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Chapter 2: Tell and Still It’s Hidden

Knowledge of inner experience
many come asking for.
Struck dumb savoring the sweet,
whose mouth will tell the taste?

The sign of the dumb
only the dumb understand.
Likewise, the joy of a sage
only a sage knows.

Not of written words
but of experiencing:
when the bride meets his embrace
the guests all fade away.

That which sees cannot speak,
which speaks cannot hear,
that which hears cannot explain.
Why tongue, eyes, ears?

What’s full empties out;
what’s empty fills up.
Empty, full - neither to be found.
The experience is this.

Such a wonder! It’s never told
tell, and still it’s hidden.
Koran and Veda couldn’t write it.
If I say it, who will listen?

Let us go deeply into the meaning of each word. There is a saying about “containing the ocean in a pot.” Kabir has done that. He has managed to contain the unlimited in very small words, in words we use every day. But Kabir has given them a unique meaning. You may think, “But this is all known to me!” when you hear them; you may understand the surface meaning of the words, but you are not acquainted with their depth. And each word is so powerful it can set you off on an infinite journey.

Knowledge of inner experience
many come asking for.
Struck dumb savoring the sweet,
whose mouth will tell the taste?

Information about objects can be collected, but this is knowledge you have obtained from outside. You perceive objects from four sides; you can walk all around them. For example, when you go to a Hindu temple you walk around the idol of God, but this walking only happens outwardly and so it has become phony, a mere ritual. No matter how much you may know about something from the outside, your information about it is never inner, never from your own experience.

So long as we do not enter the depths of something our information about it will always be surface. It is like going to see the ocean and coming back home simply having glanced at the waves. The real ocean, the depths and the treasures of the real ocean, are hidden beneath the waves. On the surface there is only foam; on the surface there is only conflict, competition, enmity. In the waves, only mischief and upheaval exist. The real ocean is hidden beneath them. There is only one way to know that ocean and that is to dive deeply into it. And there is only one kind of diving, the diving into yourself.

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