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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   Reflections on Khalil Gibran's The Prophet
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Chapter 35: The Silent Gratitude

Love is like a rose which has blossomed in the wilderness where perhaps nobody will ever pass to know the beauty of it, to feel the fragrance of it. But that does not deter the flower from blossoming. It does not ask for whom, it blossoms because it is so full it cannot remain closed anymore. It has to open its petals, it has to release its fragrance to the winds, to whomsoever it may concern - that is not the concern of the flower. Its concern is to pour all that is throbbing in its heart - in color, in beauty, in fragrance.

Prayer does not need a God. If prayer needs a God, you have not understood prayerfulness at all. But all your prayers are addressed to some god - a Hindu God, a Christian God, a Jewish God - and all those gods are created by you. What kind of game are you playing with yourself? First you create God, then you start creating, or asking, or inquiring, “What is prayer?” - God is pseudo, the prayer is borrowed.

And he answered, saying:
You pray in your distress and in your need.

Why did people need God in the first place? It is now an established psychological fact that man feels so helpless. There is disease, there is starvation and old age, and finally there is death - and man cannot do anything to avoid it. Out of this helplessness, fear, need, was born the concept of God.

God is your fear, God is your consolation, God is a promise given to yourself on behalf of God: “Don’t be afraid, I am here to protect you” - although he has not protected anybody. Millions of people have prayed. Old age comes, disease comes, death comes - God never comes to interfere in all these processes, but still there is a lingering consolation that perhaps beyond death he will be waiting for you.

The priests have used your fear to exploit you. They have been giving you continual consolation. It is nothing but psychological opium. And you can see the fact in your own life. When you are happy, young, in love, in joy, you don’t bother about God, you don’t bother about prayer. Just go to any church and see who the people are who are in the congregation - mostly old women. Rarely will you find a young man. And if you find one, you will also find that he is retarded.

The archbishop of Greece threatened that he would burn me alive if I didn’t leave Greece within twenty-four hours. I had not even gone out of the house - for fifteen days I was there. I inquired about his congregation with which he had threatened me. And Amrito, one of my sannyasins, laughed and she said, “You ask strange questions. He’s threatening to burn you and the house and the people who are staying with you - almost twenty-five people - and you are asking about his congregation?”

I said, “You will understand the relevance of my question. Just answer first.”

She said, “Nobody goes there, only six old women.”

He had announced that he was going to take a protest march, but it never happened - because with six old women, what kind of protest march are you going to take? You will simply become a laughingstock. But why are these poor old women listening to this idiot? I call him an idiot, because he does not understand what he is saying.

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