It is only a very faraway echo of the inner beauty, of the inner luxury, of the inner richness. But the inner, which is so close, remains almost closed to millions of people. Their whole lives they are playing with toys and never come to know the real.
And the real was not far away. It was just a change of gestalt. This word gestalt is German. No other language has exactly the same word, hence it is used in all the languages without being translated. But it can be explained so that you can see what it indicates.
Just thirty or forty years ago a psychology came into being and became very fashionable. It was gestalt psychology. It has faded now. But there is some significant meaning in the very word gestalt. The psychology may prove true or untrue – that is not my interest. My interest is in the simple word gestalt. That psychology has contributed a tremendously beautiful word.
In gestalt psychology books you will always find a picture to explain the meaning of gestalt and sometimes you will find that kind of picture in children’s books: a beautiful young woman – it is just a line drawing. And what is expected of you is to go on staring, without blinking, at the beautiful face of the woman. And suddenly you see something has changed. Nothing has changed: you are the same, the book is the same, the picture is the same. But in a strange moment, in a strange way, something has transpired between your vision and the lines of the picture. Instead of a beautiful young woman, you see a very ugly old woman. You cannot believe it when it happens for the first time. Then go on staring – it will happen again. The old woman will disappear and the young woman is there. You cannot see both together.
That is a very significant point to understand. You can’t see both together because they both consist of the same lines. Once you start seeing the beautiful woman then your gestalt has changed; you are seeing the same lines in a different combination. But because they are the same lines, you cannot see the old woman. When you start seeing the old woman, the gestalt has changed, your vision has changed. The same lines that were making the beautiful woman, the young woman, are now constituting the old woman.
So you can see both but only separately, and why does it happen? Because your mind is in a constant change. It cannot remain at the same point long enough. It is not accustomed to being static. It is a dynamic force. So when you are staring at the beautiful woman, the mind gets bored. It wants some change, but you don’t allow any change. You go on focusing, staring, then the mind finds a way of its own. It changes the gestalt, it changes the combination of the lines, and suddenly you see an old woman.
I think you will understand the meaning of gestalt: the meaning is a sudden change of your vision. That which was not in front of you, that which you were not seeing, suddenly becomes visible. And that which you were seeing has suddenly disappeared. And you can’t see both together.