Chapter 16: Only This Is
Kabir has explained about the phenomenon of speaking. Two ignorant persons speak a lot with each other, though neither of the two understand each other at all. Two ignorant persons debate non-stop, endlessly, with no outcome - just the argument, with no conclusions, with nothing to be shared.
The talk between two ignorant persons is in words, though words do not take one anywhere. Two enlightened ones also meet but the use of words becomes impossible. Their meeting happens in silence, without the exchange of any words, because what they have seen is the same, what they have known and experienced is the same. What is there to be said?
When does meaningful speaking happen? It happens when an enlightened one and an unenlightened one meet. Then one knows and the other does not; there is some meaning in speaking. When both know, speaking becomes meaningless. When both do not know, speaking cannot be prevented. A lot will be said, but without any meaning and purpose. These are the only three possibilities.
When a knower meets one who does not know, what will he say? One way is that he goes on saying all that he knows without bothering about who he is talking to. In that case he is talking to the walls. Nobody will listen, nobody will understand - one will at the most misunderstand. Just the opposite of what has been said will be understood. It will cause some harm. It would have been better to remain silent, or say only that which an ignorant person can understand. An ignorant person will misunderstand.
Then is there any method to say something in such a way that the ignorant can be made to turn towards the truth? All this is necessary to be kept in mind. There is no body, but for the ignorant there is nothing but body. Then what is to be done? A middle way has to be found, devised, so that an ignorant person can be told, “The body is and you are also, but you are not the body and you should set out in search to find out this truth.”
If you tell an ignorant person that he is nothing like the body his search ceases. He will say, “Now be quiet. I am not the body, you say. But I do not experience anything else but body. I feel that there is only body, there is nothing like a soul.” He is not saying anything wrong, he is speaking of his experience. The knower is speaking of his experience, the ignorant is speaking of his experience.
Have you ever known yourself to be anything but the body? Have you ever had any glimpse that may make you realize that you are not the body? Are you completely sure that if your head is cut off it is not you who will be cut? Have you even a little understanding that when your body will be burned on a funeral pyre it is not you who will be burning? Impossible! - because whenever a small thorn pierces the foot it pierces you; if the hand is burned, you feel you are burned, so when your whole body will be burning, it is an impossible hope that you will feel that it is not you who is burning. When even the slightest hurt, even a small abuse pierces you and affects you, then you cannot think that when death penetrates you, you will remain unaffected, untouched.