Chapter 22: Sinners and Saints: the Drama of Sleeping People
And look at the ridiculousness - when they come to marry they don’t have to provide any reasons why they want to get married. It would be far better if marriage were made difficult. They should be given two years to live together and see, after two years, whether they want to continue to live together. And I know those two years will be enough! There will be no need of any marriage and no need of any divorce.
One thing people go on missing seeing - perhaps they don’t want to see - is that life knows nothing but change. Life is change. Only death is permanent.
I met an old friend at the London airport. I asked him, “How are you?”
He said, “All right.”
That was his old habit, for everything - “All right.” How is your wife? - “All right.” How are your children? - “All right.” And I said, “How is your old father?”
He said, “He has been all right for five years now.”
I could not understand, at first, what he meant. “He has been all right for five years now.” I said, “Just a little explanation?”
He said, “He is dead. Now he has no problems, and neither do we have any problems with him. He is all right in his grave.”
Only dead people are all right. Living people are all wrong!
It is good that Kahlil Gibran is raising the question that if one partner brings the other partner to be judged, and condemned or punished, he should also be taken into account. Because love was a river between two shores - if love has disappeared it cannot only disappear from one shore. No river can manage to continue with just one shore. Love was a movement of energy between two persons. If one person is no longer there, the other person may desire - but his desire is nothing but lust. It is not love.
Lust can be permanent. That’s why there is no marriage, no divorce in animals. When the season comes to produce children, they choose a partner - a new partner every season. It is only man who is obsessed with permanency. But nobody can always love permanency.
Mulla Nasruddin was appointed as the advisor of a king. The advisor had to remain with the king because, any moment, a problem could arise and his advice may be needed. So he was with the king almost twenty-four hours a day. He was sleeping in the king’s palace and he was moving around with the king the whole day.
The first day they were eating, sitting at the dining table. And the cook had made beautiful stuffed bindhis. The king liked them, and he asked Nasruddin, “Mulla, what is your opinion?”
He said, “My lord, bindhis are the best vegetable for health, for long life, for better intelligence, a protection against all kinds of diseases. In the old scriptures they have been described as the best preventive medicine, and your cook is great.”