The current of love flows in every heart. And anyone can drink. But what about bending? Being unable to bend is the real obstacle. For thousands of lives your back has been cramped and now you are unable to bend. You are suffering from paralysis. And whenever the question of bending arises something happens in you to create difficulty. Your ego says, “I? Bend down? I would rather die!” Your ego tells you it is better to break than to bend. This is the lesson that is taught, the advice that is given – break but do not bend. This poison has been injected into your bloodstream. As if this were the yardstick of a brave man! As if this were being heroic!
In fact, this fear of bending, this fear of losing one’s prestige is the fear of a coward. Why should a brave man be afraid to bend? He is not going to lose anything. When a storm comes, big trees may fall but the small plants yield. And after the storm has passed the big trees are unable to stand erect again, but the small plants bounce back easily. They know the art of yielding. They know how to be humble. The big trees that stood erect and fought against the storm were defeated and broken; they were unable to stand up again.
Lao Tzu said to behave as the plants do; he said if a storm comes, yield. Who are you going to fight? What are you fighting? You will find that the storm cleanses you, washes away your dirt, and that after the passing of the storm you will again stand erect – fresher, greener.
Don’t always remain erect; learn to bend. Don’t be an egoist; learn to be humble. Remaining stiff and erect is really a sign of old age, while bending, yielding, is a characteristic of childhood, of freshness. An old man cannot bend. His bones have hardened, have become stiff. A child is soft and bends easily. A child often falls down, but he stands up again just as quickly. Why do you want to be old? Why do you want to paralyze your inner life? Why don’t you want to be like a small child? When a man falls in love he becomes a child again. Again he learns to yield; again he becomes soft. Then all the fear and paralysis disappear.
Do you know what this fear is? Do you know why you are afraid to yield? It is because you ask, “What will happen to my prestige if I bend, if I yield?”
The man who is concerned with protecting his prestige really has none to begin with. The man who is unsure of his success is the one who is afraid of defeat, and the man who has been defeated within is the one who tries to make a victorious show on the outside.
You have always been told a man does not yield, a man does not bend, a man does not give in. The so-called brave man is nothing but an egoistic coward. Cowardice exists within him. He is afraid that he will lose his prestige if he yields. But a man who is afraid like this cannot possibly have any prestige, and the man who really has prestige is not afraid to lose it. Bear in mind it is impossible to fear losing something you really have; it is only possible to fear losing that which you do not have at all. This seems paradoxical, but it is the truth.
You are afraid of losing something you do not have; you are afraid of giving away the thing you do not possess. That which you really have you give away in abundance. You know you have it; you know it will not be exhausted. The fear of losing something only exists in relation to that which you really do not have but wrongly suppose to be yours.