Chapter 14: Easy Is Right
He went out, brought a bucket full of ice-cold water and poured it on Chuang Tzu. And Chuang Tzu said laughingly, “If you had been here before you would have saved all these idiots! They are looking so serious, as if they are really thinking. And you would have saved my tears and my misery. Just wait; don’t pour the water, it is too cold.”
Lieh Tzu said, “Has your problem been solved or not?” Chuang Tzu said, “It is solved - you are my successor!”
It is not a question to be solved by the mind.
The mind is absolutely impotent.
Chuang Tzu has hundreds of stories and he must have had a very strange kind of genius - even to invent those stories is not easy - but his teaching was very simple. And those who remained with him; all became enlightened. That is a rare phenomenon. He defeated even his own master Lao Tzu - a few people became enlightened, but most of Lao Tzu’s disciples remained in their old ignorance. He defeated Gautam Buddha - a few of his disciples became enlightened, but that was a very small proportion, because he had thousands of disciples and not more than a dozen became enlightened.
Chuang Tzu has a rare position in the history of mystics. All his disciples became enlightened. He would not leave you unless you had become enlightened. He was so much after you that finally people decided that it was better to become enlightened. Every day new torture.the only way to save yourself is to become enlightened. But his method was very simple, and this poem tells in a very aphoristic way his whole approach.
“Easy is right.” Nobody has dared to say it ever. On the contrary, people make the right as difficult as possible. To you, who have all been conditioned by different traditions, the wrong is easy, and the right is arduous. It needs training, it needs discipline, it needs repression, it needs renouncing the world, it needs renouncing the pleasures..
Lies are easy, truth is difficult - that is the common conditioning of humanity. But Chuang Tzu is certainly a man of tremendous insight. He says, easy is right. Then why have people been making right difficult? All your saints have been making right very difficult.
There is a psychology behind it: only the difficult is attractive to your ego. The more difficult is the task, the more the ego feels challenged.
Climbing Everest was difficult; hundreds of people had died before Edmund Hillary reached the top alive. For the whole century groups upon groups of mountaineers had been coming, and when Edmund Hillary reached, there was nothing to be found! Just at the very peak there is not even space enough.only one person can stand there, on the highest point. He was asked, “What prompted you? Knowing perfectly well that hundreds of mountaineers have lost their life during one hundred years, and not even their bodies have been found.why did you try this dangerous project?”