Chapter 2: The Man of Tao
The man of Tao acts without impediment,
harms no other being by his actions,
yet he does not know himself to be kind and gentle.
He does not struggle to make money,
and he does not make a virtue of poverty.
He goes his way without relying on others,
and does not pride himself on walking alone.
The man of Tao remains unknown.
Perfect virtue produces nothing.
No self is true self.
And the greatest man is nobody.
The most difficult thing, almost impossible for the mind, is to remain in the middle, is to remain balanced. To move from one thing to its opposite is the easiest. To move from one polarity to the opposite polarity is the nature of the mind. This has to be understood very deeply, because unless you understand this, nothing can lead you into meditation.
Mind’s nature is to move from one extreme to another. It depends on imbalance. If you are balanced, mind disappears. Mind is like a disease: when you are imbalanced it is there, when you are balanced, it is not there.
That is why it is easy for a person who overeats to go on a fast. It looks illogical, because we think that a person who is obsessed with food cannot go on a fast. You are wrong. Only a person who is obsessed with food can go on a fast, because fasting is the same obsession in the opposite direction. It is not really changing yourself. You are again obsessed with food. Before you were overeating; now you are remaining hungry - but the mind remains focused on food from the opposite extreme.
A man who has been overindulging in sex can become a celibate very easily. There is no problem. But it is difficult for the mind to come to the right diet, difficult for the mind to stay in the middle.
Why is it difficult to stay in the middle? It is just like the pendulum of a clock. The pendulum goes to the right, then it moves to the left, then again to the right, then again to the left; the whole clock depends on this movement. If the pendulum stays in the middle, the clock stops. And when the pendulum is going to the right, you think it is only going to the right, but at the same time it is gathering momentum to go to the left. The more it moves to the right, the more energy it gathers to move to the left, to the opposite. When it is moving to the left it is again gathering momentum to move to the right.
Whenever you are overeating you are gathering momentum to go on a fast. Whenever you overindulge in sex, sooner or later, brahmacharya will appeal to you, celibacy will appeal to you.