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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   Tao: The Pathless Path, Vol. 1
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Chapter 3: Joy Has No Cause

When Confucius was roaming on Mount T’ai, he saw Jung Ch’i Ch’i walking on the moors of Ch’ang in a rough fur coat with a rope round his waist, singing as he strummed a lute.

“Master, what is the reason for your joy?’” asked Confucius.

“I have many joys. Of the myriad things which heaven begot, mankind is the most noble - and I have the luck to be human.
This is my first joy.
People are born who do not live a day or a month, who never get out of their swaddling clothes, but I have already lived to ninety. This is my joy.
For all men, poverty is the norm and death is the end. Abiding by the norm, awaiting my end, what is there to be concerned about?”

“Good!” said Confucius “here is a man who knows how to console himself.”

This is a beautiful parable, and not only beautiful but very subtle. If you look only on the surface, you will miss the meaning. Taoist parables are not on the surface. They are very deep, and they have to be penetrated and looked and meditated upon, then only will you know the real meaning. On the surface, this parable seems as if it is in favor of Confucius; on the surface; it seems that the parable is saying that Confucius is wise. The reality is just the opposite.

There is a great diametrical opposition between the Taoist attitude and the Confucian attitude; Confucius is as far away from the Taoist vision as possible. Confucius believes in law, Confucius believes in tradition, Confucius believes in discipline. Confucius believes in character, morality, culture, society, education. Tao believes in spontaneity, individuality, freedom. Tao is rebellious; Confucius is very conformist.

Taoism is the profoundest non-conformism that has ever been evolved anywhere in the world, at any time in history; essentially it is rebellion. So there has been a rebellion and the Taoist mystics, Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu and Lieh Tzu, go on ridiculing the Confucian attitude. This is a parable of ridicule. You will understand it when I explain it to you. Their ridicule is also very subtle, not gross. First let us understand the surface meaning.

When Confucius was roaming on Mount T’ai, he saw Jung Ch’i Ch’i walking on the moors of Ch’ang in a rough fur coat with a rope round his waist, singing as he strummed a lute.

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