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A Woman Asks about Pain, in Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet (Part 3)

A Woman Asks about Pain, in Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet (Part 3)

Almustafa is saying:
Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
It is true, but it would have been more sincere if he had explained what he means by the shell, because the whole thing depends on the meaning of the word shell – what is the shell?

People will read it just like fiction, poetry, and nobody will ever take note that they have passed the word shell, which contains your whole past. And unless you are ready to disconnect yourself from your past, there is going to be pain. It is your past. It is not easy just to get out of it. It is not like clothes that you can change; it is like peeling your skin. But without passing through this pain there is no possibility of any understanding.

This is true for both men and women, but it is more true for women because the whole past is created by the male. The female has been simply a shadow, not very substantial. All Hindu incarnations of God are men. It is so surprising and shocking that they can accept animals as the incarnation of God, but they have not accepted a single woman as an incarnation of God.

Gautam Buddha is a man; his great disciples – Mahakashyap, Sariputta, Moggalayan – all are men. Was there not a single woman who could have been raised to the same consciousness? But Gautam Buddha himself was denying initiation to women, as if they are a species not of humanity but of some subhuman state. Why bother with them? – let them first attain manhood.

The statement of Gautam Buddha is that man is the cross-roads from where you can go anywhere – to enlightenment, to ultimate freedom. But the woman is not mentioned at all. She is not a cross-roads, but just a dark street where no municipal corporation has even put lights; it goes nowhere. Man is a superhighway. So first let the woman come on the superhighway, let her become a man, be born in the body of a man – then there is some possibility of her becoming enlightened.

Says Almustafa …so must you know pain – but for what? If the woman cannot become enlightened, why should she go through pain? She is not gold, in that going through fire she will become purer.

Osho, Reflections on Khalil Gibran's The Prophet, Talk #27
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