Kahlil Gibran knows exactly what is needed, but he is absolutely unaware of how to transform man.
It is easy, very easy to give beautiful words to man's essential needs. But unless you know how man can manage to fulfill his demands, your words may be beautiful but they carry no meaning at all.
And it is not only with Kahlil Gibran - it is the case with many great poets, thinkers, philosophers.
They talk as if these things are already available in the marketplace, you just go and purchase them.
They go on telling people, "Love, have compassion. Be kind, enjoy sharing." But these are empty words. It is good to read them but it is nothing but entertainment.
And what is needed is not entertainment; what is needed is transformation. It is not enough to say to someone, "Love." The real question is how he can find love arising in him, what are the methods, the techniques which bring flowers of love. Nobody talks about it.
All these words are immensely beautiful - but as they are beautiful, so they are empty. It is like saying to a hungry man, "Eat, and eat nourishing food." But the question is, where is that nourishing food? and how is the hungry man going to reach and find it?
This is a fallacy perpetuated for centuries, without anyone questioning it. Mahavira goes on saying to people, "Be nonviolent." But the question is, man has come out of the animals, his whole being is full of violence. How can he get rid of the violence? How can he transform the same energy that is violence now, into nonviolence? Nobody asks the question, everybody gets hypnotized by beautiful words. The words are right, but they are not going to be the dawn of a new humanity.
They have all failed, utterly failed. The greatest human beings of the past have failed on a single point. And why has nobody questioned? - because nobody wants to change. It is beautiful to listen, it is beautiful to be a follower of Gautam Buddha or Jesus Christ - it enhances your ego. If you were really interested in transforming your energies, you would have asked, "Whatever you are saying is right, but show us the path, the signs."
It is a strange story, of great people talking about the stars... and naturally, one becomes impressed.
But the question is how to get there. This is the problem with Kahlil Gibran too, and on a far greater level, because he himself is not a transformed human being.
He is very articulate, great are his words. But I am going to ask about each of his statements whether it has any content in it, or it is just his longing, his desire, his dream. All the dreamers have given humanity great hope - and because of that hope they have prevented any kind of revolution in people's consciousness.
People have been waiting.
They have also given a wrong notion to people that they know what the real needs are and how they can be fulfilled... but they don't know at all that these needs are so deep that unless you are born again you will be only playing with words and wasting your time.
I am not here to waste my time and your time.
I mean business.
AND A MERCHANT SAID, SPEAK TO US OF BUYING AND SELLING.
AND HE ANSWERED AND SAID:
TO YOU THE EARTH YIELDS HER FRUIT, AND YOU SHALL NOT WANT IF YOU BUT KNOW HOW TO FILL YOUR HANDS.
This was once true, thousands of years before.
It is not true in the times of Kahlil Gibran or in our time.
The earth is no longer capable of feeding us, because in our stupidity we have overpopulated it.
And he has not said a single word against overpopulation, because the Christian church is against birth control. He has not said anything about legalization of abortion, because the Christian church is against it.
Now the fruits of the trees cannot sustain this vast ocean of humanity. It was possible once, when the humanity was just a few million people and each man had thousands of trees available for him.
In our ignorance, we have cut down all those trees to print third-class, yellow newspapers. Millions of trees are destroyed just for newspapers.
It seems we are on a suicidal path.
I had been to Nepal before, and this time I was simply surprised: all great trees are gone. Those trees don't grow within days or weeks, they are not seasonal flowers. Those trees take centuries to grow - and seconds to cut. You cannot replace them. But Nepal is a poor country, so they sold all their big and magnificent forests to the so-called great powers of the world. And with the electric saw, every day hundreds of trees are disappearing.
But Kahlil Gibran is not talking about anything which is sensible and feasible.
I would like all these nonsense newspapers to be stopped. Now we have better media. We have radios, we have television - then why go on printing thousands and thousands of newspapers and newsmagazines? The television is not going to destroy the trees; neither is the radio going to destroy the trees.
But even a poor country like India has so many newspapers and so many weeklies and fortnightly newspapers, and monthly and bi-monthly, and annual... and nobody raises the question that what you have done to nature is not going to be forgiven. Nature is going to take its revenge with vengeance - it is taking it already.
And to say in the twentieth century, to you the earth yields her fruit, and you shall not want if you but know how to fill your hands - everybody knows how to fill his hands; it seems he is talking to the idiots. But where are the fruits, and where are the trees?
He is making a statement which is simply nonsense.
It is in exchanging the gifts of the earth that you shall find abundance and be satisfied... This too is not true. The earth has been giving to you for millions of years and you have not returned anything to nourish it.
Hindus go on burning dead bodies - it is against nature. The bodies should be returned to nature...
because what are your bodies? Nature has given you food, the sun has given you life, the air has been giving you continuous nourishment. When you die, your body should go back to the original sources - the earth to the earth. You should become manure for your future generations.
We have exploited the earth so much that it has lost its abundant treasures. We are now technologically capable to return all the chemicals back to the earth. But man's mind dwells in the dead past. He goes on doing the same stupid thing without seeing that he is killing himself.
I was visiting a city, and one of the most respected Hindu monks, Karpatri... his only quality is that he eats his food from his hands. That is the meaning of the word karpatri - kar means hands and patri means a cup, a bowl. Except that, I don't see anything in that man. But just because he goes on begging and eating from the hands he has become one of the most respected saints of the Hindus.
He was delivering a religious discourse. I told my friend to stop the car, I would like to listen to a few words. Sitting in the car, I listened to his discourse, and I was amazed: in an educated city with a university of its own, a medical college, an agriculture college of its own... and nobody was saying anything to that idiot.
The government had just made a very huge reservoir, because the land is barren and the rains have become uncertain. So they had made the reservoir to produce electricity for thousands of villages, for all kinds of scientific technological uses, and water enough to irrigate the whole land that is becoming slowly slowly a desert. It was ready and it was just waiting for the president of India to come and inaugurate it. Because in India, the president and the prime minister have no other business than inaugurating bridges, reservoirs... even movie houses, restaurants!
Unfortunate is this country, to have all kinds of idiots dominating it.
What is the need of inaugurating? The reservoir is ready, the earth is thirsty, but they are waiting because the president has too many other appointments - and they will be of the same kind. A small road and the president has to inaugurate it - I don't see the point except that by inaugurating that small road, his photo will be printed in every newspaper and he will have a chance to deliver a lecture to the people.
And Karpatri was telling his thousands of followers, "Don't use the water from the reservoir for irrigation."
I had to come out of the car. I said, "This is something strange! People are dying and people are starving; the earth is thirsty, everything has become barren, all greenery has disappeared." I wanted to understand his argument - what argument is he giving?
His argument was so hilarious. He was saying, "Don't use the water because its electricity has been taken out, it is impotent. Electricity was the real power, and if you use it for irrigation, your crops will be impotent. And whoever will eat from your crops, he will become impotent."
Naturally, nobody wants to become impotent.
Those thousands of people were agreeing with that man! I said to my friend and host, "I never thought that in your cultured city you would allow such stupid nonsense and call it religious discourse.
This man is not only talking nonsense, but seems to be insane! Water does not become impotent.
Electricity is not water's potency; water's potency is to quench the thirst of the earth. And the proof that it is potent is that the earth will become green."
And Karpatri was not only a religious saint of the Hindus, he was also the head of a Hindu political party, RAMRAJ PARISHAD. He had members in the parliament. What kind of people are choosing and voting? These people should be behind bars - their basic need is not to be worshipped and respected, their basic need is a brain operation! They must have tumors in their brain that do not allow them to see a simple fact. And if this is the situation of your "great leaders" - he is a great leader, religiously and politically both - then what about the poor, uneducated, ordinary humanity?
We have been exploiting the earth. We have been taking its juices through the fruits, through other crops, and we are not at all concerned to return at least equal the amount of chemicals that we have taken out through the fruits.
It is good poetry, but you cannot live on poetry alone.
He is saying, it is in exchanging the gifts of the earth that you shall find abundance and be satisfied.
He is talking about the beginnings of humanity when there was a barter system, when people were exchanging things, when there was no money as a means of exchange.
You have a cow and more milk than you need, but you don't have clothes. So you have to go around to find a person who has more clothes and is in need of milk. It was such a wastage of time and energy, and it was not always easy - you want a horse but you have to find the right person. You have to move from village to village to find the right person who can give you a horse in exchange for something that you have and he needs.
It was possible when there were very few people on the earth. Now the very idea of exchange is absurd. Just think: for any of your needs you may have to go around the whole country to find the right person. Money is one of the greatest inventions of man, to avoid this whole trouble. Whether you need the milk or not, whether you have the horse or not does not matter; anybody who needs milk can pay in money and anybody who wants to sell a horse, you can purchase it. Money is a shortcut.
And just having a single rupee in your pocket... have you ever thought how many things you have in your pocket? If you want a man to massage you, he is in your pocket. If you want to smoke cigarettes, they are in your pocket. If you want to go to see a film, it is in your pocket. Of course you cannot have all the things for one rupee - but you can choose anything that you want.
Kahlil Gibran would have been supported by a man like Mahatma Gandhi, because he was talking of a world so primitive that except for barter... money would have been impossible. And you will be surprised to know that it is not the West that invented money and currency, it was China. And for three thousand years they have been using currency notes.
When Marco Polo discovered currency notes he could not believe, because although in European countries in the West, money had come into existence, it was in gold coins. If you were carrying ten thousand gold coins, either their weight would kill you or you would be robbed, because anybody can see that you are carrying ten thousand gold coins. And what is the need of carrying such burden from one place to another? - this can be done with a small piece of paper, just a ten thousand rupee note with the promise of the government that whenever you want gold you can come to the treasury, produce the note and take the gold. The gold remains in the treasury.
Certainly those people three thousand years back must have been very intelligent. In comparison, Marco Polo thought... because he had brought many things from China to Europe. The printing press was invented in China at the same time, because without a printing press how can you have notes? He brought notes to show to the pope, because at that time the pope was the decisive factor for the whole Western world. And the whole court of the pope laughed at Marco Polo. They said, "You call it money? Do you want to deceive us?"
And the pope took out from his pocket a gold coin and threw it on the floor - certainly it creates sound. And he asked Marco Polo, "Now throw your note. It is just a piece of paper. You have been deceived."
Marco Polo tried in every way... "I am not deceived; the whole of China, which is one fifth of the world, is already using notes."
The barter system disappeared because it was impossible as the population became thicker and thicker. Money came into existence, but solid gold. Then gold disappeared, silver disappeared; notes came into existence. In fact they are also out of date.
In our commune in America we had just currency cards, because a note is a dirty thing. It goes on passing through so many people - somebody may have AIDS, somebody may have tuberculosis, somebody may be suffering from cancer. You cannot know the history, through how many hands the note has passed. I have not touched any note for thirty years - it is absolutely unhygienic and against all medical research.
But man seems to be so retarded all over the world... then, when better means are suggested they will not listen. All that is needed is your bank account and just a small card which will remain only in your hands, and you can go and purchase anything; the bank has to pay. But your card is absolutely hygienic; it never moves into all kinds of people's hands - from prostitutes to saints. It is the ugliest thing today.
Kahlil Gibran is saying:
YET UNLESS THE EXCHANGE BE IN LOVE AND KINDLY JUSTICE, IT WILL BUT LEAD SOME TO GREED AND OTHERS TO HUNGER.
That's why I say that he is using beautiful words but without any significance. Yet unless the exchange be in love... but how can it be in love? Do you have a loving heart? Have you ever loved? You have always asked to be loved, you have never offered your love to anyone. Have you encountered any energy in you which you can call love? Even when you say, "I love you," deep down it is not love but only biological lust. So the same woman, the same man that you love today, tomorrow becomes a weight on your chest, starts killing you.
You are caught in your own promises, because you had promised her just to fulfill your lust; otherwise the woman will not be ready to go into all kinds of sexual gymnastics. You have bribed her with beautiful words and promises: "I will love you forever. Others have loved, but only when they are alive. I will love you, my beloved, even when I am dead. I will love you not only in this life but all the lives to come." Now you are caught in a net. Once your lust is fulfilled, your biological energy is spent, the woman looks like an absolute stranger.
Everybody wakes up in the morning, man or woman, and wonders: who is the other fellow? And what is he doing in my bed? Only when you are a little better awake you remember, that this is my husband, this is my wife. And again the story starts: "Darling..."
In the old days, stories used to start, "Once upon a time..." Now they start, "Darling..." Early in the morning! And both are very loving, because both are waiting for the other to get up and prepare the tea.
How do you expect people to exchange in love - they have no experience of love. They have never loved anyone.
Yes, they had experiences of lust. They covered that ugly word "lust" with a very beautiful word, "love." Because if you say to a woman that "I have a great lust for you," she is going to inform the police commissioner immediately - "Look! A disciple of Osho, on the public street, said to me that ???I have a great lust for you."'
Just to help you, they have rented a house by the side of our temple, where day and night there are dozens of policemen with loaded guns, waiting for you to do something so they can immediately enter into the campus. And not much - if you just smoke a cigarette... and they are all smoking cigarettes. If you are just holding somebody's hand, remember: the police are waiting with loaded guns, just by the side - for special purposes they have rented that house.
That house used to belong to us. Our people used to live in that house, and we had again asked the owner. And he was very happy; he said, "I had no complaint against your people. They can have the house, the house is empty." But there must be some police dogs even here, because I cannot call an informer a human being. He is just a police dog, sniffing here and there.
Those police dogs must have informed the police commissioner that "They are going to rent the house, and the owner is willing." Immediately the police commissioner called the owner and told him, "Don't give that house to Osho's disciples."
Perhaps he must be telling that to all other owners in Koregaon Park - the houses are empty - and that owner must have said, "The house is empty and you are preventing me from getting some rent." Just to prevent us, the police have taken it for rent; now the police people are living there, just watching so that if anything shows any sign of love then a crime is being committed.
The society is against love, the government is against love, the education is against love.
I remember... I was sitting with the vice-chancellor of the university where I was teaching philosophy.
He used to love me; once in a while passing through the corridor if he would see me he would immediately send somebody to call me - "If you don't have any classes or anything, if you are not engaged, just come and have a cup of tea with me."
He loved to discuss things of the beyond; he had a certain philosophical bent of mind. One day when I was sitting with him, a post-graduate student girl came in, crying. And she said, "I have been continuously harassed by one young man - he is also in the same subject, in the same class. He goes on harassing me in different ways."
The vice-chancellor asked, "Just tell me what he actually does."
She said, "Sometimes he takes the air out of my bicycle, sometimes if there is nobody around he throws a pebble at me. And continuously he goes on writing letters - without signing them. I know that he is the person, I know his writing." And she had brought about three or four dozen letters. The vice-chancellor said, "I know that boy. You are not the first to report against him. He has been in this university for five years - from the very beginning - and continuously he has been doing the same things. I am tired of him, he has been punished in every way. Now the only way is to expel him from the university."
I said, "Just wait a minute. We will have to decide whom to expel."
He said, "What do you mean?"
I said, "I mean whether I have to be expelled or you have to be expelled or this girl has to be expelled or that boy has to be expelled - there are four persons involved."
He said, "Have you suddenly gone crazy?"
I said, "You keep quiet. Let me talk with the girl." I said, "Be true and authentic - don't you really enjoy being harassed?"
There was a moment of silence, but her tears disappeared. I asked her, "If nobody punctured your bicycle, nobody threw a pebble at you, and nobody ever wrote a single letter, would that be preferable?"
She said, "I have never thought about it in this way. No, that will not be preferable."
And I asked her, "Be sincere. Your coming here to report - is not some joy inside that only you are the most beautiful girl? And you have brought all the proofs for it."
She said, "But how have you come to know?"
I said, "This is not a question of coming to know about it, just a simple psychology: a woman suffers most if nobody looks at her." Although if you look at her for more than three seconds, she is going to be very angry. Three seconds is the limit found by psychologists. Three second means casual, by the way, but looking more than that becomes staring. But if a woman is never stared at by anyone, she will suffer immensely.
I told the girl, "I can see you are feeling proud, even in your tears." She was a beautiful girl. I said, "The boy has done nothing wrong, it is just that he is stupid and does not know how to persuade a girl."
I told the vice-chancellor, "You need not interfere. Send the boy to me - I will teach him how to make love."
He said, "Is this the university, the seat of wisdom?"
And I asked the girl, "What do you want? You say it, it will be done. If you want that boy to be expelled he will be expelled."
She said, "No, I don't want him to be expelled. In fact, without him this whole university will be empty for me. He is beautiful."
He vice-chancellor said, "Strange... if he is beautiful and you cannot live without him, then why have you come to complain?"
I said, "This is simple advertisement." And then I said to the girl, "So there is no need for me to call the boy?"
She said, "There is no need, because if he takes the air out... he also keeps a pump, to help me.
If he throws pebbles at me, he makes sure that they don't hit me or don't hurt me. And if he writes letters there is nothing wrong in those letters. And perhaps you are right, that I had come here for the purpose you mentioned."
I said to the vice-chancellor, "I will manage - no interference from your side; otherwise I am going to call a meeting of all the boys and all the girls of the university and tell them that this vice-chancellor has to be expelled because he does not even respect love."
He said to the girl, "Now you can go - you need not listen to these things. You forget what he has said, it is just between me and him." And then he turned towards me; he said, "You should not say such things before the students."
I said, "Just one question and I will go, because I have my class. And I have got the subject..."
He said, "What subject?"
I said, "This subject - because I don't have any program, I never decide about what I am going to teach. This is such a beautiful subject... but one question before I leave. Remember your days when you were young and a student in the university? And be truthful - have you not ever looked at a girl with desire, with longing? Have you not written a love letter?"
He said, "It is very difficult to be untruthful to you, because your eyes penetrate so deep that I know you will find out what the truth is. You are right. But now I am a vice-chancellor and I have to manage a university of ten thousand students."
I said, "You don't know how to manage. Expelling because the boy loves the girl? And the girl was certainly beautiful - what do you think? Don't you feel like writing a love letter?"
He said, "At my age?"
I said, "Love knows no age."
He said, "That's true, but don't tell anybody. If my wife comes to know that I have confessed to you that I like the girl, then there is going to be terrorism in my home!"
Because people are not allowed, given opportunities by their elders.... No father, no mother, no elder brother, no professor, no teacher ever shares with his students, with his children, his own experiences. So naturally everybody remains almost an amateur lover. He never passes from ABC, and one has to go beyond love only when one has passed XYZ.
Love is a sleeping energy in you.
My experience is, if your mind can be emptied out of all the crap that you are filled with, in that emptiness blossoms the flower of love, of joy, of peace, and of all that is beautiful in existence.
And unless you have it, how can you give it to anybody? Your hands are empty, your heart is empty.
Kahlil Gibran goes on talking about beautiful things, but those beautiful things need a clear-cut understanding of where and how you are going to find them.
And once you have them, everything that you will do will have the magical touch of your experience.
It is not only a question of exchange - a man of love even touches the chair with love, although the chair may not feel it. But who knows? The chair may have a different kind of sensitivity, different from ours.
A man who knows love cannot do anything without it - it is not within his capacity. And when I say it, I say it with absolute authority: I cannot even move my hand without love, although I am moving my hand in the air. Since I have come to know my own inner being, every act, small or big, has become full of love and joy and peace and silence.
And justice is only a by-product of love - a man of love cannot be unjust. But neither your judges know what love is nor your lawmakers know what love is. That's why there are ugly laws, "unkindly,"
Justice is a by-product. It is not a question of going to a law college and learning all about the laws, and it is not a question of being a judge. Because I have been to the courts and seen the judges - they are so dead, so miserably dead and absolutely unconcerned with what they are doing. They are technicians. They know all the legal jargon.
In the first court where I was brought after my arrest in America, I had some hope, because the magistrate was a woman. But I forgot completely that a woman is more hungry for power, more hungry for prestige, more hungry to rise on the ladder of success, because for centuries she has been denied. I simply thought, she is a woman and she will understand.
But she was bribed by the White House, and this was related to me by the highest law authorities in Carolina. The U.S. Marshal who was taking me back and forth from the court to the jail told me on the way: "It is absolutely unjust what is happening, but you will have to tolerate it. It is only a question of a few days. They cannot manage more than a week to keep you in the jail, because the pressure from all over the world is increasing. And all the news media all over the world are focused only on one question - why you have been arrested and where you are being kept."
And why was I not brought to Oregon, to Portland where the court was going to decide whether I should be bailed out or not? Why was I moved for twelve days continuously from one jail to another?
The root cause was that fat woman, who must have been feeling guilty, because she never looked at me eye to eye. And she must have been feeling afraid, too, because she told the marshal: "Tell Osho he cannot use his cap in the court because in America it is thought to be a contempt of the court."
I told the U.S. Marshal, "I will wear my cap, and if she has guts she should ask me in the court. It is a question which has to be decided, whether the cap is a respect for the court or a contempt."
He became very nervous. He went inside, told the woman. She said, "Don't disturb him. I will not raise the question at all, he can wear the cap." Perhaps I am the first man who has used his cap in the American court, because it is a "contempt of the court."
I was prepared to fight - I was not bothered about the bail or all the law and the crimes that they were finding against me. One hundred and thirty-six crimes - I was not concerned. I wanted to face the woman directly, and I wanted to see how much guts she had. I wanted to listen to how the cap can be called a contempt of the court. Then why is my robe not a contempt of the court? I will remove both together, just to give respect to the court!
She understood, that it is better not to get entangled with this man. The U.S. Marshal came running and he said, "You can use it, there is no problem. Don't be worried about it."
I said, "What happened? Has the law changed in America?"
And the same marshal told me on the way to jail - because I was refused bail.... It is a strange case, a historical phenomenon, because the U.S. Attorney argued for three days continuously and could not prove that I had committed a single crime. And finally he himself accepted it: "I have not been able to prove anything against him, but still I want the magistrate to know that the government is not in favor of bail being allowed for him."
And all over the world they go on saying that the Department of Justice is not under the government, that the government cannot interfere.
The marshal told me, "The reality behind the scenes is that the woman has been bribed. She has been told that if she does not give you bail she will be made a federal judge." She was only a state magistrate, and that was her great ambition.
I said, "If she had asked me, I would not have even bothered about the bail. I would have told my attorneys, ???Don't argue. If my being in the jail for few days helps a poor woman to become a federal judge, let it be so."'
Justice is a by-product of love.
But neither man knows nor woman; they have all forgotten what love is. Only the word remains, just like "God"... utterly empty. You open the word "God" and inside there is nothing. The same is the case with the word "love."
Love arises only in those who know themselves.
Love is the light that fills the meditative heart.
Love is the flame that arises in you when you make space for it. Your thoughts must be thrown out, your prejudices must be thrown out. And then there is no problem about justice - you cannot be unjust to anybody. Even to your enemies you cannot be unjust.
He is talking beautifully:
YET UNLESS THE EXCHANGE BE IN LOVE AND KINDLY JUSTICE, IT WILL LEAD SOME TO GREED AND OTHERS TO HUNGER.
That's what has happened. There is no justice in the world, there is no love in the world - there is only greed and hunger. The hunger is because of greed, because a few people are so hypnotized by money that they go on collecting without bothering that the more money you collect, the more people will be dying in Ethiopia, in India, in the whole poor East.
All your money is soaked in blood.
Your bank balances show how many people you have murdered.
Greed is a very beautiful word, because it carries its whole meaning with a perceptivity that you cannot imagine. It comes from a Sanskrit root, and in Sanskrit every word has a certain meaning and depth which is not the case with other languages.
In Sanskrit, the vulture is called giddha. And the vulture eats the corpses of man, animal, birds; he lives only on the death of others. His life depends on the death of others. The English word greed is a transformation in the long journey of the word giddha. Anybody who is greedy is absolutely unconscious of the fact that their greed is creating somewhere poverty, hunger, disease, death.
So he is right: if there is greed then the world is going to be divided into two classes - those who have and those who have not.
This is not a human way of creating a world. It is utterly ugly. If vultures were creating it, it would be relevant. But human beings are creating it; it becomes very irrelevant.
In Afghanistan just the other day, I was informed... it is now a long time that the poor Afghanis are being unnecessarily killed. And the Afghani is one of the most beautiful men on the earth - tall, with a long life, longer than anybody else; beautiful. You cannot find a fat Afghani. They are like beautiful, tall trees - seven feet is almost normal height. Beautiful faces, beautiful bodies... and a simple people, utterly happy although they have nothing.
But because of the greed of America, they are being crushed between American and Soviet forces.
They have become a war field. America is supplying weapons to one part, to one party of politicians.
And to counter it, there was no other way but for the remaining Afghanis to ask the help of the Soviet Union. Their boundaries meet. America is far away.
But greed has wings, just like the vultures - big wings.
So now the Soviet Union goes on supplying all kinds of out-of-date weapons; America goes on supplying the out-of-date weapons to the other party, and Afghanis are killing each other.
Now the Soviet Union seems to be entering into a new age. With the new prime minister, the Soviet Union is no more the old closed Stalinist society; it is becoming more open. And the release of the academician Sakharov from a life sentence is a historical thing in the Soviet Union. In the sixty years after the revolution, this is for the first time that somebody has come back alive from a life sentence.
A life sentence means you will be brought back only when you are dead.
And Sakharov shows the spirit of the new man. Before his release he phoned the prime minister, saying that "I will agree to come back from Siberia only if my individual integrity, my freedom of expression, my freedom of movement - not only in Russia; even if I want to go out of Russia - if all these things are granted, only then I want to come back. Otherwise, what is the point? Death will come anywhere, in Siberia or in Moscow. At least in Siberia there is a deep contentment that I am dying for freedom. In Moscow even that contentment will not be there."
And the new prime minister accepted his conditions, saying that "Your freedom of expression will not be interfered with. You will be reinstated as the director of the academy for physics. And your movement will totally depend on you - wherever you want to go, you can go."
Russia certainly is entering a new age, out of darkness, while America is slipping into darkness.
I am punished because of exercising my freedom of expression. I am punished because I criticized Christianity and its superstitions. On the one hand, I am expelled from America. And my commune has been destroyed in such a fascist and ugly way that even Adolf Hitler would have felt ashamed.
The Soviet Union is opening. Hence the Soviet Union wants to withdraw from Afghanistan - but America is not willing. Now it is a problem: if the Soviet Union withdraws completely from Afghanistan, America is going to take over the whole of Afghanistan. This will be, in a way, a betrayal to the Afghanis who have been dependent on the Soviet Union in their fight with America.
They are poor people with no armies, no arms... but they are very proud people.
The British government tried many times. A small fraction of Afghanistan touches the boundary of India. And the best of the Afghanis, the Pakhtoons - they are the most beautiful, most simple.
The British government tried many times to take over the Pakhtoons, Pakhtoonistan. Because once Pakhtoonistan is taken over, then comes the boundary of Afghanistan and in the second step, Afghanistan can be taken over.
But British imperialists became afraid for a simple reason - the Pakhtoons were ready to die but not to be enslaved. They don't have any arms, they don't have any army. They declared, "We will face your arms with our chests. You can destroy every Pakhtoon, from small children to the oldest people, men and women all, but as long as a single Pakhtoon is alive, you cannot say you are victorious.
You will be victorious only when the whole of Pakhtoonistan has become a graveyard. So if you want to win a graveyard, we are ready."
Seeing their determination, knowing their pride, the British imperialists dropped the very idea. That's why Afghanistan was never bothered by Britain, because those Pakhtoons were in between.
Now the Soviet Union wants to pull out, because it is unnecessary killing, there is no justice in it.
They have not harmed anybody. They are not political people, they don't have any desire to invade.
India has been invaded continually for two thousand years by every neighbor except Afghanistan and the Pakhtoons. A really freedom-loving people will not want anybody to be enslaved - although they are poor and there was every temptation to invade India. But the simple desire to remain free creates a by-product - let others also be free.
If you know love, you will know justice.
If you know love and justice you cannot be greedy, because your greed is going to kill someone somewhere.
By killing people, if you can have a bigger bank balance, what is the gain? By killing all those people you have killed your own soul, too.
WHEN IN THE MARKETPLACE YOU TOILERS OF THE SEA AND FIELDS AND VINEYARDS MEET THE WEAVERS AND THE POTTERS AND THE GATHERERS OF SPICES, INVOKE THEN THE MASTER SPIRIT OF THE EARTH, TO COME INTO YOUR MIDST AND SANCTIFY THE SCALES AND THE RECKONING THAT WEIGHS VALUE AGAINST VALUE.
This is sheer ignorance.
What do you mean by "invoking the spirit of the earth"? Religious people have been doing this for centuries - in India it is an everyday affair. When rains don't come, they invoke the spirit of the sky.
Rains still don't come. When too much rain comes and there are floods and thousands of villages are drowned, they again invoke the spirit of the sky. But what will you do in your invocations? Praying to the empty sky, which does not understand your language....
And it never works.
Still, for centuries, knowing that it does not work they go on doing the same.
Kahlil Gibran is simply repeating a very primitive superstition of the whole humanity. The question is not of invoking the spirit of the sky or of the earth - the question is of finding your own soul.
Hence I say unto you, invoke your consciousness. Invoke silence in your being. It cannot be done by mantras, chantings, prayers. It can be done only by meditation, there is no other method.
Only your meditative silence, filled with love and fragrance, will sanctify every act that you do.
It will also sanctify your inactivity, if you are not doing anything.
Your very silence will become a charismatic presence, and will create waves of love which will go far away over the oceans to the stars.
Awake yourself. Strange - people have been trying to wake the spirit of the earth, and they are fast asleep and snoring!
You are the spirit of the earth.
You are the spirit of the sky.
Except you, there is no consciousness anywhere.
Only you can be filled with love, only you can be just.
AND SUFFER NOT THE BARREN-HANDED TO TAKE PART IN YOUR TRANSACTIONS...
Who are the barren-handed? Perhaps Kahlil Gibran himself has no idea who the barren-handed are. Your saints, your monks, your so-called spiritual guides - these are the barren-handed. They don't produce anything, they don't create anything. They are a burden on humanity.
There are millions of these people. Every religion has millions of monks who live on your labor. They are the real parasites - some kind of "Flit" has to be invented to kill these parasites.
AND SUFFER NOT THE BARREN-HANDED TO TAKE PART IN YOUR TRANSACTIONS, WHO WOULD SELL THEIR WORDS FOR YOUR LABOUR.
The preachers, the priests - what have they got? Mere words, heard from others, and they will go on selling their empty words in exchange for your labor. You are making, creating, producing.
And the unproductive, the uncreative have become your leaders, mediators between you and God.
These are the cheaters, the most mean - because all that they are saying is lies. But they have been selling those lies for centuries.
It is time to stop these bloodsuckers. If we can be free from these priests and preachers, humanity will be unburdened - unburdened from guilt, unburdened from fear. Unburdened from greed, because heaven is nothing but greed extended to the beyond. Unburdened from hell, because hell is nothing but fear extended beyond death.
These people have become very proficient and articulate, because that has been their business for centuries.
TO SUCH MEN YOU SHOULD SAY:
"COME WITH US TO THE FIELD, OR GO WITH OUR BROTHERS TO THE SEA AND CAST YOUR NET.
FOR THE LAND AND THE SEA SHALL BE BOUNTIFUL TO YOU EVEN AS TO US."
I agree with the spirit of the statement, but I will not say or go with our brothers to the sea and cast your net because again you have forgotten that you are going to kill living beings. Where has your love gone? Where is your justice now?
That's why I say Kahlil Gibran dreams beautiful dreams, but it is not his, experienced in the full daylight of an awakened soul. A great poet, but all his poetry only once in a while touches the heights, and again and again falls back.
AND IF THERE COME THE SINGERS AND THE DANCERS AND THE FLUTE PLAYERS, BUY OF THEIR GIFTS ALSO.
You can see - he is just like a wave, rises and falls. Now he has risen again to a great insight: and if there come the singers and the dancers and the flute players, buy of their gifts also because they are also creators. But note the fact that he forgets completely to include the mystics.
And the mystics are the greatest creators in the world - but their creativity is not visible. They are not sculptors so that you can see their statues and they are not poets so that you can see their poetry.
They are not potters and they are not dancers and they are not singers. What do they create? They create man, they create higher peaks of consciousness in humanity.
All that is great in man has been created by the mystics, but it is invisible, obviously.
But it is important that Kahlil Gibran forgets the mystics completely. I cannot forget them. I would like to say to you that the mystics will not come to your marketplaces, you will have to go to the mystics. Because in the marketplace they will not be understood. What kind of commodity have they brought? Even the flute player can convince people that he has brought something, he has brought some entertainment - a beautiful song. But what is the mystic going to show?
His hands are empty, but his soul is full.
But to see that, you will have to go to the mystics, because only those in whose being the urge, the search for truth has arisen, will be able to understand something.
FOR THEY TOO ARE GATHERERS OF FRUIT AND FRANKINCENSE, AND THAT WHICH THEY BRING, THOUGH FASHIONED OF DREAMS, IS RAIMENT AND FOOD FOR YOUR SOUL.
No, absolutely no. The dreams are not going to be nourishment for the soul. The dreams can only be entertainment for the mind and the heart, at the most. If you are hungry in the body, then music will not help. Then you will need bread. If you are hungry in the soul, then too music will not help. Then you need meditation. Then you need the blessing of one who has arrived and who is so overflowing in his soul that he is ready to share.
AND BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE MARKETPLACE, SEE THAT NO ONE HAS GONE HIS WAY WITH EMPTY HANDS.
FOR THE MASTER SPIRIT OF THE EARTH SHALL NOT SLEEP PEACEFULLY UPON THE WIND TILL THE NEEDS OF THE LEAST OF YOU ARE SATISFIED.
Again he brings something of nonsense in - the spirit of the earth. In what he is saying, his intention is good: And before you leave the marketplace, see that no one has gone his way with empty hands. Not because the spirit of the earth shall not sleep peacefully. It is sleeping peacefully - whether you are here or not it does not matter! It never wakes up. But the spirit of those who have gone empty-handed will not sleep peacefully - how can you sleep peacefully in hunger?
The longer I look at Kahlil Gibran... I feel he is a one-eyed man. He does not have two eyes, so there is an imbalance. For a balanced approach, two eyes are needed, just as two wings are needed.
You cannot fly high with one wing. You may flop, but not fly. The one-eyed person also sees, but his vision is half. And of course as far as the inner world is concerned, a half-vision can sometimes prove very dangerous.
Now, he is not bothered about those who are going with empty hands, that they will not be able to sleep peacefully. He is bothered about the spirit of the earth... upon the wind, til the needs of the least of you are satisfied.
It seems sometimes he gets hypnotized by his own words, and words have a tendency: one word leads to another word. And he forgets - or perhaps he does not know the whole truth at all.
But whatever he is saying is a good beginning. We are going to look into many great poets with this new kind of commentary, because I have my whole vision. So when I see something is wrong it does not matter who has asserted it - the wrong is wrong and the right is right. It has never been done before, and of course I am going to annoy many people.
There are millions of people who love Kahlil Gibran - they will be annoyed very much. But should I care about people and their annoyance or should I care about what is true and what is not true?
My decision is unconditionally for the truth.
Even if the whole world is against me, it does not matter at all.
It is enough for me and for my absolute contentment that I have been always on the side of truth; I have never tried to drag the truth to my side.