Chapter 9: Tao Takes Care
But I love this story. Only Jesus can do that - so utterly powerless. His powerlessness is his miracle: he has annihilated himself totally. They were not even aware of his presence, that he is sitting by the side of the tree. He didn’t say a single word: that “I am Jesus Christ, the only begotten son of God. And what are you saying? I should go and bring three cups of coffee for you? You go yourself! Is this the way to talk to the son of God?” But he simply went.
Only Jesus can do it, or Lao Tzu or Ko Hsuan or Bodhidharma or Basho. These are people who have dropped the whole power trip, the whole number.
Ko Hsuan cannot mean what the translation will create in your mind. It says:
When man attains the power to transcend that which changes.
No. If I were to translate it.I don’t know Chinese at all, but who cares? I can still translate, not knowing a single word of Chinese, because I know the spirit of Tao; that’s my experience. If I were to translate it, I would say;
When man surrenders to the power of Tao, he transcends that which changes.
When man becomes utterly powerless as a separate entity, then he transcends that which changes. Then he abides in purity and stillness. Then the purity that comes to him is not something cultivated from the outside.
It is not something that you have to maintain continuously, that you have to guard because otherwise you will lose it. Your saints are continuously on guard. They know perfectly well that even if they are relaxed for a single moment they will lose all their purity. They don’t abide in it, it is not natural to them, it is something artificial, arbitrary; they have imposed it on themselves.
You don’t need to breathe, you need not remember to breathe; otherwise you would have been dead long before now, because any time you forget about breathing - a beautiful woman passes by and you forget about breathing - and finished! There is the full point. Then you cannot breathe again. But breathing continues even while you are asleep - not only while you are deeply asleep, even if you are in a coma breathing continues; it does not depend on you.
Once I went to see a woman.Her husband loved me very much. He came crying and weeping and he said, “This was my wife’s last wish, that she wanted to see you. But for nine months she has been in a coma and the doctors say there is no possibility that she will ever become conscious. But please come with me just to fulfill her last desire. That was her last desire before she became unconscious.”
So I went to see the woman. For nine months she had been in a coma, but she was breathing perfectly. To be in a coma means to be almost dead. And she died after three months; after remaining one year in a coma she died. But for one year she continued to breathe; her breathing was perfect, there was no disturbance in it.