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Chapter 3: A Seeker of Silences

If I am controversial, that means truth is controversial. That means your minds are so full of prejudice that you cannot understand simple things, but make them into a controversy. Because your minds become disturbed, your prejudices are stirred. It is better to poison Socrates and be at ease, to crucify Jesus and be at ease.

But remember: whatever evolution of consciousness has happened, it has happened by the controversial - not by the obedient, not by the traditional, not by the orthodox. It has happened only by rebels. But a rebel is understood only on the day of departure. His evening turns out to be the morning, but it is too late.

Gautam Buddha said, “Leave me alone. I have thought about it for seven days continuously. Those who are capable of listening to me will come to me without my speaking, and those who are not capable of listening to me, I can go on shouting from the housetops - they will simply report to the police superintendent, “A man is creating nuisance here. A controversial man is shouting from the housetops and the peace and the silence of the people is disturbed.’ In what peace are people living? In what silence are people living?”

Buddha was absolutely reluctant, and I can understand his reluctance. Why bother, when nobody is going to listen and everybody is going to misunderstand you? It is better to be silent. Those who are thirsty perhaps may come, may not come; it is none of your business. You have arrived, your search is complete.

But the gods were not so easily convinced.

They went and talked among themselves: “What to do? - because this would be a calamity. A buddha remaining silent. And it would be the greatest insult to humanity if Buddha remained silent. It would be the greatest loss to the future, to the coming generations. They would never forgive us. Because only we know that he has arrived, it is our responsibility somehow to persuade him.”

They came to a conclusion - and that conclusion Buddha could not deny. Their argument was very simple: they said, “You are ninety-nine percent right. But have you thought about the few rare souls who may be thirsty, just on the verge, the boundary line and they need just a push? And what is the harm? - you are not going to lose anything. If only a few people can come to the same realization as you, the world will remain in debt to you forever.”

They said, “You cannot deny that there are a few people in the world who may be just on the verge, but nobody is pushing them, and they are afraid of the unknown. They need someone for whom there is no unknown. His certainty, his authority will help them to take one step, and that’s all - they will be in the same state of consciousness as you are. Don’t deprive us of a few enlightened beings. Humanity is so poor. Make it just a little richer, just a little more beautiful.”

A moment of silence. Buddha closed his eyes and said, “For those few I will speak, although I cannot speak the whole truth. I cannot speak the most secret, but I can speak this much, so that they can move toward the farther star. I can show them the star - my finger. It is not a problem to me. I had not thought about those marginal cases.”