They move with open eyes, remember; somnambulists move with open eyes. But those open eyes are not really open; they simply manage a few steps. And because they have become accustomed to those few steps, they can be done mechanically; no consciousness is needed. Just watch your life: you are doing a thousand and one things, but all those things are mechanical. You go on doing them like a robot.
And when you talk to robots, it is really very difficult to reach them. They misunderstand.
It seems there were two brothers by the name of Jones. John Jones was married and Jim was the owner of an old dilapidated rowboat. It just so happened that John’s wife died on the same day that Jim’s boat filled with water and sank. A few days later, a kindly old lady saw Jim on the street, and mistaking him for John said, “Oh, Mr. Jones. I heard about your terrible catastrophe. You must feel heartbroken.”
Replied Jim, “Why, I am not a bit sorry. She was a rotten old thing from the start. Her bottom was all chewed up and she smelled like old dead fish. She had a bad crack in back and a pretty bad hole in the front and every time I used her she started leaking all over the place. Oh, I could handle her all right, but when anybody else used her, she would go to pieces. Well, here is what finished her. Four guys came across town looking for a good time and asked me to rent out. I warned them she was not so hot, but they said they wanted to take a crack anyway. Well, the damn fools, all four of them tried to get inside at once and she split right up the middle.”
The old woman fainted before he could finish.
That’s how it goes on: one thing is said, something else is understood. Communication is very very difficult. Even ordinary communication is difficult, and when a man like Kabir talks it becomes almost impossible – because he is talking from the sunlit Himalayan tops and you are listening from your dark holes in the valley. By the time it reaches you its color has changed, its flavor has changed, its meaning is no more the same.
And, obviously, you interpret it according to your own conditionings, your own past. Hence, you hear but you don’t listen. You will have to learn how to listen. Listening means being utterly silent, not interpreting, not judging, not evaluating – neither for nor against – just being present.
Listen to these words of Kabir, just as a silent presence. Don’t be in a hurry to decide whether he is right or wrong. The beauty of listening is that if he is right, you will simply know that he is right. If he is true, truth is self-evident. You will know it as sure as you know when you have a headache – nobody needs to prove it to you.
All the elephants in Greece were ordered to evacuate the country. Behind the last one was a small mouse. The elephant turned, “Why are you running, my friend?”