It happened once: a follower of Lao Tzu was made a judge. The first case that came before him in the court was about a thief. The thief had confessed that he had stolen. The case was clear -- the thief had confessed, the things had been found -- but the follower of Lao Tzu took a very very strange approach and attitude to the case. He jailed the thief for six months and he also jailed the man from whom he had stolen the things.
Of course the rich man could not believe it. What nonsense! His things had been stolen and he was being sentenced -- for what?
The disciple of Lao Tzu said, "Because you have gathered too much. Now if I go to the very root of the problem you have provoked this man to steal. In the whole village people are poor, almost starving, and you go on piling up riches. There is a limit to everything. So if I look: who is the real criminal? -- then you are the real criminal. You started the whole thing first. This thief is just a victim. I know that he couldn't control himself, that is his fault. But you accumulated too much, and when riches accumulate too much with one man the society cannot remain moral, cannot remain moral. Thieves will bubble up, robberies will happen, murders will happen. All sorts of immoralities will happen -- they are bound to happen."
Nobody listened. The judge was removed from his post. The emperor said, "This is too much. This man is dangerous. Someday he will catch me -- because if he goes to even deeper roots, he will find me. This man has to be removed."
But Lao Tzu has to be heard. He touches the very nerve of the whole disease: if you gather too much it will be stolen, it will be unsafe.
Remain in the limits; remain balanced. Too much poverty is bad, too much richness is bad -- too much is bad. In fact, for Lao Tzu too, much is the only sin. Don't do too much, don't overdo, and then life is a flow. And life is moral.
TO BE PROUD WITH WEALTH AND HONOR
IS TO SOW THE SEEDS OF ONE'S OWN DOWNFALL.
It happens every day but you are blind so you cannot see. It happens every day, everywhere. Every day you see your politicians in this country -- in every country -- they are too egoistic, too filled with their own ego. Then reactions start. Then somebody throws a shoe and somebody throws a stone and then people start to disrespect them.
A balance has to be created. If you feel that your ego is supreme, then somebody is bound to come from somewhere to pull you down to your right size. Somebody else is needed -- because you could not remain in control by yourself. And life always creates balance, because imbalance is an ill state of affairs. If in a country politicians are too egoistic and they ask for too much respect, soon disrespect will come in. Soon there will be rebellion, soon there will be revolution, soon everything will be destroyed. All codes of morality, respect, manner will be destroyed.
Politicians should not ask too much respect; they should come a little lower, within the limits. Then nobody, nobody bothers to throw stones at them. Why? There is no question. In the old days rich men never showed their riches, they lived as ordinarily as everybody else. Even kings and emperors used to come to beggars like Buddha and Mahavir to pay their respects. They were always honored. There was a balance. Now the balance is completely lost. No politician bothers to pay respect to anybody. He becomes supreme when he is in power. He trespasses the limit, then his leg has to be pulled down. Then somebody, somewhere else, arises. That is simply a balance.
Life: A Fair Judge
Always remember: life is never unjust. If it looks unjust then you must have done something wrong. Somewhere you must have gone beyond the balance; then life seems to be unjust. Otherwise life is never unjust. And whenever you feel the injustice it is better to look at yourself; you have done something wrong and you have been punished.
In fact, people have been thinking for millennia that sins are punished, but I say to you that sins are not punished. Sins are the punishment. When you say sins are punished you have time to wait. Maybe they will be punished in the next life -- who bothers? We will see in the next life. You can postpone. But I say to you that sins are the punishment; they are not punished somewhere in the future.
Sins carry their punishment in themselves. Punishment is intrinsic to every sin. It is not a result somewhere in the future. It is not that you sow today and you reap tomorrow -- no. There is no time gap. You sin and immediately you are punished, immediately the punishment has started. Here you sin and here immediately the punishment starts -- you feel ugly and you feel sad and you feel guilty, and a turmoil and a chaos arise inside and you are unhappy and in hell. Hell is not somewhere in the future, neither is heaven. Each act carries its own heaven or hell.
Remain balanced and you are in heaven; become unbalanced and a hell is created -- nobody else is creating it for you.
Bliss is Criteria of Balance
Lao Tzu has no God, no personal God, to punish anybody. It is simply Tao. Tao is just a law, a universal law. If you move according to it you are happy, if you move against it you become unhappy. In fact, unhappiness is a symptom, just as happiness is a symptom -- a symptom of how you are moving: according to Tao or against Tao.
When you are moving according to Tao you are happy, blissful, celebrating. Every moment is a joy, a delight. Life seems like poetry. Every moment you see something flowering, growing; every moment you see a thousand things to be grateful for. You are blessed.
Life is a benediction if you follow, move, according to the law. And the law is of balance. If you move against it, if you go contrary to the law, suddenly you lose balance. Happiness disappears; you become unhappy, you become sad, miserable. A hell is created. Hell is just a symptom. Don't try to fight with it. Just try to understand where you have moved against the law, that's all -- and then move back, gain balance. Whenever you are sad don't try to change sadness. Don't try to do anything with it; sadness is symptomatic. It simply shows that somewhere you have gone against the law. Find the balance again. Maybe you need a turning. Maybe you need to lean a little more towards left or right so the balance is gained again. And this has to be done continuously.
People come to me and they say, "If we meditate and if we succeed will silence and peace remain forever and forever?" They are asking a stupid question. Then meditation would be a dead thing -- like a stone, not like a flower. And meditation is not like a stone, not even like a plastic flower. It is a real lotus. It blooms. It changes. With the sun it opens, in the night it closes. There is a continuous balance, and you have to find the balance every moment. Meditation is not something you do once and you are done with. It is something that is like breathing, like blood circulating. It is not that once the blood has circulated it is finished, once you breathe there is no more need of it. No, you have to breathe and you have to go on meditating; every moment you will need it.
By and by it will become natural that is right. By and by you will go less and less against the law. When the knack is found, the very moment your step is going against the law you will see the hell and you will move back. You will come back to the path, you will not go astray.
------Osho, Tao: The Three Treasures, Vol. 1, Chp # 5