Osho loves Gibran, but, unlike the millions before him who have just extolled the beauty and splendor of his words, he sees not only where Gibran soars and takes flight, but also the times where his words fall again to the earth – still beautiful, but ultimately missing an existential depth.
In Reflections, Osho examines Gibran’s poetic explorations of life – and goes further. He looks at whether Gibran is “a mystic of the highest order,” simply a poet “who speaks in words of gold” – or perhaps an extraordinary mixture of the two.
Throughout this book, Osho comprehensively trounces the so-called religious and philosophical approaches to life. All that is of worth is to be found, not in the extraordinary, but in the ordinary; not in fantastical ideas of the other world but in this very world that we find ourselves in. In short, this book shows that making a simple yet utterly basic shift in our lives will awaken the silence in our beings and bring joy into our every moment.
“Kahlil Gibran… The very name brings so much ecstasy and joy that it is impossible to think of another name comparable to him. Just hearing the name, bells start ringing in the heart which do not belong to this world. Kahlil Gibran is pure music, a mystery, such that only poetry can sometimes grasp, but only sometimes.”
Kahlil Gibran… The very name brings so much ecstasy and joy that it is impossible to think of another name comparable to him. Just hearing the name, bells start ringing in the heart which do not belong to this world. Kahlil Gibran is pure music, a mystery, such that only poetry can sometimes grasp, but only sometimes.
You have chosen a man who is the most beloved of this beautiful earth. Centuries have passed; there have been great men, but Kahlil Gibran is a category in himself. I cannot conceive that even in the future there is a possibility of another man of such deep insight into the human heart, into the unknown that surrounds us.
He has done something impossible. He has been able to bring at least a few fragments of the unknown into human language. He has raised human language and human consciousness as no other man has ever done. Through Kahlil Gibran, it seems all the mystics, all the poets, all creative souls have joined hands and poured themselves.
Although he has been immensely successful in reaching people, still he feels it is not the whole truth, but just a glimpse. But to see the glimpse of truth is a beginning of a pilgrimage that leads you to the ultimate, to the absolute, to the universal.
Another beautiful man, Claude Bragdon, has said a few beautiful words about Kahlil Gibran. He says, “His power came from some great reservoir of spiritual life, else it could not have been so universal and so potent. But the majesty and beauty of the language with which he clothed it were all his own.”
I have always loved this statement of Bragdon, even though not agreeing with it.
One need not agree with a beautiful flower; one need not agree with the sky full of stars – but one can still appreciate. I make a clear-cut distinction between agreement and appreciation – and a man is civilized if he can make the distinction. If he cannot make the distinction, he’s still living in a primitive, uncivilized state of consciousness.
I agree in a sense, because whatever Bragdon is saying is beautiful; hence, my appreciation. But I cannot agree because whatever he is saying is simply guesswork. It is not his own experience.
Have you noted? – he says, “His power came from some great reservoir of spirituality, of spiritual life, else it could not have been so universal and so potent.” It is rational, logical, but it has no roots in experience. He feels that something beyond the grasp of mind has come through Kahlil Gibran, but he is not certain. And he cannot be certain, because it is not his experience. He is immensely impressed by the beautiful language; each word is poetry unto itself. But he himself is unaware of that great reservoir of spirituality. He himself has not tasted it. He has loved Kahlil Gibran, but he has not lived him.
With me, the situation is totally different. Hence, there are a few things I would like to say to you before I make my commentaries on the statements of Kahlil Gibran.
First, he is certainly a great poet, perhaps the greatest that has ever been born on the earth, but he is not a mystic; and there is a tremendous difference between a poet and a mystic. The poet, once in a while, suddenly finds himself in the same space as the mystic. In those rare moments, roses shower over him. On those rare occasions, he is almost a Gautam Buddha – but remember, I’m saying almost.
These rare moments come and go. He’s not the master of those rare moments. They come like the breeze and the fragrance and by the time you have become aware they are gone.
A poet’s genius is that he catches those moments in words. Those moments come into your life too. They are free gifts of existence – or in other words, glimpses to provoke in you a search, to come to a moment when this space will become your very life, your blood, your bones, your marrow. You will breathe it; your heart will beat it. You will never be able to lose it, even if you want to.
The poet is for moments a mystic, and the mystic is a poet forever.