Chapter 8: The Dewdrop and the Ocean
Kabir replied, “I was completely oblivious to it, because since I have come to realize that all is one, I haven’t seen anything as mine or as belonging to anyone else. So if this belongs to another, then of course stealing is a sin. But I didn’t remember that what we are taking is not ours. I am glad you reminded me. Why didn’t you tell me this before?”
Kabir is saying that as long as something belongs to the other, then stealing is a sin. But if nothing belongs to anyone in particular, if everything belongs to the whole, and if the air the other is breathing is as much mine as the air that I am breathing, then in this respect, on this level, it is meaningless to call stealing a sin.
But Kabir is talking about this from an existential level. This is being said by one who has entered the ultimate state of enlightenment.
So Kabir said, “If you are unable to wake these people up, then return this sack of wheat - because if you are afraid of informing about something to those who are none other than your own self, then the thing in question is certainly not yours. Then it is better to go and put it back. After all, whom are we really trying to hide this stealing from?”
Now this has become a matter of two totally different levels, two totally different worlds. Make sure you understand this well. One is the existential world, where everything belongs to the whole, to existence, where stealing is impossible. Kabir is living in this world. The second is the world of our minds where the other is “the other” and I am “I”; where my thing is “mine” and what belongs to the other is “the other’s.” At this level, stealing is possible; it is happening, it can happen.
As long as a thing that belongs to the other person is “the other’s,” stealing is sin. In reality, stealing never occurs; only objects are moved from one location to another. How can the phenomenon of stealing ever happen on this earth? Neither you nor I will be alive in the future; neither will my possessions remain as mine, nor will your possessions remain as yours. Just the objects will remain here. What difference does it make whether they remain in this house or that one?
Stealing doesn’t happen at the existential level. Stealing occurs at the psychological level, at the level of our feelings and emotions.
If Hitler had been capable of saying that there is no violence in killing, that there is no death, then there would have been no need for him to have had bodyguards all around him. And if that had been the case, then he could have gone ahead and killed the people in Auschwitz. I would have no objections. But a person like Hitler, who is anxious to save himself and who is eager to kill the other, believes very deeply that one does get killed. After all, he is doing everything to save his life.