Chapter 13: Speak to Us of Work
Existence is a continuous creativity. It has not been created by anyone, it itself is divine. So I would like you to replace it in your minds and in your hearts: the word God does not mean the creator, it means creativity. And it is my experience that the most blissful people in the world are those who can create something. The most miserable are those who are uncreative because the more uncreative you are, the farther and farther you are from nature - from earth, from the sky, from the stars - whose dance knows no beginning and no end.
Almustafa is absolutely right: You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth. If your work is just a burden to you, somehow to be done, you are not keeping pace with the whole of existence. You are falling backward. And to be in tune with existence is the only bliss, there is no other; and to fall out of pace with the earth and the sky is the only misery.
Man is miserable and is going to remain miserable because he has lost contact with the creative forces that have given birth to him, that are keeping him alive. He has become futile. He looks almost as if he would rather enjoy resting in a grave than work, create, and dance with the whole of existence.
For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons.
We have been given such a beautiful existence with such glorious seasons. In the fall, when the leaves start falling from the trees, have you heard the song? When the wind passes through the dead leaves which have gathered on the ground. Even the dead leaves are not as dead as man has become; still they can sing. They don’t complain that the tree has dropped them. They go with nature wherever it leads. And this is the way of a true religious heart: no complaint, no grudge, but just being blissful for all that existence has given to you - which you had not asked for, which you had not earned.
Have you danced while it is raining? No, you have created umbrellas. And it is not only against the rain: you have created many umbrellas to protect you from the constant creativity of existence.
When I was a student in the university, whenever it used to rain it was an absolute certainty that I would leave the class, and my professors became aware, -When it is raining, you cannot stop him. He has to go.- And I had found the loneliest street, with tall trees reaching and touching the clouds. On that silent and deserted road, there were only a few bungalows of professors and deans, and the vice chancellor. It was a silent place and it was a dead-end street.
The last bungalow belonged to the head of the department of physics. His family had become accustomed to it, that if I was there, the rain was bound to come; or if it was raining, I was bound to come. We had become simultaneous, to the family.