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A Woman Asks about Pain, in Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet (Part 2)

A Woman Asks about Pain, in Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet (Part 2)

And a woman spoke… Is it not strange that out of that whole crowd no man asked about pain? Is it just accidental? No, absolutely no. It is very relevant that a woman asked the question, “Tell us of pain,” because only the woman knows how many wounds she has been carrying, how much slavery – physical, mental and spiritual – she has suffered and is still suffering.

A woman is hurting in the deepest core of her being. No man knows the depth pain can go to in you and destroy your dignity, your pride, your very humanity.

Almustafa said: Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
A very poor statement – so superficial that I feel ashamed of Khalil Gibran sometimes. Any idiot can say it. It is not worthy of Khalil Gibran: Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. It is a very simple and general statement.

Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.
I hate this statement. He is supporting the idea that you must experience pain. It is a truism, but not a truth. It is very factual – a seed has to go through great suffering, because unless the seed dies in his suffering the tree will never be born, and the great foliage and the beauty of the flowers will never come into existence. But who remembers the seed and its courage to die for the unknown to be born?

The same is true, if …the shell that encloses your understanding… goes through suffering, breaks down, allows freedom to your understanding, there is going to be a certain pain.

But what is the shell? That’s how poets have escaped from crucifixions; he should have explained what the shell is: All the knowledge, all your conditionings, the whole process of your upbringing, your education, your society and civilization – they constitute the shell which keeps you and your understanding imprisoned. But he is not mentioning a single word of what he means by “shell.”

Obviously no religion has condemned Khalil Gibran. If he had been more sincere and honest, then he himself would have known what pain is. He has received only praise for his beautiful poetic sayings, but behind that praise there is some weakness. Something of the coward is still lurking in the darkness of his soul.

If he had said, “Your religion, your philosophy, your political ideology, your nationality, your race – these are all constituents of your imprisonment,” then, instead of having international respect and honor, he would have been condemned by all the religions, by all the nations, by all the races – which means by almost the whole world.

I have been passing through that pain for my whole life, so when I say it, I say it out of my own experience.

Just make a single statement against those who are benefited by reducing the whole humanity to slaves, and all the powerful ones are going to be against you. And the masses are blind, the masses are not intelligent, the masses are poor. They are not going to listen to me – because what can I give them? I can give to them understanding, but they cannot eat understanding, they cannot live by understanding. And their own conditioning is all that they have been taught: that it is wisdom.

So it is not only the powerful ones – those who are being exploited, whose power has been taken away by the powerful ones – otherwise from where will they get the power? – They are also going to follow them. The powerful ones are the shepherds, and they have reduced the whole humanity to a crowd of sheep.

It is almost unbelievable that those who could have raised humanity and its consciousness to such beauty, wisdom and joy have never been heard – although they were shouting from the housetops. Every effort has been made that either they should be forced to remain silent, or they should be crucified. Those who had not the courage – seeing the whole thing – have remained silent. But in remaining silent you are also participating in the suffering the whole humanity is going through.

Only very few people have spoken – and they have been poisoned, crucified, killed, assassinated. You have been killing your friends. You have been killing those who have loved you so much that they were ready to sacrifice their life, but were not ready to remain silent. And you have followed your enemies, who are sucking your blood every moment.

Osho, The Messiah: Commentaries on Khalil Gibran's The Prophet, Vol.2, Talk #4

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