I have not a poem of my own to write to you, so I write others. I have not a song of my own to sing to you, so I sing others. I have nothing to give to you but my old desires, fears, failures, jealousies. My heart aches, for I want to be able to give you something of me, but that I am still trying to find. The heart only knows, my beloved. Please comment.
Kendra, if you do not have a poem of your own, there is no need to write others. Send me blank sheets of paper. They will show much more of your heart than words which are borrowed.
The only book in the world that I can call holy is a book Sufis have been carrying for almost twelve centuries. The first man who had it used to read it by locking his doors, closing his windows; his disciples were always puzzled, intrigued. They tried in every possible way – even sometimes they went up on the roof, removed a tile – just to see what is written in that book, because that old master never used to open that book before anybody. He used to keep it covered in beautiful cloth, hiding it under his pillow, so even while he was asleep nobody could manage to get to the book.
It created more and more temptation. And the day he died, people were not so concerned with his death; they were more concerned to take out the book first and see what was there – “As far as he is concerned, he is dead; he can wait a little for the last funeral rites, but let us see what is in that book.” And they were shocked and surprised, the book was empty. Between those two covers there was not a single word, just empty pages.
They went through all the pages, there were almost three hundred pages. They thought there must be something – that man was very clever and cunning, so he must be hiding it somewhere. But there was nothing in the book.
And the old man was really very clever, he had not died. He just opened his one eye, and said, “Are you satisfied? I am going to die, don’t be worried. I was just waiting to see the reaction.”
He laughed and he died. But he had told to his chief disciple just the day before, “You will be the possessor of the book, because it is the holiest of the holies. It is just the silence and wordless interiority of your being. For twelve centuries continuously, the book has passed from hand to hand, from master to disciple.”
One of the Sufis who is very well-known in the West, Idries Shah, tried to publish the book, but no publisher was ready. Every publisher looked here and there and they said, “But there is nothing to publish.”