I really feel sad and sorry whenever I have to criticize a man, so beautiful in many ways, like Kahlil Gibran. I love him tremendously, and because of my love I have the right to criticize him. It is because of my love that I cannot support him when he is not right.
There are many times when he is not right - and he cannot be right, so I also feel compassion. He has the capacity, the potentiality, to go much higher, but he knows not the way. He remains, most of the time, a poet, a dreamer. His poetry is beautiful, his dreams are beautiful, but they are not the truth we are seeking. I wonder sometimes... perhaps his great capacity to express prevented him from experiencing.
It will not be possible for his readers to find where he is walking on the earth, and where he is flying in the sky. I have walked on the earth and I have gone to the farthest end possible to man in the heights, in the depths, but he has only dreamt about it. Alas, if he were not such a good poet perhaps he may have searched for truth. It is a very extraordinary case.
There are men who have found the truth and remained silent, because they don't know how to express it. Kahlil Gibran is just the opposite - he has not found the truth, but he is capable of expressing. And for the humanity which lives in darkness, even his poetry appears as if it is coming from the source of self-knowing. It is not so, and you will see why I am saying that it is not so....
AND A MAN SAID, SPEAK TO US OF SELF-KNOWLEDGE.
The first thing to be noted.... Do you see the difference when a woman asks from when a man asks? A woman asks about that which is intimate, close; she's deeply rooted in the earth. Man is a vagabond; he's curious about many things, he wants to know everything. The woman is satisfied to know a few essential things which will transform her being, but man's curiosity knows no limits.
The very question shows that the man is not a meditator; he is not even aware that nobody can speak about self-knowledge. He seems to be a learned scholar... this is exhibitionism. How can he ask about ordinary, mundane things? His questions must show to the world that here is a man who is asking the question which is the most important. His very question may befool the ignorant, but to me it exposes him and his ignorance.
AND HE ANSWERED, SAYING: YOUR HEARTS KNOW IN SILENCE THE SECRETS OF THE DAYS AND THE NIGHTS.
Kahlil Gibran never goes deeper than the heart - and the heart is not you, and the heart cannot contain self-knowledge. It is better than the head, but self-knowledge means going beyond both mind and heart, going beyond both thinking and feeling. Only then do you know what silence is.
Neither the mind knows silence - it is a marketplace - nor the heart knows silence, because it is so full of emotions, sentiments. You don't hear them because the heart can only whisper; it is not so articulate, because it has not been educated. Mind has been trained to express, the heart has been ignored. So I cannot agree with him as far as his continual emphasis on the heart goes. The heart is a midway station, it is not the terminus. The terminus is your being; there the road ends, because there is nowhere else to go.
The man is asking about self-knowledge, and the answer is not consistent with the question: your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights... that is not the question. The secrets of the days and the nights is not self-knowledge. Perhaps, unconsciously, he himself does not realize that his answer is off-the-wall.
BUT YOUR EARS THIRST FOR THE SOUND OF YOUR HEART'S KNOWLEDGE.
I feel hurt myself when I say that sometimes his statements are stupid. But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart's knowledge.... The thirst is in the being, not in the ears. Ears are thirsty only for curiosity; they don't mean much. And how can the heart speak to the ears? - because the heart itself does not know who you are.
Yes, the heart can give you beautiful dreams, but those beautiful dreams can become the greatest hindrance in your pilgrimage towards the truth, because you will start believing in those dreams.
And Kahlil Gibran seems to be believing in those dreams. They may be beautiful, and you may feel that now there is no need to go ahead; you have found such a beautiful space... remain here.
But you are not the heart. The heart is still part of the body, and you are only a witness - just as you were the witness of the outside world of your mind and its constant traffic of thoughts. You have gone a little deeper, and now you are thinking, "I have arrived."
The heart is not going to fulfill you. Soon you will be tired of those dreams, because they are non- substantial, they cannot nourish you. You will have to go still deeper, till it becomes impossible to go further because there is no way - you have come to the end. Only then you know who you are.
Poets sing about it, dream about it, write about it, but it is all just describing the moon, looking at the reflection of the moon in the lake; it looks like the moon, but it is not the moon. And if you jump in the lake to be closer to the moon, it will disappear. A disturbed lake cannot reflect the moon, neither can the disturbed heart create beautiful poetries - very satisfying to people who have always lived in the ugly world of the mind.
The heart is certainly a step towards self-knowledge, but it is not self-knowledge.
YOU WOULD KNOW IN WORDS THAT WHICH YOU HAVE ALWAYS KNOWN IN THOUGHT.
This statement is simply crazy, because the truth has never been known in words, and the truth has never been formulated in thoughts. Thought belongs to the mind, and words also belong to the mind.
Mind can philosophize, the heart is a poet, but the home of the mystic is in your being, where thoughts, words, innocence... all are left behind and forgotten.
People ordinarily think - and it appears as if it is very rational - that silence means no thoughts, no words, no noise. This is a negative perception of silence; you are not saying anything about silence.
Silence has its own positive existence, much more solid, much more valuable - a part of eternity.
Silence is not a thought or an absence of thought; when you see the absence of your thoughts and dreams, they have simply gone to sleep. You can be deceived that their absence is silence, but this silence will be empty - there will be no dance in it, no blissfulness in it. It will be the silence of the graveyard. People who have died cannot speak, but that does not mean that the dead have attained to silence.
A silence in its real, positive existence is almost music; it is the silence of a garden where, without words, flowers are sending messages to other flowers.
Scientists have discovered that perhaps bees have a certain kind of language. We cannot understand it, but their behavior shows that there must exist a communication system different than ours - and this is a research of years. The scientists were puzzled.
One bee will go to find the garden where flowers are available, and then the bee will come back; she will dance before other bees, and in a strange way, all the bees will reach the garden. In her dance, the bee has spoken - but scientists are still unable to find how she can indicate the direction, the distance, the kinds of flowers. She will continue to dance till all the bees have moved to the garden.
The first bee will reach there as the last one.
Sometimes the first bee may not find flowers, again she will dance. It is very difficult for us to make out the difference between the two dances. No bee will come out, and no bee will go in any direction - she has communicated that there are no flowers around. Not a single word has been uttered. And with our very sophisticated instruments, we have not been able to see the difference between the two dances. To us, they look absolutely the same, but there must be a difference because all the bees have understood.
Silence is not only absence of words and thoughts; silence is a living music, a dance, a song that is not composed of words. That is the way of the heart.
If you are in deep love with someone, the hearts will start a deep communion of which the mind will never become aware, because the mind cannot understand silent messages; it cannot understand a music that is arising without instruments, and it cannot understand the dance which cannot be seen - but another heart has the capacity.
This is the secret of the East: Just sitting at the feet of your Master, nothing is said, and everything is conveyed. The mind is not even aware that a great communication, a communion, is happening.
But still, the silence of the heart, although a great step towards self-knowledge, is not in itself self- knowledge; it simply opens the door for the road that goes to self-knowledge.
YOU WOULD KNOW IN WORDS.... This is absolute nonsense. No mystic anywhere in the world will agree with this - that you will know in words what you have always known in thought. This is how philosophy functions, but not mysticism. Philosophy is nothing but words and thoughts; mysticism is a totally different world, a different dimension.
YOU WOULD TOUCH WITH YOUR FINGERS THE NAKED BODY OF YOUR DREAMS.
That's where poets go on missing. They are hypnotized by their own words, and they hypnotize millions of people by their words, which are nothing but lullabies.
You would touch with your fingers.... Can you think of anything more nonsensical? - self-knowledge is touched by your fingers? It is reduced to an object. And if you can touch it with fingers, you can drag it out and show it to others too. If fingers can touch it, then the fist can carry it out and convince everybody that, yes, you have a soul. But who will do this? - is the soul in your hands? The body cannot in any way know its own interiority, because it does not belong to the body. Your soul simply lives in the body - the body is nothing but a house.
Not only will you be able to touch - this statement becomes so absurd - you will be able to touch even the naked body of your dreams! Dreams don't exist; dreams are only non-existential desires which you have not been able to fulfill.
Dreams are like mirages in the desert: from far away you see a beautiful oasis. Not only are your eyes deceived, your reasonability is also deceived because you can see the water, the lake, and your logic is convinced - because the trees standing on the bank of the lake are reflected in water. If there is no water, trees cannot be reflected. But as you come closer the mirage starts disappearing.
When you reach, trees are there, but there is no lake, no water - it was created only by the sunrays; when they start returning from the sand, they create the illusion of a lake - you can even see waves in the lake, because those rays return wavering. But when you are standing on the spot, you will not find anything. So are your dreams... and dreams are not self-knowledge.
Kahlil Gibran has fallen into the same trap as Sigmund Freud. He also used to think that if we can understand all the dreams of man, there is nothing more to understand; you will have understood man's very being.
But these people never think for a single moment: Who are you, who is understanding the dreams?
Certainly a dream cannot understand another dream. It has never been heard that a dream can analyze another dream. And as you wake up, where do all your dreams disappear? Are they realities? - then you can dissect the man and you will find his dreams hiding somewhere within him.
But no dream has ever been found.
A dream is just the opposite of the truth. That's why I say, this is the most absurd statement made by Kahlil Gibran.
And it is well you should... go to the heart, touch your dream before it has stopped half-way. Neither he's a Zorba, nor he's a buddha; he's just a gap between the two, empty and of no meaning, of no substance. I say unto you, it is not well that you should do such a thing.
THE HIDDEN WELL-SPRING OF YOUR SOUL MUST NEEDS RISE AND RUN MURMURING TO THE SEA.
How has the soul come suddenly in? To him, the heart and the soul are synonymous. They are not.
The heart keeps the body alive, but not the soul.
The soul knows only one nourishment, and that is not material - it is the positive silence, the positive serenity, the positive ecstasy.
The hidden well-spring of your soul must needs rise and run murmuring to the sea.... There is no need for the soul to go anywhere, murmuring and running - these are the ways of the mind and the heart. The soul is already part of the sea.
The moment you reach your soul, you are in for a great surprise: Your soul is not only your soul, it is the universal soul. The body was yours, the mind belonged to the society, the heart belonged to your biology, chemistry, physiology. The soul belongs to eternal life. It is part of it, it has not to go anywhere. But poetically, it looks very beautiful:
THE HIDDEN WELL-SPRING OF YOUR SOUL MUST NEEDS RISE AND RUN MURMURING TO THE SEA....
It is the sea itself.
AND THE TREASURE OF YOUR INFINITE DEPTHS WOULD BE REVEALED TO YOUR EYES.
It is absolutely impossible! Your eyes can see only objects, they can see only matter. And by the way, I should remind you that the English word "matter," and the French word "meter," come from a Sanskrit root, matra, quantity. That which can be measured cannot be infinite.
He is saying: and the treasure of your infinite depths would be revealed to your eyes.... Your eyes can see only outwards. Objects are measureable, that's why we call them matter. But your being is immeasurable - it is not matter; it is a quality, not a quantity. Can you touch love? Can you measure love? And when you propose to a woman do you mention exactly how many kilos of love you have for her? Hearing you, the woman will start running, saying, "This man seems to be mad.
He's saying, ???I love you twenty kilos.'" Qualities cannot be measured - "I love you twenty miles long."
No method of measurement is possible.
"The infinite treasure of your depths," he's saying, "will be revealed to your eyes." The body cannot see the soul - your eyes belong to the body. Hence it is possible, and it has happened, that blind men, who have no eyes, have come to self-knowledge - because eyes are not needed. Hands are not needed, so you can cut the hands, but that is not going to prevent the person from knowing himself.
A beautiful story - very ancient, of the days when the UPANISHADS were written - is about a man, a young man. He was tremendously intelligent, but he had a body which was so ugly; one hand was long, one hand was small, one eye was missing - even the legs were not of the same length.
There was a great discussion happening in the court of the king, and the father of the young man, a well-known, learned scholar, had gone to participate. But discussions never come to a conclusion - particularly discussions of scholars, and the so-called learned people. If two enlightened persons meet, discussion never starts. Looking into each other's eyes, the conclusion has happened.
So, it was getting late... the mother of the boy told him, "You should go and see what is happening, and tell your father the food is ready and getting cool." He went.... He was a strangely crippled man, almost like a camel, or perhaps worse. His name was Ashtavakra. Ashtavakra means he was strangely bent in eight places of his body - the hand was not straight; in the middle there was a bend. He could not keep his head straight because his neck was bent. He was certainly made for some circus, some carnival, some museum.
All the learned people were in the court, and as he entered the court everybody started laughing - they had never seen such a strange creature. But he was immensely intelligent, and finally became one of the great awakened people of the world - of the same height as Gautam Buddha. They were all laughing and joking about him, and his father felt ashamed - why has he come here?
Ashtavakra went directly to the king and he said, "It seems you have gathered shoemakers here, CHAMAR" - that is the word for people who work on leather - "Disperse all these idiots! They can only see my skin, my body; they are blind, they don't have any heart - no love, no compassion - and they are talking about self-knowledge, self-realization. What has the self to do with the body?"
There was great silence, because what he said was absolutely true. And he said, "I had not come here to see all these shoemakers. I have come just to find my father; my mother is waiting." The king himself was so impressed, because the boy felt neither ashamed nor shocked, but the statement he made was far more important than the things all these learned people had been discussing.
"I am not my body, and these people can see only the body. If they had any self-knowledge, they would not have laughed looking at my body. They would have felt the presence of a man who is enlightened."
The whole conference was dissolved, and the king told Ashtavakra, "From tomorrow you come and teach me, prepare me. I want to be your disciple."
In the book ASHTAVAKRAGITA the songs of Ashtavakra are compiled, the statements that he made to the king... each statement is a diamond, invaluable.
AND THE TREASURE OF YOUR INFINITE DEPTHS WOULD BE REVEALED TO YOUR EYES.
No, the treasure is revealed when you have forgotten your eyes, your ears, your body, your mind, your heart. It is self-luminous, it is self-evident. It does not need the eyes to witness that "Yes, this is the self." What do the eyes know?
BUT LET THERE BE NO SCALES TO WEIGH YOUR UNKNOWN TREASURE.
He has got into a fix because, as I have told you, he's capable of rising to the heights, but most of the time he's able only to walk. He's like a peacock, so beautiful, carrying a rainbow in his tail - such brilliant colors nature has not given to anybody else. He has wings, but he cannot fly high like an eagle; he hops from one tree to another tree, from one house to another house. While he's hopping from one house to another house, from one tree to another tree, between the two trees he's free from the gravitation of the earth, and he has great insights. But soon, he's sitting again on a tree.
On the one hand he says: and the treasure of your infinite depths would be revealed to your eyes....
On the other hand, immediately he hops to another tree:
BUT LET THERE BE NO SCALES TO WEIGH YOUR UNKNOWN TREASURE.
He must have felt what he's saying... eyes can see only objects which are measureable; so he corrects himself in time and quickly says:
BUT LET THERE BE NO SCALES TO WEIGH YOUR UNKNOWN TREASURE; AND SEEK NOT THE DEPTHS OF YOUR KNOWLEDGE WITH STAFF OR SOUNDING LINE.
FOR SELF IS A SEA BOUNDLESS AND MEASURELESS.
He has corrected himself, but again....
SAY NOT, "I HAVE FOUND THE TRUTH," BUT RATHER, "I HAVE FOUND A TRUTH."
It looks humble, full of understanding, but it is only an appearance. Reading his sentence, I was thinking he would say, "Say not, I have found the truth...." I thought he was saying, "I, the ego, the self, cannot find the truth." I thought he would say, "Truth has found me," or he would say, "I have not found the truth because I is a barrier. Truth has been found, but I have lost my I." Then it would have been a profound statement.
But he had something else in his mind. He says...but rather, "i have found a truth." He was not denying the I, he was changing the truth to A truth - and again missed the target. Truth is always the truth.... A truth? - that means there are many truths. How can there be many truths?
There can be many lies, but there cannot be many truths.
Truth has to be one; it has to be the truth.
Hence, I say to you, say not "I have found the truth," but rather, "Truth has been found, but I have lost myself - I and truth cannot coexist." The I is your self - false, manufactured by the society.
In the light of the truth, all darkness is bound to disappear. In the fire of the truth, all that is false is going to be burned.
SAY NOT, "I HAVE FOUND THE PATH OF THE SOUL." SAY RATHER, "I HAVE MET THE SOUL WALKING UPON MY PATH."
To understand Kahlil Gibran is troublesome, unless you are very alert, unless you have reached to profounder depths than him; otherwise, you will be deceived. His words are golden.
The first statement was absolutely wrong. There is only one truth, there are not many truths, so the question of finding A truth does not arise. The truth of Gautam Buddha, and the truth of Bodhidharma, and the truth of Tilopa, and the truth of Naropa... it is the truth.
Seekers are many, but the sought is one.
And the beauty of seeking is:
The closer you come to the sought, the more you start melting and disappearing.
But, in the second statement, he has again a very deep insight:
SAY NOT, "I HAVE FOUND THE PATH OF THE SOUL." SAY RATHER, "I HAVE MET THE SOUL WALKING UPON MY PATH"
- I am the path, at the most, and I have found the soul walking upon my path.
There is a very beautiful story, but never interpreted rightly in five thousand years. I have told you about Krishna and his insistence to his disciple, Arjuna, to fight the war against his cousin-brothers, because it is cowardly for a warrior of the quality of Arjuna... people will call you an escapist. He did not know the word "hippie"; otherwise he would have used the word "hippie," because hippie means the escapist - one who has shown his hips to the society and forgot, ran away, seeing the troubles and problems. The word "hippie" comes from hips.
Krishna persuaded him finally - in a very fascist way. Seeing that his arguments were not working, he said, "It is God's will that you should fight. Don't be worried about violence because the soul never dies, and don't be worried about being defeated, because I can see the enemies are just waiting for their death - just a little push and the corpses will be on the earth. So it is going to be a simple job. Don't be worried and don't be a coward; follow God's will - God will be behind you."
This is not an argument; this is just exploiting the belief in God that has been forced into the mind of Arjuna from the very beginning.
The war happened, millions of people died.... But you are not here forever. The day came when all the five brothers - Arjuna and his four brothers - and their one wife... that is a rare case in the history of the world. There are men who have many wives, but Draupadi is the only woman in the whole world who had five husbands. But don't think that it was out of respect or love, no....
In those days particularly the kings' daughters used to choose certain devices to find a husband - it was a trust in nature. A great crowd of princes and kings had gathered. Draupadi was so beautiful - she was Krishna's sister - and she had chosen a very complicated device. The device was a steel fish hanging by the ceiling and moving continuously, so that you could not see the fish, you could only see a circle because the fish was moving so fast. And underneath, on the ground, there was a beautiful pond made, silent without any waves - inside the palace.
Draupadi had declared that whoever, looking at the reflection of the fish in the pond, throws his arrow - without seeing the real fish, which is moving fast - and kills the iron fish, destroys it... then she's going to marry that man. So many kings tried, but it was such an impossible job to destroy that fish which was moving fast like a fan - you cannot see the wings of the fan, just a round circle. It was impossible even to directly destroy the fish - even the best archer would not have been able to do that.
But the condition was almost impossible... you have to look into the pond but your arrow has to point towards the real fish. And looking at the pond, the reflection, you have to destroy the fish by a single arrow - there is no second chance.
Hundreds of princes who thought they were great archers were so nervous - they had never thought that such a device had to be faced. A few never participated, because it was impossible. Arjuna managed - he was the greatest disciple of a master archer, Dronacharya - so, he won Draupadi's hand. But the four brothers who had also gone there felt very jealous.
Arjuna was not the eldest brother; the eldest brother was famous all over India as the most virtuous man. But it was not a question of virtue - you had to know archery. Another brother, Bhim, was known to be the greatest wrestler of the times, but it was not a question of wrestling either - you had to be an archer, and a unique archer, a genius.
So, all the brothers were very angry; they were not happy about what had happened. They knew that they could not defeat Arjuna in archery, but the device had not been declared before; that was part of the game - when you reached there, the device was declared. Immediately, the remaining four brothers thought, "We are finished." Only Arjuna participated - but there was no need of anybody else's participation. He finished it and got Draupadi.
But when they reached home their mother was inside the house. Arjuna knocked on the door and said, "Mother, just open the door and see what a gift I have brought for you." And the mother said, "I will see later on. You divide the gift amongst your brothers first" - she was not aware that it is a woman.
The obedience to mother, to father, to parents was such a conditioning that all four brothers were immediately happy. They said, "This is good. So, in a week, Draupadi will be the wife for one day to one brother, another day to another brother... and for two days she will have her weekend."
When the mother opened the doors, she was shocked at what she had said, but it was too late; they had already decided how to divide her, with a condition that when one brother was with the wife, no other brother could enter their private chambers. Again the woman is thought to be almost a thing - you can divide her, you can force her to have five husbands.
The time came of their death; they all died... and this is the story that I wanted to tell you, but without this introduction you would not have been able to understand. When they died they started moving towards heaven, but it is so high and the snow becomes thicker and thicker. By and by, one brother fell and was lost in the snow, another brother fell, the wife fell....
Only Yudhisthira, who was known as a very virtuous man, and his dog reached to the gate of heaven.
The doors were opened, and the gatekeeper said, "You can come in, but no dog has ever been allowed in heaven." So Yudhisthira said, "My brothers, my wife, have all melted and disappeared in the snow. This dog is far more virtuous, and he has been my companion to the very last - I cannot leave him out. You can close your doors. I am also not going to come in."
The doorkeeper was in a trouble. He enquired of his boss, who said, "Let both of them come in, because Yudisthira is a man of his word. He has said, ???We will both go together or we will both remain out'... if we leave Yudisthira out, we will be in trouble soon. Once God hears it, the whole bureaucracy from the Police Commissioner of Poona to God will be in trouble. It is better... what can the dog do? And that dog certainly seems to be far more virtuous than Yudisthira's brothers and his wife."
They were allowed in. This way, it has always been interpreted that if you are virtuous - even if you are a dog - heaven has to open its doors; but if you are not virtuous, even if you are the greatest archer of the world like Arjuna, or the greatest wrestler of the world like Bhim, it does not matter.
These qualities are not counted and you will disappear on the way, evaporate completely. This is the Hindu interpretation of the story, but I have always been unconvinced by the interpretation.
My own interpretation is based on my inner experience that as you come closer to your real heaven, the paradise of your being, you start melting and disappearing. In fact, only that dog and Yudisthira did not melt and reach simply as souls; they don't have any understanding of what the search of truth is. Of course, the dog is not interested in truth, so there was no need for him to disappear. He would have passed truth, or may have pissed on it - he is not concerned about truth; find a good place... he would have pissed without hesitation!
Yudisthira, all the Hindus say, is a very virtuous man - I don't consider him to be. They call him Dharmaraj, the king of religion. I don't consider him at all a religious person, because he was a gambler to the point that he lost his whole kingdom, all his treasures, and finally the only possession left - which was also not only his possession, five brothers were the owners of Draupadi... he staked his wife, and lost his wife too. Strange people... they call this man who had no compassion, no respect for a human being, his own wife, the king of religion.
So, my feeling is that these two people reached whatever gate it was - most probably a fake gate, just like the fake police officers coming here to listen, coming to the Ashram. It is very easy to find a uniform or borrow from a friend.... They must have reached a fake gate; it was not heaven.
The real people who are virtuous, and particularly Arjuna.... He never wanted the war, but just because Krishna insisted that it was God's will he reluctantly participated in it. And even though victorious, he was not happy. He was never known to smile again, because he had killed all his friends, relatives - either he had killed them because they were participating from the other side, or the other side had killed them because they were participating from his side - with a sadness he lived. He wanted to go to the Himalayas to renounce this whole nonsense and just meditate.
Krishna is the criminal of the whole massacre that happened, because without Arjuna there was going to be no war. Then all his four brothers would have dropped the idea - without Arjuna they were not going to win it. He was the man to bring victory....
My interpretation is that as you come close to truth, you start melting and disappearing. Truth is found, but you are lost.
SAY NOT, "I HAVE FOUND THE PATH OF THE SOUL." SAY RATHER, "I HAVE MET THE SOUL WALKING UPON MY PATH."
We are paths, and if we allow God to walk... that's what religion should mean - we allow existence to enter into us, without any resistance, but with deep welcome. Then Kahlil Gibran is making a very beautiful statement: We are the paths upon which our soul, or the soul of the universe, walks. Paths should be clean and clear, without any hindrances. Our paths should be loving welcomes.
FOR THE SOUL WALKS UPON ALL PATHS THE SOUL WALKS NOT UPON A LINE, NEITHER DOES IT GROW LIKE A REED.
THE SOUL UNFOLDS ITSELF, LIKE A LOTUS OF COUNTLESS PETALS.
So you will have to become accustomed to Kahlil Gibran rising high towards the stars and falling back down to the earth. He is making statements which make my argument absolutely clear.
He has wings - but not strong enough.
He has insight - but not something absolute.
He has glimpses, but very fleeting.
Once in a while he almost becomes a mystic - but only once in a while; otherwise, he falls back to his habitual style of life, the life of a poet. He is a mixture, a divided soul himself.
But this is such a beautiful statement, and so profound that any Gautam Buddha is bound to agree with it: The soul walks not upon a line - it is freedom - neither does it grow like a reed.
The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals.... True, very true - but how are you going to manage to unfold your soul in countless petals? About that he says nothing - because he knows nothing. But he's certainly a genius.
Without knowing, without experiencing, sometimes he comes so close to the experience that it is very easy for those who have never moved in depth and heights to be convinced that this is a man who knows himself. He could have known - but rather than going to America, he should have come to India, or to Japan, where there are people who understand, not intellectually only, but from their very roots.
When I was arrested in America, thousands and thousands of telegrams and telexes and telephone calls started coming to the jailers. The first man to call was a Zen master from Japan making it clear in his statement: "You cannot understand the man you have arrested. In our monastery, we are teaching Zen through his books. Zen is a Japanese phenomenon, but we don't have books comparable to his interpretations."
The sheriff of the jail brought the telegram to show me. I had no idea that a Zen master, well- recognized as a man of self-realization - he has thousands of people in his monastery where, from all over the world, people go to meditate - was the first man to inform the jailer and the president of America, "You don't have the eyes or the experience to understand that man. Don't harass him. It is beyond your capacity. You don't even know the meaning of meditation."
America became a calamity to Kahlil Gibran. A man of such potential should have moved more deeply towards the East - then he would not be just a poet. He would have been recognized as one of the greatest enlightened men of human history.