The sixth question:
The danger of your talks on Taoism is that there are a lot of lazy, irresponsible people around who rationalize their bad habits by claiming to be inactive Taoists. Please clarify the difference between a Taoist and a lazy escapist.
The question is from Anand Prem.
The first thing, there are two dangers I have talked about: one is of egoism, another is of lethargy, laziness. And remember, if you have to fall into any trap, the trap of laziness is better than the trap of egoism. That is more dangerous, because the lazy person has never done anything wrong, a lazy person cannot do. He will never do any good – okay, but he will never do any wrong either. He will not bother to kill anybody, to torture anybody, to create concentration camps, to go to war, he will not bother. He says “Why? When one can rest, why?” A lazy person is not naturally a danger. The only thing that he may miss may be his own spiritual growth, but he will not interfere with anybody else’s growth; he will not be an interference. He will not be a do-gooder and these are the greatest, most mischievous people in the world, the do-gooders. A lazy person is almost absent. What can he do? Have you ever heard of any lazy person doing anything wrong?
No, Anand Prem, the real problem comes from the egoist, and that is Anand Prem’s possibility. Don’t be worried about a few people here getting lazy – let them, nothing is wrong. The real problem is from the egoist; one who wants to be spiritual, one who wants to be special, one who wants to become a siddha, one who wants to attain spiritual powers. One wants to prove something spiritually in the world: that is the real danger. If you have to fall, choose laziness. If you cannot fall, if you have to avoid, good to avoid both.
Laziness is just like the common cold – nothing much to worry about. Ego is like cancer. It is better not to have either. But if you have to choose and you would like to have something to cling to, the common cold is good – you can depend on it, it never kills anybody, it has never killed anybody. But never choose cancer, and that is the greater possibility.
Now she asks ‘The danger of your talks on Taoism is that there are a lot of lazy, irresponsible people…’.