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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   Reflections on Khalil Gibran's The Prophet
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Chapter 16: From House to Home, from Home to Temple


Then a mason came forth and said, Speak to us of Houses.
And he answered and said:
Build of your imaginings a bower in the wilderness ere you build a house within the city walls.
For even as you have home-comings in your twilight, so has the wanderer in you, the ever-distant and alone.
Your house is your larger body.
It grows in the sun and sleeps in the stillness of the night; and it is not dreamless. Does not your house dream? and dreaming, leave the city for grove or hilltop?
Would that I could gather your houses into my hand, and like a sower scatter them in forest and meadow.
Would the valleys were your streets, and the green paths your alleys, that you might seek one another through vineyards, and come with the fragrance of the earth in your garments.
But these things are not yet to be.
In their fear your forefathers gathered you too near together. And that fear shall endure a little longer. A little longer shall your city walls separate your hearths from your fields.

Then a mason came forth and said, Speak to us of Houses.

The first thing I would like to be remembered by you is that a house and a home are two absolutely different things. Because the question is coming from a mason, he knows only of building houses. Houses are dead. Unless they are filled with your love, your silence, your song, unless your house becomes a reflection of your dancing heart it remains dead.

But the moment there is love and there is gratefulness and there is celebration, a house is no longer a house, it becomes a home. It is alive. It starts breathing. It becomes filled with all the fragrance that you create.

There is one step more - when the home becomes a temple. But the poor mason cannot ask these questions.

When your meditativeness goes to such depths that you start feeling pregnant with godliness within, the home becomes a temple. But millions of people are so unfortunate, they go on living in houses. Even to transform a house into a home seems to be difficult for them. And because they cannot transform their home into a temple, that’s why they need temples to be created, churches to be created, cathedrals to be created as the dwelling places of God.

But I say unto you: no church, no temple, no synagogue can become a dwelling place of God if you have not first already become a dwelling place of godliness.

If this series of transformations happens - from house to home, from home to the temple - the world will need no churches, no temples, no mosques. People go to the temple - this is absurd. The temple has to come into their heart and transform the whole place of their dwelling into a sacred, holy, divine place.

It is said that when Moses was forced too much by his followers: “How long is it going to take to reach the city of God, to the divine land, Israel? Why don’t you go and ask God himself? - because you have been telling us that you are just a messenger, and the message is not yours but God’s. It is time enough, it seems we are on the wrong path.”

Moses said, “I will go, but no one should follow me because one can meet God only in absolute aloneness.”

So the whole caravan of the Jews waited in the valley when Moses went on the mountain top of Sinai. There he came across a strange phenomenon. He did not see God, but he saw a miraculous thing: a green bush - surrounded with flames, and yet the bush was green. It should have been burned long before, and yet the bush was full of fragrant flowers.

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