Chapter 6: I Really Mean Business
The first question:
Tao is greater than mind. Then why do we keep choosing the mind instead of flowing with the Tao?
It is precisely because of that. Tao is so vast that one is afraid to lose one’s identity in it. We are like dewdrops and Tao is like an ocean. The dewdrop is afraid, very much frightened to get closer to the ocean - one step in the ocean and he will be lost forever. He wants to cling to his identity; howsoever small, howsoever tiny, howsoever mediocre, but it is his identity, it is his personality. He is only because he is separate from the ocean.
That’s the way of the ego: the ego can exist only in separation. Separation creates misery because you become uprooted from the whole, but one is ready to suffer misery rather than to die and disappear into absolute bliss. People only talk about bliss, nobody really wants to be blissful. They talk about bliss as if they can remain the same and bliss can be added to them as they are. They want bliss also to be a kind of new possession so that their ego can feel more enhanced, more defined, more precious, more enriched.
But as the ego becomes more defined you become smaller. As you become smaller you become miserable because you start feeling suffocated, you start feeling closed from all the sides. Your prison cell becomes smaller and smaller - even to exist in it becomes impossible. But people are ready to suffer all kinds of misery, they are ready to sacrifice everything for the ego.
That’s why we cling to the mind. Mind is nothing but the process of the ego, the functioning of the ego. Mind is the boundary between you and the whole. It is a wall, not a bridge - no-mind is the bridge. Hence the emphasis of all the awakened ones to move from mind to no-mind. The ego can exist only if you remain in constant fight; a continuous struggle is needed, because it is a false entity. You have to maintain it; it is not something spontaneous, it is not something natural that can exist on its own. It needs competitiveness, it needs conflict; it needs all kinds of jealousies, possessiveness, hatred, war. It can exist only with all that is wrong.
Ego represents the unhealthy state of our being. It is assertive. To relax is against the ego, to be non-ambitious is against the ego. Just a moment of relaxation is enough and you will have the taste of Tao, because it is always there, it is never lost. You go on creating the walls, but all walls crumble in a split second. Hence, wherever it happens, in whatsoever situation it happens, you become frightened of that situation.