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Chapter 8: The Useless

Once somebody said to Walt Whitman, one of the greatest poets ever born, “Whitman, you go on contradicting yourself. One day you say one thing, another day you say just the opposite.”

Walt Whitman laughed and said, “I am vast. I contain all the contradictions.”

Only small minds are consistent; the narrower the mind, the more consistent. When the mind is vast, everything is involved - light is there, darkness is there, God is there and the Devil also, in his total glory.

If you understand this mysterious process of life which moves through the opposites, which is dialectical, in which the opposite helps, gives balance, gives tone, makes the background, then only can you understand Chuang Tzu - because the whole Taoist vision is based on the complementariness of the opposites.

They use two words, yin and yang. They are opposites, male and female. Just think of a world which is totally male or a world which is totally female. It will be dead. The moment it is born it will be dead. There cannot be any life. If it is a female world, only women, and women and women, and no men - they will commit suicide. The opposite is needed because the opposite is attractive. The opposite becomes the magnet, it pulls you; the opposite brings you out of yourself, the opposite breaks your prison, the opposite makes you vast. Whenever the opposite is denied there is going to be trouble. And that is what we have been doing, hence so much trouble in the world.

Man has tried to create a society which is basically male, that’s why there is so much trouble - the woman has been denied, she has been thrown out. In past centuries the woman was never to be seen anywhere. She was just hidden in the back chambers of the house; she was not even allowed in the drawing rooms. You couldn’t meet her on the streets, you couldn’t see her in the shops. She was not part of life. The world went ugly, because how can you deny the opposite? It became lopsided, all balance was lost. The world went mad.

The woman is still not allowed; she is really not yet a part, a vital part of life. Men move in men-oriented groups - the exclusively male club where boys meet, the market, politics, the scientific group. Everywhere it is lopsided. Man dominates, that is why there is so much misery. When one of the polar opposites dominates, there will be misery, because the other feels hurt and there is revenge.

Every woman is taking revenge in the house. Of course, she cannot go out and move in the world and take revenge on humanity, on mankind. She takes revenge on the husband. There is constant conflict.

I have heard.

Mulla Nasruddin was saying to his son, “It is none of your business, don’t ask such things. Who are you to ask me how I met your mother? But I will tell you one thing: she sure cured me of whistling.”

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