When you are one you become a creator, when you are two you become suicidal – you destroy yourself. And how do you become two? Whenever self-consciousness arises, you become two. Whenever you look at others and feel, “What do they think about me?” you become two. That’s why all that is beautiful cannot happen when you are two. A creator has to forget everything, he has to forget the whole world; only then something from beyond descends.
It is said about one of the greatest poets of India, Rabindranath Tagore, that whenever he was writing or painting a picture he would become so self-unconscious that he would forget to eat, he would forget to drink, he would forget to sleep. Even his wife would come and he would not be able to recognize who was standing in front of him. So whenever he was in a creative mood nobody would disturb him, nobody would come near him, nobody would pass by his house, because he was in such a different state of being that to disturb him could be fatal. For three days, four days, even for a week, he would not eat, he would not “do” anything. He had become just a vehicle. He was one.
One great English poet, Coleridge, has left only seven poems completed, and he was one of the greatest masters. He left thousands of poems incomplete; forty thousand in all have been calculated, only seven completed. Just before his death somebody asked, “What is the matter with you? The whole house is filled with incomplete poems, and a few poems need just a touch, the last line. Or three lines are there, one line is missing. Why can’t you complete them?”
Coleridge is reported to have said, “Who can complete them? I have never written a single word. When I am not, then something descends. Only three lines came; I was waiting for the fourth but it never came. And I cannot complete it because that won’t be right. I cannot complete it because it will come from a different plane of being. I was not when these three lines came, and I would be there too much when the fourth is added. I could add it, but that would be just false. It would be something imposed – it won’t have a flow, it won’t be authentic, it won’t be true. So what can I do? I can simply wait.” He waited for certain poems for twenty years, and then the line, the missing line would descend, and he would add it.
It happened: Rabindranath’s book Gitanjali, for which he was awarded the Nobel prize, became world famous. He translated it himself – because he wrote in Bengali; the original was Bengali, then he translated it himself. But he was not so confident: it is easy to translate prose, it is very very difficult to translate poetry, even if it is your own, because poetry exists somewhere beyond grammar. It is more music, less language; it is more a feeling, less a thought. It eludes, and that is the beauty of it. You cannot fix it; it is like a river, moving, it is not like a pond. Prose is like a pond, poetry is like a river.