Chapter 8: Truth Is Not Far Away
Why are you so widely misunderstood?
It is the way of human progress. Whenever there is someone who says something against the tradition, against the establishment - political or religious - he is bound to be misunderstood. But that is not something new.
You can look as far back as possible and you will always find a few people being misunderstood. But those are the few people who have brought you to civilization, to culture; you owe all your consciousness and growth to that small group of people.
Socrates was misunderstood. We do not know the people who misunderstood him. We do not know the judges who pronounced his death sentence; they have all been forgotten. But Socrates’ name will remain till the last human being remains on the earth, for the simple reason he stood against the whole mob, the whole old traditional, superstitious mind, single-handed.
It is easy to kill a man like Socrates but it is difficult to kill his spirit; it is absolutely impossible to destroy his argument.
Socrates was poisoned, but his argument, his statement about truth, still remains and has been adopted. Slowly, slowly truth gets into the hearts of man. It takes time - traditions are very deep. They have long roots in the past; moreover, our vested interests are with the political power, with the religious institutions, and we are naturally afraid they can destroy us. It is better to be with them; it is dangerous to be with a man like Socrates or Gautam Buddha.
I am widely misunderstood. I don’t think that it is in any way disrespectful to me. This is a compliment. The more widely I am misunderstood, the better. Certainly, Socrates was not so widely misunderstood - he was misunderstood only in Athens. Gautam Buddha was not so widely misunderstood - he was misunderstood only in Bihar.
They were not so fortunate as I am. I am misunderstood all over the world! With me starts a new era of the misunderstanding becoming so wide. But with it there is a great hope too. If there are so many people who misunderstand me, there are millions of people who love me too.
Those millions who love me, who understand me, may be silent - that’s why you hear only the voices which are against me. This has to be understood; it is part of human psychology.
Love is always silent.
The more you love, the more difficult it is to say anything. Maybe the positive people simply feel the sympathy but cannot find the words to express it. The negative people are very loud; they make much noise. That is the nature of negativity - that it is loud, noisy, and it creates a situation that one negative person feels as if there are thousands of negative people.