AFTER SAYING THESE THINGS HE LOOKED ABOUT HIM,
Almustafa is giving his last words to the people amongst whom he has dwelt for twelve years. But such is the compassion of the man of wisdom that, although he was ignored, neglected, laughed at - and sometimes even condemned - he is still feeling a great love and a great compassion for the same people who have always misbehaved with him.
When Al-Hillaj Mansoor, a Sufi mystic, was killed by the fanatics and the bigots, there were thousands of people who could not believe that when a man is being killed in such a cruel way - not even Jesus was killed in such a cruel way - he can stand aloof. First they cut his legs, then they cut his hands, then they took his eyes out - piece by piece. But all this time, when blood was flowing from every part of his body, he was smiling. Somebody asked, "Why are you smiling?"
He said, "I am smiling because you don't know what you are doing, you are fast asleep; if you had been awake, you would have understood my smile. My smile indicates that you are not killing me; you are killing yourself. By destroying my body I am not destroyed, but by destroying my body you are destroying the only example you had amongst you of your future glory, of your future growth, of your future actualizations.
"When I say you are destroying yourself, I simply mean this: you are removing from your being the person who could have awakened you. You are so afraid. It is out of fear that you are killing me, out of fear that ???This man is going to wake everyone up' - and you don't want to wake up. You are so much invested in your sleep, and in your dreams, you don't want to know the truth."
Almustafa has no complaint against these people, but only a deep compassion - and this has been the case with all the mystics.
Just three years ago I predicted that if you don't change your rotten ideas about human energy, about sex, about man's natural growth, three fourths of humanity will die of AIDS. I said this in a world press conference - nobody believed me. They could not see any sign anywhere to support my idea - maybe a few people are going to die of the disease, but not two thirds of the whole humanity.
Just today my personal physician, Dr. Amrito, has sent me a report telling me, "For the first time, medical science is supporting Your prediction, because there are many places in America where homosexuality has reached the point of seventy percent" - my prediction was only for sixty-six percent. And the same is happening in Africa; perhaps the percentage is even greater there, just medical research is missing.
Anando, one of my secretaries, has also brought a few press cuttings to show me. I have been insisting continually for years that your so-called religions are responsible - wholly responsible - for this destructive disease that is going to grip the whole world. Perhaps even before nuclear weapons and Ronald Reagan destroy you, this disease will have already destroyed you.
In those cuttings there were reports that many Catholic priests have been found suffering from AIDS.
Many Catholic priests in America have been expelled - just so they disappear; the church will go on giving them salaries, but it wants to hide the fact that its priests are homosexuals. It was not one case; there have been dozens of priests all over America who have been found suffering from AIDS. Two priests, who are courageous enough, have even come out in public and declared, "We are suffering from AIDS, and we don't think that homosexuality is against the Catholic religion."
I agree with them. In fact, the Catholic religion, and other religions, are all for homosexuality. No religion is against homosexuality; in fact it is because of their continuous emphasis on celibacy that they have created a perverted humanity. One cannot believe that there are places where seventy percent of the people have become homosexuals, and the number is reaching that level in other places also.
But such is the blindness of man, and such is his deafness. He will never listen to the truth when there is time enough to do something about it. Now it is almost beyond our powers; we can simply just be helpless observers.
You will not believe that, a few days ago, thirty police officers attacked a homosexual club in the middle of the night, and they were all wearing rubber gloves. When the news was published that all those thirty police officers were wearing gloves, the head of the police department denied it.
But there were photographs, and finally, he had to take back his denial. He said, "They were wearing gloves to protect themselves from hepatitis." This is something absolutely new; nobody has ever heard that you can protect yourself from hepatitis by wearing gloves; what can gloves do?
Hepatitis cannot be prevented by gloves! Certainly, those thirty police officers were also involved in homosexuality; that attack on the homosexual club was just an excuse to enter there.
It is very strange that man is never ready to understand a truth when it is time to do something. By the time he recognizes it, it is too late.
Now, at the moment of departure, when Almustafa is standing on the deck of his ship, people are ready to listen to him. He was amongst them for twelve years. Nobody even bothered about what this strange man is carrying within his heart; nobody allowed him to be part of the city of Orphalese.
He remained there for twelve years, but he was a stranger.
When, in America, my commune of sannyasins was destroyed, I was talking to the jailer where I was confined for three days. He was a beautiful man. He was not part of the conspiracy. In fact, they had put me in another jail which was part of the conspiracy, and I insisted in the court, "You change the jail! I won't bother about getting bailed out or not, but I cannot be in that jail. You have two jails in the city; I choose the other jail, because in the first jail they have not even given me a pillow, or a blanket; not even something to spread on a steel bench - a naked steel bench - have they provided me." I had been sitting the whole night, and whenever I asked them they said, "We don't have any pillows, we don't have any blanket." I said, "That jail seems to be part of the conspiracy. You shift me to the other jail."
They were not thinking of this, so they had not been able to pressurize the other jailer beforehand; it was sudden. I was transferred to the other jail, and the jailer told me, "I know you are innocent, I have heard the whole proceedings. There is no reason at all to arrest you, but unfortunately you are a stranger here. That is your only crime."
I asked him, as we became more and more friendly, "How long you have been in America? - three generations, four generations? How long has Ronald Reagan been in America - two generations, three generations? - because America is not even three hundred years old. You are as much a stranger as I am. In fact, you are more of a stranger, naturally, because you have been here longer; you have been a stranger for one hundred years, I have been a stranger only for three years. It is simple arithmetic."
He laughed, he said, "That's right."
But they have destroyed the native Americans, and forced them into certain concentration camps, into jails, into jungles - they call them reservations. Those people can live only in the reservations.
Those are the real owners of America, they are the only Americans, and the people who are pretending to be Americans... none of them is American. They have come from all the countries of Europe - somebody is from Spain, somebody is from Portugal, somebody is from England, somebody is from Italy, somebody is from Germany. They are all foreigners.
So I said, "Do you think being a foreigner for two hundred years gives you certain privileges? I am a new foreigner, you are an old foreigner; there should not be any antagonism - we both are foreigners. In fact you are invaders, and we are not invaders. You have forced the people to give their land to you; we have purchased the land, we have paid the price."
He said, "Once in a while, we have also paid prices."
I said, "I know. You purchased the whole city of New York for thirty silver pieces - you call it a price?
Is this business? You force those poor people to vacate the land just for thirty silver pieces. It is the same price that was given for Jesus Christ to Judas by the Jews; I think they paid too much - just for a single man, thirty silver pieces; you must have killed thousands of people to vacate the land that is now New York, and those who were ready to leave - the chief particularly - you paid thirty pieces. You call it a price?"
He said, "I am sorry, it is not a price."
But to be a stranger is a crime. If man is a stranger to other men, then with whom you are going to be friends, with whom you are going to be brotherly, with whom you are going to show your love?
The people of Orphalese told Almustafa again and again, "You are a stranger, you should not be here, you don't belong to us. Rather than talking to us, you talk to the trees; rather than being with us, you go to the mountain top. You are not only from some other land, you are a totally different kind of human being. Most of the time you are silent; most of the questions you don't answer. And whenever you answer, your answer does not fit with the tradition, with the orthodoxy, with the way we have lived forever."
But he has not taken any offense. No mystic has ever felt offended; whatever you have done - even if you have killed and poisoned - he was not angry at you.
IS IT NOT YOUR BREATH THAT HAS ERECTED AND HARDENED THE STRUCTURE OF YOUR BONES?
And the breath is a stranger, it comes from the outside, from faraway lands. You may not even know from where it is coming, but "Is it not breath that hardens your bones, that gives circulation to your blood, that takes out all the poison, all the carbon dioxide which, if accumulated, will kill you? Is it not the breath that gives you oxygen and life?" But the breath is a stranger. A Gautam Buddha comes into the world like a breath, like a spring.
AND IS IT NOT A DREAM WHICH NONE OF YOU REMEMBERS HAVING DREAMT, THAT BUILDED YOUR CITY AND FASHIONED ALL THERE IS IN IT?
Remember one thing: whatever Sigmund Freud says about dreams is only a partial truth because all the beautiful structures in the world.... The Taj Mahal must have been a dream in the mind of a creative artist. And the man, the emperor, collected the greatest sculptors and stone cutters from all over Asia.... It took almost thirty years; one thousand sculptors, and ten thousand laborers were working for thirty years continually. And what was the reward to the dreamer whose dream became a reality?
Perhaps you are not aware what happened to all those creators who were part of creating the Taj Mahal... the most beautiful structure in the world. On a full moon night, it again becomes almost like a dream. On a full moon night, seeing it, you have a doubt - are you dreaming, or is it real...?
The hands of one thousand artists, who had labored their whole life, were cut by the emperor, because the emperor never wanted them to make another structure which could be better than Taj Mahal, or even could be equal to Taj Mahal. This was the reward....
Everything that you see in the world - the scientific progress, the technology, the great structures, the great gardens - were once nothing but a dream. Today, when you fly in the sky in an airplane, you never think that you are flying in the dream of two young fellows, the Wright brothers. And they were condemned... they were not very experienced, one was twenty, another was twenty-two, young boys, but the dream possessed them that, if birds can fly, there must be a mechanism that can replace the wings of the birds. A simple idea... but they were poor.
Their father used to run a bicycle shop, he used to sell bicycles, he used to rent them. And in the basement of their house, he used to throw all parts of bicycles which had become useless, rotten.
At night those two boys, hiding in the basement, were trying to create a flying machine out of the useless parts. The family thought they were mad, and the whole city laughed, but undeterred, they went on working.
The day their first flying machine was ready, they were afraid to tell anybody. They took the machine outside the house in the night, when everybody was asleep, and in the morning, with the rising sun, they tried it for the first time. It flew not very far, just sixty feet high, not for very long, just for one minute it remained in the air - but that was enough; the principle was found. If a machine can rise to sixty feet, it can rise to six thousand feet; if a machine can remain for one minute, it can remain for hours. The basic principle had been found.
Then they informed the whole city - even their parents came to see. Nobody believed these crazy boys - the whole day they sleep, and the whole night they work, and who has ever heard that out of the useless parts of bicycles, you can make an airplane? The whole town gathered, and again they succeeded to give them the show. Then from all over the world, people who were interested in flying machines were rushing towards the place.
The house of the Wright brothers became almost a mecca. Great scientists came to pay respect to them, saying, "We have also been dreaming about it, but we never believed in our dreams so confidently. You are exceptional. You believed in your dream, you trusted in your dream; it is your trust that has transformed the dream into a reality."
Almustafa is saying, "You simply ignored me as a dreamer. When I was telling you that my ship has to come, you used to laugh; you used to ask me, ???When is your ship coming - because a year has passed, two years have passed, eleven years have passed - when is your ship coming? But I trusted in my dream, I never bothered about your doubts, I was absolutely certain that the ship will come. I could not predict the date, and now you see it has come - and seeing a dream becoming reality, now you are ready to listen to me, but it is too late. You will remember me, I know, when I am gone. So remember me as... that which seems most feeble and bewildered in you is the strongest and most determined.
A dream is very feeble, very fragile, but if you give your trust to it, it can become a reality. You have the capacity and the energy to transform a dream into a truth.
COULD YOU BUT SEE THE TIDES OF THAT BREATH YOU WOULD CEASE TO SEE ALL ELSE.
AND IF YOU COULD HEAR THE WHISPERING OF THE DREAM, YOU WOULD HEAR NO OTHER SOUND.
If you start hearing the whispering of your dream - which is fluttering its wings within your heart - you will not hear any other sound. You will be so possessed by it that you will be ready to sacrifice anything. And a man is man only when he can dream of the unattainable; dogs and cats also dream, but dream only of flies.
I have heard once a dog and a cat were arguing. The cat was saying, "Last night I dreamt that mice are raining from the sky - so many mice!"
The dog laughed. He said, "You idiot cat, don't you know that whenever it rains it is always bones, never mice? I also dreamt last night. So shut up and don't tell anybody, but the truth is, I've seen with my own eyes that bones were raining all around. It was such a joy."
You also dream. But is your dream something that leads you beyond yourself; or do you dream about money, power, prestige, respectability - then you are dreaming only of bones and mice. Those who are cats will be dreaming of mice, those who are dogs will be dreaming of bones. But you are not man, unless you dream of something unattainable... and that dream of the unattainable is not disregarded in the morning as just a dream, but it becomes your very life, your very search. The question is not whether you will find the unattainable or not. But in trying to find it, you will become a solid integrity, an individual.
Remember the emphasis: it is not necessary that you find the unattainable. But, taking the challenge, whatever is lying dormant in you will become active, whatever has never been used you will have to pull together in yourself. Because it is a question of reaching the unattainable, you have to be total and intense and quick and strong.
I don't care whether you reach the unattainable or not, but in trying to reach it you have become your potential, your original face. You have come to blossom.
BUT YOU DO NOT SEE, NOR DO YOU HEAR, AND IT IS WELL.
Almustafa is saying, "You do not see, you do not hear, but I am not condemning you; and it is well - because you are asleep. I am not saying that you are doing wrong, I am simply saying that you are missing an opportunity."
THE VEIL THAT CLOUDS YOUR EYES SHALL BE LIFTED BY THE HAND THAT WOVE IT.
Hence, don't be worried. If your eyes are covered with a veil, wait! You will find those hands which will take it away. I could have done it - you did not allow me.
Remember me in this way: when another stranger from another land, from the faraway beyond comes, don't keep yourself distant. Come close to him. Let him remove the veil that is making you blind, AND THE CLAY THAT FILLS YOUR EARS SHALL BE PIERCED BY THOSE FINGERS THAT KNEADED IT.
Remember me always as one who loved you - even though you could not see, even though you could not hear - who accepted you as you are, because my trust in the future is infinite. Today you may not see, but tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow.... You have eyes, so sooner or later you are going to see; and you have ears, so sooner or later you are going to hear.
AND YOU SHALL SEE, AND YOU SHALL HEAR, YET YOU SHALL NOT DEPLORE HAVING KNOWN BLINDNESS.
This is what compassion is.
That small word "compassion" contains so much...yet, says Almustafa, you shall not deplore having known blindness. Never deplore it, never repent it.
... NOR REGRET HAVING BEEN DEAF.
Perhaps it was part of your growth; perhaps you needed it, perhaps the time was not ripe, perhaps your eyes and your ears were waiting for their spring to come, so I don't condemn you. And I want you to remember not to condemn yourselves, because once a man starts condemning himself he loses respect - dignity - in his own eyes.
So when you start seeing and hearing, and when you start moving towards a faraway star in search of truth, don't complain of those days which have passed without any growth, without any progress.
Perhaps you were getting ready, perhaps you were getting stronger, perhaps that rest was needed.
This is compassion, so that you don't regret.
FOR IN THAT DAY YOU SHALL KNOW THE HIDDEN PURPOSES IN ALL THINGS, AND YOU SHALL BLESS DARKNESS AS YOU WOULD BLESS LIGHT.
In that day of understanding, in that day of the dawning you will be able to see that is not only the light that is needed - the darkness is also essential. You will be able to bless both: the light and the darkness. They are not contraries, they are complementaries; neither can exist without the other.
AFTER SAYING THESE THINGS HE LOOKED ABOUT HIM, AND HE SAW THE PILOT OF HIS SHIP STANDING BY THE HELM AND GAZING NOW AT THE FULL SAILS AND NOW AT THE DISTANCE.
AND HE SAID:
PATIENT, OVERPATIENT, IS THE CAPTAIN OF MY SHIP.
THE WIND BLOWS, AND RESTLESS ARE THE SAILS; EVEN THE RUDDER BEGS DIRECTION; YET QUIETLY MY CAPTAIN AWAITS MY SILENCE.
AND THESE MY MARINERS, WHO HAVE HEARD THE CHOIR OF THE GREATER SEA, THEY TOO HAVE HEARD ME PATIENTLY.
NOW THEY SHALL WAIT NO LONGER.
I AM READY.
THE STREAM HAS REACHED THE SEA, AND ONCE MORE THE GREAT MOTHER HOLDS HER SON AGAINST HER BREAST.
One cannot experience anything before its right time, one cannot become fulfilled earlier than his destiny decides. Understanding this gives great patience.
These words about the captain who is patient, over-patient, are really about everybody's being - which is over-patient. Lives pass, but your being never shows impatience. It waits and waits till you yourself realize that the time has come and now the journey has to start. It waits till whatever you have to say, you have said; and whatever you have to do, you have done; and whatever you have to live, you have lived. Till the moment you feel, "I am ready," existence waits for you - with tremendous trust, that it does not matter when you say, "I am ready."
But unless you say, "I am ready," the realization cannot happen. And in your readiness, THE STREAM HAS REACHED THE SEA, AND ONCE MORE THE GREAT MOTHER HOLDS HER SON AGAINST HER BREAST.
The river disappears into the ocean from where it has arisen.
Religion is the search of your original source from where you have arisen; it is not going in search of something far away. It is going in search of something that you have left behind. It is going deeper within you - because still from the same source the flame of light is getting its nourishment. You will not find it anywhere else.
Those who look outwards look in vain.
Only those who are tired of looking outside, who are tired of continuous failure, close their eyes and start looking inwards. That is the beginning.
The moment you have found the source within you from where life radiates in all directions - to your body, to your eyes, to your hands, to your legs - when you have found that center, you have found the door to the divine, you have come to the oceanic feeling. With great force the idea grips you that, "I am ready," and the stream can take a jump - a quantum leap - dropping the source and entering into the shoreless, limitless, ocean.
This small book of Kahlil Gibran is far more valuable than any scripture of any religion, so don't just read it as poetry. Read it as if it is opening doors of mysteries for you - and particularly for you, who are here, in search of something unattainable, who are here because of a dream, who are here, not out of curiosity, but with a sincere longing, an authentic desire, to become what you are supposed by nature to become....
Only then is there blissfulness; the moment you have become that which was hankering in your seed, longing in your seed to sprout and become a tree and blossom and be full of flowers and fragrance.... Otherwise you cannot find blissfulness. And a man who has not found blissfulness, has not lived at all. He was born, and he died, but he never lived in between.
Unless, between your birth and your death you reach to the peak of enlightenment, you have not given respect to your own potentiality; you remained playing with toys and forgetting the real treasure.
At least my people have to be continuously alert. This is a mystery school; it is not for all and sundry, it is only for those who are ready to sacrifice everything for finding the truth of their life - because the truth of their life is higher than their life itself.
So, whatever you are doing here, just like an undercurrent there should always remain the alertness "Am I growing or not?" "Am I coming closer to my dream or not?"
It is enough that you go on coming closer and closer to the dream, it is not needed that you reach the dream.
Just by coming closer and closer to the dream, you go on becoming your real self. The dream is only an excuse.