This is just a Lao Tzuan joke. Nobody can live in the mother’s womb for eighty-four years. Even if Lao Tzu could, think of the mother also! Lao Tzu may be enlightened and could live, but the mother…poor mother, think of her also. Even nine months is too much, but eighty-four years…. The mother would have been dead long before.
No, it is a subtle humor. It says that Lao Tzu was born wise. It is a symbolic thing. From his very childhood he was wise. That is the only meaning. He was so wise that the rumor spread that he was born old.
Jesus was so pure, how could he be born out of carnal desire? He was born out of carnal desire, there is no other way – life gives no exceptions. He was born out of ordinary love. But the story says something very beautiful. The story is not true and I say it is true! It is not true as a fact, but it is true as a truth. And what is a fact before a truth? A fact is an ordinary facticity of life. No, Jesus’ mother was not a virgin if you go to the ordinary facts. But she was a virgin, otherwise how could such a pure, such an innocent child be born out of her? She was virgin. She must have been very very innocent, absolutely innocent, as if she had never known any man. That is the meaning. The meaning is “as if” – as if she never knew what sex was, as if she never knew what ordinary copulation was. But those are “as ifs”; once you start forcing them as facts you are foolish. And all theologians are foolish. They try to prove that yes, she was a virgin, and God permitted an exception at that moment of history.
This is a way to say a certain beautiful thing which cannot be said otherwise. This is just saying that Jesus comes out of a virgin source, Jesus comes out of a pure innocence which has not known any impurity of the world and the body. That’s all. Don’t insist that it should be explained, because explanation kills the very spirit of it.
The last question:
You said that you are merely a presence and cannot do anything. But I and everybody else feel all the time that in your compassion for us you are influencing us and events to bring us closer to your temple. Is this just our imagination playing tricks?
I cannot do anything, but my presence can. When I say I cannot do anything, I only mean that no I exists within me; the doer is dissolved. So without the doer how can you do anything? But things happen. And when the doer is dissolved then tremendous things happen. I cannot claim the authorship of them or the doership of them – I am not the doer. In fact I am not. I am just a presence with no label attached to it, just an opening. Much is possible if you are in my presence. If you allow my presence to move into you, melt into you, become part of you, much is possible. Even the impossible is possible – but I am not the doer, it happens. I am not specifically doing it.