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Chapter 8: Silence and Song Meet

One woman forced him to marry her because she insisted that she would not allow him even to kiss her, or even to hug her, or even to hold her hand unless he married her. And he was so mad about her that he agreed to marriage. When they were coming out of the church, just married, and the guests were taking leave of them, standing on the steps, holding the hand of his wife, he saw another woman walking down the road and he forgot his wife. His wife immediately recognized it; she could see that he had forgotten all about her, and she told him so.

But he was a sincere man too. He said, “It is true, I have lost all interest in you. For six months I was mad - day in, day out, I dreamed about you, fantasized about you, wrote poems about you. I was dying! I was thinking that without you I could not live a single moment longer. And now that you are mine and your hand is in my hand, I only feel perspiration! That woman for a moment caught my whole being. I simply forgot you.” He apologized - but apology is not love.

This is the way the mind functions: its whole interest is in that which you have not got. Hence, Robert, your question is significant and it has tortured humanity since the very beginning. And people have been choosing, just as you are asking: “Should I live on the inside or on the outside?”

Wherever you live you will be in trouble. If you live on the outside, the inside will function like a magnet. If you live on the inside, the outside will go on sending invitations to you: “Come out! It is a beautiful morning. The flowers are blossoming and the air is fragrant,” or, “It is a tremendously ecstatic sunset. Look, the starry night..” And if you are outside you will continuously worry, “What is inside me? Who am I? What is this consciousness?”

Science has become focused on the outside; religion has become focused on the inside. Both are lopsided, because the inside and the outside are not two separate things, they are inseparably one. To separate them is arbitrary, artificial.

In the past the monks decided to be alone because they saw the misery of love, they saw that to be with someone is to suffer. What Jean-Paul Sartre said in this century, the monks all over the world - Christian, Hindu, Jaina, Buddhist, Mohammedan - have known all along; it is one of the most ancient experiences. Jean-Paul Sartre is not original at all; he looks original because nobody has said it in exactly that way. Jean-Paul Sartre says, “The other is hell” - and this is the experience of all the monks, of all the mahatmas, of all the saints. Whatsoever denomination they belong to does not matter; on one point they all agree: “The other is hell - escape from the other!”

They escaped to the Himalayan caves, they escaped to the monasteries, they escaped from the world - they were really escaping from the other. But were they happy in their monasteries, in their caves? That question has not been raised. It has to be raised. Were they blissful? Maybe they were more silent than you are - but silence is not bliss, silence is not a song. Silence has no warmth; it can be cold and dead. And it was cold and dead.

Your so-called monks have lived in such a suicidal way that they have become living corpses. They chose half of life, and whenever you chose half you will be in trouble, because what are you going to do with the other half? You will remain only fragmentary, and the other half will take its revenge.

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