Chapter 17: Letting Me in Is Finding Yourself
First, it becomes distorted when you drag it down from its height, from the peaks, to the dark valleys of the mind. The first distortion happens there. Almost ninety percent of its reality is lost.
Then you speak. The second distortion happens because what you can conceive in the deepest core of your heart is one thing; the moment you bring it into expression as words, that is another thing. You feel great love, but when you say to someone, “I love you,” suddenly you realize the word love is too small to express what you are feeling. It seems really embarrassing to use it.
And the third distortion happens when it is heard by somebody else, because he has his own ideas, his own conditionings, his own thoughts, opinions, philosophies, ideologies, prejudices. He will immediately interpret it according to himself. By the time it reaches the person, it is no longer the same thing that had started from the highest peak of your consciousness. It has gone through so many changes that it is altogether something else. So it has happened many times that enlightened people have never spoken. Out of a hundred enlightened people, perhaps one may have chosen to speak.
Gautam Buddha was such a rare human being, so well-cultured, so articulate, that if he chose to remain silent, the world would miss a great opportunity. The gods came down, touched the feet of Gautam Buddha and asked him to speak. “The whole existence is waiting. The trees are waiting, the mountains are waiting, the valleys are waiting, the clouds are waiting, the stars are waiting. Don’t frustrate everyone. Don’t be so unkind, have some mercy and speak.”
But Gautam Buddha had his own argument. He said, “I can understand your compassion, and I would like to speak. For seven days I have been wavering between the two, whether to speak or to not speak, and every argument goes for not speaking. I have not been able to find a single argument in favor of speaking. I am going to be misunderstood, so what is the point when you are going to be misunderstood? - which is absolutely certain. I am going to be condemned; nobody is going to listen to me the way the words of an enlightened man have to be listened to. Listening needs a certain training, a discipline, it is not just hearing.
“And even if somebody understands me, he is not going to take a single step, because every step is dangerous; it is walking on a razor’s edge. I am not against speaking, just I cannot see that there is any use, and I have found every argument against it.”
The gods looked at each other. What Gautam Buddha was saying was right. They went aside to discuss what to do now. “We cannot say that what he is saying is wrong, but still we would like him to speak. Some way has to be found to convince him.” They discussed for a long time and finally they came to a conclusion.