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Chapter 27: Become the Mystery

Finally, beyond the horizon, they disappeared.but Majnu went on looking. This is where the story becomes a myth, but of tremendous significance. He never left that place. He trusted his love, and he hoped that one day Laila will return from the same route. There was no other route going out from the town.

After twelve years, Laila returned. The father was dead and now she was free at last. She never married anyone else; she had insisted that if she was going to marry anyone, she would marry Majnu. Her father had said, “If that is your decision, then my decision is that you will never marry.” But when the father died, Laila came.

Now twelve years is a long time. In these twelve years Majnu had been standing by the side of the tree. The foliage had grown much; he had not eaten, he had not drunk water, and by and by he had become joined with the tree. Standing for twelve years was so long.slowly, slowly he became part of the tree.

Laila came and she inquired about Majnu in the town. The people said, “It is a very sad story. He had gone to say good-bye to you, but he never came back. Only once in a while in the deep silences of the night, from a certain tree, a sound comes calling your name: ‘Laila, it is too long. When are you going to come back?’ - and people have become afraid of the tree because it seems the tree is haunted by ghosts or something. Nobody comes close to the tree.”

Laila went to the tree. She heard the voice, she heard the joyful welcome, but she could not see where Majnu was hiding. She entered into the foliage of the tree. With great difficulty she could figure out that Majnu had become part of the tree.

It cannot be factual.but the mystic becomes part of the mystery of existence. And the story of Laila and Majnu is a Sufi story. Perhaps it is symbolic of the ultimate union with existence.

Not trying to demystify it, but becoming a part of the mystery yourself, that is the only true understanding. The mystery will remain a mystery, but by becoming yourself a mystery, you will understand.

That is the only true understanding. All other understandings are only knowledge borrowed from others.

Is misunderstanding natural to the human mind?

Milarepa, misunderstanding is certainly natural to the human mind. Mind is a misunderstanding, and through mind whatsoever you understand is misunderstanding.

Understanding arises only when mind is absent, because what is mind after all? - just a collection of thoughts, none of which is your experience. Through that screen of collected thoughts, whatever you see you interpret. You never see what is there, you only see what your mind can interpret. And all interpretations are misunderstandings.

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