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Chapter 28: If You Swim, You Miss

Confucius somehow said, “I will come again.”

Lao Tzu laughed. He said, “Don’t lie. You will never come again. This time you came because you had no idea what kind of man you were going to meet. But I enjoyed it. Now go and tell the crowd all the lies you want.” So we don’t know exactly what transpired in that cave. This much is from Confucius. Much more must have happened there, which needs guts even to report.

Lao Tzu’s whole teaching was the watercourse way: just go with the water wherever it is going, don’t swim.

You are blessed that the tide has brought you to the shore.

But the mind always wants to do something, because then the credit goes to the ego. Now the credit goes to the tide, not to you. If you had come swimming to the shore, you would have come with a great ego, that “I managed to cross the English Channel.”

Feel humble. It is not a question of learning swimming; it is a question of understanding why you have asked this question. Your ego is feeling unfulfilled, you cannot take the credit; the whole credit goes to the tide. But why not give the credit to the tide, why not give the credit to existence?

Existence gives you birth, gives you life, gives you love; it gives you everything that is invaluable, that you cannot purchase with money. Only those who are ready to give the whole credit of their lives to existence realize the beauty and the benediction; only those people are religious people.

It is not a question of your doing. It is a question of your being absent, non-doing, letting things happen. Let go - just these two words contain the whole religious experience.

Have you sometimes seen people drowning in water? While they are alive they come up again and again and shout, “Help! Help!” And again they go down, come up, go down, and finally they don’t come up. But after two or three days they come up - and then they don’t go back down - but now they are dead.

The village where I was born was by the side of a beautiful river, and I have seen a few people drowning in the river - it was a mountainous river; in the rainy season it became miles wide, and the current was so strong that to cross it was just to risk your life - but when they died, they suddenly came up, started floating.

In my very childhood I learned one thing: that there is something which dead people know and the living people don’t know - because the living shout, “Help! Help!” and go down; and the dead simply come up.no shouting. And they float so easily - and no drowning anymore. They must know some secret. I used to ask my father, “What is the secret that the dead people know?”

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