Chapter 13: Raise No Dust, Leave No Tracks
Now science has made things much more intelligible, it has explained almost everything, and through explanations the whole beauty is destroyed. Explanation is in your hands but where is the mystery of life? If you go to a biologist and you ask him what love is, he will explain it to you. It is nothing but a hormonal thing. Some chemicals running in your veins, in your arteries, in your blood, some hormones released by your glands - that’s what love is. Now tell a mother that the love that she has for her child is nothing but hormonal; tell a woman who has fallen in love with a man and is ready to sacrifice her whole life, is ready to die, will be happy to die for this man, tell her that it is just hormonal..
And you are not saying something wrong, you are perfectly true, you are perfectly right - but something is missing in your truth. Your truth is dead. Your truth is concerned with the lowest denominator. It is as if somebody asks you about the lotus and you say it is nothing but the mud. What is the lotus? Nothing but the mud - because it comes out of the mud. What is love? Hormonal - because it comes out of the hormones.
That’s why Freud reduced all love to sexuality - then prayer too, then God too. Everything becomes sexual. The moment prayer, love and God all become sexual something is missed.
Tao’s approach is just the opposite. Tao says rather than explaining the thing by the part, rather than explaining the hole by the part, try to explain the part by the whole.
For example, this haiku I told you..
The ancient pond
Now, the word frog or the word plop, the sound “plop,” can exist in a thousand and one contexts. In every context it will have a different meaning because the meaning will depend on the context. “Plop” itself does not carry the meaning. It depends. In Basho’s haiku you suddenly know what it is because of the frog. The frog gives meaning to it, the ancient pond gives meaning to it. In a different context it will mean a different thing. The context, the whole, gives the meaning to the part.
The ancient pond.. The word ancient can be used in a thousand and one ways. You will find it used in many ways. In every context it will have a different meaning. So the meaning is not contained in the word ancient, the meaning is contained in the whole in which the word is used.
You can see it in your whole life. Everything has meaning only because it is part of an organic unity which is higher than it, bigger than it. The meaning comes from the higher, the meaning comes from the bigger. The meaning certainly comes to the lowest, but the lowest is not the determining factor. Look at the different approach. If you ask the scientist he will say the lotus is nothing but the mud; if you ask the Taoist he will say the mud is nothing but the lotus.