On Khalil Gibran: Hidden tendencies have great power; but power of Truth is greater

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That which seems most feeble and bewildered in you
is the strongest and most determined.

Is it not your breath that has 
erected and hardened the structure of your bones?

-Khalil Gibran The prophet (The farewell)

Acharya Prashant: There are two ways one can look at this; which of these two are more beneficial to us depends on who we are. We will talk about both the meanings.

‘That which seems most feeble and bewildered in you is the strongest and most determined. Is it not your breath that has erected and hardened the structure of your bones?

What we call as strong is that which is materially strong. What we call as purposeful is that which has a material purpose, a tangible goal. Truth, Tao or Brahm or Emptiness has no material strength, neither does it have a material goal. Even to say that it does not have a goal is not quite proper. It does not have a goal but it also does not not-have a goal. It would be more appropriate to say that the Truth is beyond purpose and goal. The truth is beyond strength and weakness; beyond strength and beyond goals.   Continue reading

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What you dislike is what you are turning towards

“Only the dumb envy the talkative.”

Khalil Gibran, Sand and Foam

Question: Sir, who are being referred as ‘dumb’ and ‘talkative’?

Speaker: Khalil Gibran says, “Only the dumb envy the talkative.”

So, there are those, who talk a lot. And there are those, who simply cannot talk. Khalil Gibran is a master of presenting the game of duality.

He talks of a village in which there were two men – a believer, and a non-believer. And they used to hate, and envy each other, and belittle each other’s learnings. So one day they gathered at the village square, and started to argue, and the debate raged for the entire day. (Laughingly) And at the end of the day, the believer had become the non-believer, and the non-believer had become the believer.

That is the thing with the two ends of duality. They dislike each other, and they are always in the process of – turning into each other. What you dislike, is something that you are constantly turning towards. Even if you are moving away from it, you will move towards it. That is why it is no compliment to be called ‘an opposite’ of – evil, or bad, or illusion.

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Once you have reached the destination, you can begin the journey

Only when you drink from the river of silence,

shall you indeed sing.

Only when you have reached the mountain top,

then you shall begin to climb.

And when the earth shall claim your limbs,

then shall you truly dance.

Khalil Gibran

Acharya Prashant: “Only when you have reached the mountain top, you can begin to climb.”

When we refer to mountains and their tops and climbing, we refer to them as we are. We live in a deep unconscious state of identification with material. Even if an example that may point towards our essential nature beyond space-time is given to us, we interpret that example as we are.

For sure any example that is given would be given in words or atleast this much may be said that any example that is given would be preserved in words. We do not really have examples of how teachers help and guide their students.  We have stories of how they help and guide their students. The teacher’s guidance might be his instantaneous touch, but that touch cannot be captured or replicated later on.

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At the Center, the Guru, Maya, and you, are all One and Nothing

Not higher thanWhen you reach the Heart of Life you will find yourself not higher than the felon, and not lower than the Prophet.

~ Khalil Gibran

Speaker: “When you reach the Heart of Life you will find yourself not higher than the felon, and not lower than the Prophet”. At the Heart of Life there are not even these two. There is neither the Prophet nor the felon. The Prophet stands for what we call the Guru in Indian traditions. The Felon would stand for what we call as Maya or Avidya in the eastern tradition. Both the Prophet and the felon or the Satan hold any meaning or significance only in the world of mind; that is where separation exists, that is where it makes any sense to talk of two or more, that is where there are at least two directions.

The two directions are: The one that takes the ego-center towards the Heart and the opposite one which takes the ego-center, the feeling of ‘I am’ further away from the Heart. Who is the Prophet? The One, the force, that takes your ego-center, your sense of self, your feeling of ‘I am’, towards the Heart. The same Heart that Khalil Gibran is calling as the Heart of Life, the same Heart that Ramana Maharishi calls as ‘Hridayam‘. No difference at all.

Now when you are located away from the Heart, when your sense of ‘I am’ is a mental sense, when that sense is located in the mind then there is a distinction that is created and that distinction is a significant distinction. That distinction is between the Prophet and the felon, Guru and Maya, God and the ungodly. Then it is necessary for the mind to choose wisely in surrender because there is a choice that exists, because there is a possibility for the mind to go this way or that way, because there is a definitive chance that the mind may fall instead of rise, because the mind anyway in its own world is choosing all the time.

So there is a distinction. Choice means that there are two distinct possibilities, so there is a distinction, but this distinction keeps diminishing and ultimately, totally vanishes when the mind immerses into the Heart. Now there is no need to choose, this is the stage of ‘Nirvikalpata’ or choicelessness. Now whatever is happening, is just happening. Now you need not bow down to the Guru neither do you need to be cautious of Maya because there is neither the Guru nor Maya. The Prophet’s work is done. You are home, and when you are home then there is only the Truth, there is no prophet, for the Prophet is just the messenger of Truth.

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To follow the dictates of one’s conditioning is comfort & deadness

Comfort! Comfort the treacherous, the deadly!
Comfort that cheats our senses
and makes us
slaves to the passing hour!

~ Khalil Gibran – “Lazarus and His Beloved”

Speaker: So, what does Khalil Gibran has to say?

Comfort! Comfort the treacherous, the deadly!
Comfort that cheats our senses
and makes us
slaves to the passing hour!

What is ‘comfort’? That which you are conditioned to.

There is no other definition of comfort. And that is why comfort means different things to different people, at different points in time. Nothing else defines your comfort. The conditioning of the mind is what defines comfort. The conditioning of the mind, is what defines ‘comfort’.

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If others can predict you, others will enslave you

KG-10“Thus, I became a madman

And I have found both freedom and safety

in my madness;

the freedom of loneliness

and the safety from being understood

For those who understand us,

enslave something in us.

Khalil Gibran

Question:  Why is Khalil Gibran saying that those who understand us enslave something in us?

Speaker: The context, in which Khalil Gibran is using these lines, has to be seen. When he says ‘loneliness’, read it as ‘aloneness’; when he says ‘understand’, read it as ‘think of’. What he is saying is that, those who are able to know us via thought, are able to know us only in terms of material; name, form, shape, size, time, past, identities. So, those who know of us in terms of these time and space bound variables, have a relationship of master and slave with us. They act as the master and slave, and we too act as the master and slave. Only such is the quality of the relationship.

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What is pleasure and what is its place in life?

“Pleasure is a freedom song,Pleasure

But it is not freedom.

It is the blossoming of your desires,

But it is not their fruit.”

Khalil Gibran

Questioner: Sir, what pleasure is and what is its place in life?

Speaker: Khalil Gibran is saying, “Pleasure is a freedom song, But it is not freedom. It is the blossoming of your desires, But it is not their fruit.”

Pleasure and pain are two ends of duality, but they should not be taken as separate. They are one. Pleasure in itself will hold no attraction for you if you are not in pain. If you ask, “What is pleasure?” The answer has to be in context of pain. Pleasure means nothing in absence of pain.

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