Chapter 5: There Can Be No Regret
This has to be understood - then the parable is of tremendous importance. And we are going to go into it very slowly, trying to understand each sentence in it, each word actually.
The Confucian approach is a mind approach. The Taoist approach is a no-mind approach. Confucius thinks about life. Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, Lieh Tzu, don’t think about life because they say: You can go on thinking and thinking about and about, and you will go round and round and you will never reach to the center. About and about is not the way. Go directly, be immediate. see life, don’t think about it.
Always remember, the menu is not the dinner. You can go on studying the menu - that is not going to help. You will have to eat, you will have to swallow, you will have to digest, you will have to be existentially connected with your food, you will have to absorb it into your being, you will have to make it a part of your being. Just studying the menu or the cookbook is not going to help. The scholar goes on studying the menu: the more hungry he becomes, the more he studies the menu; and, naturally, the scholar remains one of the most hungry persons in life. He has never lived, he has never loved, he has never taken any risk, he has never moved, never danced, never celebrated; he has just been sitting there and thinking about it. The scholar has decided that first he has to understand intellectually, then he will move. Now this is no way to move. First you have to move and then comes understanding.
Many people come to me and they say that they would like to become sannyasins. They are attracted by the idea, they are intrigued, but they have to think about it. Naturally, they say that first they have to think about it, then they will decide. How can you think about sannyas? What will you think about? It is an inner experience, it is something of the inner space, it is a contact with me of the inner; nobody can watch it. You can watch sannyasins, but you cannot know anything about sannyas by watching sannyasins. Even if the sannyasin himself tries to figure it out intellectually, he will not be able to. Sannyas has to be tasted - even then it is very difficult to explain it intellectually. But to think about it without moving into it is impossible. It is as if somebody says “First I will have to know about love and then I will love.” How are you going to know about love? The only way to know about love is to fall in love - there is no other way. You can go to the library, you can ask many people, you can consult books and encyclopedias, and you will find a thousand and one things about love, but not love. You may become too much of a scholar, your mind may become stuffed with information; but information is not knowing.
Knowledge is not knowing. It can deceive you, but it cannot deceive life. As far as life is concerned you will remain a desert - the flower of love will never bloom in your being. So with sannyas. So with everything that is significant. So with everything that is organic. So with everything that is alive. This is the basic standpoint of Tao.