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Chapter 5: Read between the Lines

A gardener has to tend his plants according to the needs, sometimes watering them, sometimes pruning them, sometimes shaking down the old foliage, sometimes giving them props to rest on. Sometimes he puts the plants in the sun, and sometimes brings them back in the shade. You are like new plants coming into being, and you need many things. If you are sheltered all the time, you will be devitalized; if all you ever know is peace, you will become a corpse - your liveliness will disappear, your festive spirit will fade away. Certainly, there will be peace in your life, but there will be no bliss; and peace without bliss is dead peace, the peace of the graveyard.

So you need challenges. You need tempests to fill you with life. You need the invitation from the beyond, so that you can be filled with enthusiasm to set out for a journey toward the infinite, so that you stay lively, so that your peace does not become your death. Otherwise you will become like those seekers who in their search for peace have become almost lifeless. They are like stone statues. No heart throbs within them, because they fear that the throbbing of the heart will disturb their peace. They breathe halfheartedly, in fear, for every proper breath has the possibility of creating trouble. They lead frightened lives, full of precautions to prevent anything going wrong. Their peace is very weak, very frightened, anything can shatter it. They are like those plants which have been kept only in the shade; to bring them into the sun now is a difficult thing because they will fade away and die.

Can there be life in the shade alone? Shade and sunlight are needed. Sunshine brings life, but an excess of life will also creates insanity. If the energy becomes so much that you cannot bear it, you will go mad. So both are needed, and a rhythm has to be created between the two. You need to be jolted, and you need to be given rest too. You need to be left in the sun, and you need to be brought back into the shade - because I do not want to lead you to a world of peace only, I want to lead you to a world of bliss.

Dancing peace is bliss! Festive, joyous, celebrating peace is bliss. Bliss is an activity which has inactivity at its center. Bliss is a dance in which the dancer disappears. The dancer is at peace, but the dance goes on! Bliss is such a leap that we touch the highest peaks, and yet we do not lose our contact with the earth.

It is easy to attain the part, to attain the whole is difficult. Worldly people covet life, and the so-called seekers strive after death. I want you to attain both simultaneously. Your ego must die utterly, and the divine in you must come totally to life. Let death be your left hand and life your right. Let your inhalation be life and your exhalation death. Be young, overflowing with energy, dancing like a tempest, and peaceful, silent, empty at the same time. Let the flute of Krishna sing between your lips, even as you sit in silence like Buddha under the bodhi tree. Let the flute not disturb you, and let your silence be no enemy to the flute.

The day the flute is on the lips of emptiness, the day music arises out of silence, that day you have come to know the ultimate meaning of life. That is the day of fruition; there is nothing beyond that.