There is some beauty when something is transferred orally. It is alive, one thing – the master is behind it. It is not a dead word, the word has soul, wings. The experience of the master supports it, the master is a witness to it. It is not just speculation, not only a philosophy, but something existential, experienced, lived. And the master has traveled the path – he knows the dangers of the path, he knows the pitfalls, he knows the points at which people go astray – and he will take every care so that the disciple cannot go astray.
The closer you come to the truth, the more is the possibility of going astray, because when you come closer to the truth, you can become very egoistic, thinking that, “Now I know,” that “Now I am.” And if the ego exploits the situation you will fall back to your old dark valley, you will lose the peak. When you come closer to the truth, a great desire arises to share it with people. But you have not attained it in its wholeness and it is dangerous to share half-truths because half-truths are more dangerous than lies, because they are powerful. Lies are impotent. Sooner or later people will themselves find that it is a lie. But the half-truth can persist for centuries, can have effects for centuries.
Nobody can reach through the half-truth. And the person who travels half the way will belong neither to this world nor to the other. He will be in a limbo, and that is a very strange situation to be in: you lose the old and you don’t gain the new; you become a chaos. The old order is gone and the new has not happened. You become a cloud, you become confusion. Rather than becoming more clear, rather than becoming more alive, rather than becoming more light-full, your life becomes a conflict between two polarities. You are pulled apart, you start falling into pieces. Half of you belongs to the earth and half of you belongs to the sky. Now you are nowhere. Now you are nobody. This can create madness. So for centuries The Secret of the Golden Flower was only conveyed orally.
Secondly, with an oral tradition the book remains always alive. That’s how it became a synthesis. Basically it was born in the Taoist climate of China. But then Bodhidharma reached China – a new master, with a new message from India, Buddha’s message. And the people who were following The Secret of the Golden Flower were very open people; they were not part of any established church. They could immediately see that Bodhidharma also has it – it was so apparent, so manifest. They allowed Bodhidharma’s teachings to be part of their teaching. And the same happened with Zoroastrian masters, with Nestorian Christians: again and again something came to China, and if it was worthwhile it was incorporated.
An oral teaching remains alive, growing, like a river. New streams of water come and become part of it. Once a teaching is written, then it cannot incorporate anything anymore. Then it becomes rigid, it loses fluidity; it becomes dead, it is a corpse. Now The Secret of the Golden Flower is not growing; for centuries it has not grown. Since it has been written it has not grown.
Why have I chosen to speak on it? – so that it can still grow. It is such a beautiful message to the world, it should not die. I would like to revive it. And now I can talk to people who are disciples, who have come to me and who are ready to die in order to be reborn, who are ready to die for flowering. The seed has to die, only then can it grow; the seed has to disappear, only then can the tree happen.