tzu, you are already a Lao Tzu. To recognize Buddha you need not be a Buddha, but to recognize Lao Tzu you need to be a Lao Tzu - otherwise it is impossible.