THEN A MASON CAME FORTH AND SAID, SPEAK TO US OF HOUSES.
The first thing I would like to be remembered by you is that a house and a home are two absolutely different things. Because the question is coming from a mason, he knows only of building houses.
Houses are dead. Unless they are filled with your love, your silence, your song, unless your house becomes a reflection of your dancing heart, it remains dead.
But the moment there is love and there is gratefulness and there is celebration, a house is no more a house - it becomes a home. It is alive. It starts breathing. It becomes filled with all the fragrance that you create.
There is one step more - when the home becomes a temple. But the poor mason cannot ask these questions.
When your meditativeness goes to such depths that you start feeling within yourself pregnant with God, the home becomes a temple. But millions of people are so unfortunate, they go on living in houses. Even to transform a house into a home seems to be difficult for them. And because they cannot transform their home into a temple, that's why they need temples to be created, churches to be created, cathedrals to be created as the dwelling places of God.
But I say unto you: No church, no temple, no synagogue can become a dwelling place of God if you have not first already become a dwelling place of godliness.
If this series of transformations happens - from house to home, from home to the temple - the world will need no churches, no temples, no mosques. People go to the temple - this is absurd. The temple has to come into their heart, and transform the whole place of their dwelling into a sacred, holy, divine place.
It is said that when Moses was forced too much by his followers - "How long is it going to take to reach the city of God, to the divine land, Israel? Why don't you go and ask God himself? because you have been telling us that you are just a messenger, and the message is not yours but God's. It is time enough, it seems we are on the wrong path."
Moses said, "I will go, but no one should follow me because one can meet God only in absolute aloneness."
So the whole caravan of the Jews waited in the valley when Moses went on the mountaintop of Sinai. There, he came across a strange phenomenon. He did not see God but he saw a miraculous thing: a green bush... surrounded with flames, and yet the bush was green. It should have been burned long before, and yet the bush was full of fragrant flowers.
He could not believe his eyes. To have a better look, he went closer to the bush. As he was coming closer, a voice was heard. He could not see whose voice it was. But the voice said, "Moses! Leave your shoes and yourself outside this sacred place. Only then you can enter."
It may be a parable - most probably it is - but it has a profound truth. The fire of God never destroys.
It is cool, it is nourishing. And secondly, where this silent, cool, nourishing atmosphere is created, the place becomes sacred - a temple. And of course, you have to leave your shoes and yourself outside the sacred place. It shows the way that if you leave your shoes outside your house, it has become a home. But if you can leave yourself too, with the shoes, it has become a temple. Then you are walking on holy ground.
I am not concerned with the historicalness of the story. I am concerned with the essential truth that it contains. But it is strange that Almustafa does not make the distinction between a house and a home and a temple. Perhaps he himself is unaware.
AND HE ANSWERED AND SAID:
BUILD OF YOUR IMAGININGS A BOWER IN THE WILDERNESS ERE YOU BUILD A HOUSE WITHIN THE CITY WALLS.
Rather than making the mason aware about the science of transformation, he starts talking about making houses in the wilderness. But they will still be houses, and if everybody makes his house in the wilderness there will be no wilderness. Soon there will be restaurants and discoteques and cinema halls and prostitutes and politicians. The whole gang that he is afraid lives in the city, will create a city around you.
In India, for centuries people have traveled on foot to Badri Kedarnath. The Himalaya is so virgin, so pure, so unpolluted by man and his stupidities. And there was a suggestion that because so many people go - and it is dangerous, the footpath is narrow and many have died and never returned - it would be better to make a road.
Now the road has been made. People don't go on foot, they travel by bus. At each stop, there is a restaurant, tea shops, vendors of all kinds of things. They have destroyed the beauty. Now Badri Kedarnath is no more the same sacred place it used to be. Because it is not the place that is sacred.
It is the heart full of love - so full of love that it is even ready to die - that makes the place a sacred place.
Now going in a bus, with all the facilities available by the side of the road... one beautiful phenomenon has been corrupted. And the people who have corrupted it think they are serving God because now more people can go there. Now Badri Kedarnath is always crowded. These are not the right people. Their only qualification is that they can afford a ticket for the bus. But the people who used to go on foot were given a farewell by the whole town, because there was not much possibility of their returning. The path was dangerous, the height was dangerous, but they had heard some call, and they were ready to sacrifice their lives for it. They were brave people.
Then, in the silence and eternal peace of the Himalayan peaks, Badri Kedarnath was a totally different phenomenon. It was a temple. Now it is not even a home. It is just a house surrounded by all kinds of business people, shops. Whatever you want you can get. It has become a bazaar. Now only idiots go there, or tourists, which means the same. It used to be a spiritual pilgrimage because of its risk, because you had to put yourself aside - all your fears of death, you had to drop.
In a superficial way he is right:
BUILD OF YOUR IMAGININGS A BOWER IN THE WILDERNESS ERE YOU BUILD A HOUSE WITHIN THE CITY WALLS.
The cities have become prisons. The nations are bigger prisons. The whole of humanity is living imprisoned without being aware of the fact. Do you think Poona is a place where people live? It is a prison.
Just the other day, one newspaper has published a threat from the same man who is conspiring with the police commissioner and others. He has failed in his first attempt... but what kind of city is this?
I have never committed any crime in this city or anywhere else in the world. The police have the record of seven years of my being here. Tired, I reached here, and within hours I was ordered to leave the city in thirty minutes because I am a danger to the peace of the city.
The police commissioner must have been thinking that just as he goes on behaving with other people, who don't have any pride of being.... I refused to move! I wanted to know - what is the crime that I have committed? I have been here for seven years....
Seeing that now he has got into trouble... and I made it clear to his officers who came that he would have to face me in court, and prove on what grounds he is saying that I am going to disturb the peace of the town. In fact, he is disturbing the peace of the town, in conspiracy with Hindu chauvinistic gundas, hooligans, criminals. Seeing that he would have to defend his action, he immediately suspended it.
Vilas Tupe, the leader of an ugly bunch, has threatened again - now he has found a new threat, but the mans seems to be utterly unintelligent. He has to be, because no chauvinist, Hindu or Christian or Mohammedan, can be intelligent. It is impossible for intelligence and fanatic attitudes to coexist.
Now the threat is that every sannyasin coming from outside India should first have to go through a medical examination for the disease AIDS. Why is he afraid of AIDS? Is he a homosexual? Does this city consist of homosexuals?
And before his threat, I already knew that if he failed in his first attempt, the second attempt was going to be a medical examination by the same kind of chauvinist Hindu-minded doctors. If he can find the police commissioner to support him, he can also find doctors to support him, because he is nothing but a nuisance. Seeing the possibility of it, I had already ordered all the centers, informed all our newspapers and magazines around the world to publish it, that whoever is going to Poona should have with him a certificate from the medical authorities that he has no AIDS, that his test is negative.
But in Poona, there are also other institutes where people from all over the world come. The threat is only for my people, not for the people who are studying in the Max Mueller Institute, not for people who are studying yoga with Iyengar. Can you see the stupidity?
And secondly, my people are not interested at all in being in love with these ugly and dead people.
The danger is not from my people to the city, the danger is from the city to my people. And I demand that the newspaper, TARUN BHARAT a Marathi daily, should take its statement back, with an apology. Are you sure that in Poona there are no homosexuals? Has there been any kind of medical examination for all the people of Poona? Particularly the Hindu monks, the shankaracharyas, the Jaina monks, Acharya Tulsi and others... and their number is not small - it is almost more than twenty million people in the country.
They believe in celibacy, and celibacy is the mother of homosexuality. Not only of homosexuality...
because the other person might spread the news, and the prestige of the great saint would be in danger. So your so-called saints, just to release their sexual energy, have fallen even below homosexuality to sodomy. They are making love to innocent animals. And it is not a new thing.
In the Old Testament, it is mentioned that there used to be two cities, Gomorrah and Sodom. And God became so fed up with those people because Gomorrah was homosexual and in Sodom, people started making love to animals. Hence, the word "sodomy," from the city of Sodom. God destroyed both the cities completely.
Nagasaki and Hiroshima are not new things. They happened in Gomorrah and Sodom thousands of years before.
I demand from the government and the medical authorities that every citizen of Poona, whether he is adult or not... because there are small children found, just born, with the disease, because the mother or the father had the disease. So nobody can be an exception. Everybody in this city should be examined.
But every country, every city, every religion is trying to hide the fact. In Texas, nobody had ever heard that people were homosexuals. It is the most backward part of America, it is a desert. Thinking that in Texas there was not going to be any problem, because there were no homosexuals, the Texas assembly passed a law that homosexuality is a crime and anybody who is caught and is found to be homosexual will have to suffer five to ten years in jail. But it seems idiocy has no limits, because jails are one of the places where homosexuality is the only expression, because you keep the women and the men separate.
But as the law was passed, the whole of Texas was shocked: one million homosexuals protested, saying that "It is our birthright. What we do with our sexuality is nobody else's business, and if you insist..." They have now formed an organization, and they have all gone underground. Underground means... on nobody's face is it written that he is homosexual. This is more dangerous, because these people will not be known any more as homosexuals and they will go on making every kind of contact with others.
America is reluctant to declare exactly how many homosexuals are there. Every country is reluctant, because it is such an ugly thing.
Just the other day, I heard that the U.N. has made a documentary film on the street people, on beggars. America has thirty million beggars, but the government is not ready to accept the fact. They have opened a small place for a few hundred street people. They have given them houses, food, clothes and some kind of employment. The U.N. has included that experiment in its documentary so that other countries can also see that something has to be done. It was included with all good intentions in the world, they were not including it to criticize America. They were including it to praise America, but the American government forced the U.N. to edit out that part.
Even the U.N. authorities were surprised. They said, "That is the most important part and it brings credit to you that you are doing something for those poor, hungry, shelterless people, without enough clothes, just sleeping on the streets." But the American politicians have a different attitude. They said, "That means your intention is good, but the world will come to know that America also has street people." They have been continually denying that they have any beggars, and it is absolute nonsense.
My conflict with the American government began on the question of street beggars, because I invited three thousand street beggars to be part of our commune. Now, the commune was an international headquarters; there were people from every country, and thousands of people were coming and going. Seeing that three thousand street people had reached the commune... and they were so happy. For the first time they were being treated as human beings - with the same love, with the same food, with the same clothes, with the same houses, with all the facilities that were available to sannyasins who had donated millions of dollars. Perhaps for the first time they recognized that they are also human beings, not dogs of the street.
That was the beginning of a conflict between Ronald Reagan and me. What harm was I doing to America? If three thousand people can be absorbed by a five-thousand-person commune, can't the whole of America absorb thirty million people?
But the real trouble is that those thirty million people are almost all black, and they were afraid. The news media was continuously coming to the commune. Every day, their planes were landing at the commune's airport. They were surprised, seeing three thousand black people - people to whom they have never paid any attention. But now they had to pay attention.
The American government tried in every way - and the Christian church - to persuade those people that, "Just for the shelter, food, clothes and work you are getting, soon you will drop Christianity too, without knowing it." Afraid of losing numbers - that was the fear of the Christian church.
And they are doing the same thing all over the world. In India, who becomes converted to Christianity? - the beggars, the orphans. And we were not converting them to another religion.
We don't have another religion. My whole approach is for religiousness.
The government was afraid that the world would come to know that America has beggars.
I was the first person in the whole world who talked about AIDS, its dangers and how to prevent it. I was the first to invite every commune member to go through medical tests: "And if you have AIDS, don't feel guilty, don't feel ashamed. We will take care of you." And we found two persons who had AIDS. We made them the most beautiful houses on the best scenic spot in the commune, just by the side of the lake, with forest surrounding them. And nobody disrespected them, nobody condemned them - because they are victims of the Christian monks, monasteries; they need all our compassion, and particularly because they are not going to live more than six months.
I told them, "Do whatsoever you always wanted to do but went on postponing. And the commune will provide everything that you want - the food you want, the clothes you want, or anything that you need. It will be difficult for you to live in isolation, far away from the commune."
I allowed them to come to every discourse, to every meditation and told them, "Just look: the commune is so loving towards you. You should also be careful that you don't contaminate any other human being with your disease."
And they were grateful. They asked, "Sitting the whole day is difficult. We need some work also, and we don't want to be a burden on the commune."So I told them, "There is so much work. You can create beautiful gardens around your houses."
They created gardens, rock gardens around their houses. And I told them, "You are not separate from the commune, it is the disease that can be dangerous to your brothers and your sisters, your beloveds." Sheer understanding is needed.
The whole American press laughed when I was talking about AIDS. The politicians laughed, the neighboring American cities laughed - "These people are strange. In the whole world, nobody is concerned about AIDS. Why should they be?"
And we had made a big campus where three thousand people could have been accommodated.
We wanted to open the first nursing home for people who are suffering from AIDS, but we were prevented. The commune was destroyed.
Now almost every government in the West is doing the same - and without mentioning the name of who started it! They are following exactly the same rules that we made for the commune, that while making love, you should be very careful to use condoms.
But to go to a medical store or to a doctor, one feels ashamed to say, "I am trying to prevent AIDS and I need condoms." We had our own hospital - but still human mind is human mind, so we put in every toilet, the whole package which can prevent the disease. And when journalists saw that in the toilets there were condoms, that you could just go and take them without having to ask somebody, those journalists were writing negative articles about it!
Now the same is being done by every parliament in Europe, in America, but not with such humanness. You have to go to the doctor, you have to purchase the condom from the druggist, and one feels ashamed.
This is a strange world - so blind, so ugly. Now the threat is... and it is only for my sannyasins - what about the Max Mueller Institute, where people from all over the world come to study? What about the University of Poona? What about Iyengar's Yoga Institute? Their names are not mentioned.
I want Vilas Tupe to know perfectly well that before you ask any sannyasin for an examination to decide about AIDS, you, your party members, the police commissioner, all the police officers and the whole of Poona have to receive a negative test result and a certificate, because I am concerned about my people. My people are staying in hotels. AIDS is not infectious only in sexual relationships, it can come through saliva. If the cup is not disinfected, sterilized, if the toilet seat is not sterilized every time it is used, one can suffer unnecessarily without being a homosexual. And there are a few experts who think the AIDS virus can even contaminate you just through breathing, that if you are sitting by the side of a person who has AIDS, his breath carries the virus. And if you breathe it, you are suffering from the greatest disease, for which no medical cure exists. And medical doctors say, "We don't see any possibility of finding a cure."
AIDS is a slow death within six months. Now what is the Indian government doing about it? Just don't say that we don't have any homosexuality. You will have to give proofs for it, because I know professors who are homosexuals, I know students in hostels who are homosexuals. In the army, homosexuality is just the only way to get rid of your sexual burdens.
And the whole country is full of prostitutes. And now, for the richer people... because they cannot go to the prostitutes, their area is condemned as the red light district, you should not enter it. So people who are respectable, the people who are governors, who are ministers - for them, a new category of prostitutes has arisen, and that is the call girl. You just phone her and she will come to your house. And she's not listed as a prostitute, she is listed as a "call girl," which does not give the idea that she is a prostitute.
Mohammedans are all homosexuals, because if you marry four women then what about the three men who are left without women? Either they have to be homosexuals or sodomists, which is worse.
Your so-called saints should all be examined - begin with Satya Sai Baba, because he is a confirmed homosexual. And not an ordinary homosexual, because there are books written by people with whom he had homosexual relationships. So it is on record, and he has not refuted it and he has not gone to court. He is a freak of nature. He has both organs, the male genitals and the female. With just a little technology, he could make love to himself.
So I want the editor of this newspaper TARUN BHARAT to take all those words back, with an apology.
Otherwise, soon they will find themselves in court.
The cities are certainly sick. And more and more of the population is moving from the villages towards the city, because in the villages, education is not possible. You cannot become very wealthy, you cannot live with all the luxuries that the city people are living with. Villages are becoming deserted and cities are becoming overpopulated.
The suggestion is good: "Make your house in the wilderness and not within the city walls, because these cities are simply prisons - part of a greater prison which you call a nation.
And in this country, it is hilarious: Poona is part of a state called Maharashtra - "the great nation."
India is only a nation; within a nation, there are great nations. Nobody sees the absurdity of it. So first the city is your prison, and then your state is your prison.
Morarji Desai, when he was the chief minister of Gujarat, wanted to pass a resolution in the assembly that I could not enter Gujarat. On the one hand, the constitution goes on saying that every citizen of this country has freedom of movement, he can go anywhere. He has the freedom to express his thoughts with absolute freedom. But this is not the case. In reality, things are different.
I would also like you to get out of all prisons. But just going into the wilderness is not the right way to get out of prisons, because if nine hundred million people of this country move into the wilderness, then the wilderness will be destroyed. Cities you have destroyed already. Nine hundred million people moving into the mountains and the forests will have to make houses. And cities will start growing because you have needs which can be fulfilled only by others. You cannot do everything; you will need a doctor, you will need a dentist, you will need clothes. You will need a thousand and one things, and a city will start growing around you. You will need roads, and buses and cars will start moving on those roads.
And only the richest people can afford to make a house in the wilderness because it is going to be costly. Soon they will need helipads, airports and the whole nonsense will be there. Whatever is left is not enough, we have destroyed nature so mercilessly. Leave whatever is left. Once in a while, you can go, but you will have to live in the cities.
But there is no need for the city to be a prison. Who is the police commissioner to tell me to leave the city within thirty minutes? Am I a prisoner? Is he a jailer of this city?
The suggestion Kahlil Gibran is giving is not feasible. What I am saying is that the people - living wherever they are living - should be more conscious of freedom, should be ready to fight for freedom. Not even a single inch of your being should be allowed to be enslaved.
There is no need of states, there is no need of nations. Unless all these disappear from the earth and the whole earth belongs to human beings... and the freedom to move anywhere on the earth should be our birthright. This is the only way to destroy the invisible slavery and the invisbile wall of your prison.
FOR EVEN AS YOU HAVE HOMECOMINGS IN YOUR TWILIGHT, SO HAS THE WANDERER IN YOU THE EVER-DISTANT AND ALONE.
Man is basically a wanderer. Those days must have been hard but immensely beautiful... before cultivation started, man was bound to be a wanderer because he was a hunter. Cities came into existence because of cultivation. You have to take care of your fields and your orchards, you have to remain in one place. But in the days of hunting, the animals were escaping from wherever they found people, and you had to follow them.
That wanderer is still in your being. It has been reduced to the tourist. A tourist is an ugly thing - with their sunglasses, cameras hanging on their shoulder, they are not seeing anything. They are simply taking pictures. At home, they will make a beautiful album and then they will see how the Taj Mahal looks.
But there is, in the spirit of man himself, a longing to explore new spaces. This longing should not be reduced to ugly tourism. This longing can be transformed from going to see the Taj Mahal and the pyramids and the cathedrals of Europe; the same wanderer can turn inwards. And that is the whole secret of meditation.
The moment your wanderer starts a new journey into your interiority.... And remember: it is not a small place, it is as big, as vast, as the universe outside. Because the outer and the inner have to be balanced. Existence is continuously balancing. In your small body, you have a dimension of consciousness which is as vast as the whole universe is. Every man is carrying a universe within himself.
The moment the wanderer turns inwards, your wandering has become a spiritual search. And I am immensely happy that you cannot take your cameras, your sunglasses and the whole paraphernalia of a tourist inside.
You will have to go alone, naked, without your suitcases.
And inside you is your real freedom, because your consciousness cannot be touched by anybody else. You are the only master of your being.
YOUR HOUSE IS YOUR LARGER BODY.
It is an ordinary statement, but with some meaning. Have you ever thought about how you are treating, behaving with your house? Looking at your house, I can say many things about you; I may not know you at all. If you are confused, your house will be in a confusion. If you don't have any aesthetic sense, your house will be ugly. If you don't have a love for cleanliness, your house will show it.
So it is right: Your house is your larger body. Don't misbehave with your house.
IT GROWS IN THE SUN AND SLEEPS IN THE STILLNESS OF THE NIGHT; AND IT IS NOT DREAMLESS. DOES NOT YOUR HOUSE DREAM? AND DREAMING, LEAVE THE CITY FOR GROVE OR HILLTOP?
It is poetry but symbolic, metaphoric. Your house also wants to be beautiful, just the way your body wants to be beautiful. Your house also wants to be young and fresh. Just as your body longs for youth, your house also wants to remain young, does not want to die. Your house must be a representative of you, of your dreams, of your longings, of your state of being.
Do you think that if you pass by the side of the house of a Gautam Buddha, you will find it just the same house as any other? No, it will have the fragrance of Gautam Buddha.
I was very young, perhaps twelve years old when a very strange human being visited our house.
My father brought him because he was learned - and not only learned, he had some authentic experiences of his own. Perhaps he was not enlightened... at this moment, it is impossible for me to remember exactly. I cannot even remember his face. I just know that he was a Sufi, a Mohammedan mystic, and my father had been listening to him and he thought perhaps he might be able to do something, suggest something, convince me of something, because everybody was worried about me. Although I was living in their house, they all felt I was a stranger. And they were not wrong.
I would be sitting silently and my mother would come and ask me, "Have you seen anybody?
because I want few vegetables." And I was there, but she knew that to send me for vegetables had been a very bad experience. Once or twice they had tried and then they dropped it.
And finally, my presence was not as if somebody was present. I laughed at the whole thing, that she needs vegetables and there is nobody in the house.
I said to her, "You have given me my exact description. I am a nobody. You are right, there is nobody in the house. If I come to see anybody, I might inform you."
I was sent one day to purchase bananas. I had never purchased bananas, so I asked the shopkeeper - and the whole town by and by had become aware that "this boy does not belong to us." It was a good chance to cheat me, because I always trusted. I asked him: "You have many varieties of bananas; which one is the best?"
And he showed me the worst variety, rotten bananas, and asked almost double the price of the best bananas. I gave him the money and took the whole lot. It was disgusting.
I said, "This is strange that the best bananas are so disgusting. I cannot tolerate their smell."
Somehow I ran and gave them to my mother. "I have found the best bananas, and of course I had to pay twice the price."
She looked at the bananas and she hit her head and she told me, "Remove them; otherwise the whole house will be stinking!"
I said, "But they are the best bananas."
She said, "You do one thing more, and then I will never ask you anything again." There used to live an old woman beggar, just under a tree. "Go and give all these to her."
I took all those bananas to the old woman and seeing the rottenness of them, she said, "Throw them! I may be a beggar but that does not mean that you can give me any rotten thing. I am a human being."
I said, "My god, to whom am I to give them?"
She said, "It is not my concern. But go away, because the stink is too much."
So I had to throw them in the river.
My father had brought this Sufi mystic, thinking perhaps he could be helpful. And my father was puzzled, my family was puzzled because what the man did... they had given me a separate room so that I would not be a constant nuisance to them. Because just sitting there, doing nothing, was enough to irritate them - they are all doing, everybody is working, and I am with closed eyes, meditating.
So they had given me a separate room with a independent entrance to it. The Sufi came with my father and he went around smelling the walls, at this corner, on that corner... my father said, "My god, I brought him to bring you to your senses. He seems to be far gone."
My room was absolutely empty. I have always loved emptiness, because only emptiness can be absolutely clean. Whatever you go on collecting in your room, sooner or later becomes junk. So I had nothing in the room.
My father looked at him, looked at me and he said, "I have invited him, so I should see what he does."
Then he came and started smelling me. Now it was too much. My father said, "I had explained to you that my boy is a little eccentric - and you are confirming his eccentricities!"
"No," he said, "I can smell the room and I can smell him. It is the smell of silence, the fragrance of silence. You should feel blessed that you have got such a son. I had to smell both to see whether this fragrance belongs to his presence. It belongs to his presence, this room is full of his presence.
Don't disturb him." And he asked my forgiveness, saying "Forgive me; I have disturbed, coming into your room."
My father took him out and then he came back and said, "I used to think that only you were mad.
There are even madder people - smelling the room!"
But I told him, "Your house is your extension: in a subtle way, it represents you. And the man you brought is certainly a great human being, a man of insight and understanding."
WOULD THAT I COULD GATHER YOUR HOUSES INTO MY HAND, AND LIKE A SOWER SCATTER THEM IN FOREST AND MEADOW.
WOULD THAT THE VALLEYS WERE YOUR STREETS, AND THE GREEN PATHS YOUR ALLEYS, THAT YOU MIGHT SEEK ONE ANOTHER THROUGH VINEYARDS AND COME WITH THE FRAGRANCE OF THE EARTH IN YOUR GARMENTS.
BUT THESE THINGS ARE NOT YET TO BE.
He is a great poet and a visionary. This is how the earth should be. But instead it is growing with such a great rate that just the population itself will destroy us, because you will have to cut more and more trees to make space for people. You will have to destroy more and more greenery.
The experts used to think that by the end of this century, India would have one billion people. Now, they have changed their opinion because the growth rate does not follow their calculations. The poorer a country is, the greater is the population explosion. Now they have fixed almost half again the number - one billion and four hundred million people will be living in this country by the end of this century.
In Buddha's time, there were only twenty million people all over the earth. Perhaps that should be the limit, then his dream can be fulfilled:
WOULD THAT I COULD GATHER YOUR HOUSES INTO MY HAND, AND LIKE A SOWER SCATTER THEM IN FOREST AND MEADOW.
But Kahlil Gibran was never in any way trying to actualize his dreams. I have tried - and burned my fingers. What about the governments? They will not allow you to make this earth more beautiful, more loving, with more flowers, more greenery, more birds, more wild animals without any fear that they will be killed by you. Governments go on lying about everything. They go on committing all kinds of crimes against humanity.
Just this morning, I have been informed that Ronald Reagan was in a secret conspiracy with the Ayatollah Khomeini... because Ayatollah Khomeini was keeping the American embassy people and not allowing them to go back to America, so Ronald Reagan made a secret pact with him: "You release the Americans and we will give you as many weapons as you want."
And this has been going on for almost two years. Khomeini is as mean as Ronald Reagan. He will not release all the hostages. He releases a few people after six months and gets a lot of armaments.
Of course, he gives the money, and that money also does not belong to him, it belongs to the late Shah of Iran.
And what Ronald Reagan is doing - so no American becomes aware of it - is that with that money he sends more armaments to the terrorists who are trying to destroy a small country, Nicaragua. So neither does the Senate have to be asked... and for these two years he had been able to keep it secret. Millions of dollars worth of armaments were being sent, and given to the terrorists to destroy a poor country who wants to live a life of its own choice. It is none of Ronald Reagan's business.
Just now it has leaked out, and Ronald Reagan is denying that there has been any kind of conspiracy. The head of the CIA, who was the mediator between Ayatollah Khomeini and Ronald Reagan, was called by the Senate to give his testimony - and just on the way, he fell unconscious.
He also knows that if he tells the truth it will be another Watergate - they have already named it "Irangate." Ronald Reagan will be gone, and with him the head of the CIA will also be gone. It is better to pretend that he is unconscious.
But how long can he remain unconscious? And now that the thing has come out, soon many more proofs will be available because the whole White House has been aware of it for these two years, but silent.
One sometimes thinks that perhaps all the politicians should be behind bars. The governments can be run by simpler people - poets, painters, mystics, dancers, creative people - not criminals.
It is beautiful what Almustafa is saying. But he knows: But these things are not yet to be. And man has been hoping and hoping for millions of years that one day, all our dreams will be fulfilled. A beautiful dream:
WOULD THAT THE VALLEYS WERE YOUR STREETS, AND THE GREEN PATHS YOUR ALLEYS, THAT YOU MIGHT SEEK ONE ANOTHER THROUGH VINEYARDS, AND COME WITH THE FRAGRANCE OF THE EARTH IN YOUR GARMENTS.
A beautiful dream and a simple dream but the human being seems to be almost impotent. It goes on playing into the hands of criminals.
IN THEIR FEAR, YOUR FOREFATHERS GATHERED YOU TOO NEAR TOGETHER.
This is true, the cities and the crowds are born out of fear. Alone, you start feeling afraid. In the crowd, it is more cozy: there is no fear, there are so many people around you. But you should remember, they are also in the crowd for the same reason. One coward is not less a coward if there is a crowd of one thousand cowards. Yes, he may feel that one thousand people are with him. But it does not change anything in his inner world.
AND THAT FEAR SHALL ENDURE A LITTLE LONGER. A LITTLE LONGER SHALL YOUR CITY WALLS SEPARATE YOUR HEARTHS FROM YOUR FIELDS.
Just words of a visionary, because we have heard the same kind of promises continuously...and that fear shall endure a little longer. How little longer? Is there any limit? It consoles people but it does not transform them. The fear will not disappear on its own.
Don't remain consoled. You will have to rise above fear, it is not going to leave you just by mere hope.
Are not the millions of years that have passed enough to prove what I am saying? Nothing changes in man, for the simple reason that you go on hoping. Hope is nothing but opium, a drug - and more harmful than any drug because it keeps you suffering, because "tomorrow everything will be okay."
"Soon..." but that tomorrow never comes, and the "soon" goes on stretching into millions of years.
Kahlil Gibran never came in conflict with the vested interests because he never tried to realize any dream. Those who have power are not afraid of your hopes. In fact, they want you to continue hoping.
All the governments of the world and all the religions of the world are against me for the simple reason that I tried to materialize a dream - that is unforgivable. I have committed a great crime because I have given a taste of reality - not just a dose of opium so they can again go on dreaming.
Just in the front of my house, there used to be an old barber. He was an opium addict, a very beautiful man. I loved him very much and he loved me very much. Although he was of the age of my grandfather - and it was my grandfather who introduced me to the barber - he was always under the influence of opium.
He was a poor man because nobody..or very rarely some stranger, some outsider, might come to his salon. And you couldn't blame people....
I used to sit with him for hours because he used to talk great things. One day he said to me, "I have heard they are going to prohibit opium and all other drugs. If this happens, all the people who are opium addicts have to create a political party and fight in the elections."
I said, "Your idea is good, but opium addicts creating a political party and fighting in the elections will be a little difficult."
He said, "I also think it is going to be a little difficult because even small things are difficult. People come here and they say ???Shave my beard,' and I shave their heads! But by the time they stop me, half of their head is shaved. They become very angry."
I said, "Then what do you do?"
"I say to them, ???There is no problem. You can pay me only half, what is the problem? Or if you are too angry, don't pay me at all."'
But who can go... at that time there were no punks; otherwise, that poor barber would have been one of the best punk creators.
Once in a while, he would ask me: "What about you? You go on sitting here for hours, wasting my time... and no business. Can I shave your head? Free of charge, just out of friendship."
I said, "I don't come here for business. I come here to listen to you, what opium has done to you."
He said, "It has done much. Last night, I heard somebody milking my cow. I took the lantern - it was very difficult because in the night I take a good dose - and I went around the cow, and nobody was there. But still the sound continued.
"Then I found one man who was pissing outside. Just to figure out who he was, I again went with the lantern - around him. He said, ???What are you doing?' I said, ???I am trying to find out who is milking my cow.'
"He said, ???My god, I am not milking your cow!'
"So," he said, "it has done great things to me."
One day he whispered in my ear, "Would you like a little opium?"
I said, "You are enough! You are doing enough for the whole village."
But the man was immensely loving. He was very poor because very few people turned up for business. My father used to see that I was always there and he said, "Already he is a problem. If he starts taking opium, then we are finished!"
That night, he came to my bed and said, "It is not good to sit with that opium addict idiot and waste your time."
I said, "It is not wasting my time. I have learned much more from him than from anybody else."
He said, "Have you started taking opium also?"
I said, "Not yet."
He said, "What do you mean by not yet?"
I said, "Who knows about the future? But this much I can say - I cannot promise - this much I can say: I am already drunk with the divine. I don't need any other opium or any other drugs, so you don't be worried."
He said, "Don't you suggest to that man to stop?"
I said, "He's already so poor, in such suffering. Opium is the only thing that gives him dreams, and he forgets all his problems. It will be too hard if he stops taking opium."
And this is the situation of the whole of humanity. You go on and on hoping and hoping because you cannot cope, you cannot encounter the ugly reality that surrounds you.
If you drop your hopes, there will be a great revolution:
The birth of a new humanity.