Almustafa is saying immensely beautiful things, but the most important thing is missing. That is the misery of a poet: he comes to know as deeply as possible but he never reaches the very center.
Only a mystic is able to reach to the very center. So although all these statements are beautiful, keep in mind that something is missing. And I am going to make you aware of what is missing.
I am not a poet. I can understand the beauty of poetry because I am a mystic; I am rooted in my own center, in my own being. I would love you to understand Almustafa's statements - perhaps they will help you reach to the center, of which he himself is not aware.
And what I am saying about Almustafa, I am really saying about Kahlil Gibran. I have not spoken on him. For many years, again and again, I thought to give new blood and new life to his statements, but whenever I saw that there was something missing, I wondered whether I would be doing justice to you if I simply commented on Kahlil Gibran without telling you that he is not an enlightened man.
Very close, but even closeness is a distance. Unless you become one, the distance remains. But finally I decided that it is better to make Kahlil Gibran and his spokesman, Almustafa, complete and whole.
AND WHAT IS IT TO WORK WITH LOVE?
IT IS TO WEAVE THE CLOTH WITH THREADS DRAWN FROM YOUR HEART, EVEN AS IF YOUR BELOVED WERE TO WEAR THAT CLOTH.
It is a very loving attitude towards work but still it is not work that arises out of love, because the beloved is separate. And the one who is beloved today may not be tomorrow. The love that humanity knows can easily turn into hate. The ordinary love is a double-edged sword. When you are in love with someone... it may be God, but it does not mean that your love cannot turn into hate any moment.
Once a man came to me and he said, "I am a great believer in God."
I said, "I have seen you before. You were always complaining against God, what has happened?"
He said, "I was complaining because I didn't have a child. And I was praying for ten years continuously and God had no response to my prayers. I stopped praying, I stopped going to the temple. I felt cheated, deceived. It became clear to me that there is no God.
"But I was impatient. Just yesterday, a child was born. I wanted first to inform you - because you know my ten years' misery - that I am greatly happy. God is. Though he may delay his decisions for his own reasons which we know not, the prayer is always heard - if not today, then tomorrow."
I said, "You are still impatient. The child can die also - what will happen to your love and your trust and your belief in God? With the death of the child, your God will also die. He is born with the child, and with the child he will be gone, and you will hate him more than ever. Before, he was just not listening to your prayers but now he has taken away your long, long desired child."
He said, "Don't say such a thing!"
I said, "I have to say it to make you aware that your love for God is seasonal. Just like the seasonal flowers - within weeks, they are there dancing in the wind and within weeks they are gone. Your love has not arisen from the center of your being. It is not an experience, it is just a bribe."
And by the way, I would like you to know that it is very difficult to destroy the ugly existence of bribery from this land because this land has been bribing even God for thousands of years.
People go to the temples and they say, "If our desires are fulfilled, we will offer you sweets, fruits.
We will believe in you. The fulfillment of our desires is the only evidence that you exist."
That's why I say Kahlil Gibran is not a mystic yet. First, let us hear what Almustafa is saying:
IT IS TO WEAVE THE CLOTH WITH THREADS DRAWN FROM YOUR HEART...
The heart is better than the head, but you are not the heart. You are still deeper: you are the being, eternal being. The moment your head dies, your heart will also stop beating. Your head and your heart both belong to the body and to the world.
Only you, in your total purity of consciousness, belong to the eternal flow of life. Only you belong to God. And if you are basing your belief on some desires which are fulfilled... it is better than to believe because certain arguments have convinced your head but it is not yet the real thing.
You should love, not because of any reason; you should love because you are so overflowing with love. It should not be addressed to the beloved. And you all know - your love goes on, up and down. The enemy can become your friend, the friend can become your enemy. You are not free, it depends on the object.
Your love is freedom only when it does not depend on any object but simply flows from your being for no cause at all. That's why it cannot be changed. It is going to be eternal. Whether God exists or not makes no difference, whether there is any beloved or not makes no difference. You will still be loving.
It is not a question of loving someone, it is a question of being love yourself. That does not come from the heart, it comes from a very deep source - the ultimate depth of your being - and showers over all: the deserving, the undeserving, the worthy, the unworthy. It makes no discriminations.
But that kind of love arises not because you have a beloved; that kind of love arises because you have reached to your very innermost center. It comes out of meditation; that is the missing point.
Otherwise, it is a beautiful poetry and what he is saying is significant:
IT IS TO BUILD A HOUSE WITH AFFECTION EVEN AS IF YOUR BELOVED WERE TO DWELL IN THAT HOUSE.
This is the poverty of the poet... once in a while, he makes the effort to reach to the stars but he goes on falling back to the earth again and again. His poetry is mixed - sometimes it reaches to the open sky on the wing and sometimes it creeps on the earth. And unless you are a meditator, you will not be able to make the distinction, because his words are always beautiful. Just see: he is saying, it is to build a house with affection... but from where are you going to get affection?
And he says: Even as if.... Remember those two words: as if. It is all imagination: Even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house. As if? - you are trying to create a hallucination around yourself.
When you see a beautiful sunset, you don't say "Look, it seems as if the sunset is very beautiful."
Your "as if" is your doubt, your "as if" is simply your inference.
Just think: You love a woman or a man and you say, "It seem s as if I love you." Do you think this is going to convince the woman? If she's really a woman and not a bogus lady, she is going to hit you hard! As if?
But the difference is clear: the mystic speaks with an authority. The poet, at the most, can speak always rooted in "ifs" and "buts."
There is a great book by a very famous philosopher; its name is AS IF. The man is sincere. He does not say, "God exists." He says AS IF... "I think God exists."
Beware of these ugly words like as if. Either you love or you don't love, there is no middle ground.
IT IS TO SOW SEEDS WITH TENDERNESS AND REAP THE HARVEST WITH JOY EVEN AS IF YOUR BELOVED WERE TO EAT THE FRUIT.
The words are beautiful but the content, the substance, is on shaky ground. That as if means you are making a castle in the sand, believing that no wind is going to destroy it. But the winds don't follow your orders.
The religious man never uses the words "as if." It is the philosopher, the poet, it is the blind person who thinks as if there is light. He has not seen it, he has heard about it. Everybody is talking about it, perhaps they are right. But it is not his own direct experience and unless the experience is direct and YOURS, it is not liberating. It is going to create a bondage. It will make you a dreamer but dreams need sleep and unconsciousness.
IT IS TO CHARGE ALL THINGS YOU FASHION WITH A BREATH OF YOUR OWN SPIRIT.
AND TO KNOW THAT ALL THE BLESSED DEAD ARE STANDING ABOUT YOU AND WATCHING.
This seems to have some truth, at least in this city of the dead. But I will not call them "the blessed dead." There is only one blessing and that is life. It is pure mannerism, etiquette, that you call the dead "the blessed." Then what are you doing here? Why don't you get dead and become blessed?
Living, you are cursed - and a cursed man, once dead, becomes "the blessed."
Just the other day I told you that this is a temple of a living god. If you come here, come with your total being and participate with the people in their joy, in their song. But still I have seen on the chairs - or have you removed the chairs? - one lady... I will not call her a woman because "woman" is a respectable word; a lady is just bribed by the male chauvinists to function almost like the dead. I have seen one woman not participating in your song and in your joy. I don't see many dead people here; just one poor woman keeping herself apart, afraid to be joyous, afraid to merge and meet you in spirit.
I will have another look when I leave, whether the miracle happens or not. In the past it used to - Jesus called Lazarus and after four days of living as dead, he immediately came out alive. There are still two hours for the dead lady to become a living woman.
And do you know, the word "lady" is ugly. It means a good lay. And the lady is supposed to lie down while making love, almost dead - not moving, not showing her joy, not screaming. This is a very cunning strategy of man because he knows: the woman can have multiple orgasms. One man can have only one orgasm; his love is finished within two, three minutes. By that time, the lady has not even become warm enough, what to say about hot dogs?
For thousands of years, the woman has been exploited in such cunning ways. She has been told, "This is being graceful, to lie dead and suffer the whole agony." That's why all women, when you are making love to them, close their eyes. They don't want to see what is happening because they are not participants. Otherwise it is the most beautiful dance of meeting, of merging, of two lovers in oneness.
I cannot support the statement:
AND TO KNOW THAT ALL THE BLESSED DEAD ARE STANDING ABOUT YOU AND WATCHING.
But in a Christian conditioning... Kahlil Gibran is a converted Christian; his forefathers changed their religion from Mohammedanism to Christianity. All the religions born outside of India believe that you have only one life, and then sit on trees - blessed, dead - or stand, as you wish, and watch for eternity until the last day comes, the day of judgment.
Jesus was asked again and again, "When is the day of judgment coming?" Because his apostles were greedy, they wanted to enter paradise as soon as possible. And Jesus lied to them, or perhaps he himself was living in an illusion.
He said, "Very soon. In your very life you will see the gates of paradise flung open. I will be standing with my father, God, indicating who has followed me - he will be allowed in. And those who have not followed me will fall into the eternal darkness of hell."
This small statement made Bertrand Russell, who was born a Christian, very irritated and annoyed.
He dropped out of Christianity and wrote a book, WHY I AM NOT A CHRISTIAN. Of all the reasons that he has given, this is the most important: that the whole religion is just without any sense of justice.
In one life, how many sins can you commit? If you go on committing sins every moment - without eating, without drinking, without sleeping, for seventy years non-stop - even then, you cannot commit enough sins in seventy years to deserve eternal hellfire. Eternal! There should be some justice.
Bertrand Russell himself said, "I have committed many things which can be condemned by Christians as sin and I have dreamed many things which can be also condemned as sin. My actions and my dreams both could be joined together - the hardest judge could not send me to jail for more than four or five years."
Eternal condemnation to hellfire, with no exit, no way of coming out is sheer stupidity, nonsense, unreasonable. But a man like Kahlil Gibran is still burdened with the idea.
(A MAN IN THE AUDIENCE, A VISITOR, RISES TO LEAVE THE HALL.) Look at this man... where are you going? And if you were going to leave this place, why have you come? These are the dead people! Look at his face ... and the woman I indicated - they should not be allowed in. This is a congregation, this is not a film show!
But all the religions that have been born in India are more rational in this sense. They do not believe in one life, but in reincarnation. You go on being reborn again and again. The whole eternity is given to your life, without any beginning and without any end.
So I have been watching in the morning - I don't see any dead soul watching from the trees. Just a few dead souls enter out of curiosity, or perhaps they are in plainclothes, just police dogs. But I will not tolerate anybody who is here out of curiosity, who is here as an observer, who is here as a detective, who is here as an informer. And you all have to be aware. Whenever you see somebody not participating, this is the last time he has entered this temple of God.
Often have I heard you say, as if speaking in sleep.... But that as if goes on. He's not certain what he is saying. He is simply assuming - as if speaking in sleep:
"HE WHO WORKS IN MARBLE AND FINDS THE SHAPE OF HIS OWN SOUL IN THE STONE IS NOBLER THAN HE WHO PLOUGHS THE SOIL.
Painters, poets, sculptors, dancers, are being awarded with Nobel prizes. Have you heard that a gardener who creates life, beautifies life, has received a Nobel prize? A farmer, who plows the field and brings nourishment to you all - has he ever been rewarded? No, he lives and dies as if he has never been here.
This is an ugly demarcation. Every creative soul - it does not matter what he creates - should be respected and honored, so that creativity is honored. But even politicians get Nobel Prizes - who are nothing but clever criminals. All the bloodshed that has happened in the world has happened because of these politicians and they are still preparing more and more nuclear weapons to commit a global suicide.
In a real, honest human society, creativity will be honored, respected, because the creative soul is participating in the work of God.
"AND HE WHO SEIZES THE RAINBOW TO LAY IT ON A CLOTH IN THE LIKENESS OF MAN IS MORE THAN HE WHO MAKES THE SANDALS FOR OUR FEET."
Our sense of aesthetics is not very rich.
I am reminded of Abraham Lincoln. He was the son of a shoemaker and he became the president of America. Naturally, all the aristocrats were tremendously disturbed, annoyed, irritated. And it is not a coincidence that soon Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. They could not tolerate the idea that the country had a shoemaker's son as the president.
On the first day, when he was going to give his inaugural address to the Senate, just as he was going to stand up, one ugly aristocrat stood up and he said, "Mr. Lincoln, although by some accident you have become the president of the country, don't forget that you used to come with your father to my house to prepare shoes for our family. And there are many senators who are wearing the shoes made by your father, so never forget your origins."
He was thinking he was going to humiliate him. But you cannot humiliate a man like Abraham Lincoln. Only small people, suffering from inferiority, can be humiliated. The greatest of human beings are beyond humiliation.
Abraham Lincoln said something which should be remembered by everyone. He said, "I am very grateful to you for reminding me of my father just before I give my first address to the Senate. My father was so beautiful, and such a creative artist - there was no other man who could make such beautiful shoes. I know perfectly well, whatever I do, I will never be such a great president as he was a great creator. I cannot surpass him.
"But by the way, I want to remind all you aristocrats that if the shoes made by my father are pinching you, I have also learned the art with him. I am not a great shoemaker, but at least I can correct your shoes. You just inform me, I will come to your house."
There was great silence in the Senate, and the senators understood that it was impossible to humiliate this man. But he has shown a tremendous respect for creativity.
It does not matter whether you paint, sculpt, or make shoes; whether you are a gardener, a farmer, a fisherman, a carpenter - it does not matter. What matters is, are you putting your very soul into what you are creating? Then your creative products have something of the quality of divine.
Except creativity, there is nothing divine.
BUT I SAY NOT IN SLEEP, BUT IN THE OVERWAKEFULNESS OF NOONTIDE, THAT THE WIND SPEAKS NOT MORE SWEETLY TO THE GIANT OAKS THAN TO THE LEAST OF ALL THE BLADES OF GRASS.
Existence treats everyone equally. The sun does not rise only for the rich people; neither is the full moon night dedicated to the presidents and prime ministers of the world. When the wind blows and brings fragrance, it does not bother whether you are a famous man or just a nobody.
Existence is pure communism, it treats everybody equally. The saint and the sinner are not demarcated. The water will not say to the sinner, "You cannot quench your thirst because you are a sinner. I am here for the saints." Just learn something from existence, because this is the only holy scripture. I don't know any other scripture which is holy - but nature is innocent, pure, sacred.
If we had listened to nature, man would have been part of this tremendous equality, respect for all, reverence for life. But man has forgotten the ways of nature, he has become absolutely unnatural.
His misery is a by-product of his being unnatural.
AND HE ALONE IS GREAT WHO TURNS THE VOICE OF THE WIND INTO A SONG MADE SWEETER BY HIS OWN LOVING.
But you will not find the names of those people in your history books, because they were not murderers on a great scale - like Alexander the Great, who killed for no reason at all; just an idiotic desire to conquer the whole world. These conquerors cannot be creators. These are the most destructive people in the world.
The whole world's pressure is on Ronald Reagan to stop creating more nuclear weapons. But he seems to be absolutely insane. He is not listening to anybody. And these American politicians have been condemning the Soviet Union continuously. But the Soviet Union, seeing the stubborn attitude of Ronald Reagan, has stopped creating more nuclear weapons ten months ago. This needs courage.
Ronald Reagan and his company are a company of cowards. Now what is the point? - when the Soviet Union was also creating nuclear weapons, there was some point... "Don't be left behind." The Soviets tried their best to convince them: "We are ready to reduce our nuclear weapons; you start reducing yours in the same proportion." Seeing that there is no possibility from a religious bigot and a political fanatic like Ronald Reagan, they themselves have stopped - alone. This has raised their prestige all over the world.
Ronald Reagan is already a defeated soul. You have shown your cowardliness, and all your propaganda against the Soviet Union seems to be nothing but lies.
You will be surprised to know that I have been expelled from America for no reason, and the Soviet Union has invited me to their international book fair and said that if I cannot come, I can send anybody with all my literature: "We want the Soviet Union to know all the best literature of the world."
In America, nearabout one million dollars' worth of my books were being sold every year. But suddenly no bookseller, no chain stores - who were continually saying that "your supply is not enough for our demand" - are ready to put my books in their showcases. Who is a fascist country today? America has turned into a far more fascist country than the Soviet Union or Germany has ever been.
And Ronald Reagan is a very religious person, he is a fundamentalist Christian. What kind of religiousness is this? He is deceiving the beautiful American people and he is trying to destroy the whole world. The world has never before seen a worse criminal in power. Adolf Hitler is left miles behind.
But these names make history: Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, Nadir Shah. They have only destroyed.
I am reminded about Nadir Shah - he had invaded India, and each night he wanted beautiful women and wine. The whole day he was killing people and at night, it was a celebration.
One night, his soldiers brought a prostitute who was very beautiful. She danced, and Nadir Shah was very happy. In the middle of the night, he said, "I am feeling tired, and tomorrow morning we are going to invade another country. So stop the dancing."
But the frail, young and beautiful woman said, "In the dark night, passing through a forest, I will have to go to my village. At least allow me to stay overnight. In the morning, when there is light, I can go."
He said, "Don't be worried. You are a guest of no ordinary person; you are a guest of Nadir Shah. I will make your path full of light right now! And he ordered his soldiers to put all the villages on fire on the way, all the trees on fire on the way, so the prostitute could go in full light. Twenty villages, with living beings who were asleep, were put on fire and the whole forest was put on fire to create a morning in the middle of the dark night - just for the prostitute to go, because she was no ordinary person's guest.
These are names which make history. You will never come across in your history books those who are humble, silent, peaceful.
But Kahlil Gibran is right:
AND HE ALONE IS GREAT WHO TURNS THE VOICE OF THE WIND INTO A SONG MADE SWEETER BY HIS OWN LOVING.
Except a loving heart, there is no greatness anywhere. And you all have the loving heart. You just have to be told that it needs to be opened, made available to existence - to life, to people, to trees, to oceans, to everything that surrounds you.
WORK IS LOVE MADE VISIBLE...
Whenever you create, you are making your love for existence visible. But your religious saints are telling you to renounce the world.
In India, there are thousands and thousands of monks - of Hindus, of Jainas, of Mohammedans - but they are all uncreative. They don't even paint or write poetry. No, work is condemned, and these people who are the condemnors of life and its creativity are worshipped.
I have been asking people, "Where are you going?" And in India, to go to a saint is called seva - service. They are going to serve the saint. The saint cannot work, cannot create, is the most useless person - an unnecessary burden on a poor country - and he needs service.
I used to know a very beautiful man, Magga Baba. He was so tired of these people continuously serving him, because there is a limit to everything. They wouldn't let him sleep! Ten persons are massaging him... he was such a simple, innocent soul that he would not say anything. "Let them do...."
But one night he disappeared. He used to disappear, not on his own accord. He was perhaps the only person who was continuously being stolen. Because one village had served him enough, some other village, finding the chance, would steal him. And he would not say anything. If they said to him, "Sit in the rickshaw," he would sit.
Many times he was found in different villages and brought back. But finally he got so tired....
I was a university student in those days, and once in a while I used to go to him - just to sit by that silent man, because he never used to speak to anybody. But I was blessed that if there was no one else, he would whisper something into my ear. And the last thing he whispered in my ear was:
"Tears are coming into my eyes because I will not be able to see you again."
I said, "What happened? Any indication of being stolen?"
He said, "No, I have got so tired of all these people who are serving me. I cannot sleep, so I am just going to disappear in the mountains. And I will not be coming back because humanity is not the place to live silently."
He was an enlightened being. But no history book will ever mention him. History seems to be obsessed with the murderers, with the powerful, with people who have created all kinds of nuisance in the world and have not been a help or a blessing but a curse.
If the new humanity arises, the first thing is to make bonfires of all the history books. Get rid of Alexander the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte, Ivan the Terrible, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Benito Mussolini, Ronald Reagan. Don't let your children's minds be poisoned by these people!
History should take note of the creators, of people who are nobodies, but because of their nobodiness they have turned into flutes - hollow bamboos. The wind blows and the flute turns the wind into a song. These are the people who love existence because they beautify it.
But all the religions are against life. They say, "Renounce life," and life includes work, life includes love, life includes everything. "Renounce life, because your renunciation of life is going to be, after your death, an entry into paradise." But it is always after death.
All these religious people and the politicians are angry with me for the simple reason that I am telling people that life is herenow - not after death - don't wait. And life is in love, life is in being creative, life is in understanding your innermost being. Because only then can you become a constantly overflowing source of beauty, love, and joy.
Who cares about life after death? Life is before death, and if you can live totally, there is no death for you. This is the experience of all those who have entered into silence. They have witnessed the greatest miracle: that their innermost core, their consciousness, is eternal. Life can take away the clothes, the bodies, but life cannot destroy you. But only the creator - and a creator out of love - transcends death.
WORK IS LOVE MADE VISIBLE.
AND IF YOU CANNOT WORK WITH LOVE BUT ONLY WITH DISTASTE, IT IS BETTER THAT YOU SHOULD LEAVE YOUR WORK AND SIT AT THE GATE OF THE TEMPLE AND TAKE ALMS OF THOSE WHO WORK WITH JOY.
If you cannot be a creator, if you cannot love work, if you cannot love life, then the only possibility for you is just to be a beggar. The lover is an emperor, the creator is an emperor - without invading the whole world. He has invaded the whole universe out of sheer, loving creativity. But if you cannot do that, then at least just sit before the temple as a beggar.
Why is he particularly suggesting the temple? Because if the temple is a living temple - and I mean by a living temple one where the master is still alive - there will be seekers coming, lovers, creators, and you will be constantly seeing that they are as much human beings as you are. Perhaps you may start feeling ashamed of being a beggar. Perhaps one day you may wake up and enter the temple, not as a beggar but as a seeker of truth, as a seeker of love, as a learner of how to create.
FOR IF YOU BAKE BREAD WITH INDIFFERENCE, YOU BAKE A BITTER BREAD THAT FEEDS BUT HALF MAN'S HUNGER.
AND IF YOU GRUDGE THE CRUSHING OF THE GRAPES, YOUR GRUDGE DISTILS A POISON IN THE WINE.
AND IF YOU SING THOUGH AS ANGELS, AND LOVE NOT THE SINGING, YOU MUFFLE MAN'S EARS TO THE VOICES OF THE DAY AND THE VOICES OF THE NIGHT.
The song is continuous. The birds are singing, the flowers are singing. Whether you can hear it or not is a different matter. You think the flowers are not singing? You should think that you are deaf!
Because I have heard them singing, dancing. Even in the dark night, the silence is a song. If you cannot do anything, at least allow existence to enter into your being. It will transform you.
I call the science of transformation, meditation.
Just sitting here, listening to the birds, is being filled with the eternal creativity.
I have been in this garden for seven years before I went to America. My people had planted small plants and now it has become really a jungle, so beautiful that you need not do anything - just sit silently under the shade of a tree and feel what trees are whispering to each other. There is constant communion between the earth and the sky.
And if you have heard that whispering, your heart will start dancing with joy. That whispering will become your song of life. That whispering will make you understand the Song of Solomon.
It is a strange fact that in the Old Testament, which is the holy book of the Jews... they don't allow the New Testament in their holy book; the New Testament concerns Jesus and his teachings. In the Old Testament, there is only one thing which has any spiritual significance and that is the Song of Solomon. But Jews are very much afraid that people should know about that song. It is not discussed in their synagogues because it is a song of life - not of renunciation but of rejoicing. It is a song of love. That is the only part of the Old Testament which is really religious. The Old Testament, without the Song of Solomon, has no worth, no value at all.
But the rabbis and the synagogues and the scholars are all concerned with the Old Testament and somehow feel ashamed that the Song of Solomon is there - what to do with it? And it is the only beauty in the whole Old Testament, the very essence of spirituality.