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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   Reflections on Khalil Gibran's The Prophet
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Chapter 29: Within Your Own Self

You can see he does not understand the distinction between the teacher and the master, because why should the teacher walk in the shadow of the temple among his followers? No teacher has a follower; teachers only have students, and teachers are only servants of their students because they’re paid for whatsoever knowledge they impart. And what business has the teacher to walk in the shadows of a temple? He is using a wrong word, unconsciously.

The teacher who walks in the shadow of the temple, among his followers, gives not of his wisdom but rather of his faith and his lovingness.

Again, I have to remind you of the poverty of the Western tradition, because it is not only that the master is missing; many things along with the master are also missing, as a natural and logical corollary, because the teacher has no wisdom, the teacher has only knowledge. Only the master has wisdom. But his insight is right, although he is using wrong words, because he is not aware of the fine distinctions which the East has made between teacher and master, between knowledge and wisdom.

Knowledge is that which comes from outside and settles in you and prevents your wisdom; it becomes a wall, a China Wall, around your own wisdom. Wisdom is that which comes from your innermost core. In knowledge, you are not sharing anything of your own being.

Wisdom is the child that has grown in your very being. Knowledge is the adopted child. It has grown in somebody’s womb, but nobody knows who the father is, who the mother is - and perhaps it is only a test-tube baby. Wisdom grows in you, and radiates outward to be shared with those who are thirsty, who are seekers. It does not ask anything in return. Its joy is that it has been shared.

The teacher who walks in the shadow of the temple, among his followers, gives not of his wisdom but rather of his faith and his lovingness. Again he is using the wrong words for right things. Faith should be substituted by trust. Faith can be given by the teacher; the master is not needed for that. In fact, the teacher, the priest, gives you faith. The master only creates in you a trust - a trust in yourself. Faith is always in some knowledge, in some belief, in some doctrine, in some dogma.

It is faith that has destroyed the whole of humanity. Somebody is a Hindu, somebody is a Mohammedan, somebody is a Christian - not that they know different truths, because the truth is one. They are different because they have been given different faiths; they have not been helped to grow their trust in themselves, that they are capable of finding the truth which is hidden in their own being.

That’s why the master does not give you wisdom - cannot give - but he creates the right milieu of trust in which your wisdom starts flowering, becomes awake. You will be grateful to him; perhaps in the beginning you will think he has given it to you. He has not given anything; he has simply given you confidence. He has taken away many things from you - your fear, particularly the fear of being alone, because if you are a seeker, one day you have to learn the art of being alone.

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