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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   Reflections on Khalil Gibran's The Prophet
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Chapter 14: Work Is Love Made Visible

And what is it to work with love?
It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth.
It is to build a house with affection, even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house.
It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit.
It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit,
And to know that all the blessed dead are standing about you and watching.
Often I have heard you say, as if speaking in sleep, “He who works in marble and finds the shape of his own soul in the stone, is nobler than he who ploughs the soil.
“And he who seizes the rainbow to lay it on a cloth in the likeness of man, is more than he who makes the sandals for our feet.”
But I say, not in sleep, but in the over-wakefulness of noontide, that the wind speaks not more sweetly to the giant oaks than to the least of all the blades of grass;
And he alone is great who turns the voice of the wind into a song made sweeter by his own loving.
Work is love made visible.
And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.
For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man’s hunger.
And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes, your grudge distils a poison in the wine.
And if you sing though as angels, and love not the singing, you muffle man’s ears to the voices of the day and the voices of the night.

Almustafa is saying immensely beautiful things but the most important thing is missing. That is the misery of a poet: he comes to know as deeply as possible but he never reaches the very center. Only a mystic is able to reach to the very center, so although all these statements are beautiful, keep in mind that something is missing. And I am going to make you aware of what is missing.

I am not a poet. I can understand the beauty of poetry because I am a mystic; I am rooted in my own center, in my own being. I would love you to understand Almustafa’s statements - perhaps they will help you reach to the center, of which he himself is not aware.

And what I am saying about Almustafa, I am really saying about Kahlil Gibran. I have not spoken on him. For many years, again and again, I thought to give new blood and new life to his statements, but whenever I saw that there was something missing, I wondered whether I would be doing justice to you if I simply commented on Kahlil Gibran without telling you that he is not an enlightened man. Very close - but even closeness is a distance. Unless you become one, the distance remains. But finally I decided that it is better to make Kahlil Gibran and his spokesman, Almustafa, complete and whole.

And what is it to work with love?
It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth.

It is a very loving attitude toward work, but still it is not work that arises out of love because the beloved is separate. And the one who is beloved today may not be tomorrow. The love that humanity knows can easily turn into hate. The ordinary love is a double-edged sword. When you are in love with someone - it may be God, but it does not mean that your love cannot turn into hate any moment.

Once a man came to me and said, “I am a great believer in God.”

I said, “I have seen you before. You were always complaining against God, what has happened?”

He said, “I was complaining because I didn’t have a child. And I was continuously praying for ten years and God had not responded to my prayers. I stopped praying, I stopped going to the temple. I felt cheated, deceived. It became clear to me that there is no God.

“But I was impatient. Just yesterday a child was born. I wanted to inform you first - because you know of my ten years of misery - that I am greatly happy. God is. Though he may delay his decisions for his own reasons which we know not, the prayer is always heard; if not today, then tomorrow.”

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