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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   Reflections on Khalil Gibran's The Prophet
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Chapter 8: Let There Be Spaces

Then Almitra spoke again and said, And what of Marriage, master?
And he answered saying:
You were born together, and together you shall be for evermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness.
And let the winds of heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts. But not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

Almustafa has spoken of love; the next thing to be considered is marriage, obviously - but not the marriage that you know. Not the marriage that the whole world has followed, because it is not out of love. It is not rooted in love. In fact, on the contrary it is a device of the cunning society, the priests and politicians, to bypass love.

Hence in the old days - and in ancient Eastern countries, even today - the child marriage has existed. Children know nothing of life, they know nothing of marriage. In their innocence, all the cultures and civilizations have found a good opportunity to exploit them. Before love arises in their hearts they are already in bondage.

The existing marriage is not only not of love, it is against love. It is so destructive that it is impossible to find anything more destructive of human spirit, human joy, human playfulness, human sense of humor.

In a child marriage, the children who are going to be married are not even asked. Astrologers are asked, palmists are asked, the I Ching is consulted, tarot cards are looked into. The decisive factor is not the lives of the children who are going to be married, the decisive factor is the parents on both sides. Love is not at all a concern. They have their own considerations - the family, the prestige of the family, their respectability in the society, the money that is going to be transferred from the girl’s parents to the boy’s parents. It is strange that the people who are going to be married, who are going to live a long life ahead of them, are completely excluded. It is a business; everything else is considered.

For example, royal families will only allow their children to marry into another royal family. It is politics - pure politics. Just look at Europe’s royal families: they are all connected in some way or other by marriage. It avoids conflicts, it avoids invasion - and it makes them stronger. When four or five royal families are connected through their children, they have five times more power. Although it is absolutely against physiology, against the findings of medical science, still it continues, as if royal blood has some more special quality to it than the blood of a commoner. Turiya is here. Her husband was also one of my most intimate sannyasins, Vimalkirti. He was the great-grandson of the German emperor - although the empire is gone, royalty remains.

Vimalkirti was a rebellious spirit. He married out of love: Turiya, a commoner. The whole family was against it - not just his own family but many families in Europe, royal families, because it was against their tradition. And naturally, because they're all connected, Vimalkirti became almost an outcast.

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