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Chapter 8: The Silence That Follows the Storm

Look for the flower to bloom in the silence that follows the storm; not till then.

One of the most basic laws of life has to be understood. Life is based on polarity, everything exists with its polar opposite - and otherwise is not possible. Mind exists because of matter, matter is the polar opposite. Consciousness exists because of unconsciousness, the day exists because of the night, life exists because of death, happiness exists because of unhappiness, and so on and so forth. Everything exists with its polar opposite. You cannot experience happiness unless you have deeply experienced unhappiness, and you cannot come to the ultimate ecstasy if you have not been thrown into the ultimate agony. Hence the meaning of the world, hence this whole suffering: it is not meaningless.

People come to me and ask, “Why did God create this suffering world? Why is there so much suffering if God is compassion?” Yes, God is compassion, therefore there is so much suffering. Unless you pass through suffering, you will not reach the ultimate ecstasy. It is a basic training. Unhappiness is a basic training for the ultimate flowering of happiness.

How can you reach ecstasy if you have not known agony? Even if you were to reach the world of ecstasy without knowing what agony is, you would not be able to recognize it. The recognition would be impossible. Only through darkness can light be recognized. You may be living in light, but if you don’t know darkness you cannot know that you are living in light.

A fish in the sea cannot know that the sea exists. Only if the fish is thrown out of the sea does it come to know, come to recognize the sea. If it is thrown back into the sea, the fish will be totally different and the sea will be totally different: now she will be able to recognize it. Sansar, the world, is just a training ground. You must be thrown deeply into matter, only then can you come back to the other pole, to the peak of consciousness.

This sutra says: Look for the flower to bloom in the silence that follows the storm: not till then. The real, authentic silence happens only after you have passed through a storm. Only when the storm is over can the silence explode within you, never before. You can create a false silence before the storm, but then you are deluded. You can create stillness - artificial, cultivated, forced from without - but it is not spontaneous, it is not of your inner being.

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