Chapter 31: Into the Very Center of Silence
That’s why Kahlil Gibran’s very profound statements have been read by millions just like poetry; nobody has thought that there is any truth in it. Yes, everybody has said that his way of saying has a beauty of its own - his words are so poetic and so musical. But that is as if you are talking about the beauty of a woman and you talk about her clothes - “You are a great beauty, your clothes are so beautiful, your ornaments are so valuable” - and you don’t mention her eyes and you don’t mention her face and you don’t mention the warmth of her body and you don’t mention the love that surrounds her. She is going to freak out: “You seem to be a cloth merchant or a goldsmith! I am not my clothes, neither am I my ornaments. You have not mentioned anything that belongs to me.”
You talk when you cease to be at peace with your own thoughts.
That is not necessarily true. You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts. Why should you talk - and about what are you going to talk - when all your thoughts are at peace, fast asleep? I would like to say to you: you talk, or you are capable of talking, when your mind completely stops disturbing your consciousness - but it is not necessary.
If you want troubles, you talk. If you want to remain peaceful and silent and enjoy, you remain silent. In this insane world, to say anything true is challenging all the idiots - because their lies are exposed. But it is not just that the thoughts are at peace. Thoughts are never at peace. Either they are, or they are not.
It is a contradictory statement. Perhaps he has a certain faraway insight into the truth, but he is not clear. His words, at peace with your thoughts, are a self-contradiction. Either you can have thoughts, or you can have peace - because thoughts are the only disturbances in your consciousness.
You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts;
And when you can no longer dwell in the solitude of your heart you live.
Why do people want to talk? Everybody all over the world is talking. I have heard that only once, far back, for one minute, all talking on the earth stopped because a prophet had declared, “If you want to hear God, for one minute, when the sun is exactly in the middle of the sky, has crossed halfway, as your clocks start ringing the bells for twelve o’clock, for one minute - stop! - if you want to hear God.”
It is an ancient story, told by Chuang Tzu - in whose name this auditorium is dedicated. I love many, many people, but Chuang Tzu stands separate as a class, a category in himself. He was really a great rascal saint. I love him, not because he was a saint - because saints are one rupee a dozen - but because he was a rascal saint, which is rare, a very rare combination.
Because Chuang Tzu was respected all over China people believed him, and for one moment there was silence all over the earth. Nobody heard God - because there is no God. But nobody complained. The story has such a beautiful meaning. Nobody complained, “You have deceived us, unnecessarily wasted our time, one minute. We could have smoked a cigarette or gone on chewing our gum or talking about beautiful things; you stopped us for one minute.”