Chapter 9: When a Man Has Presence.
A man who is empty is a small black hole. That’s why you sometimes feel very tired by meeting a certain person. You avoid him. Even to say hello to him on the road is tiring. Just by passing him he takes something of you, a lump of energy disappears. You are poorer by just saying hello to that man or seeing that man. He is an empty, negative space. Whosoever comes by, he sucks. These people are tiring people, exhausting people, parisitical.
Just the opposite is the case when a man has presence. When a man has presence he is showering energy. He has too much energy. He is overflowing with energy. Whenever you come close to such a man you are blessed. Suddenly you feel the shower. You are close by a waterfall. You feel cool, you feel tranquil, you feel vital. You feel a kind of power and also a kind of poetry arising in you - all together. You would like to be with this man again and again. Just to be in the vicinity of this man is life-enhancing.
The man of presence spreads his energy all around. He is reaching people and he has something to give. He is a giver. He is an emperor. That’s why in the East we have called sannyasins “swami.” “Swami” means a master - one who has something to give, one who is not a beggar.
A person who is empty, who has no soul yet, is a beggar. He is constantly begging, he is a begging bowl. He will take something from you. If you go into a crowd, and you have any understanding about your life and the way energy functions, you will always feel that you come home a little less than you went. A chunk of your being has been taken by the crowd. The crowd is always tiring, exhausting, because in crowds you will not find a man of presence; you will find only people who are absent, only people who ate sleepy, only people who are empty.
The master is a man of presence. He has utter authenticity, a substantial being, he has soul. This soul has to be created - you are just a dwelling. You have to provoke the guest to come, you have to invite the guest to come. The house is ready but the guest has not come yet.
Sufis say, “How are you going to learn the ways of being present unless you are in the presence of a man who is present” That’s what a master is. A master is not a teacher; a master is a magnetic force, a magnetic field of positive energy, of presence.
Sufis say that whenever you come to the master you have baraka. You have grace. That is the meaning of the Hindu satsang - being in the presence of the master to receive his grace. He is giving, and you are not obliged when you receive his grace, because even if you had not been there he would have given. Even if nobody had been there he would have given - that is just natural. As rivers flow, as a flower opens and the fragrance is released, so is it the natural thing with a master. He has bloomed and the fragrances are released to the winds. Whether somebody will receive them or not, that is not the point. If somebody can receive them, he will be blessed; if nobody receives them, then too the master will go on showering. He does not shower especially for you - he cannot help it, he has to shower. Just as light goes on showering from a lamp, and fragrance from a flower, so is the case with a master.