And he created the most beautiful statue perhaps in the whole world – a statue of Mary, Jesus’ mother, when she takes Jesus down from the cross. Mary is sitting, and Jesus is lying in her lap dead…full-size; the stone was so big. He worked for one year on it, and when it was completed he asked the owner to come and see. The owner could not believe that that ugly stone could be transformed into such a beautiful statue as he had ever seen.
But Michelangelo said, “It was Mary and Jesus who called me. I was coming into your shop and they called me, saying, ‘We are encaged in this stone – just give us freedom.’”
That’s how every artist works. Before he starts making a statue he has already seen it in his vision. Then he has just to remove the unnecessary parts. The master is the greatest artist in the world. He does not work with stones or marble, he works with living human beings. When he accepts somebody to be a friend, it means he has seen the vision, the possibility, the potentiality – what you can become.
You have chosen the master; you have invited him. Now he is at the door, and you are freaking out. Your mind must be worried.
The master is certainly dangerous. If he is not dangerous he is not a master at all. He is going to destroy much in you – only then the real can be discovered. And you are asking me, what can be done when the master is at the door.
You can do only one thing, being a professor, intellectual…
I remember a story in Mulla Nasruddin’s life….
He used to visit the cafe every evening, and he always talked and bragged about everything. That day he was bragging about his generosity, hospitality, and a friend said, “Mulla, you can talk about other things, but at least don’t talk about these things because we have been your friends for years. You have never asked us even for a cup of tea. Every day we have to pay for your coffee and anything that you eat in the cafe. You have some nerve.”
He said, “You never remind me. Make me remember it. I am a man of great spirituality and I don’t think about small, mundane things – a cup of coffee or money, these things don’t matter. You should have reminded me. Today you have reminded me. You all are invited to my house. Come for dinner. The whole cafe…friends, acquaintances, strangers…. It doesn’t matter, everybody has to come; then you will know how generous I am.”
They could not believe it, but he was inviting, so they followed him, a great crowd. And as the house came nearer, Mulla started walking slower. They said, “What is the matter, Mulla?”