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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   Reflections on Khalil Gibran's The Prophet
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Chapter 26: Each Moment a Resurrection

Friedrich Nietzsche died in a madhouse. It is an unfortunate thing: while doctors were declaring him mad, priests were declaring him mad, his own friends and family were declaring him mad, he was writing his greatest book - in the madhouse. The name of the book is The Will to Power.

Looking at the book and its greatness, anyone can see that all those people who forced him into the madhouse were simply trying to get rid of someone whose every word was an arrow. They were not able to bear the height of his being. They wanted him to be completely forgotten and ignored. Certainly he was not mad; otherwise the greatest book of his life could not have been written in the madhouse. He himself never saw the book published - it was published posthumously.

I have looked into all his works. It seems in The Will to Power he has put together everything that was scattered in the many books of his writings. Each statement is so pregnant that it is impossible for a madman to have written it. It is so logical, so profound, that if you are ready to read it without any prejudice, you will be amazed that one of the best books in the world was written by a madman, in a madhouse.

His only fault was that he was not obedient to the society or its out-of-date disciplines, rotten rules. His crime was simply that he was an individual in his own right - and slaves cannot tolerate a man who knows freedom, and lives freedom. His actions and his words are out of freedom, but the slaves feel irritated, annoyed, because they cannot even understand what he is saying. He is shouting from a hilltop to the people who are creeping in the dark valleys of their so-called comfort. They are in the majority, and this man is disturbing them on each point that they have been clinging to as wisdom. He is proving that it is sheer stupidity.

Kahlil Gibran was immensely impressed by Friedrich Nietzsche. Nietzsche opened the heart of humanity in his work, The Will to Power: why is there no music, but only misery? The reason is that the priests of all religions, and politicians of all kinds of ideologies, are so desirous of power that they don’t want humanity to listen to a man who is talking of unity, inner harmony, being undivided, one and whole.

Yes, there are going to be changes, because things in your being have been put by the society in such a way that you are in a mess: the servant has become the master, the master is being treated as a servant. The heart cannot shout, it only whispers; the mind shouting loudly makes it completely impossible for the heart to give his message to you.

Kahlil Gibran is making these very important statements through the mouth of a fictitious mystic poet and philosopher, Almustafa. I have always wondered why he chose to speak indirectly, and my feeling is absolutely clear about it: he did not want to suffer the same fate Friedrich Nietzsche suffered - and nobody is serious about poetry. Friedrich Nietzsche wrote prose; although his prose is so beautiful that you can call it poetry. But he was speaking directly to humanity.

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