I said, “That’s the most beautiful time to go for a walk, because the streets are absolutely empty. And to go for a walk without any umbrella while it is raining is so beautiful, is so poetic!”
He thinks I am mad, but a man who has never gone in the rains under the trees cannot understand poetry. I told to the head of the department that, “This man is not poetic; he destroys everything. He is so scholarly and poetry is such an unscholarly phenomenon that there is no meeting ground between the two.”
Universities destroy people’s interest and love for poetry. They destroy your whole idea of how a life should be; they make it more and more a commodity. They teach you how to earn more, but they don’t teach you how to live deeply, how to live totally. And these are the ways from where you can get glimpses of Tao. These are the ways from where small doors and windows open into the ultimate. You are told the value of money but not the value of a roseflower. You are told the value of being a prime minister or a president but not the value of being a poet, a painter, a singer, a dancer. Those things are thought to be for crazy people. And they are the ways from where one slips slowly into Tao.
Tao is certainly greater than mind – Tao is greater than everything. Tao is God, Tao is the whole. But we are very much afraid of losing ourselves, and we keep on feeding our egos in thousand-and-one ways.
We are doing two things in our life: closing all windows and doors to the sun, to the moon, to the stars, to the wind, to the rain, to the birds, to the trees, to love, to beauty, to truth. We are closing all the windows, we are creating a grave around ourselves with no doors and no windows. We are becoming Leibniz monads, windowless capsules. Our life is encapsulated. That is one part that we go on doing. And the second part is to go on making the walls thicker and thicker. That is done by competition, ambition: have more and more; whether you need or not, that is not the point at all. Do you think the richest people in the world need more money now? They have more than they can use, far more. But the desire for more does not stop, because it is not a question that they need money; the question is to go on making the walls of the ego thicker and thicker. They are continuously in competition with each other. Competition creates conflict. Conflict keeps your ego alive.
A beatnik was boppin’ down the sidewalk just a-poppin’ his fingers and feeling good, when a Jaguar pulled up at the intersection.
“Hey, daddy cool, wanna drag?” said the beatnik.
“Sure,” laughed the sports car driver, amused.
The light turned green and off they shot, the beatnik in the lead, running like hell. The driver was amazed! He looked at his speedometer: twenty, thirty, not until forty miles per hour did he finally overtake the beatnik.