Since then, how many houses have I lived in? It is almost impossible for you to imagine that in almost fifty years of life I have been just moving houses, and doing nothing else. Of course, the grass was growing – I was moving house, and doing nothing, and the grass was growing. But the whole credit goes to “nothing,” not to my moving house.
After that I moved to my Nani’s house, and then to one of my uncles’ – my father’s sister’s husband’s house – where I had gone to study after matriculation. They had thought it would be only for a few days, but those days proved longer than they had thought. No hostel was ready to take me in because my records were so “beautiful.” The remarks given by all my teachers, and particularly by the principal, were really worth preserving. Everybody condemned me as much as was allowed on a certificate.
I had told them to their faces, “This is not a character certificate, this is a character assassination. Please write as a P.S. that, ‘I call this document a character assassination.’ Unless you write it, I will not take it.” They had to.
They said to me, “You are not only mischievous but dangerous too, because now you can sue us.”
I said, “Don’t be afraid. In my life many will sue me in the courts; I will never sue anybody.”
I have not sued anybody although I could have done it very easily, and hundreds would have been punished.
I was saying I have never had a house. Even this house, I cannot call it “my house.” From the first one to the last, perhaps this is not the last, but whichever is the last, I cannot call it my house. Just to hide the fact, I call it Lao Tzu House. Lao Tzu has nothing to do with it.
And I know the man. I know that if he meets me – and someday a meeting is bound to happen – the first thing he will ask will be, “Why did you name your house ‘Lao Tzu House’?” Naturally, the curiosity of a child – and nobody could be more childlike than Lao Tzu, neither Buddha, nor Jesus, nor Mohammed, and certainly not Moses. A Jew being childlike? Impossible!
A Jew is born a businessman, with a business suit, just leaving the house and going to the shop. He comes ready-made. Moses? – certainly not. But Lao Tzu, or if you want someone even more childlike than Lao Tzu, then his disciple, Chuang Tzu…. To be a disciple of Lao Tzu one needed to be more innocent than Lao Tzu himself. There is no other way.
Confucius was just refused. In short, he was told to “Get out, and get lost forever – and remember, do not return to this place again.” Not actually in these words, but that was the very essence of what Lao Tzu said to Confucius, the most scholarly man of that day. Confucius could not be accepted, but Chuang Tzu was even crazier than Lao Tzu, his master. When Chuang Tzu came, Lao Tzu said, “Great! Are you here to be my master? You can choose: either you can be my master, or I can be your master.”
Chuang Tzu replied, “Forget all about that! Why can’t we just be?”