“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.
If you are an ‘opposite’ of something, it means you are related to that thing, and it means that you would soon be turning towards that thing.
“Only the dumb envy the talkative.”
The dumb one wants to become talkative. Why does he want to become talkative? Because he cannot do any better. After all, he is just dumb. Had he been any wiser, he would not have wanted to become talkative. He would not have taken as an ideal, the opposite of what he thinks himself to be.
Silence and Wisdom, are not in the same dimension as, dumbness and loquaciousness. The dumb and the talkative are one; two sides of the same coin. The dumb one will not like the talkative one; the talkative one will not like the dumb one. And actually, the two are just one.
And then there is a third possibility, of being neither dumb, nor talkative; simply silent. The silent one speaks a lot, when the occasion arises, when there is a need to respond. And he can go for days without speaking, because he is not afflicted with a compulsive need to speak. He does not speak for himself, he speaks only in response to situations. So, he can just go without speaking, and yet be very comfortable. And if the opportunity so demands, then he can speak endlessly, without getting tired. This man is neither dumb, nor talkative.
The talkative one, will one day, grow tired of his own words. And he will say, “I do not want to speak any more. I have become sick of speaking.” And the dumb one, because he so envies the talkative one, will surely manage to become talkative one day. In this envy, lies aspiration. The dumb one is aspiring to become like the talkative one. And he will get what he wants. He will achieve fluency with words. Does that mean that he has changed? No, he has not changed at all. Nothing has changed. It’s just – the coin being flipped. Its value does not increase. Or, does it?
You flip a coin; its value remains the same. Day turns into night, the coin flips. The dumb one becomes loquacious, the coin flips. Earlier you were wordless, now you are verbose, the coin flips. Nothing has really changed.
If you envy something, you run a great risk. You can become like that, very soon. That is the point with desiring. Sooner or later, you get what you desire, and still you do not get That which you really desired. That is the punishment of desiring.
If you really desire something, you actually do get it. You may get it in five years, or five thousand years, but you do get it. But even after getting it, you find that you didn’t get That which you really desired. So, now the desire takes another object, another form, and you keep on desiring endlessly. That is your punishment.
Your dreams do come true. But even after your dreams come true, you find that there is no Truth there. The ones who talk of working for your dreams, are actually not misleading you. You work hard enough, and your dreams might be materialized. The time duration, and the exact details depend on circumstances. In some cases it may take one month, in other cases it may take one lifetime, in other cases it can take two thousand life times. But the dream will get materialized, provided you stay with the dream, provided you don’t chuck it away, provided you are not wise enough to chuck it away.
The dream will be materialized, and the materialization of the dream, will be your greatest punishment. That will be the most unfortunate day – when your dreams come true, because now, another cycle starts. And you start the second cycle, in disappointment, in disappointment that, the first one did not give you anything. That disappointment, that disillusionment, becomes the starting point of the second chase. Sad, very sad, isn’t it?
The dumb envy the talkative, the poor envy the rich, men envy women, and women envy men. The young envy the old, the old envy the young. And the old were once young, and the young would soon be old. And if you despise the young too much, then you will quickly get a heart attack, and soon you would be young again, freshly born.
That’s what. What you envy, you become. If an old man envies the young people too much, very soon he will be very young. (Laughingly) One day old! And if a young man envies old people, very soon he will have a white beard. (Laughter) That is what worry and envy gives you – rapid ageing.
Feminists who didn’t like men, and envied the power and pelf, and the position, held by men, soon became so much like men. And what did they get? They started doing everything that is the bane and curse of manhood. They started wearing like men, they started smoking like men, and drinking like men, and talking like men. And all their exquisite softness was lost; all their feminine grace was lost. As a feminist, when you despise men, rather envy men, you become so much like men. That is what you get.
There is a third woman possible. She is neither like men, and not even like women. This third woman is simply not copying men. She does not take men as her role-models. She does not dress up like men. She does not walk about like men. And she is not even a woman. But there would be very few women, who would look at the third possibility.
Not a man, not even a woman.
Are you getting it?
~ Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session at: Prashant Tripathi on Khalil Gibran: What you dislike is what you are turning towards
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