Chapter 7: Hard and Soft
The other way is to flow with the river, flow so together with it that you don’t feel even the separation - that you are separate and flowing with it. No you become part, not only part, you are immersed in it, you have become the river, there exists no separation. When you are not fighting, you become life. When you are not fighting you have become the vast, the infinite. When you are not fighting, that state in the East has been known as surrender; trust, what we have called shraddha; trusting life, not trusting your individual mind, but trusting the whole. Not trusting the part, but the whole. Not trusting the mind, but trusting existence.
Surrendered, suddenly you become soft, because then there is no need to be hard, you are not fighting, there is no enmity, there is no need to protect, there is no urge to be secure, you are already merged with life.
And life is secure, only individual egos are insecure, they need protection, they need safety, they need armors around them; afraid, continuously trembling. Then how can you live? You live in anguish and anxiety. You don’t live. You lose all delight, the sheer joy of being here - and it is a sheer joy. It has no cause to it. It simply arises because you are. It simply bubbles up within you just because you are. Once you are open, flowing with life, you are bubbling with joy continuously. For no reason at all! You simply start feeling that to be is to be happy.
That’s why Hindus have called the ultimate: satchitananda. That means to be is to be blissful. To be true is to be blissful. There is no other way of being. If you are miserable that only shows that you have lost contact with being. To be miserable means somehow you are uprooted from the earth, you have become separate from the river, you have become a frozen block, an ice cube, floating in the river, but not with it; fighting, even trying to go upstream - the ego always wants to go upstream, because wherever there is challenge the ego feels good. The ego is always in search of fight. If you cannot find anybody to fight you will feel very miserable. Somebody is needed to fight. In fighting you feel good, you are.
But that is a very in way to be. A pathological way, a neurotic way to be. Neurosis is fighting with the river. If you fight, you become hard. If you fight, you surround yourself with a dead wall. Of course, your own being is dead. You lose softness, lucidity, grace, gentleness. Then you are just dragging, not alive.
Lao Tzu is for surrender. He says: Surrender to life. Allow life to lead you, don’t try to lead life. Don’t try to manipulate and control life, let life manipulate and control you. Let life possess you. You simply surrender! You simply say: I am not. You give total power to life, and be with it. Difficult, because the ego says: Then what am I? Surrendered, I am no more.
But when the ego is not, in fact for the first time you are. For the first time you are not the finite, you are the infinite. For the first time you are not the body, the embodied, you are the unembodied, the vast, which goes on expanding; beginningless, endless.
But the ego does not know about it. The ego is afraid. It says: What are you doing, losing yourself? Then you will be lost, you will be a nobody. If you listen to the ego, the ego will put you again and again on a neurotic path, the path of Being Somebody. And the more you become somebody the more life has disappeared from you.