Each single word uttered by Kahlil Gibran has to be understood in all its implications. Why did the elders of the city ask? Why not a young man? Why not a child?
The child is so innocent, he does not know the distinction between good and evil; hence the question does not arise. To the child there is nothing good and nothing evil. It is out of ignorance, but it has a similarity with the ultimate state of a man who is awakened... for him, too, there is no good, no evil. The awakened one has come back to his childhood again - with a difference, with a great difference. The child was ignorant; the awakened one is really innocent. And the demarcation between ignorance and innocence is very fine.
Jesus said to Nicodemus, a professor of Judaism in the university of Jerusalem, "Unless you are born again you will not understand what I am saying." He is not saying that first you have to die and be born through another womb. He is saying, "Unless you are so transformed that your ignorance becomes innocence... that is true rebirth. And only then will you understand what I am saying."
The child cannot ask the question because he cannot make distinctions, and the awakened one will not ask because he knows that good and evil are two sides of the same coin. If you choose good you have also chosen the evil. And this is one of the great miseries of all the religions and their saints - they have chosen the good and repressed the evil. Because of this division they themselves have become divided and split. And not only have they become divided and split, they have made the whole humanity schizophrenic.
So it is significant that a child does not ask the question. It is also significant that a young man does not ask the question... because for the young, life is so absorbing and the song of life is so fulfilling and his heart is beating with love. He has no time to think about good and evil. Only the elders...
and the elders are those who have spent all their energies, who are empty. They have nothing to do.
The child was full of wonder, the youth was full of love, but the old man has lost all. Neither have his eyes any wonder; because he is so knowledgeable, nothing surprises him, and he has seen that every love slowly, slowly, turns into hate. He is living - but an empty life. And these empty people become very much concerned about judgment. They cannot do anything themselves, but at least, sitting in their rocking chairs, they can judge everybody - who is good, who is bad, who is a sinner and who is a saint.
This is their way of somehow feeling more important than the young, than the children. The children are ignorant; the young are blind. Only the old think they have got eyes, because they have lived life, they have experienced everything. But just experiencing everything does not make one wise, because one of the most important criteria for a wise man is that he drops judgment. He can see in the good that the evil is lying. He can see in the evil that the good is present. The saint and the sinner are not different categories. Their choices are different, but they have chosen from the same well. From where good comes, evil comes - and whatever you choose, you will suffer.
Choice brings suffering. If you choose good, then that which is evil in you will continually create a conflict, a repentance, a doubt, "Perhaps those who have chosen the evil are enjoying life. I have chosen good, and all that it has given to me is just a seriousness, a dryness."
The saint cannot smile, the saint cannot dance; he is afraid. The song may lead him towards the evil, the dance may lead him towards that which he has renounced. But just by renouncing you cannot get rid of things. They remain in your unconscious, waiting for their opportunity. Hence it has happened many times in history that a sinner has become a saint just in a single moment of understanding, and a so-called saint has fallen and become a sinner just in a single moment of unawareness.
A beautiful story is told about a disciple of Gautam Buddha. He was a young monk, very healthy, very beautiful, very cultured. He had come - just like Gautam Buddha - from a royal family, renouncing the kingdom.
In the West, just as Cleopatra is thought to be the most beautiful woman in the whole past of humanity, in the East a parallel woman to Cleopatra is Amrapali. She was a contemporary of Gautam Buddha. She was so beautiful that there were always golden chariots standing at the gate of her palace. Even great kings had to wait to meet her - and she was only a prostitute, but she could purchase kingdoms, she had become so rich. But deep down, she suffered. In that beautiful body there was also a beautiful soul which hankered for love.
When a man comes to buy the body of a woman, she may pretend great love for him because he has paid for it, but deep down she hates him because he is using her as a thing, as an object - purchasable; he is not respecting her as a human being. And the greatest hurt and wound that can happen to anybody is when you are treated as a dead thing and your integrity, your individuality, is humiliated.
This young monk went into the city to beg. Not knowing, he passed by so many chariots of gold and beautiful horses. He was amazed, "Who lives in this palace?" As he looked upwards, Amrapali was looking from the window, and for the first time love arose in her heart - for the simple reason that the moment the young monk saw Amrapali, he bowed down to her with deep respect. Such beauty has to be respected, not to be used. It is a great gift of existence to be appreciated - but not to be humiliated.
At the moment this young, beautiful monk bowed down, suddenly a great upsurge of energy happened in Amrapali. For the first time somebody had looked at her with eyes of respect, somebody had given her the dignity of being a human being. She ran down, touched the feet of the monk and said, "Don't go anywhere else; today be my guest."
He said, "I am a bhikku, a beggar. In your great palace, where so many kings are waiting in a queue to meet you, it won't look good."
She said, "Forget all about those kings - I hate them! But don't say no to my invitation, because for the first time I have given an invitation. I have been invited thousands of times by kings and emperors, but I have never invited anybody. Don't hurt me, this is my very first invitation. Have your food with me."
The monk agreed. Other monks were coming behind him, because Buddha used to move with ten thousand monks wherever he went; they could not believe their eyes, that the young monk is going into the house of the prostitute. With great jealousy, anger, they returned to Gautam Buddha.
With one voice they said, "This man has to be expelled from the commune! He has broken all your discipline. Not only did he bow down to a prostitute, he has even accepted her invitation to go into her palace and have his food there."
Buddha said, "Let him come back."
For the first time Amrapali herself served food into the bowl of the monk. With tears of joy she said, "Can I ask a favor?"
The young monk said, "I don't have anything, except myself. If it is in my capacity, I will do anything you want me to do."
She said, "Nothing has to be done. The season of rains is going to start within two, three days...."
And this was the rule of Buddhist monks, that in the rainy season they stopped in one place for four months; eight months in the year they were continually moving from one place to another, but for the four months of the rains it was absolutely necessary for them to stay somewhere where they could get a shelter.
Amrapali said, "The coming four months, this palace should be your shelter. I don't ask anything. I will not disturb you in any way, I will make everything as comfortable as possible for you, but don't go for these four months."
The monk said, "I have to ask my master. If he allows me, I will stay. If he does not allow me, you will have to forgive me. It is not in my hands. It is my master who decides where one has to stay."
He came back. Everybody was angry, jealous, and they were all waiting to see if Gautam Buddha was going to punish him. Buddha asked, "Tell me the whole thing. What happened?"
He told Buddha everything. He also said that Amrapali... he did not use the word "prostitute" - that is a judgment. You have already condemned a woman by the very word, condemned her that she sells her body, that she sells her love, that her love is a commodity - if you have money you can purchase it.
He said, "Amrapali has invited me for the coming rainy season, and I have told her that if my master allows me, I will stay in her palace. It does not matter...."
There was great silence among the ten thousand monks. Nobody had thought that Gautam Buddha would say, "You are allowed to stay with Amrapali." They could not believe their own ears; what were they hearing? A monk who has renounced the world is going to stay for four months in the house of a prostitute?
One old monk stood up and said, "This is not right! This man is hiding a fact. He says one woman, Amrapali, has invited him. She is not a woman, she is a prostitute!"
Gautam Buddha said, "I know, and because he has not used the word ???prostitute' I am allowing him to stay there. He has respect - no judgment, no condemnation. He himself does not want to stay, that is why he has come here to ask the master. If you asked me to stay there, I would not allow you."
Another monk said, "It is a strange decision. We will lose our monk! That woman is not an ordinary woman but an enchantress. This man, in four months, will be completely lost to the virtuous life, the good life, the life of a saint. After four months he will come as a sinner."
Gautam Buddha said, "After four months you will be here, I will be here; let us see what happens, because I trust in his meditations and I trust in his insight. Preventing him will be distrusting him. He trusts me; otherwise there was no need to come. He could have thrown away the begging bowl and remained there. I understand him, and I know his consciousness. This is a good opportunity, a fire test, to see what happens. Just wait for four months."
Those four months, for the monks, were very long. Each day was going so slowly, and they were imagining what must be happening, they were dreaming in the night about what must be happening.
And after four months, the monk came back with a beautiful woman following him. He said to Buddha, "She is Amrapali. She wants to be initiated into the commune. I recommend her - she is a unique woman. Not only is she beautiful, she has a soul as pure as you can conceive."
She fell at Gautam Buddha's feet. This was even a bigger shock to those ten thousand people! And Buddha said to them, "I know these four months have been very long, and you have suffered much.
Day in and day out your mind was thinking only about what was happening between the monk and Amrapali, that he must have fallen in love with the woman and gone down the drain; four months will pass, the rains will stop, but he will not return... with what face?
"But you see, when a man of consciousness enters in the house of a prostitute, it is the prostitute that changes - not the man of consciousness. It is always the lower that goes through transformation when it comes in contact with the higher. The higher cannot be dragged down."
Her name, Amrapali, means.... She had the biggest mango grove, perhaps one hundred square miles, and she presented that to Gautam Buddha - it was the most beautiful place. And she presented her palace, all her immense resources, for the spread of the message of Buddha.
Buddha said to his sangha, to his commune, "If you are afraid to be in the company of a prostitute, that fear has nothing to do with the prostitute; that fear is coming from your own unconscious, because you have repressed your sexuality. If you are clean, then all judgment disappears."
So the awakened has no judgments of what is good and what is bad, and the child has no judgment because he cannot make the distinction - he has no experience. In this sense it is true that every awakened person becomes a child again - not ignorant, but innocent. But every old person is not an awakened being. It should be so; if life has been lived rightly - with alertness, with joy, with silence, with understanding - you not only grow old, you also grow up. And these are two different processes. Everybody grows old, but everybody does not grow up.
Growing up is a spiritual phenomenon; growing old is a physical thing - your body grows old, but your being remains retarded. If your being also grows UP... and remember the difference. We cannot say that the being grows old - it never grows old; it only grows up, higher and higher. But it always remains remains young, fresh - as fresh as the dewdrops in the early morning sun on the lotus leaf.
AND ONE OF THE ELDERS OF THE CITY SAID, SPEAK TO US OF GOOD AND EVIL.
The old people, if they have not grown up also, are a torture to their whole family - to the children, to the youth - because about everything that you are doing you can see condemnation in their eyes.
To live with old people who have not grown up is a tremendous strain. Whatever you do is going to be judged, as if you are always standing in a court. You cannot argue with them, because that is an insult to old age; even to speak before your elders has been condemned by all societies.
In the parables of Aesop there is a beautiful small parable.... The very young lamb of a sheep is drinking water in a mountainous stream - crystal clear water. A lion sees the lamb, and naturally feels happy that this is a good chance for a beautiful breakfast. So he also comes close, and he says to the lamb, "You seem to be very arrogant and stubborn."
The lamb said, "I have not even said a single word - I have not done anything."
The lion said, "You have not done anything? You are destroying the water, polluting it, disturbing the mud - and I am going to drink the water. You don't have any respect for the king of all the animals."
The lamb said, "Uncle, you have forgotten one thing. The stream is not flowing towards you; it is going downwards, so if anything is disturbed, it is not coming to you. Whatever you do, that will come to me."
The lion was very angry because the lamb seemed to be too logical... and nobody wants their breakfast to be so logical! He said, "You are not only stubborn, but you are trying to be very intellectual."
The lamb said, "I am a poor sheep, how can I be intellectual? You are the king."
The lion said, "Forget all about the king and see... what about your father who insulted me yesterday?"
The lamb said, "It must have been somebody else, because my father died almost three weeks ago.
To tell the truth, you killed my father three weeks ago, so how could he have insulted you yesterday?"
Now this was too much! The lion said, "You don't understand tradition, courtesy, that elders should be respected. You should not open your mouth!" And he got hold of the lamb.
The lamb said, "You wasted so much time unnecessarily. I knew from the very beginning that it is your breakfast time. There was no need to rationalize it - just have your breakfast. My mother you have eaten, my father you have eaten. I am an orphan in trouble; it is better that you eat me too. At least inside you I will meet my father and mother - a family reunion."
The whole of humanity, for centuries, has been repressing the children, the youth. Yet even if an old man is an idiot, his old age has to be respected.
This kind of question can come only from an old man who has not grown up. He is asking for clarity about what is good and what is evil - so that he can judge people more easily. In their eyes, everything you do is wrong, because they are spent forces, they cannot do anything. Everything that you are doing they have done, and they still want to do, but they are spent forces. They cannot do anything, but at least they can have the joy of condemning you.
All the saints who have condemned people, saying that they will go to hell, are not saints but only sinners who have covered their sins or their desires and longings for sins with a thin layer of saintliness - and what kind of saintliness?
I was traveling with a Hindu monk, a very famous Hindu monk. We were going to participate in a conference. You could see in his eyes that everything was wrong.... When we sat in the car to go to the airport I was amazed; on a beautiful car seat the cloth on which he used to sit was put. Until that cloth was put on the car seat, he remained standing, then he got in and sat on his cloth.
I said, "This is strange; the seat was far better! Your cloth is dirty - you go on sitting on it everywhere."
He used to carry it in a bundle. The seat was clean....
But he said, "I cannot sit on a car seat. I am against all luxury."
I said, "This is great! You are sitting in a car, in a luxurious car, and just because you have put a small piece of cloth between you and the seat, I am going to hell and you are going to heaven... just because of the dirty seat that you are sitting on."
He was such a nuisance - all saints are nuisances. Wherever we were staying, he created so much trouble. He needed only cow's milk - he did not eat anything else. That was not a big trouble, but the cow had to be completely white! When I heard this, I said, "What do you mean? Are you going to eat the cow or are you going to drink the milk? Milk is always white; whether the cow is black or white, it does not make any difference."
He said, "You don't understand. Black symbolizes evil, white symbolizes good." So for him people have to search for a white cow, completely white, not even a dot, a patch; otherwise he will remain without food. The whole family is disturbed that a great saint is sitting without food, and everybody is running around the town to find a pure white cow - which is very rare!
I said, "You are creating so much nuisance, and you are making all these people so tortured; because you have not eaten, they have not eaten. How can the host eat when a great saint is the guest and is hungry?"
These are the thin layers - stupid, arbitrary, meaningless - with which one goes on covering over one's real desires, longings, which one condemns. And I have found this: the more a person condemns something, the more he is obsessed with it. Look into your religious scriptures. They have been written by saints, great sages, but whatever they condemn, they condemn in such detail.
Just looking into their condemnation you can feel that they are enjoying the condemnation. They have not been able to enjoy; hence, at least they can enjoy condemning it, and condemning all those who are enjoying, and enjoy the idea that all these people will suffer in hell....
Every family in the world is tortured by the old people. My own suggestion is that the moment a man becomes retired, he should be retired from the family too. Every town, city, must have beautiful houses with lawns, with trees, with waterfalls, where old men and old women live together. And you will be surprised that those old fools who were condemning the young people will start falling in love - because love never dies, never becomes old. It is always there, young in you.
These old people are torturing the young, because before their own children, children's children, they cannot start meddling with some old woman - that will look very awkward! Leave them alone, and soon they will forget that they are old. They will live longer, and they will not be so irritable; they will become happy people.
Just as we send children to the hostels to study and come home when they have passed their university examinations... that is one third of life, twenty-five years at least. Then for twenty-five years allow them to live in the world, work in the world. And when they get retired, they again go back to the hostel - not a hostel where men and women are separate, but a mixed hostel. And you will be surprised that your old pop is looking so happy; he never used to be so smiling.
Now, when once in a while he comes home, he is always bringing a fresh breeze into the house.
Something strange is happening? - nothing strange is happening! He has fallen in love again with an old woman. And there is nothing wrong in it.
Love should be your life to the very last breath.
But, up to now, we have been keeping generations together - three generations, four generations, together, under one roof - hence the generation gap. They are not even on talking terms. They talk only when it is business, when it is absolutely necessary; otherwise they avoid each other. This is an ugly arrangement. The right arrangement will be that children should be in school - girls and boys together - so they become acquainted with each other. The more they know each other, the better is the possibility for finding the partner in their life.
Do you see the stupid idea...? If you want to purchase a car, you look into all the catalogs of all the cars, you go to a show-room to see which car will be suitable for you. You just don't fall in love with any car that comes by, saying "I have fallen in love with a Ford," and the next day you see a Rolls Royce - now there will be trouble. The Ford will not allow you to look at the Rolls Royce. The Ford will say, "Close the windows and look ahead!"
It would have been better if you had seen all the cars and then chosen one... and that's what we do with everything, except the most important thing - a partner, your wife, your husband. You just blindly fall into love, without bothering that there are millions of women, millions of men around; and soon you are going to come to somebody who is far more beautiful, far more intelligent, far more loving. Then you will suffer.
Children should live in mixed hostels; then young people should live in mixed hostels; then finally, the last stage of our schooling, the old people should live in the best possible places where they can play golf, go horse-riding, go to swimming pools, forests, mountains, and they will become young again - at least ten years will be added to their life. And they will be more understanding, because they will see even more love arises in their heart. So if their young son has fallen in love with someone, nothing is wrong in it. It is just the way of life, it is how existence wants it to be.
But the old people have always been concerned about what is good and what is evil. Almustafa answered:
OF THE GOOD IN YOU I CAN SPEAK, BUT NOT OF THE EVIL.
This is such a pregnant statement, with so much meaning and significance, that if you understand it, your whole approach about people - judgment - will change.
Almustafa says: of the good in you i can speak, but not of the evil... Why? - because evil is nothing but an absence of good. And what can you say about absence? It is like darkness; you can speak about light, but you cannot speak about darkness. In the first place darkness does not exist - it is only an absence. Just bring a candle in, and it is no longer there. And very beautiful statements Almustafa makes on it.
FOR WHAT IS EVIL BUT GOOD TORTURED BY ITS OWN HUNGER AND THIRST?
Darkness is hunger for light; it is thirsty for light because it is empty. And so is the situation about good and evil - they are not two things.
Good has a positive existence. The sinner is only in search of being a saint. Don't condemn him.
He is groping in dark - help him. Don't go on giving judgments and punishments to him and say, "You will be thrown into hell." The poor man is trying in every way to find out where the light is.
If you go to a religious teacher he will tell you, "Fight evil, and when you have crushed evil you will be good." This is the completely wrong approach, which has destroyed the whole humanity and all its joy.
If you come to a master he will say,"Don't fight with evil - because that is wasting your energy.
Fighting with darkness, you cannot create light. Search for the light, create light, and darkness will disappear."
This is the difference... the so-called religious teachers of all the religions, without exception, are telling you, "Destroy evil." But you cannot destroy it; anything which is just an absence cannot be destroyed.
If I say to you, "Go into your room and destroy the darkness, fight with it, wrestle with it, take a sword and cut off its head," most probably you will cut off your own head. In the darkness, you are fighting with nobody.
An old definition of a philosopher is: A man in the darkest night, in a dark house, blind, is looking for a black cat - which is not there. Now if everyone is frustrated that they cannot find the black cat....
You have never bothered that you are blind; you have never bothered that the house is dark, that the night is dark. But the search goes on and on. Evil is that black cat that does not exist.
That's why Almustafa says, "From the very beginning I will speak of the good in you, but not of the evil."
Such great insights Kahlil Gibran brings to life....
FOR WHAT IS EVIL BUT GOOD TORTURED BY ITS OWN HUNGER AND THIRST?
The implications of this statement are great. Every child is born good. No child is born as Ronald Reagan, or Adolf Hitler, or Joseph Stalin - but what happens? These people have tried... Adolf Hitler first wanted to be a painter. No school of painting accepted him, because he was not a great painter. But my understanding is, if he wanted to be a painter... he may have been amateurish in the beginning. If the chance was given he may not have become a genius, a Picasso, but he would have become at least a good painter - and the second world war would have been avoided, six million people would not have been killed. When rejected from the schools of painting he started thinking of becoming an architect, and was again refused.
It seems we accept only flowers, not seeds.
Our insight is so shallow that we cannot see the flower in the seed - and every educational system is criminal in this sense. They want you to come as a flower, fully grown, fragrant; then you will be accepted. But why should a flower come to you? It is the seed who is tortured inside, wants to grow, have green foliage, wants to dance in the sun, wants to grow flowers - just give him the opportunity.
And don't ask that every flower has to be a roseflower. What about the marigold? There is no way for the marigold to be a rose, it can only be a marigold.
A right educational system - an educational system which is wise - will not impose standards on people but rather find ways how a certain person can grow into his own potentiality.
If Adolf Hitler wanted to be an architect, what was wrong in it? At the most he may not have created great Taj Mahals, but I don't think that he would have not have been able to make your apartments, high-rise buildings... they don't need much intelligence. Absolutely idiotic constructors are making all kinds of things - they have made humanity live in boxes. What harm could Adolf Hitler have done? But rejected from there, this continuous rejection....
And all Adolf Hitler's efforts were for creativity. He wanted to be a painter or an architect; both are creative dimensions. He may not have gone very far, but what was wrong? Everybody does not want to create a Taj Mahal, and everybody cannot afford a Taj Mahal. There are people who need mediocre architects, because they can only afford mediocre architects and their mediocre designs.
But continuous rejection from everywhere was like a wound - and it was these wounds that turned him into a politician.
The profession of the politician is the only profession where no qualification is needed. It is strange:
they have all the power, power over millions of peoples' life and death - but no qualification is needed. But if you want to be a painter, qualifications are needed; if you want to be an architect, talents are needed. But if you want to become an Adolf Hitler, no qualification is needed.
And he took.... In my view, the second world war was nothing but a revenge against the humanity that had rejected the man, humiliated the man, his creativity, his longing to make something beautiful.
The second world war was a revenge with vengeance.
If you don't allow creativity, it is bound to become destructiveness. If you don't love, you are bound to hate. If you don't allow your good to grow, you are bound to fall into the darkness of evil.
VERILY WHEN GOOD IS HUNGRY IT SEEKS FOOD EVEN IN DARK CAVES.
Such insight is very rare. Such compassionate understanding is unique.
Verily when good is hungry.... When your innermost being wants to be good, but finds no food, no support from anywhere, what are you going to do?
... IT SEEKS FOOD EVEN IN DARK CAVES, AND WHEN IT THIRSTS IT DRINKS EVEN OF DEAD WATERS.
And then you condemn the person - that he is evil, that he is a murderer, that he is a thief. You throw the whole responsibility on the person, who is a small human being. And your whole society is so powerful that if it decides to crush the individual and his good, it is capable, in every possible way. And it is not unnatural - when you are hungry you can eat anything. I have known people to eat roots of the trees. Fruits of the trees you eat, but if fruits are not available then people start eating roots.
I have heard that in days of famine, people have even eaten their own children, but I cannot call them evil. Mothers have even sold their children; because they could not gather the courage to eat their own child, they sold the child, knowing perfectly well it was going to be eaten by somebody else who was purchasing it. But with the money they have got they could purchase somebody else's child... food was not available. Do you call these people evil? Or is it simply that their good has not been given enough opportunity? If you are thirsty in a desert you can drink anything - water from gutters... you will not think twice that it is a water from gutters. Life is so valuable....
When Alexander the Great came to India, one sannyasin asked him, "Why are you torturing yourself, running all over the world, wasting your life? What is the purpose?"
Alexander said, "My purpose? My purpose is to conquer the whole world."
The sannyasin said, "Can you just be patient enough to answer my one question? If in a desert you are lost, thirsty and hungry for many days, and I come with a glass of water, how much of your empire will you be ready to give in exchange for a glass of water?"
Nobody had ever asked such a question to Alexander. He said, "How much? If I am dying I can give you half of my empire."
The sannyasin said, "But I am not willing to sell for half an empire; then you can die. I need your full empire, the whole empire, as I am giving you the whole glass of water."
Alexander said, "Perhaps in such a situation I may be ready to give you the whole empire and take one glass of water."
The sannyasin started laughing. He said, "Then it is better you go home. Don't bother about this empire; its value is not more than one glass of water."
But these people - Alexander the Great, or others of his category - are perhaps searching for something else, and are not aware of it. They are searching for greatness - but greatness does not come from acquiring an empire. Greatness comes from becoming your real self, bringing your potentiality to actualization. It may be a grass flower, it may not be a lotus - but nature makes no difference.
When the sun rises it does not dance longer on the lotus. It does not ignore a grass flower and say, "Be out of the way, you untouchable, you sudra! I'm here for the lotus flowers, the roses." When the rain comes it does not make any distinction, any discrimination; when the wind comes it makes no distinction, no discrimination.
The real question is not whether you are a rose, or a lotus flower, or just an unnamed grass flower.
The real thing is that the grass flower has come to actualize its potentiality, just as the rose flower has actualized its potentiality, just as the lotus flower has actualized its potentiality. The real thing is actualization of the seed that you are carrying within you; that makes you great, and it is a greatness with a tremendous humbleness, with no ego in it.
If your greatness has something of the ego, that means your greatness is not real actualization. You have fallen into a wrong path. You wanted to be a musician, but you have become an engineer. You may become a very great engineer, but something in you will remain tortured, your self will remain continuously in a misery. Out of that misery is all evil - you are irritated, you are angry, you are jealous of others; because you are crippled you cannot dance - hence your jealousy.
But nature has given to you all some unique potentiality. That is your good - to bring it to flowering, to its ultimate growth. You will be contented, you will be grateful, and you will be humble - humble before this vast existence, grateful because it has not sent you empty, it has sent you with some potential to work upon.
YOU ARE GOOD WHEN YOU ARE ONE WITH YOURSELF.
None of your religions allows you to be good, because none of your religions allows you to be one with yourself. They divide you. They say,"This is good, and this is bad. The bad part should be neglected, ignored, destroyed, and the good part only should be saved." All the religions have been destructive of human joy, human blissfulness. And it is strange that they have created all kinds of madness, suicides, murders - for the simple reason that people are not allowed to be one with themselves. They have cut you into two parts. It is just like cutting a bird in two parts - it cannot fly, it needs both the wings.
When your good and your so-called evil - because it is only an absence - function in harmony, in togetherness, when you are not a split personality, but one organic whole, your life radiates beauty, your life radiates godliness.
YOU ARE GOOD WHEN YOU ARE ONE WITH YOURSELF. YET WHEN YOU ARE NOT ONE WITH YOURSELF YOU ARE NOT EVIL.
Kahlil Gibran tries to go to the very roots. You are good when you are one with yourself... but don't start thinking that if you are not one with yourself you are evil - no. When you are not one with yourself, you are simply the absence of good. Don't call it evil - that very word unnecessarily condemns you. When the house is dark, it only means light is needed. Don't condemn darkness.
A man of understanding will even enjoy darkness too, because darkness has its own beauty, its own silence, its own depth, which no light can have - light is superficial. In darkness this small place becomes enormous, because the darkness has no end. In light everything becomes limited, separate; in darkness everything becomes one.
The wise man is one who tries to make even his so-called evil a symphony with his good. A man is an orchestra. If you don't know the art of music the orchestra may be maddening, but if you know the art, different instruments of music all combine into one music. They are different, but they create something which is one - and that oneness is what Almustafa calls good.
FOR A DIVIDED HOUSE IS NOT A DEN OF THIEVES....
Even if you are not one, don't condemn yourself, because even...a divided house is not a den of thieves... it is only a divided house.
AND A SHIP WITHOUT RUDDER MAY WANDER AIMLESSLY AMONG PERILOUS ISLES YET SINK NOT TO THE BOTTOM.
The evil person has just lost his way. Be kind to him, not judgmental. And one who has lost his way can find his way.
YOU ARE GOOD WHEN YOU STRIVE TO GIVE OF YOURSELF.
He has defined good as being one with yourself; now he expands the definition: You are good when you strive to give of yourself.... Share yourself, whatever you have. It may be a song, it may be just silence - share whatever you have. The more you share, the more your consciousness becomes bigger, grows, expands. And the expansion of consciousness is the most blissful experience in the world.
YET YOU ARE NOT EVIL WHEN YOU SEEK GAIN FOR YOURSELF.
He continually insists that you drop the idea of evil completely, because your minds have been conditioned for centuries only to think in dualities. If to be one with oneself is good, then of course not to be one is evil. If to share is good, then not to share - your mind says immediately - is evil.
Kahlil Gibran's effort is of tremendous value. He is saying: Yet you are not evil when you seek gain for yourself... because unless you seek gain for yourself, how can you share? What can you share?
A Gautam Buddha can share, but before sharing he has to become a Gautam Buddha.
Christian theologians have been very critical about Indian mystics - that they are selfish. In their eyes, just to meditate is selfishness: "Go and serve the poor, open a hospital, open a school, teach the poor. Become a Mother Teresa." That's why, you see, Mother Teresa can get a Nobel Prize; but a meditator has no chances ever, because a meditator is a selfish person - he is just going into himself and enjoying blissfulness and benediction and ecstasy.
"Serve the poor, serve the orphans" - that seems to be real religion. It is not, because if you do not have the benediction that meditation brings to you, all your service is very superficial. And there must be motivations in it which may not be apparent to ordinary people, but one who looks deep can see them immediately. Mother Teresa is serving orphans on the one hand; on the other hand she is against birth control, because if birth control is there, orphans will not be there.
Orphans are absolutely needed; otherwise how will Mother Teresa get a Nobel prize? Orphans are absolutely needed; otherwise how will Catholics go on increasing their number? Already they are seven hundred million; from where will they go on increasing their number? - because in the West the richer countries are no longer increasing their numbers as they are doing in the East. In fact in a few Western countries the population is decreasing. A few countries are even trying to give incentives to create more children; otherwise they will disappear. If this decrease continues, they will disappear.
In the East the problem is just the opposite. So all these seven hundred million Catholics come from the poor and the orphans of the East. The East is almost like a factory for Catholics: you produce children and you cannot support them - give them to Mother Teresa.
The pope comes to India, but he does not go to meet any great meditator in the Himalayas. No pope has ever tried to meet J. Krishnamurti, who was in the West. On the contrary, popes have been trying in the past the same strategy that they are trying with me now... so many times J. Krishnamurti's plane was rejected from the airport because Catholics wouldn't let him land. No pope has come to see Ramakrishna, no pope has come to see Raman Maharshi. In their eyes these people are selfish people.
But every pope who comes must go to Mother Teresa, because she goes on gathering more and more Catholics. Inner motives are very ugly. It is not service, it is politics. It is politics of numbers.
Kahlil Gibran is right...yet you are not evil when you seek gain for yourself. In fact, first you must seek gain for yourself in all dimensions - material and spiritual; only when you are richer in all dimensions can you share. So I can not say with Jesus, "Blessed are the poor." That is nothing but consolation.
And I agree more with Karl Marx who says, "Your religions are nothing but opium for the people."
"Blessed are the poor for they shall inherit the kingdom of God." Strange... if they are blessed, why don't they get the kingdom of God here and now? No, their kingdom of God is after death. This is sheer cunningness, because nobody comes back after death and tells people that the poor really are blessed. I say to you: Blessed are those who are rich in all dimensions - material and spiritual - for they shall be able to share their riches.
Why bring God into everything unnecessarily? The poor fellow escaped six days after He made this world; since then He has not been seen, has not been heard of. Why bring Him in unnecessarily?
I say: Blessed are those who are rich in all dimensions, for they shall be able to share their riches.
They may be of the soul, they may be of the body, they may be of the mind, they may be of the heart - it doesn't matter; but sharing is one of the most beautiful experiences of life.
It is sharing that makes you religious.
It does not make you a Christian, or a Hindu, or a Mohammedan; it simply makes you religious. And to be religious is beautiful. To be Christian, to be Hindu, to be Mohammedan, to be Jew - these are ugly names which should be discarded completely and forgotten. They divide humanity, and they give ideas to people that they are superior to others.
Jews think they are the chosen people of God. So why are you angry with Adolf Hitler? - because he thinks Nordic Germans are the chosen people of God. Because of this conflict about who are really the chosen people of God, he killed one million Jews in Germany to prove who the chosen people of God are: "Now let us decide it." And if we look at the facts, it seems Nordic Germans are the chosen people of God.
I have heard about one old Jew who was dying. The Rabbi came and asked him, "Have you prayed to God before your death? Death is very close."
The old Jew said, "I'm praying."
The Rabbi said, "What are you praying about?"
The old Jew said, "I'm praying, ???It is enough! - now you should choose somebody else. We have been tortured for four thousand years just because of your stupid idea that we are the chosen people of God. And you have not given a single indication that we are the chosen people, but this idea of superiority has created antagonism in everybody.'"
Hindus think the same way... everybody has a monopoly over God! It is better not to bring in unnecessary hypotheses when it is a question of the transformation of your real life.
FOR WHEN YOU STRIVE FOR GAIN YOU ARE BUT A ROOT THAT CLINGS TO THE EARTH AND SUCKS AT HER BREAST.
The beauty of his words is impeccable. He is saying, "When you are selfish, meditative - just trying to unfold your own being - you are like the roots of a tree which sucks at the breast of the mother earth." But for what? All that juice will rise in the tree, will become green foliage, shadow for the tired and the weary, will become flowers for those who can appreciate beauty, color, fragrance... will become fruits for those who are hungry. The root is sucking at the breast of the mother earth, but not for itself - the ultimate outcome is going to be shared.
So when you are meditating, you are going to your own roots. And unless you find your roots, you will never be able to find your flowers and your fruits. Roots cannot be shared, but without roots there are no fruits and no flowers. In fact, flowers and fruits are just extensions of roots. Don't call roots evil because they don't share. Directly, they don't share, but indirectly their whole life is nothing but bringing juice to the fruits, to the flowers to be shared by all.
SURELY THE FRUIT CANNOT SAY TO THE ROOT, "BE LIKE ME, RIPE AND FULL AND EVER GIVING OF YOUR ABUNDANCE."
Why can't the fruit say so? It cannot say so:
FOR TO THE FRUIT GIVING IS A NEED, AS RECEIVING IS A NEED TO THE ROOT.
Life is an organic unity. If there is only giving and no receiving, to whom are you going to give?
If there are only receivers, and no givers, from whom are they going to receive? Life is a balance between giving and receiving. Roots receive from the earth, and fruits and flowers go on giving back to the earth. It is a circle.
Man, in his ignorance, has broken that circle in many places. That's why there is a great ecological crisis. We go on taking from the earth, but we don't return anything. The earth slowly, slowly becomes barren, dead. And if the earth is dying, something of us is dying also, because we are part of it.
You think that the trees depend on the earth because they have roots, and they suck the juice of the earth. You also depend on the earth, because those fruits, those flowers, ultimately come to you. And you must share - you are trees who can walk. There are trees in Africa which walk. For walking, solid earth is difficult - the roots are not in a position to move. But there are places in Africa where the earth is not so solid, and there, trees move. If the water is more towards the north, the trees start moving towards the north; and when the water is finished, then the trees start dispersing to other directions.
We are also trees, we are also connected with existence in many ways. Every second you are breathing in and out. Just try not breathing out - because that is sharing - and you will be dead.
Sharing is life. These trees are also breathing. And life is such a beautiful unity that you breathe oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide and the trees breathe carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen: there is a kind of brotherhood. Without trees you cannot live; without you, trees cannot live.
There is a constant giving, receiving - the sun goes on giving you life, vitamins; the moon goes on giving you something that is very mysterious. Except Mahavira, all the mystics have become enlightened on the full-moon night. On the full-moon night more people go mad - the number is double - than any other day. More people commit suicide - again the number is double - than on any other day. More people commit murders - the number is double - than any other day. The full-moon night has something to do with it.
From enlightenment to murder... the full-moon night somehow stirs you. If you are going deeper into meditation, it takes you deeper into meditation. If you are hankering to kill somebody, and you are not able to gather courage, it gives you courage. So what was not possible before becomes possible on the full-moon night.
For centuries, more people have gone mad on full-moon nights - so much so that in every language, for madness or mad people, a word exists which connects madness with moon. In English it is "lunatic." It comes from "luna." "Luna" means "the moon." In Hindi it is chandmara, "killed by the moon."
George Gurdjieff had the great insight that it cannot be one-sided: just as with the trees we receive and give, we must be giving to the sun and receiving, giving to the moon and receiving. It has to be balanced. We have not yet been able to decipher exactly what we give to the sun, what we give to the moon - but we must be giving, because what we receive we know; sooner or later it will be discovered that just as we cannot live without the sun.... If one day the sun does not arise, you will not wake up, not even for your morning tea in bed; you are finished. Your life is coming from that far-away star, the sun.
But I always think - and I agree with Gurdjieff, although there is no evidence and no proof - that if every man on the earth, every animal, every tree dies... for which people like Ronald Reagan are making every effort... if everything alive on the earth dies, the sun will not rise the next day. It is impossible that we are just receivers, and not givers. If we are receiving life in some way from the sun, we must be giving life in some way to the sun.
We are all a connected whole, interrelated, one organism. Hence it can be said, as a conclusion:
Become richer in every dimension. Be creative, be loving, be meditative, and share. And the more you share, the more existence will shower on you flowers of blissfulness and ecstasy.
The only good is to be in a position of oneness, so that you are not in a constant conflict within yourself - because that conflict destroys you, leaves no energy to be shared. When you are one, the energy becomes so much that you become almost like a rain cloud, so full of rain that it wants to shower somewhere or other.
Sharing is the most precious religious experience.
Sharing is good.
And Almustafa says, "I will not speak about evil, because evil is only an absence." To be miserly is evil. You have, and you grab it - whether you need it or not. You have missed the greatest joy of life - that of giving.
Receive with gratitude.
Give with humbleness.