It is just like as in your sleep you remain in your room, in your bed, but you can dream of faraway places. You can visit the moon and Mars, you can go to the stars, but in the morning you will find you have not left your bed, not even for a single moment.
When one becomes conscious one becomes aware of the whole ridiculousness of all the achievements and failures. It is the idea of achievement that brings failure, frustration in its wake. If you succeed it brings ego. Ego is misery because the more ego you have the more you think that you are separate from the whole, that you have become somebody special, unique, superior, higher, holier, that you don’t belong to the ordinary world, that you are a saint, a mahatma. If you fail, then there is frustration; that brings pain, that brings anguish. Whatsoever happens, success or failure, you will suffer. Ego brings suffering; whether it succeeds or fails makes no difference. Hence with the Taoist approach this idea of attainment is totally wrong – remember it.
The translator says:
When man attains the power…
Again the word power is not right because Tao does not believe in power. It believes, really, in utter powerlessness, because when you are powerful you are fighting against the whole. Adolf Hitler is powerful, Alexander the Great is powerful, Ivan the Terrible is powerful; Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, these are powerful people, but they are fighting against nature, spontaneity.
Jesus is not powerful, Jesus is utterly powerless. When Jesus was crucified his disciples were waiting: “Now is the time he will show his power.” The enemies were waiting, the friends were waiting for the same thing: “Now he is going to show his miraculous power, now he will prove that he is the only begotten son of God.” He didn’t prove anything, he simply died. He died like any mortal – he died like the two thieves who were crucified with him. He was just in the middle; on either side of him there was a thief. The enemies were frustrated, the friends were frustrated even more. What happened? Where had his power gone? And he was always talking about being the son of God…But to be the son of God simply means to be utterly powerless.
How we go on misunderstanding people like Jesus, Lao Tzu, Ko Hsuan! Our misunderstanding is almost infinite. He surrendered to God. Yes, for a moment he himself had become aware of all the expectations. Almost one hundred thousand people had gathered to see; friends were very few. He must have seen the expectation in people’s eyes – they were expecting miracles. Great things were going to happen – something that only happens once in thousands of years. For a moment he may have been impressed, hypnotized by so much attention, by so much expectation. The whole atmosphere must have been charged with only one desire: to see his power.