As a yoga teacher one might assume that I am steeped in Hindu lore or Indian philosophy. In actual fact I have always been more intrigued by the profound simplicity of Zen, the compassion of Buddism and more than that, have always resonated with the eloquent beauty and wisdom of the Way of the Tao. Enigmatic stuff that, as with all great teachings, become more pure and to the point with the passing of time (i.e. as I grow older!).
While visiting a friend over the weekend I was sharply reminded of how the boundless mind of the Tao, or the meditator, ideally, views the universe and the thinking mind. This is what Lao-Tsu wrote: Those who know are not learned. The learned do not know. Reading in Osho’s discourse on the Tao in his book “Tao – the Pathless Path”, a title that perfectly captures the Way of the Tao, I was inspired to paraphrase the below paragraph from Osho’s (very Taoist :-)) interpretation of the yogic striving of “mindful being, thoughtless mind”.
Tao is vast. Science can be included in it. Science is not vas, it doesn’t include Tao. Science is part of the vast mystery of life. The vast mystery of life is not science though – if you see science as part of life there is nothing wrong with that, but if you assume science is life you are misled because you see a part of life as the whole. The same is true for the intellect. The intellect functions as part of the whole, when the intellect claims that it is the whole, or knows everything, there is a problem. This is the view of the Tao. The Tao is not against the intellect. The yogi sees the intellect as sub-ordinate to the mind, to consciousness, to the whole. The thinking mind is limited. Who is the seer? Who knows? Not the thinking mind. The thinking mind thinks. The higher self, mind, spirit, knows, because “it is because it is”. Here there is no ego. No “I think therefore I am”. The reasoning mind covers only a small space, a small aspect of the being, it is finite in its calculations. The aware being is infinite, it is life itself, incomprehensible, mysterious, vast.
Those who know are not learned.
The learned do not know.
Read more about the Tao on the page I did for this website some 3 years ago, and find more lovely quotations from it here.
9 September 2012
Below: 15th century Japanese hanging scroll, ink on paper.