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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   Reflections on Khalil Gibran's The Prophet
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Chapter 33: Evil Is Nothing but an Absence of Good

She fell at Gautam Buddha’s feet. This was even a bigger shock to those ten thousand people! And Buddha said to them, “I know these four months have been very long and you have suffered much. Day in and day out your mind was thinking only about what was happening between the monk and Amrapali, that he must have fallen in love with the woman and gone down the drain; four months will pass, the rains will stop, but he will not return - with what face?

“But you see, when a man of consciousness enters the house of a prostitute, it is the prostitute that changes - not the man of consciousness. It is always the lower that goes through transformation when it comes in contact with the higher. The higher cannot be dragged down.”

Her name, Amrapali, means. She had the biggest mango grove, perhaps one hundred square miles, and she presented it to Gautam Buddha - it was the most beautiful place. And she presented her palace, all her immense resources, for the spread of the message of Buddha.

Buddha said to his sangha, to his commune, “If you are afraid to be in the company of a prostitute, that fear has nothing to do with the prostitute; that fear is coming from your own unconscious because you have repressed your sexuality. If you are clean, then all judgment disappears.”

So the awakened has no judgments of what is good and what is bad, and the child has no judgment because he cannot make the distinction - he has no experience. In this sense it is true that every awakened person becomes a child again - not ignorant, but innocent. But every old person is not an awakened being. It should be so; if life has been lived rightly - with alertness, with joy, with silence, with understanding - you not only grow old, you also grow up. And these are two different processes. Everybody grows old, but not everybody grows up.

Growing up is a spiritual phenomenon; growing old is a physical thing - your body grows old, but your being remains retarded. If your being also grows up. And remember the difference. We cannot say that the being grows old - it never grows old; it only grows up, higher and higher. But it always remains young, fresh - as fresh as the dewdrops in the early morning sun on the lotus leaf.

And one of the elders of the city said, Speak to us of Good and Evil.

The old people, if they have not also grown up, are a torture to their whole family - to the children, to the youth - because you can see condemnation in their eyes about everything that you are doing. To live with old people who have not grown up is a tremendous strain. Whatever you do is going to be judged, as if you are always standing in court. You cannot argue with them, because that is an insult to old age; even to speak before your elders has been condemned by all societies.

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