The first question:
The pundit in today’s story – was he not also a beautiful Taoist? Perhaps not reached the ocean, but on the way?
He can be called a Taoist, but not a man of Tao. Taoist in the sense that he believes that Tao is true, but not a man of Tao because his belief has no basis. It is not his own experience, it is not his own existential understanding; it is still knowledge, it is not knowing. To be a Taoist is easy, it is very cheap: you can always borrow knowledge. To be a man of Tao is arduous, it needs guts.
Sometimes you may be more impressed by a Taoist than a man of Tao, because the Taoist is understandable by your intellect. He has some affinity with you; he talks the same logic and the same language that you can understand. To understand the man of Tao may be difficult because there is no bridge yet between you and him. He exists in a very transcendental world, in a totally different reality. He is part of a separate reality. If he is right, you are totally wrong. The Taoist can be right and he does not make you feel that you are totally wrong. The Taoist is in tune with you, not in tune with Tao. That is the meaning of the end of the story: The Marquis was delighted…but not enlightened.
The answer was really beautiful, delicious, but it has no nourishment in it. You can enjoy it, but you cannot live on it. It is a meaningless, substance-less thing. It is an empty gesture – howsoever beautiful, but still an empty gesture. It is impotent, it is not creative. Yes, it can entertain you – but that’s all.
So I can concede that the pundit, the scholar was a Taoist. He believed in the philosophy of Tao, but it was a philosophy, a dogma to be believed in. He has not lived it, he has not tasted it; it is not yet his heart. It has not happened to him. It is like a blind man who has heard many things about light, colors, rainbows, flowers, the sun, the moon, the stars, and has become very clever in talking about those things. Maybe whatsoever he says is right, but still how can it be right? A blind man can understand all that is written about light and he can reply to your questions about light perfectly. Maybe he uses the exact words that a man of eyes will use – as far as words are concerned, they are similar; but as far as experience is concerned, one has experienced, the other has no experience. This has to be remembered. The thing that he said, “My master can do these miracles, and he has become capable of doing them, but he is also capable of not doing them” is a tremendous saying, a great statement, but it is coming from a blind man.