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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   Reflections on Khalil Gibran's The Prophet
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Chapter 27: Breaking the Shell of the Past

It is almost unbelievable that those who could have raised humanity and its consciousness to such beauty, wisdom and joy have never been heard although they were shouting from the housetops. Every effort has been made that either they should be forced to remain silent, or they should be crucified. Those who had not the courage - seeing the whole thing - have remained silent; but in remaining silent you are also participating in the suffering the whole humanity is going through.

Only a very few people have spoken, and they have been poisoned, crucified, killed, assassinated. You have been killing your friends. You have been killing those who have loved you so much that they were ready to sacrifice their life, but were not ready to remain silent. And you have followed your enemies - who are sucking your blood every moment.

When I spoke for the first time for birth control, for legalization of abortion, I was condemned by everyone. If they had listened to me at that time, today India would have been rich, because when I started telling people, “This growth of your population is going to kill you, to destroy you,” there were only four hundred million people in India. After thirty years there are nine hundred million people; five hundred million people could have been prevented, and the country would not be starving.

But still they are not willing to listen to me. They are still listening to the shankaracharyas who are against birth control, they are listening to Mother Teresas who are against birth control. They are your enemies. But it seems you are so blind you cannot see a simple fact.

Almustafa is saying: Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. It is true, but it would have been more sincere if he had explained what he means by the shell, because the whole thing depends on the meaning of the word shell - what is the shell?

People will read it just like fiction, poetry, and nobody will ever take note that they have passed the word shell, which contains your whole past. And unless you are ready to disconnect yourself from your past, there is going to be pain - it is your past; it is not easy just to get out of it. It is not like clothes that you can change. It is like peeling your skin. But without passing through this pain there is no possibility of any understanding.

This is true for both men and women, but it is more true for women because the whole past is created by the male; the female has been simply a shadow, not very substantial. All Hindu incarnations of God are men; it is so surprising and shocking that they can accept animals as the incarnation of God, but they have not accepted a single woman as an incarnation of God.

The woman has been completely ignored, has not been taken into account at all. She constitutes half of the world, and for thousands of years she has had no voting right. In China it has been believed that she has no soul, so the question of pain does not arise. If you destroy your furniture do you think the furniture will go through great suffering? That there will be pain? If you slap the table do you think there will be tears? China, for centuries, has categorized woman with things; hence, in Chinese morality, to murder your own wife is not a crime. It is your wife, it is your possession; you can do anything you want to do.

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