Chapter 5: The Vital Balance
If you are open, just like life itself, then you necessarily live in each of your dimensions: the physical, the intellectual, the emotional, the spiritual. Then you live totally; then there is no bifurcation, no division. Your energy flows as if from one room to another and then to another. There is no barrier to your energy; it is not pulled in any one direction, it is like a flowing river. Then you are always fresh and relaxed. Whenever you return to your particular field of work you approach it with a newness, a freshness that only comes from having relaxed in the opposite dimension.
The problem, as I see it, is not excessive intellectual work but too little or no work in the other dimensions, particularly the emotional. Reason is balanced by emotion. If you can do an exercise in logic but cannot weep, then you are bound to be in trouble. If you can only argue and not laugh, you are inviting trouble.
But whenever a person appears whose life is like a flowing river it is difficult to understand him, because he cannot be categorized.
There is a Zen story:
A famous monk, who was a great teacher, died. He was best known, however, because of his chief disciple. Thousands of people came to pay homage to the monk when he died and to their amazement they found the chief disciple weeping. They were at a loss to understand him - an unattached person should not weep, especially one who has always said that the spirit never dies! Someone came and asked, “Why do you weep?”
The monk replied, “I cannot always live with ‘whys.’ There are moments when there is no why. I am weeping, that’s all.”
Still they insisted, “You have always said that the soul is immortal. Why do you weep then?”
He replied, “I still maintain that the soul is immortal. But that does not stop me from weeping.”
This sounds illogical: if the soul is immortal, one should not weep. But the monk said, “The soul itself is weeping, and I cannot do anything about it. Whatsoever comes to me, I am one with it. Tears are coming, and I am one with them.”
The monk’s attitude cannot be categorized. We can understand someone’s weeping if he believes that the soul is mortal. If he believes the soul to be immortal and does not weep, that too is understandable, it is all right. The soul is immortal: for whom to weep? No one has died. But the chief disciple had said that the soul is immortal and yet he was weeping. There was no why; the tears were just flowing.
The people asked, “Do you weep for the body?”
The monk said, “Yes, it must be for the body that I am weeping. The body, too, was beautiful and it will never be seen again. I weep for the body.”
“But you are a spiritual man,” they said. And the argument went on. They accused him of confusing them.