Then, close to a master people start gathering. That is bound to happen – a magnet is there, people start gathering. The second stage comes: the stage of organic religion. The first stage is individual, rebellious, spontaneous; there is no question of any effort, any discipline, any scripture; God is in the nude, truth is as it is; no camouflage, no dressings. Then people start gathering. The second stage is not so rebellious for these people, and, because of these people, by and by discipline arises. The master goes on talking of spontaneity, but the followers cannot understand spontaneity; they translate it in terms of disciplining themselves. The master says “Just be,” they ask, “How to be?” Their question of the “how” by and by brings in discipline; they create the discipline. Let me say it in this way: the master brings spontaneity, the disciples bring discipline.
The words disciple and discipline come from the same root When disciples have gathered about a master, they start translating what he is saying, what he means. They start interpreting, and of course they interpret according to their minds – there is no other way. If you interpret at all, you will misinterpret.
The real disciple is one who does not interpret, who does not translate, who listens passively, who is not asking “how,” who is not in a hurry to get some result, who is not goal-oriented, who is not greedy. The greedy disciple immediately creates a discipline. This is the second stage – still alive; I call this stage the organic stage of religion. The master is there, the disciples have come, there is organic unity but….
In the first stage there was only the center, now there is a circumference; and the circumference will go on becoming bigger and bigger and bigger, and the bigger it is the less true it will be. The further away the circumference goes from the center, the further away it goes from truth, innocence. It becomes knowledge, it becomes discipline, dogma, but still a little light comes through all these screens.
Then, at the third stage, when the master is gone; religion becomes an organized religion. It is no longer organic now because the center has disappeared. Now the circumference tries to exist without the center – it becomes a church, a creed, theology. Now religion is very old; and some day, somewhere, the religion dies but the church continues.
You ask “Where does educating the subconsciousness conflict or harmonize with Tao, as it implies discipline with self-effort from an external expression?”
Tao never allowed itself to become even an organic religion – naturally, it never allowed itself to become a church. It has remained spontaneous, hence there are no followers, there is no church like the Vatican, or the Shankaracharya – nothing like that. Tao has remained available for those who are courageous enough to be spontaneous. It needs great courage to be spontaneous because to be spontaneous means to remain in a state of constant uncontrol. Spontaneity means not to interfere with your nature – let it be whatsoever it is and let it go wherever it is moving; to be like wind, to be like a river not knowing where it is going – not caring where it is going, not bothering, not trying to plan, not trying to project.
To be natural needs great courage, hence there are very few people who have attained to Tao. There are millions of Christians, millions of Mohammedans, millions of Hindus, millions of Buddhists, but Tao has remained a transcendence, a fragrance – untethered, unimprisoned – hence its beauty, its sublime exquisiteness, its superb truth.