The fourth question:
Do growth and spirituality have any meaning in Tao?
None whatsoever – because Tao is whatsoever is the case right now. Tao is the present. Growth brings future in. The very idea of growth brings the future in, and then everything is distorted. Not that you don’t grow in Tao, in fact you only grow in Tao, but the idea of growth is completely foreign to the world of Tao. They don’t talk of growth. They only talk of how to be, not how to grow.
And if you know how to be, that is the only way to grow. If you know how to be in this moment you are on the path of growth. You need not think about it, it comes by itself on its own accord, just as a river finds its way to the sea without consulting any guidebook, without asking anybody on the path where the ocean is. It finds the way. Not trying to find it, still it finds. It goes on moving, moment to moment living its life; finally it reaches the ocean. This moment lived well and totally, the next moment will come out of this moment – from where else can it come? It will grow out of it on its own, you need not worry about it. You live this moment in totality, and the next moment is born out of this. If you have lived totally then the possibility for the next moment is born with it – it can also be lived totally.
If you know how to live totally, you will also live the next moment totally. You will become more and more total every moment and growth will happen on its own. But if you are too concerned about growth, you miss this moment – and that is the only time one can grow in.
So Lao Tzu doesn’t talk about growth because he knows that the very talk about growth will become postponement. Then one thinks, “I will grow tomorrow. Today is not the time for me. Many other things have to be done; growth can wait a little. There is no hurry.” And then you go on postponing and you go on living this moment in a fragmentary, partial way. And the next moment will come out of it, and with each moment you will become more and more partial, fragmented, divided, split. Then who will grow and how does one grow?
One has to become that which one is already. One has to attain that which one is born with. You have to become that which is your very being, the very basis of being – so right now is the work. This passing moment has to be used so intensely, absorbed so intensely…then it becomes growth. Growth is not an ideal in Tao, it is a byproduct.