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Chapter 22: The Sweetness of Silence on Your Tongue

An old man in the corner bowed his head and wept quietly. A lady leaned over to him and whispered, “Excuse me, but are you a Virginian?”

“No, lady,” said the man, “I am a musician.”

Jake Lavinsky decided to return to Russia, the land of his birth, after living in America for thirty-five years. “I want to help make a success of the workers’ paradise,” he gave as his excuse.

But he was back in the States three months later. “In Russia it is just impossible to do anything right,” he complained. “If you arrive for work five minutes early, you are betraying your fellow workers. If you are five minutes late, you are betraying socialism. And if you arrive on time - God forbid - the commissar calls you into his office and shouts, “So where did you get the watch?”

Here, it is a totally different situation: everything is right. Five minutes earlier, five minutes late, or at the right time - nothing is wrong if you are just alert.

If you are going deeper in your alertness, if you are aware, and your awareness is becoming more and more crystallized, everything will go on becoming more and more right. A moment comes when you cannot conceive how to commit a mistake; you cannot conceive how to be cruel, how to be unkind, how to be violent, how to be inhuman.

The day you cannot conceive all that is animal in you.then from your very mud the lotus has grown, has gone beyond the waters, has reached and opened its petals to the sun. The day of dance has arrived - the moment of celebration.

We are all born in the mud, but there is no need to remain there. This place is not to condemn you for being born in the mud, but to provoke you, to challenge you, to invite you, to welcome you. Although you were born in the mud - all lotuses are born in the mud - you have the potential of becoming a lotus, the most beautiful flower in existence.

With me, drink your future as deeply as possible. I am your future. When you are alone, watch quietly and silently your present. From your present, from your muddy mess, will arise a flower. Where you are today, I was exactly there yesterday, so I know what a great future you have. Where I am today, you are going to be there tomorrow - or at the most the day after tomorrow.