Then there is the other conflict, the inner conflict; to fight with oneself. That is what you call religion – to conquer oneself. Again the fight, and it too is destructive. Science destroys nature from the outside, and so-called religion destroys nature from the inside.
Chuang Tzu is against both types of conflict. So-called science and so-called religion are not enemies: they are partners, they have a deep affinity.
To understand Chuang Tzu and Lao Tzu, to understand Tao, you will have to understand that they don’t believe in fighting of any sort. They say: Don’t fight, live! Just be in a let-go, so nature can penetrate you and you can penetrate nature. They say: Just be ordinary, don’t try to be extraordinary. Don’t try to be somebody – just be nobodies. You will enjoy more because you will have more energy left, you will be full of energy.
There is tremendous energy, but it is dissipated in fighting; you divide yourself and you fight from both sides and the energy is dissipated. The same energy can become ecstatic if allowed to move in an inner harmony, not fighting.
Acceptance, accepting whatsoever is, is the basis of Tao. Tao does not create any ‘ought’. Chuang Tzu says: Don’t say to anybody that you ought to do this, you should do this, you ought not to be like this. Chuang Tzu says these things are dangerous, they are poisonous. There is only one thing to be followed and that is your nature: wherever it leads, trust it.
But we are afraid to follow nature, not because nature is bad but because of the moral teachers, because of the poisoners of the very source of life. They have taught you so many things, so many ‘oughts’, that you cannot look directly at the is – that which is. You always look for the ‘ought’. Even if you look at a rose you immediately start to think how this rose ought to be: it could be a little more red, it could be a little bigger, you could inject chemicals into it and it will become bigger; you could paint it, it will become more red…but you cannot accept it as it is. Small or big, red or not so red, it is there. Why not enjoy it at this very moment?…First make it more red, make it bigger, and then you will enjoy it.
You don’t know that you are postponing – and the postponing becomes a habit. When it has become bigger the same mind will say, “Still more is possible.” And the same mind will go on postponing until death knocks at your door. Then you will be surprised: “I have been wasting my whole life with ‘oughts’, and the ‘is’ was there.” And the ‘is’ is beautiful. The ‘is’ is the only religion for Chuang Tzu.
The conflict between ‘is’ and ‘ought’ is very foundational. If you can drop your ‘ought’ you may not be as respectable as you are right now. Because of your ‘ought’, people respect you. They say, “This man is beautiful, he is never angry, he always smiles,” and they don’t know that those smiles are false – because a man who can never be angry cannot be truly smiling. This is the problem – if he is not authentic in his anger, he cannot be authentic in his smile.