The effort comes when you are against the current, so that existence wants you to move north and you want to move towards the south. There comes the struggle, there comes your effort, there comes your separate existence as an ego. But if you are simply flowing with the river wherever it is going, you don’t have a goal, because a man with a goal cannot be choiceless. You don’t have a destination, because a man with a destination cannot relax and cannot be choiceless. He has already chosen.
There were two temples in Japan that were traditionally antagonistic to each other. For centuries they had been fighting, arguing against each other’s theology. Both the temples had two old priests, and two young boys to serve their small needs. Both the old monks had told the boys, “You should not talk with the other boy. We are not on talking terms; we are traditional enemies.” But boys are boys. They wanted to play with each other. In that lonely forest, far away from the nearest village, they were the only two persons who could have some communication with each other.
One day, one boy dared to disobey the old monk. He stood by the road. He knew that every day the other boy would also come out of the temple to go to the market to fetch vegetables and other things. The boy came. The first boy asked him – very friendly – “Where are you going?”
But the other boy said, “Wherever the winds take me.”
The answer was not a friendly one; the answer was not to start a conversation. The boy just said this and moved away. The first boy felt very bad and he thought that his master was right: “These people are very ugly. I was asking a simple question and he is talking metaphysics.”
He went to the temple and said to the master, “Please forgive me, I disobeyed you and I have been punished already.”
The master listened and he said, “Don’t be worried. Tomorrow you stand at the same place and when the boy answers you by saying ‘Wherever the winds take me’ ask him: ‘If the winds are not blowing, then?’ You have to stop him, you have to defeat him. It is a question of our prestige.”
Early in the morning the boy was ready – he had repeated many times what he had to say – and then he asked, as the boy was approaching near, “Where are you going?”
And the boy said, “Wherever my legs take me.”
Now this was too much! He had crammed his answer the whole night, and now the answer is absolutely irrelevant! With great anger he went to the master and he said, “Those people are really cunning. They are not people to be relied upon, they change their answers.”
The master said, “I had told you before, but now you have started an unnecessary trouble. Tomorrow you stand there again, and when he says, ‘Wherever my legs take me’ you ask him, ‘If you had no legs, then?’”
Ready with the answer, again the same situation; the boy asked, “Where are you going?” and the other boy said, “To fetch some vegetables from the market.”
Now, what to do with these unreliable people?