Chapter 13: Stepping-stones towards Truth
A poet had gone to the sea early in the morning. It was a beautiful sunrise, and the waves dancing in the early sun, and the cool sand, and the salty air. He felt so alive, he experienced such exquisite joy, that he wanted to share it with his girlfriend who was in a hospital, who was ill and could not come to the sea beach.
So the poet brought a beautiful box, opened the box to the sunrays, to the wind, closed the box, sealed it from everywhere so nothing escaped out of it, brought the box to the hospital. He was tremendously happy, and he said to his girlfriend, “I have brought something so beautiful you may not have ever seen it. Such a beautiful sunrise, such beautiful waves, such fresh air, such coolness, such freshness!”
And he opened the box and there was nothing - no sun, no air, no coolness, no freshness.
You cannot catch hold of beauty in a box. You cannot catch hold of beauty, truth, love, in words. They are very poor. But nothing is wrong with them; they are useful in the ordinary world. When you move into the inner you are moving into the extraordinary. If you are alert, they can be used and they can be used profitably. Yes, lies can become stepping-stones towards truth.
An American GI standing outside a cathedral in Paris saw a magnificent wedding procession enter. “Who is the bridegroom?” he asked a Frenchman standing next to him.
“Je ne sais pas,” was the reply.
A few minutes later the soldier inspected the interior of the cathedral himself and saw a coffin being carried down the aisle. “Whose funeral?” he demanded of the attendant.
“Je ne sais pas,” said the attendant.
“Holy mackerel!” exclaimed the soldier. “He certainly didn’t last long!”
Words have to be understood; they have to be understood according to the person who has spoken them. You should not bring your own mind in. You should keep your mind a little out of the way. The more you become capable of keeping your mind out of the way, the more is the possibility that you can use words as stepping-stones. Otherwise words will create a jungle and you will be lost in it.
In Leipzig, where one third of all street names have been changed since the Russian occupation, trolley conductors are required to call out both old and new names to make it easier for visitors to find their way.
The other day, the conductor of a car passing through the center of the city made the required announcement: “Karl Marx Square, formerly Augustus Square.”
A passenger about to alight shouted back, “Auf Wiedersehen, formerly Heil Hitler!”