The moment someone comes back to his own self - after long wanderings into strange lands, living meaningless lives - it is not only that he comes home; the truth of his coming home is immediately felt in thousands of hearts, far and wide.
You cannot hide the flame of truth.
Those who have eyes are bound to see it.
And you cannot stop the fragrance of your flowering from reaching those who are not dead, who are still alive, who are still sensitive, who are still open to receive.
That's what happened. As Almustafa saw his ship coming closer and closer to the harbor, as he recognized that this ship is not something unknown, but something that he had forgotten... he knows it. He recognizes the people, the mariners on the ship, and suddenly the fear of the unknown disappears. And with the disappearance of the fear, a determination arises in him: "Now I have to go. My time to leave this dark and dismal existence, towards the eternal and the ultimate, has come."
AND AS HE WALKED DOWN THE HILL, HE WAS AMAZED TO SEE - HE SAW FROM AFAR MEN AND WOMEN LEAVING THEIR FIELDS AND THEIR VINEYARDS AND HASTENING TOWARDS THE CITY GATES.
Nothing has been said yet. But something has reached the hearts of those who have not become stones, who can still feel, who can still love. He has not revealed to anyone that his ship has arrived and the time of departure is not far away. He was just coming to say that, "Long I have lived with you. Thousands of beautiful memories I am carrying with me, but I will have to leave you behind. I have heard the call from the ocean. The people of my land, of my birth, of my origins, for whom I have been waiting for twelve years, have arrived."
Without any indication, people started rushing towards him from different directions: leaving their fields and their vineyards and hastening towards the city gates.
It is not only that communication needs always words. In fact, the more valuable is the message, the less the words are needed. And if the message is of the ultimate home, silence is enough.
Why have these people, simple and innocent, suddenly started rushing towards him? - hastening.
They have never bothered about him. He has been with them for twelve years, nobody has paid any attention to him. And today, when he is to leave, men and women are rushing towards him.
This has always happened. Nobody in the whole history of man has been able to hide the truth. It is like a light - how can you hide it? It may be a faraway star to you, you may not be able to reach it - but nobody can prevent you from recognizing it.
And remember: recognizing it is not a small matter. Your heart is touched, your being is full of joy.
One of you, at least one of you has blossomed; his fragrance has reached you. Before the petals fall and the flower disappears, you have to reach quickly, at least to say goodbye, to show your thankfulness - because his realization shows definitively that you are also carrying the same seed.
Perhaps you have not searched for it, have ignored it, got lost in many many things in the world.
One person remembering himself reminds many: What are you doing here? You had not come here just to do the trivia that you are involved in. You have forgotten that this earth was going to be a discipline, a school, a training, a learning, a disciplehood.
AND HE HEARD THEIR VOICES CALLING HIS NAME.
AND SHOUTING FROM FIELD TO FIELD, TELLING ONE ANOTHER OF THE COMING OF HIS SHIP.
They have never believed him. He has been telling them again and again: "Just a little more and my spring is on the way. Soon my ship will be arriving." They have laughed at him, they have mocked him. They have disbelieved in him. They thought him a poet, a dreamer of dreams, but they have never recognized that perhaps his ship is coming.
And now they are shouting from field to field, telling one another... "We were wrong and he was right. We were many, he was alone. He could not prove, he could not give any evidence for what unknown lands he was talking about but now there is no need of any evidence. The ship has arrived.
There are skies beyond skies.
One just needs a heart strong enough to wait.
AND HE SAID TO HIMSELF:
SHALL THE DAY OF PARTING BE THE DAY OF GATHERING?"
He has been trying to gather these people all the time he has been amongst them, and nobody listened. He was an outsider, a stranger, talking about strange and mysterious things which he had no reason, no logic to prove. Shall the day of parting be the day of gathering... now that I am going to leave?
They are rushing and shouting his name, FIELD TO FIELD: "Although he was alone, he was right.
We were many but we were wrong."
Truth is not a question of majority or minority.
Truth is always of the individual - never of the crowd. And the crowd recognizes only at the time of parting - but then it is too late.
AND SHALL IT BE SAID THAT MY EVE WAS IN TRUTH MY DAWN?
For twelve years he has labored - insisting, emphasizing, knocking on each door - "Don't be worried, my ship is coming..." But for twelve years people have been listening to the same thing: "My ship is coming, my ship is coming," and it never comes, and nobody knows from where, and nobody knows that there exists another shore.
How deeply he has longed to convince these people, that "This is not your real home. Shall my eve, my evening, be called in truth my dawn? My last words, my departure is going to be the evidence of my truth."
This is not only about Almustafa - this is about all the mystics of the world. The day of departure, their evening... only when they are going to leave do people recognize. Such is the blindness of humanity; such is the insanity of the world.
But he is not complaining. On the contrary, he is immensely concerned about one thing:
AND WHAT SHALL I GIVE UNTO HIM WHO HAS LEFT HIS PLOUGH IN THE MIDFURROW, OR TO HIM WHO HAS STOPPED THE WHEEL OF HIS WINEPRESS?
The man of realization has no complaint, no grudge. And the world has never treated these people humanely - not even superficially. The world has always treated them inhumanely, barbarously.
They crucified Jesus... and now half the world is Christian.
Nobody listened to Gautam Buddha. In the land of the origin of Buddha's enlightenment, Buddhism completely disappeared. This country goes on claiming to the whole world, that "We are the country of Gautam Buddha," and there is not a single Buddhist, even in the temple which was made in his memory at the spot where Gautam Buddha became enlightened. He was against - as every man of truth is going to be - the priests, because they are exploiting people in the name of religion. He was against the past because the past is past; you have to live in the present, and if the past is too heavy on you, you are going to miss this moment.
It is a small moment.
You have to be very fresh, unburdened, unprejudiced.
Before Gautam Buddha, India was nothing but an pseudo-religious empire of brahmins. He was absolutely against the brahmins, the priests. He was against the VEDAS because if you look into them, ninety-eight percent is rubbish. And you have been worshipping them.
In the presence of Gautam Buddha, nobody could raise his voice because his face, his eyes, his presence was so potent that whatever he said became an eternal truth. His presence was the authority. But once he was gone, even for the temple which was raised in the memory of his enlightenment, a brahmin priest had to be given charge of it because they could not find a Buddhist.
And for twenty-five centuries, even today, a brahmin priest still owns the temple. His family, for twenty-five centuries has owned it. What a contradiction!
Man is so blind - and is always late, always missing the train. He reaches the platform but the train has left. But still... there is no complaint but only compassion:
AND WHAT SHALL I GIVE UNTO THEM WHO HAVE LEFT THEIR PLOUGHS IN MIDFURROW, OR TO HIM WHO HAS STOPPED THE WHEEL OF HIS WINEPRESS?
The concern of a man who is awakened is how to give you more... how to awaken you, how to give you eyes to see, ears to hear, a heart which feels... how to make you more loving.
SHALL MY HEART BECOME A TREE HEAVY LADEN WITH FRUIT THAT I MAY GATHER AND GIVE TO THEM?
There is not much time - some gift.... He's not concerned about what they have done to him. He understands: whatever they have done was done in their sleep, in their unconsciousness.
A man of consciousness is not a beggar. He's an emperor, always thinking of giving more and more - more than you can contain, more than you can understand. He goes on giving. Even as you go on crucifying these people, it is understood that what you are doing, you can only do that. Jesus on the cross prays to God only for one thing, and it is not for himself. It is for those who are crucifying him: "Father, forgive these people because they know not what they are doing."
SHALL MY HEART BECOME A TREE HEAVY LADEN WITH FRUIT THAT I MAY GATHER AND GIVE TO THEM?
AND SHALL DESIRES FLOW LIKE A FOUNTAIN THAT I MAY FILL THEIR CUPS?
AM I A HARP THAT THE HAND OF THE MIGHTY MAY TOUCH ME...?
The time is so short. He's concerned: what to do? - he has nothing to give.
Am I a harp that the hand of the mighty may touch me... so I can go, leaving my music behind. They have not understood me; perhaps my music can awaken them.
OR A FLUTE THAT HIS BREATH MAY PASS THROUGH ME?
As far as Almustafa is concerned, he knows he is no more. He has nothing to give. But he can become a flute, a hollow bamboo so that the breath of the universe may pass through me and become a song in the hearts of the people who are rushing towards him.
A seeker of silences am I... "All my life I have been seeking silences. I have not gathered money so that I can distribute it. I have gathered silences. You can take them, but I cannot give them to you."
This is something immensely important to understand.
The greatest treasure can be taken, but cannot be given.
George Gurdjieff, one of the most significant men of this century, has even to say that unless a disciple is ready to steal from the master, he will not get anything. It is in the very nature of things.
The doors of the master are open; he wants to give, he tries to give in thousands of ways - but it is not in his capacity to give to you if you are not ready to receive it. But if you are ready to see, the treasure and the doors open. The master is calling you: "Take as much as you can" - or perhaps he is pretending to be asleep so that you don't feel embarassed.
Gurdjieff was saying something which has never been said in the long history of man: "Unless a disciple is ready even to steal from the master, he is not going to get it," because the master cannot force it. Anything forced upon you becomes a lie, becomes a bondage. You have to gather courage and take it.
"A SEEKER OF SILENCES AM I, AND WHAT TREASURE HAVE I FOUND IN SILENCES THAT I MAY DISPENSE WITH CONFIDENCE?"
He has found himself. He has found what the world knows by the name of "God." But the treasure is so vast, so big... and the seeker is no more. The person who had gone in search has found the source - but it happens simultaneously: the moment you find the source, you are no more.
No man has ever been able to see the ultimate, for the simple reason that the ultimate can never be reduced to an object. You cannot be just an observer. The ultimate, as you come closer to it, starts pulling you with such a force and gravitation that you don't have even time to say, "I have found it!" You don't have time to shout "Eureka!" Before you say anything, you are gone. What you were seeking is found, but the person who started the search is lost.
Either you or God - both cannot exist together. This is the reason why we have called Gautam Buddha "Osho", why we have called Mahavira "Osho" - because the person who started the journey is no longer there; he has found, and in the very finding he has become one with it.
And one thing very significant he says: with confidence. He wants to give but he does not find the confidence that the treasure he has found is possible to give. It has never been given, it has been always found. Each individual has to find it on his own. Nobody can give it to you, it cannot be a gift. You cannot borrow it. You have to die to find it; you have to disappear for God to appear. Your disappearance is one side of the coin; on the other side is God.
That's why he says: "I am no more. What confidence do I have? Unless these people themselves start taking, it is impossible to give."
IF THIS IS MY DAY OF HARVEST, IN WHAT FIELDS HAVE I SOWED THE SEED, AND IN WHAT UN-REMEMBERED SEASONS?
Whenever I have read this statement, it has always reminded me of myself. My whole life I have been sowing the seeds in fields all over the world... and in what un-remembered seasons? I have not waited for the right season to sow the seeds because the next moment is not certain. I may be here, I may not be here. And if this moment you are available, it is better not to bother about the spring. Let the seed wait in you; whenever the spring comes, the seed will become a sprout.
If this is my day of harvest... Almustafa must be thinking, "Soon, in many many fields the harvest time must be coming. I may have forgotten completely"...in what un-remembered seasons.
I am reminded of one very important woman... because there have been a very small number of women who can be called important, but this woman was certainly important - Madame Blavatsky.
She founded a great movement, Theosophy. She used to travel all over the world, except Russia - and Russia was her native land.
It happens again and again; it seems to be almost a rule, a law. Blavatsky wandered all over the earth but could not enter Russia, her own birthplace, her own land. But wherever she went, she always used to carry two bags, on both shoulders, filled with seeds of beautiful flowers. Sitting in a train, from the window she would go on throwing seeds outside the train. People thought that she was mad. People asked, "What is the purpose? You may never come again on this route."
She said, "That is not the point. I may not come but the spring will come. I may not come, but whoever passes by here will see the beautiful flowers."
Almustafa is right: if this is my day of harvest, in what fields have I sowed the seed? But people like Kahlil Gibran - who is speaking through the mouth of a fictitious figure, Almustafa - don't keep accounts. They don't keep account books that say in what fields have I sowed the seeds, in what season.
They are not goal-oriented, and they are not business people. They are lovers - it does not matter whose field it is. If beautiful roses blossom... it does not matter who passes by, if the breeze brings the fragrance to his nostrils. And these people are not mathematical. They don't care whether it is day or night. They don't care whether you deserve or not. They never ask you: "Are you qualified enough to receive the seed?" No. Without remembering what seed, in what field, in what season, they go on sowing because they trust. They know only one thing: sooner or later the spring is going to come to everybody.
Every human being has to become a god - go on sowing the seeds. Centuries don't matter. In the eternity of time, your centuries are just like seconds.
IF THIS INDEED BE THE HOUR IN WHICH I LIFT UP MY LANTERN, IT IS NOT MY FLAME THAT SHALL BURN THEREIN.
The lantern is mine but the flame has to be divine.
EMPTY AND DARK SHALL I RAISE MY LANTERN, AND THE GUARDIAN OF THE NIGHT SHALL FILL IT WITH OIL AND HE SHALL LIGHT IT ALSO.
The moment the awakened one speaks.... He's empty, his lantern is without a flame. But he provides his lantern, his words, his gestures, his presence, for the divine to possess him. The realized man is a possessed man, possessed by the whole. Hence his authority - because those words are not his; those words are from the whole.
Those words are holy.
IF THIS INDEED BE THE HOUR IN WHICH I LIFT UP MY LANTERN, IT IS NOT MY FLAME THAT SHALL BURN THEREIN.
Almustafa is saying, "I am no more. Don't see me, I am only an empty lantern. Look inside the lantern at the flame. The flame is not mine. The flame is not thine, either - the flame belongs to the whole."
It is the same flame, whether the lantern is provided by Al-Hillaj Mansoor or by Moses or by Kabir or by Nanak. It does not matter. What matters is the flame, the light that radiates from those whose ship has arrived.
THESE THINGS HE SAID IN WORDS.... But his words are also pure honey. His words are also utterly silent. His words are also not the same words that you will find in the dictionaries and in the books. They have a certain flavor. They are coming from his emptiness. They are coming from the beyond.
THESE THINGS HE SAID IN WORDS. BUT MUCH IN HIS HEART REMAINED UNSAID.
Every realized soul has died with a deep sadness - because our language is so poor; our language is of the marketplace, it is not of the temple. It is perfectly useful as far as things are concerned but it becomes absolutely impotent as you start entering deeper into yourself. In the silences of your soul... whatever is found, words cannot express it.
But much in his heart remained unsaid - not only in his heart, in all the great hearts who have blossomed, who have been blessed by the divine - much has remained unsaid. In fact, the most significant has remained unsaid. For that you have to learn the language of silence. For that you have to sit at the feet of the master - not asking anything, just silently waiting - and perhaps, heart to heart, a synchronicity happens, a harmony, so that whatever is the dance of the master's heart starts becoming the dance of your heart.
All that is important has been communicated only through that way.
The West is very poor - not in material things, but in spirituality, because it has not learned the art of sitting in silence with someone who is overflowing with truth, with beauty, with bliss... but cannot say it. You have to be able to hear it without it being said.
In the West, even to sit at the feet of someone will be thought uncivilized, inhuman. They don't know - they can't know, because they can't see what is transpiring. But once in a while it happens....
One of my attorneys in America - one of the best; he is the head of the law department at the University of California. He used to come every day to see me in all those jails where they went on taking me - six jails in all. The first day he came to see me, I was behind the bars sitting on a chair.
Outside the bars was a chair for him - Peter Schey is his name, a very beautiful man. I felt that he was very tense physically, in his chair.
I asked, "What is the matter, Peter?"
He said, "Strange, I have never felt in my life such a thing. If you don't mind, can I sit on the floor?"
I said, "Peter Schey, you are a great attorney, dean of the faculty of law in a famous university. Why should you ask such a thing?"
He said, "That's what I have been asking myself - but allow me. Something happens when I come to see you that I feel it is not right for me to sit on a chair, I just want to sit on the floor."
I said, "If that makes you happy, sit on the floor."
The third or fourth day he asked me: "What is the magic? Because since I have been sitting on the floor in front of you just for five or seven minutes, I feel so relaxed the whole day. I have never known anything of silence. I'm a man of law, I have never felt my heart. For the first time, I have heard that my heart also beats. For the first time, love has come to me." I said, "Peter Schey, you have become a sannyasin!"
He said, "You have stolen my words, I was just going to say that."
There are things which are invisible. You can't see the air but you can't live without it. You can't see what transpires when a disciple becomes silent sitting by the side of the master. Once he has tasted that sweetness, he may not be able to convince anybody, but that is meaningless - he is convinced.
I asked Peter Schey, "Can you convince my other attorneys?"
He said, "That is impossible, because even I cannot believe what is happening. I don't have any logic for it, any reason for it. Perhaps your enemies are right who say, that you hypnotize people."
I said, "Perhaps they are right!" Because hypnosis, if it is done, becomes an ordinary thing - a street magician does it. But if hypnosis happens on its own accord, then it is of a totally different category.
If you are feeling relaxed and silent, no other logic is needed. If you are feeling loving... love belongs to a higher order, to the highest order of law.
BUT MUCH IN HIS HEART REMAINED UNSAID. FOR HE HIMSELF COULD NOT SPEAK HIS DEEPER SECRET.
Not that mystics have not tried to bring out their very soul... but the secret is so deep and the reach of our words and our hands is so small, nobody has ever succeeded. But to know that you have a secret which you cannot say is a great realization.
Have you ever thought that you have something within you which you cannot say? You will find that whatever you have, you can say it, because whatever you have, you have heard it. It has come from books, from the society, from the teachers, from education - it is all borrowed. It is all superficial.
You will not find a single thing in you that you cannot express.
Only a meditator goes so deep that soon he leaves language far behind. Soon he is on a virgin land never traveled by anyone - not even by himself. It is so virgin that words which have been used by millions of people for millions for years... they must be the dirtiest things in existence! You drink tea from a cup. Just think: from the same cup millions of people go on drinking the tea. Soon they will be drinking saliva, not tea!
Words cannot be virgin. And your silences are virgin.
Hence: for he himself could not speak his deepest secret. He wanted to.
The day Gautam Buddha became enlightened, the first question arose in his mind: "How am I going to say it? And not to say it looks so hard, so inhuman - when there are millions of seekers in the world and you have found what they are seeking, at least give them a few hints, a few guidelines, a little map, a guidebook. Keeping it to yourself and not saying it is very uncompassionate."
For seven days continuously, he was troubled. This trouble he had never felt before. He had thousands of other troubles; they had all disappeared. Now there was only one trouble, one problem:
How to indicate? How to wake up people and shout in their ears so that something reaches their silences?
The story is so beautiful. Up to this point I think, I realize, it is not a story, it is a truth. Beyond this, it becomes a story - but without that story, you will not be able to understand the truth that Gautam Buddha was facing, encountering within himself.
So I agree up to this point that is an existential experience because it is my own experience too.
The story is: Gods in heaven became very disturbed. In millions of years... somebody becomes enlightened; it is such a great phenomenon that it should not remain unexpressed. What about those millions of people who are in darkness, in unconsciousness? If the awakened person cannot help them, then who is going to help them? Who is going to show them the other shore, the further shore?
Seven days they waited and they thought Gautam Buddha was not going to speak. So finally they came down with their king, Indra. They touched the feet of Gautam Buddha and asked him not to remain silent. Such a flowering, so rare, should not simply disappear without leaving footprints for others to find the source. Of course all this conversation happened in silence - those were gods from heaven - neither they spoke nor Buddha, but the heart to heart conversation was possible with them.
Gautam Buddha said to them, "I have been thinking for seven days of all the pros and cons. I don't see the point of speaking. People are deaf, people are blind. They can hear but they cannot listen.
They see and yet they see only the non-essential. So why get into unnecessary trouble?"
I can understand him. I have been getting into unnecessary trouble every day. I could have remained simply silent and enjoyed my bliss, without being harassed by politicians, by religious priests - almost by the whole world and I have done nothing except to make an effort to convey that which is very difficult to convey.
But I have been successful in a way. Never before has anyone been able to reach so many people's hearts.
That's why I don't take any note of their jails, their harassment, their barbarousness. They cannot even tell me why they are harassing me - because I am a "controversial man." But who is going to tell these idiots - have you ever heard about any great man who was not controversial? Do you think Krishna was not controversial? Do you think Jesus was not controversial, or Socrates, or Pythagoras?
Destroy all controversial men and you will destroy the whole humanity. Then there will be only buffaloes and donkeys and policemen.
If I am controversial, that means truth is controversial.
That means your minds are so full of prejudice that you cannot understand simple things, but make them into a controversy. Because your minds become disturbed, your prejudices are stirred. It is better to poison Socrates and be at ease, to crucify Jesus and be at ease.
But remember: whatever evolution of consciousness has happened, it has happened by the controversial - not by the obedient, not by the traditional, not by the orthodox. It has happened only by rebels. But a rebel is understood only on the day of departure. His evening turns out to be the morning, but it is too late.
Gautam Buddha said, "Leave me alone. I have thought about it continuously for seven days. Those who are capable of listening to me will come to me without my speaking and those who are not capable of listening to me, I can go on shouting from the housetops - they will simply report to the police superintendent that a man is creating nuisance here. ???A controversial man is shouting from the housetops and the peace and the silence of the people is disturbed.' In what peace are people living? In what silence are people living?"
Buddha was absolutely reluctant, and I can understand his reluctance. Why bother, when nobody is going to listen and everybody is going to misunderstand you? It is better to be silent. Those who are thirsty perhaps may come, may not come; it is none of your business. You have arrived, your search is complete.
But the gods were not so easily convinced.
They went and talked among themselves: "What to do? because this will be a calamity. A buddha remains silent... and this will be the greatest insult to humanity if Buddha remains silent. It will be the greatest loss to the future, to the coming generations. They will never forgive us. Because only we know that he has arrived, it is our responsibility somehow to persuade him."
They came to a conclusion - and that conclusion Buddha could not deny. Their argument was very simple: they said, "You are 99.9 percent right. But have you thought about the few rare souls who may be thirsty, just on the verge, the boundary line and they need just a push? And what is the harm? - you are not going to lose anything. If only a few people can come to the same realization as you, the world will remain in debt to you forever."
They said, "You cannot deny that there are a few people in the world who may be just on the verge - but nobody is pushing them, and they are afraid of the unknown. They need someone for whom there is no unknown. His certainty, his authority will help them to take one step. And that's all - they will be in the same state of consciousness as you are. Don't deprive us of a few enlightened beings.
Humanity is so poor. Make it just a little richer, just a little more beautiful."
A moment of silence - Buddha closed his eyes and said, "For those few I will speak, although I cannot speak the whole truth. I cannot speak the most secret but I can speak this much, so that they can move towards the farther star. I can show them the star... my finger. It is not a problem to me. I had not thought about those marginal cases."
Almustafa is speaking, I am speaking, just for those few who have decided not to remain buffaloes - who are in search of a transformation, who want to know what this life is all about.