Chapter 1: The Way of the White Clouds
When I say my way is The Way of the White Clouds, it is just a symbol. The white cloud is not being used as a fact, it is used as a symbol, as a poetic symbol - as an indication of a deep merger into the mysterious and the miraculous.
The second question:
Would you tell us what your relationship is to the white clouds?
I am a white cloud. There is no relationship and there cannot be. Relationship exists when you are two, divided. So relationship is really not a relationship. Wherever relationship exists there is separation. I am a white cloud. You cannot be related to a white cloud. You can become one with it and allow the white cloud to become one with you, but relationship is not possible. In relationship you remain separate, and in relationship you go on manipulating.
This is one of the miseries of human life, that even in love we create relationship. Then the love is missed. Love should not be a relationship. You should become the lover or the beloved. You should become the other and let the other become you. There should be a merger, only then conflict ceases; otherwise love becomes a conflict, a struggle. If you are, then you will try to manipulate, then you would like to possess, then you would like to be the master, then exploitation comes in. Then the other will be used as a means, not as an end.
With white clouds you cannot do that, you cannot make them wives and husbands. You cannot chain them, persuade them into a relationship. They won’t allow it, they won’t listen to you. They have had enough of it - that’s why now they have become white clouds. You can be one with them, and then their hearts are open.
But the human mind cannot think beyond relationship, because we cannot think of ourselves as if we are not. We are. Howsoever we hide it, we are there. Deep down the ego is there and deep down the ego goes on manipulating.
With a white cloud this is not possible. With your ego you can look at the white cloud, think about it, but the mysteries will not be opened. The doors will remain closed. You will remain in a dark night. If your ego disappears you have become the white cloud.
In Zen they have one of the oldest traditions of painting.. One Zen master had a disciple who was learning to paint, and through painting, of course, meditation. He was obsessed with bamboos; he was continuously drawing and painting bamboos. The master is reported to have said to his disciple: “Unless you become a bamboo nothing is going to happen.”
For ten years the disciple had been drawing bamboos. He had become so efficient that even with closed eyes on a dark night without light he could draw; and his bamboos were so perfect and so alive.