So now, I want to contrast out of Asian sources, two great theories about politics. Respectively, from two books. The first book is the author Shastra. Which is the manual of political wisdom, originating from what you might call the great period of medieval India. And the opposite sort of book altogether the Tao Te Ching from China. Probably four hundred B.C. These books contrast with each other in a completely beautiful way. Both of them are manuals of advice to an emperor. When in Sanskrit, one speaks of the word Chakravartin, it means a wheel Turner. And a Chakravarti can mean either. A completely omnipotent moment. Or a Buddha. Now, this is the extraordinary thing about the life of the Buddha himself, because he is reputed to have been the son of a very, very powerful king. And when the astrologers got together at the time of his birth they said this boy, Guatama, is to be a Chakravartin, the question is In what sense of the word will be a chapter about him. Will he turn the wheel of the world or will he tell him turn the wheel of the Dharma. And his father wanted him of course to maintain the royal dine and turn the wheel of the world. What is the wheel of the world the wheel of the world is the song. The rat race. The squirrel cage. And the wheel of the dharma is this, is the same wheel only, you run along it without thinking you’re getting anywhere. When the earth circles the sun, it’s not going anywhere. And when you play music. You’re not aiming at the final chord. When you dance, you’re not aiming at us but a particular spot on the flaw. But if you think, that in the process of musical dancing or whatever that there is some destination at which you should arrive then you are in the rat race wheel the Samsara wheel and the Chakravadin is the master of controlling things. And so in this extraordinary book called the Shastra author means. Citizenship belonging to society what is involved in the duty of social organization Shastra means text that as I’m an authoritative kind not so was Orotate it was a Sutra but nearly.
So, here is this book written. To describe the duties of a man who is a complete tyrant. You’ve got to be God, you’ve got to govern, this is your duty. Somebody has to be elected to be president of the United States. Or whatever by whatever method of election it may be vote it may be birth. And it tells you that if you take the reins of power what you’re going to have to do. It’s phenomenal this man who wrote it was far more realistic than Machiavelli. And he said. ‘From the start, realize that you will never succeed. The road of power is always failure.’ But you may have to take that road. It may be your svadharma, you also father out of mark which means your own function, your vocation, what life elects you to do. And you will never succeed at it. But in the pursuit of power this is what you’re going to have to do first principle is have no friends. Don’t trust anyone or anything. You’ve therefore imagine yourself living in a palace which is a fortress. And the palace is so constructed that it’s a mandala, a circle. Rings within rings within rings, both architecturally and organizationally. And you are the spider in the middle of this Web. In your inner sanctum, you cannot really sleep. You must at best only sleep with one eye closed. And you have guards around you all the time and you have secret gods who watch those gods. You can’t really eat, because someone always has to taste the food for you first to be sure it’s not poisoned. And then you arrange your ministers and advisors in the following way: every ring, you set at odds with the next ring around it. And you promote discord between the separate rings, on the principle of the Latin saying divide et impera, divide and rule. So that therefore For example you have a very close association of cabinet members who are your immediate advisors. But don’t trust them have just be on them some subordinate by those who want to use up their positions and will watch your cabinet ministers for any treachery to expose them and immediately give them away. In this way, you guard yourself against treachery, from the immediate circle and so you do this the whole way out. Then, you plan within the center of this palace, a secret exit. Where you have a trap door and a tunnel that goes down to the river where there’s a speedboat waiting, to make an immediate getaway if the should be a palace revolution. But on the way from the tunnel, as you go down, there is a special keystone that you can remove and cause the entire palace to collapse. And shatter everybody inside. So here you have this thing which is very very much like a modern fantasy, George Orwell’s book one thousand nine hundred four where Big Brother is watching everyone, the trouble for Big Brother though, is that in watching everyone to see that they don’t break the law, he has no time to enjoy himself. Just as this poor guy who’s the mahamaharaja Chakravadin. Talking about him cannot sleep because he’s always got to be on the watch. So Big Brother could never take his girl for a walk in the park. He’s always got to have his eye glued to the television which is inspecting what everyone’s doing is the most miserable of men the spider caught in its own web.
So, the whole theory of political control by imposition of the rule of law from above. Which is alas, the Christian theory of the universe, this is the way God is operating. Do you realize that according to the theology of sir Thomas Aquinas, God is personally aware with his full total consciousness of every atom of existence. That is to say, a mosquito’s wing does not vibrate without the entire total consciousness of the Divine Mind. The mask of the Episcopal church opens with the prayer, almighty God under whom all hearts are open all desires known from them no secrets I would. Think of it. Think of having to be occupied with the vagaries of every human mind. Think of the boredom of having to put up with all that. Poor God, the victim of his own power game.
And so the most ingenious man who wrote this Arthashastra showed all this up in the most vivid way. That is the price of power. Now, the gods of the Hindus do not work this way, they do not operate in the manner of the Chakravardin. And this is revealed in the fact that they have more than two arms. When Shiva is depicted dancing the Tandava dance yet ten arms all of which operate individually. Have a look at Tesh but are has one thousand dollars. Have a look at Ashgrove when translated into Chinese becomes quite. Common in Japanese and in the gorgeous sunders sang and though temple of Kyoto there is an image of calm literally with one thousand on come. And surrounded by one thousand replicas, only these ones only have ten arms. And they, eight and each one of them has a elevan heads. This is kind of a spooky thing to us say What is this kind of deformed mission of the human image of? But what it’s like is that your body is covered in the vents. And each one of these nerve ends is sensitive as if you were covered in eyes. And they’re carrying information through and you operate and you adapt to the world without having to think about it. So it means, that the true power of the Divine Being is that it has one thousand arms, and does not have to cogitate about how to move them. The poem says that the centipede was happy quite, until a toad in fun said prey which leg goes off to which. This work to mind to such a pit she they distracted in a ditch considering how to run. The centipede operates all those legs, without having to think individually how to do it. Just as you breathe, just as you grow your hair.
So, in the same way the Hindus have the idea that the universe is operated in the same way. That the the Supreme Lord has a one million one thousand watt of arms and each of you is one of those arms. And they they go like that. In the West, with our political-monarchical theory of the universe, God is supposed to know every detail and keep track of it all. So there is a book called The Doomsday Book. The book The Archangel of Judgment and in that is recorded every single thing you have done. So that in the day of judgment you will have to answer for it all. As Jesus said, every hair of your head is numbered. Phew.
And the Hindus would say either lotsa has to get the number. Call it. Call it a Kalpa, call it a craw of kalpas a cochi of kalpas they have these words that express fantastic numbers like we use in modern astronomy. So, if you want to keep track of everything, remember it all, figure it all out. So that a little there will be a day of reckoning, in which we can say, finally this is the truth about what happened. That’s a very dangerous idea. And this idea of the day of reckoning is the one idea that can very well destroy the world. Because if you get in a final argument. And say we’ve got the bomb on our side and you’ve got the bomb on the other side. And we know that if either one of us uses it the whole world is destroyed. So what’s to be gained? Oh, says one side, we believe in the last judgment that beyond death there will be a reckoning when everybody will be brought together on the Supreme boss will line up everybody in front and say now the rights and wrongs of this issue are as follows. And the people who believe that they will survive death in the spiritual world you know, better dead than red, will believe that the Communists will be brought up before the judgment throne of God and that God will lecture them and say that they were all in the wrong and that they it was right to blow the bomb against them. That’s the consequence of believing in immortality you see you could actually do it.
So, this idea then that the world is governed. By conscious and personal knowledge on the part of the deity is the politics of money, it is the politics of Machiavelli, the politics of the Athashastra. Although in the AuthaShastra it is quite clear that the writer of the book. Realizes the fallacy of the whole thing. That what he is saying is that if that’s the way you want to go this is what you’re going to have to do. And that therefore life is an organization that will not work under dominance. It will only work by cooperation so you get the opposite book. The Tao Te Ching. The legend of the Tao Te Ching is that it was written at the request of the captain of the guard. Of what was then the Chinese capital. When the court librarian got disgusted with the life of the court, and decided to retire into the mountains.
The Chinese have a strange love of the mountains. There is always idealized, being able to wander off into the mountains and get lost. One of the lovely poems of the Chinese. Says..it’s called looking for the master. ‘I asked the boy beneath the pines he says the master’s gone alone heard gathering somewhere on the mound, cloud-hidden, whereabouts unknown. And all the old Chinese scholars and poets have this nostalgia. To leave the world in its competition and one upmanship games. Go into the mountains and leave no trace. So Lao Tzu, which means the old boy. Literally, the old boy. When he tired of the life of the court. [He’s] supposed to have been stopped by the gate Guardian when he was leaving the guard said. I cannot permit you to leave because you are a very wise man and will be valuable to us so would you please write down your wisdom. For ruling the state and then I let you go. So Lao Tzu said, Yes I will and on the strips of bamboo scratched out the text, which is the most paradoxical book ever written. Because it starts out by saying that I’m a bit that there’s a thing called the Tao what is the Tao. Tao is the, is the way is the how-to, is the. The Prince and the is the way of nature is the cause of things. He starts by saying the way which can be described is not the eternal way. And then he goes on to describe it at one point he says those who speak do not know those who know do not speak but yet he speak. He rights the book.
Well now, this book is a manual of advice to an emperor, essentially. It can be read on many levels. It can be read as a mystical book, it can be read as an alchemical book, it can be read as a meditation manual, and equally well as a political textbook. And the the basic idea of the whole thing is that in the art of ruling, you do not use force. You never. Press the issue. And it is for this reason that the the Lao Tzu book is the basis of Judo. In Judo, you don’t use force against your opponent. You use his force, if he uses it against you. You can practically prove that if someone comes to a calamity as a result of a judo thing that it was his own fault. Because the principles of it are like that. There is a is esoteric form of Judo called Aikido. And that any I would say any young man in education today should learn aikido. So should every young woman it is a fundamental science. Aikido is the art of being unattackable. Because when somebody tries to hit you you are never there. You simply. Dissolve you disintegrate you know you’re not that a catch hold up. And the curious thing about Ikea is that you learn certain tricks that you can accomplish only if you don’t use effort. You can for example learn to put you on Mount straight in a way that nobody can bend it. But in order to do that, you must use no effort. It’s the most peculiar paradoxical thing it really freaks you out when you get involved in this experiment and the teacher shows you how to do it the funniest experience is just like everything suddenly became contrary to common sense. But that’s all goes back to Lao Tzu, to the imagery that is used of the pine in the willow. Willow tree is springing, and relaxed, and when the snow falls the willow tree droops and the snow drops off the branches. But the pine tree is too tough and therefore has an arm like this, and as the snow falls that piles up and piles up until the branch cracks. So Lao Tzu says, the man at his birth is supple and tender. In death he is rigid and hog.
So suppleness and tenderness of the characteristics of life, rigidity and hardness of the characteristics of death. He likens the functioning of the Tao to water. And he says now water is always taking the line of least resistance. It doesn’t strive, it always seeks the low level, which men in the hall because they always want to be on top. But what can you do with water. You can’t cut it, you can’t injure it, you can’t compress it. So he’s saying in other words if you want to government nation you must behave like water. Govern a nation as you cook a small fish. That means that if, you must do it gently because when you have a small fish in the frying pan if you chivvy it around too much it falls apart. And so therefore he has a conception of the Tao, which is as it were, the exact opposite of all conceptions of God. He says this the great Tao flows everywhere, both the left and the right. It loves and nourishes all things, but does not Lord it over them. And when merits are accomplished, it lays no claim to them. It says, the swishing wind does not last out the morning, the pelting rain does not go on all day if heaven and earth cannot keep these things up how much less.
So he has an idea of the Emperor as an anonymous sort of person. Who is always retiring, who would be in other words, to a political community. In the same way as today, the sanitary engineer is. Now, we have a sanitary engineer who is an official of Sausalito or Marin County. Never would you imagine the sanitary engineer going through town in a great car with a police escort and flags in all directions. Nobody even knows who the senator engineer is and yet he is a very important official. Without him, there would be health problems and all sorts of difficulties. But because he is in charge of the sewers, everybody would say well, that’s not very glamorous. Then Lao Tzu is saying, that the the chief official of the state should have the same attitude as the man in charge of the sewers. But the less he parades himself, the more effective he can be. The less that’s known about him, the better.
So he says, the energies of the Emperor should be directed to keeping the minds of the people un preoccupied and their bellies well filled. In other words, let’s not have news about politics. That the newspapers be full of interesting things. Not political things. But our newspapers, which are all about politics are full of catastrophes. You open the newspaper and what do you read what is news bad news is news. The saying you know, no news is good news. All news is bad news. They don’t say the great things that are going on. Very rarely. You get somebody who claims to have cured cancer or something and that gets a headline. But by and large bad news is the news. So Lao Tzu advocates no news at all. No discussion of politics he says My ideal state would be a small one in which you could hear the chickens in the neighboring state. And there would be no apparent government. It’s a kind of anarchy. But of course, anarchy depends upon everybody being responsible when you drive down the highway and you see a rock lying in the road you don’t say, oh the department of highways will take care that you stop your car and kick it over to the side. I don’t know if you know that book. The power within this. Which is written by. A man it was reconstructing the travels of a Spanish explorer the United States. And he says the evil of Spain is that everybody regards the nation as an entity that exists in its own right, distinct from every individual in it. And therefore shifts responsibility to that, as if the nation existed, as if in other words the government was something different from you. This is that’s where the evil comes from. We say, oh, the government will do it, the government will see to it.
So there is likewise a story in the Bible. That when one day there was a question of electing the king of the forest. And they went to the various vegetables. They went to the oak tree and said You are strong upstanding How about being king of the forest? And the oak tree said I don’t have time for such a thing. All my energy is expended in making this god just wouldn’t constructing good acorns and I wouldn’t have time to be king they went to the vine in the vine said no I couldn’t be cute forest because all my energy is absorbed in these grapes, and you will need your wine and so on that I have to do that. And they went all around and finally they got to the bramble. And the Bramble said sure, sure, I’m nothing special do, I’d be most happy to be king of the forest, and so the bramble grew up and strangled everything. On it being there for that. Being King being in charge, is an operation that doesn’t work. Now let’s look at this from the point of view say, of electronics.
It’s primarily it comes down to scanning. Observing, and integrating the behavior of a very complex system. How can you do it? There’s a bottleneck. You cannot pass that much information through a single source. Without rendering that single source of observing it incapable of observing it. It’s as simple as that. Therefore, if you are going to have a control of an enormous amount of information. It has to be delegated to many scanning units. And you have to trust them all to work together. Because if again you go back and say well then that has to be something that scans the scanners, and see that they’re doing their job right why of course the thing that scans the scammers can only take a very general impression of each one it can’t go into the details can it.
So, a highly organized system where a lot of detail is going on has to be a system of mutual trust there is no way of bossing it. If you want to have it all you have to have it by letting go and saying to all the units in it come on let’s play together. At the moment you come on up tight about them and say. Now, I want an accounting from each one of you. Each one of them feels a little mean about it and will conceal information and you, if you’re going to keep charge of the whole thing in that style of behavior I’m going to have your hands full too full you won’t be able to watch it all. So therefore, every organic complexity works by the delegation of authority. Every organic unity is a system of love. That is to say, of mutual trust. That says, thank God I’ve got you around. I often think about when somebody does something that’s marvelous and I think what a relief that you could do that and I didn’t have to. All that effort that you put into doing this is so beautiful, and it just relieved me of the necessity. See, and that’s the way that the life principle really works. In complete opposition to any idea of lordship. Of all the credit belongs to me.
So it’s so funny when in Christianity, everybody ascribes the credit. For anything good that happened to the Lord God. There’s a sense in this. But it is not the sense that’s usually advertised. When you say it, wasn’t me that did it. You as an ego, supposing you’ve done. You’ve achieved something great. And you say you know it wasn’t my ego that. It was all these myriad little molecules and cells, each one of whom contributed to this extraordinary thing that I did. See, you could go in that way towards infinite diversity and say of everything that you did no it wasn’t me it was my people it was all these little fellows who. Each one of them. But in that, to the degree that you go towards the infinitude of the little wants. To that extent you have a true sense of unity. Whereas if you don’t give any credit to the little ones and you say oh I just push them around. You don’t realize how to put together. So it’s this is this is the true in a meaning of the principle of non-duality. That, it isn’t just kind of crass unity. Which says all the multiplicity is an illusion. And they’re all really one stuff what it’s saying is that the truest unity is the same thing as the most detailed multiplicity. Because you don’t know, you can see intellectually. You don’t know what you mean by unity in this you understand multiplicity. The one throws out the other idea they they balance each other like the back in the front so in exactly the same way the more you go fall. Highly articulate multiplicity, the more you get unity. A living organism with a complicated differentiation of its parts is more united than a piece of rock. Or homogenized milk. It’s more of a total working system. You know, you can throw the milk off the floor and it won’t reassemble itself. So this is a thing then that the whole idea of the giving in to the other saying. Trusting it to do it. Trusting. When you want to learn. A certain discipline to control your muscles in a certain way. You have to do this by trusting them to do it that way rather than. Trying to dominate them in say bunk and Sierra’s modeless book on playing the piano. All of his idea of developing eyes fill in technique is based on trusting your muscles. And that they have in them an intelligence and you trust them to use their intelligence in manipulating the instrument. So in I was the more you diversify yourself, the more the unity comes about.
So this is the real secret underlying the democratic principle. The notion of what a Republican is, as distinct from a monolithic monarchy where the people cease to trust themselves. And say to an office or authority. Please you take care of this instead. It works exactly the opposite direction. And that direction is the opposite direction of the Way in which all living organisms flow and manifest themselves.