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Chapter 24: Learn the Art of Living

So remember, while you are reading books written by unenlightened people, looking at paintings, sculpture, architecture made by unenlightened people, beware. These people were not blissful people themselves. They were capable of projecting their dreams, but they were not able to transform their dreams into a living reality within their own being. They were utter failures as far as their own being is concerned.

Love does not need you to go into depression, despair, no - just the opposite. Love needs you to go into silence, into peace, into meditativeness, into a tremendous rejoicing - rejoicing just in the fact that you are alive. And out of this rejoicing, this dance, love radiates.

According to Kahlil Gibran’s statement, before you reach love you have to pass through hell. Strange training.a great school to teach love! And a man who has been in despair, depression, anguish, anxiety, will become farther and farther away from love.

No, if you want to experience love you have to pass through your inner paradise. You have to become centered, you have to become so peaceful that small things of life make you dance. Just a roseflower dancing in the wind, in the rain, in the sun - and something in you starts dancing with it. You are ready. You have graduated from the school of paradise; now love is your reward.

So I contradict Kahlil Gibran absolutely and categorically, because it goes against my existential experience. I have been through my own paradise, and after that only the fragrance of love remains. You are so blissful that you would like to bless the whole world.

Kahlil Gibran is absolutely wrong. But what he is saying is his own experience, and he never graduated from hell. He never could manage to be a loving human being. He was always sad, always a long face, always angry - as if he was against existence itself, as if he wanted to ask existence, “Why have you chosen me to be born and suffer?”

If you want to write poetry about love, follow Kahlil Gibran.

If you want to experience love, then listen carefully to what I am saying to you.

I feel hurt seeing sannyasins with such ugly weapons in their hands during discourse. Please comment.

I also feel the same way. But the questioner is ignorant; I am not. The questioner is a visitor, a mother of two children. I would like to ask her, “Would you like your two children to be bulldozed? Would that be beautiful?”

Before these guns appeared here, fanatic Christians were harassing sannyasins. It became absolutely necessary for sannyasins to have some kind of protection. Hell’s Angels were coming to the commune: we had no guns, no weapons. The people of the commune are not interested in guns and weapons - this is not an army - but to prevent these people from harassing your children we have to accept something ugly, because those people will not understand the meaning of rose flowers.

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