Chapter 22: Work Can Produce, Silence Can Create
First you have to understand there is no guilt in existence anywhere; there may be mistakes, but no guilt at all. Guilt is a by-product of the idea of sin: that you are committing something sinful. The world wants you to be extroverts - workaholics, it wants you to continuously work and work and work. The world has no need, apparently at least, of those who sit silently, doing nothing. They also are needed - immensely needed - but to see it needs great understanding.
A man of silence, a man who can sit without any movement of his body or his mind, creates a certain vibration all around him which is very infectious. It helps people to be silent, to be relaxed. He is almost like an oasis in the desert. But because it is not visible, the world has never taken note of it.
You always feel guilty when doing nothing - and that is the greatest virtue in the world, not only in your body, but even in your mind. All doing stops: you are simply a presence.
So you have to drop that idea, which has been implanted in you by others. They wanted you to work because work is productive. They could not understand that doing nothing, being silent, has its own way of creating a certain atmosphere - which is far more valuable than any production.
Work can produce, silence can create.
But it is very difficult, because the whole world around you is insisting that you do something. Don’t just be useless. Remember the words of Rabindranath that we were talking about the other day: “I am useless; I can only sing, and my songs are purposeless.” But Rabindranath has enriched this country more than any other individual in this century. Flowers don’t have purposes, but a world without flowers will be a very mundane world.
Roses bring something of the beyond into the world - the beauty, the fragrance. They all have no purpose. But purpose is not the only thing life is for. Purpose is necessary for survival, but survival is not living. Living needs songs and dances and love and peace.
Flowers show that existence is so abundant with colors and fragrance, that it goes on sharing. A world without flowers, without poetry, without music, without painting, would not be worth living in. But for centuries the wrong people have ruled over humanity. In Mahatma Gandhi’s ashram roses were not allowed. Even in the flower pots wheat was sown - because wheat has a purpose. Roses don’t have any purpose. Mahatma Gandhi had the mind of a businessman.
Jesus says, “You cannot live by bread alone; something more is needed.” Of course he means God is needed - but if you cannot even enjoy a roseflower, God is very far away from you. Have you ever thought, What is the purpose of God? Is there any utility in God? Even if you find him, what are you going to do with him? Decorate your sitting room?
Life needs work for survival, and to celebrate - silence, songs, music. They are higher values. You want to live for them - the work is for you to survive. But you want to survive because there are roses, and there are songs, and there are meditations, and there are worlds unknown and challenging to be explored.