Chapter 6: Be Rejoiced in Me
“Of course,” she said. And she yelled to the cook, “Hold the turtle and make it pea.”
Now it will depend on you what meaning you give to it. Words can mean many things, and in different contexts the meaning can be very puzzling. Each word is spoken in a certain context. The context is hidden; you only hear the word. Without the context, the word has no meaning. What I am saying to you today will not have the same context again, because this morning is never going to be repeated. These people who have gathered to listen to me will not be exactly the same again gathered here. The birds that are singing around will not be in the same place again. This morning is unrepeatable. But my words will remain - they will lose all context; they will become independent of context. And then you will have to find meaning, give meaning to them.
They can be puzzling..
I have heard:
Two partners in the garment industry were having business problems; it looked as if they might have to declare bankruptcy. But at the brink, a particular line of dresses seemed to lure a buyer. A West Coast outlet wanted to buy the whole line, at a price which would put the partners well into the black. The partners were overjoyed.
“The only thing is,” warned the buyer, “I have to have the deal approved by the home office. I’m sure they’ll agree, but I do have to check with them. I’m going back tomorrow. If you don’t hear from me by Friday closing time, you can be sure everything’s okay.”
The week went by slowly, and Friday crawled. The two men sat without moving at their desks, unable to concentrate on any kind of work. Without this deal, they would definitely go under. They sweated the hours out, minute by minute.
Two o’clock went by, three o’clock, then four o’clock, and now they were close to pay dirt. Four-thirty came, and they were holding their breath. Suddenly, a messenger burst into the office. “Telegram!” he said. The men froze in terror.
Finally, one of the partners stood up. Slowly he opened the telegram, and read it quickly. Then came a shriek of joy. “Harry! Good news! Your brother died!”
The meaning is always in a context. Out of the context, there is no meaning. But words go on living.
Krishna said something to Arjuna - in a particular context. Now Hindus go on repeating it. Buddha said something to his disciples in a particular context - Buddhists go on repeating it. The man of understanding will not become so obsessed with words. Words are not so meaningful as you think.