“Here is a story about Lao Tzu: One day one of his disciples was sent by someone to break a few leaves from a tree. He broke a full branch and was taking it when Lao Tzu stopped him. ‘Don’t you know you fool,‘ he told the disciple, ‘If any part of this tree is destroyed, you too become less to that extent? When this tree stood before us, full and green, we too in a manner, were also full and green. Today, its wound has caused a scar within us also. We are not apart, we are one.’[…]
“The tree that stood between the hut and the space outside is hewn down. Now the sky and the hut stand bare and naked. We cut down trees unscrupulously in order to clear a good place for man’s dwelling. We have destroyed completely many species of animals also.
“This new movement in Europe, is called Ecology, which believes in the interrelationship of organisms with their environment. They say, that man has to suffer because of the things he has destroyed. The birds that sing in the jungles. are equally a part of us. When birds stop singing in the jungles, we shall have created a hindrance in the music that is in nature and then our minds will never know the peace and joy that came with their singing. We are not aware of this for man is a small creature who spends all his life in a corner of his house. He knows not of the vast world outside. He is totally unaware of the clouds that glide in the skies, he does not see the flowers blooming on the trees, nor does he hear the song of birds in the spring.
“Three years ago, a book was published in England called Silent Spring. A sudden drastic change had taken place. Thousands of birds suddenly fell down from trees and died. Thousand other lay dead in the streets of the towns. All spring was suddenly hushed into silence. Due to some fault in the atomic energy research experiments, this catastrophe took place. England lost a major part of her singing birds which will be hard to replace. The spring in England can never be the same.
“And we think – what difference will the change in spring make in our lives? Will our roads or our market-places be affected if the birds stop singing in the trees? Would that life were so aloof and apart! But it is not so. There, everything is joined and inter-connected. If a star becomes extinct, it affects the earth, even if it be millions of light years away.
“If the moon is no more there will be enormous changes on earth. There will no longer be waves in the Oceans; the menstrual cycle of women would become erratic. It will not move in a cycle of 28 days, as it does now. Then everything will change. A slight difference – and everything changes.
“Lao Tzu says, ‘Let things be as they are.’ Accept them, they are your companions. Do not segregate the opposite. That which seems hostile and unfriendly, let even that be where it is, for the pattern of nature is deep and profound and full of mystery. Everything is joined within. You do not know, what problems you create when you set apart a single thing in Nature.[…]
“And Lao Tzu says, ‘If there is the attitude of friendship, of companionship, between the various parts of Existence, if there is the feeling of one-ness with each other, instead of over-powering each other, a wonderful music is created in life.’ This very music Lao Tzu calls Tao; that very music is Religion; that very music is Rit.
“It is now becoming more and more clear that as the understanding of Ecology expands, our understanding of Lao Tzu, will also become more profound. The more we begin to understand the unity within the diversity, the less we shall be in a hurry to change the order of things.”
Abridged from Osho, The Way of Tao, Talk #6
Osho Times International/courtesy Osho International Foundation/www.osho.com