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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   Reflections on Khalil Gibran's The Prophet
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Chapter 11: Life Gives Unto Life

You often say, “I would give, but only to the deserving.”
The trees in your orchard say not so, nor the flocks in your pasture.
They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish.
Surely he who is worthy to receive his days and his nights is worthy of all else from you.
And he who has deserved to drink from the ocean of life deserves to fill his cup from your little stream.
And what desert greater shall there be, than that which lies in the courage and the confidence, nay the charity, of receiving?
And who are you that men should rend their bosom and unveil their pride, that you may see their worth naked and their pride unabashed?
See first that you yourself deserve to be a giver, and an instrument of giving.
For in truth it is life that gives unto life - while you, who deem yourself a giver, are but a witness.
And you receivers - and you are all receivers - assume no weight of gratitude, lest you lay a yoke upon yourself and upon him who gives.
Rather rise together with the giver on his gifts as on wings;
For to be over-mindful of your debt is to doubt his generosity who has the free-hearted earth for mother, and God for father.

All the religions of the world teach charity, service, giving. But look at the world they have created: there is neither any charity nor any service nor any giving. They have used beautiful words, but their beautiful words are like the words of a blind man who is talking about light. His words may be beautiful but they don’t carry any truth.

Almustafa is giving you one of the most important secrets of transforming your life. He says:

You often say, “I would give, but only to the deserving.”

This is what all the religions have been teaching. The Buddhist scriptures are full of teachings that you should give only to the Buddhists because they are the deserving. And the brahmin scriptures are full, teaching everybody to give and share and serve - not those who need, who are starving, who are dying - but give to the brahmins because they deserve it. They have all misled humanity; hence this mess all over the world.

Almustafa is bringing you something of a very original insight - fresh, unpolluted. It cannot be a borrowed truth because there is no scripture in the world from which it can be borrowed. It is a heartfelt experience.

The trees in your orchard say not so, nor the flocks in your pasture.

They simply give out of their abundance. If a tree is heavy with fruit, even if there is no one to take the fruit the tree is going to return it to the earth. It cannot go on living so heavily laden, burdened with abundance.

Give out of your abundance.

They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish.

Life is a constant movement. Whenever the flow stops, there is death. All “stops” belong to death; life is unaware of any stop.

The really authentic religious person gives because he has; he gives because if he does not give it, it will perish, and with its perishing he will also perish. The religious person shares. It is not an obligation to anybody. On the contrary, the person who receives is obliging you because he has saved you from a burden that could have killed you. They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish.

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