Chapter 10: He Sings and Dances and Cries
It is because of the possibility of love that you have become aware of jealousy, of possessiveness, of anger, of lust, of greed, of indulgence, of gratification, and a thousand and one things. But the central core is dependent on a tacit understanding of love. Truth tends to reveal itself.
Let me tell you a few anecdotes.
The funeral cortege was being set up for the wife of Mulla Nasruddin. He was dressed somberly in the appropriate black. The funeral director said to the Mulla in a respectful whisper, “And you will be sitting in the head car with your mother-in-law.”
Nasruddin frowned, “With my mother-in-law?”
“Yes, of course.”
“Is it necessary?”
“It is essential - the bereaved husband and the bereaved mother, the two closest survivors, together.”
Mulla Nasruddin turned to look at the large and sobbing figure of his mother-in-law and said, “Well, all right then. But I tell you right now that it is going to spoil the pleasure of the occasion.”
Your black dress cannot hide the truth, your tears cannot hide the truth. Deep down he is feeling happy that now he is freed, now he is no longer in bondage with this woman. Just on the surface he is showing his bereavement.
Truth has a tendency to reveal itself. If you just become a little alert, you will always know what is true. Truth need not be learned; one needs just to be a little alert, and then the truth reveals itself. Revelation is intrinsic to truth. And when truth is revealed, a thousand and one lies are also revealed simultaneously, all the lies that were pretending to be truth when the truth was not known.
It happened: Abdul Rehman was very sick, a friend of Mulla Nasruddin. Everybody was worried about the sick man. He was very sick indeed, and his friends took turns visiting him to keep up his spirits.
The night Mulla Nasruddin went he was warned in advance that Abdul Rehman was very low and he must be extremely careful to say nothing discouraging. Nasruddin was doing beautifully, and actually had Rehman chuckling over a number of funny stories. But suddenly however, the Mulla stopped and began to shake his head.
“What is that? What is the matter, Mulla?” said Rehman anxiously.
“I was just thinking,” said Nasruddin, “how in the name of the Holy Prophet are they going to get a coffin down the crooked stairs in this house?”
Now on the surface he was trying to encourage the man, but deep down he knew that he was going to die, and deep down an undercurrent: how are they going to get the coffin down? - the staircase is so crooked.