He said, “You don’t understand. Once I tell you the time, one thing leads to another. I will ask you, ‘Where are you going?’ And you will say, ‘The next station,’ and I will say, ‘That’s strange, I am also going there. In fact I live there, so why don’t you come and have a cup of coffee with us?’ But I have a young girl, very beautiful, and it is absolutely certain that you will fall in love with each other. And I don’t want my daughter to be married to a man who does not have even a wristwatch. So I was thinking, ‘Now this young man is trying to create a trouble for me.’”
Life is certainly puzzling.
And these people are conversing with each other!
Two professors were in the same madhouse, and the superintendent wanted to know what would happen if they were both put in the same cell. Both were great intellectuals, well-known writers.
So he puts them both in one cell, and he has a small window from where he can watch but they cannot see him. And they immediately get into a very involved conversation. He is puzzled because one is talking about the earth and the other is talking about the sky, and the conversation is going perfectly well; there is no connection at all. It is impossible to find at what point they connect. They are like parallel lines which never meet, but go on running side by side.
Finally he opens the door. He cannot resist the temptation, and he tells them, “I cannot understand. You are both talking, and talking beautifully, but you are not relating with each other.” And they both say, “You need not be worried, we know the art of conversation: I wait while he talks; when he stops, I talk. He waits, he is a very polite fellow. When I stop, he starts – this is the art of conversation.”
But the superintendent said, “But you don’t connect with each other.” And both laughed; they said, “Who does connect with each other?”
In the whole world people are only pretending to connect; otherwise everybody is waiting for the other to stop, so he can start. He says what he wants to say; it has nothing to do with the other person and what he has said. You just watch yourself talking to people, and you will be surprised: those two mad professors were not wrong about everybody.
Paddy and Mick met in the street. “Have you seen Mulligan lately?” asked Paddy.
“Well,” answered Mick, “I have, and I haven’t.”
“And what do you mean by that?” asked Paddy.
“Well,” said Mick, “it’s like this: I saw a chap that he thought was me, and when we got up to one another, it was neither of us.”
It looks insane, but whenever you are meeting with people, neither you are you, nor the other person is himself. Both are wearing a facade, a mask. Both are hiding behind it; the realities don’t come in contact, only the hypocrisies communicate. And communication is the only thing we ordinarily know. Communion is possible when the personalities are dropped and instead of four there are only two – the real and authentic beings.
Communion is a silent meeting.