Chapter 4: All Who Hear It Lose Themselves
The first question:
You said there are only two types of people: those whose path is awareness and those whose path is surrender or bhakti. It seems to me that Lao Tzu has nothing to do with either of them - is there a third type then who follow neither or both?
Lao Tzu has no path, or, the no-path is his path. Lao Tzu says, “There is nowhere to go, you are already there.” So the very word path becomes meaningless. A path is needed if you are going somewhere. If you are already there then the path is not needed at all. In fact, to have a path will be dangerous; you will go astray. Lao Tzu says, “Those who follow a path go astray.” By and by, they go further and further away from themselves.
“Seeker, follow no path, because all paths lead there, truth is here.”
Lao Tzu is the last word in spirituality; beyond him there is nothing.
Ordinarily it is very difficult to conceive no-path because then you are suddenly thrown to yourself, with nothing to cling to, nothing to do: no method, no technique, no means. Suddenly you are thrown to yourself, and that has become almost impossible for you. You need something else to be occupied with. You leave the world, you leave your family, you renounce everything, but you never renounce the “other.” In some form or other: in the form of God, in the form of yoga, in the form of a technique, you still have something. Lao Tzu takes that too away from you. He leaves you totally empty. That emptiness needs much courage. In fact, all other paths finally come to the same point.
If you follow bhakti, surrender, one day you will come to understand that in the first place there was nothing to surrender; ego never existed. The ego was false, so the surrender was also false because the disease never existed. But it helped, surrender helped you to know that the ego never existed. Then suddenly you start laughing at the whole ridiculousness of it: that you were surrendering something to your master that you never had, or you were surrendering something to God that was just a false notion. But this will come in the end; with Lao Tzu it comes in the beginning. With Lao Tzu, the first step is the last. In fact, no-step is the last; there is no beginning and no end. The same is true about Zen. These are not ideologies or philosophies. These are not scriptures; these are tremendous visions of instant mutation.