I apologize because this morning I did not mention a few books that I should have mentioned. I was so overwhelmed by Zarathustra, Mirdad, Chuang Tzu, Lao Tzu, Jesus and Krishna that I forgot a few of the books which are even far more significant. I could not believe how I could forget Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet. It is still torturing me. I want to unburden – that’s why I say I am sorry, but not to anybody in particular.
How could I forget the book which is the ultimate: The Book of the Sufis! Perhaps I forgot because it contains nothing, just empty pages. For twelve hundred years Sufis have been carrying The Book with tremendous respect, opening its pages and studying it. One wonders what they study. When you face an empty page for a long time, you are bound to rebounce upon yourself. That is the real study – the work.
How could I forget The Book? Now who will forgive me? The Book should have been the first to have been mentioned not the last. It cannot be transcended. How can you create a better book than one which contains nothing, and the message of nothingness?
Nothingness should be written in your notes, Devageet, as no-thing-ness; otherwise nothingness has a negative meaning – the meaning of emptiness, and that’s not it. The meaning is fullness. Emptiness in the East has a totally different context…shunyata.
I called one of my sannyasins Shunyo, but the fool goes on calling himself Doctor Eichling. Now, can stupidity be greater? Doctor Eichling – what an ugly name! And he has shaved off his beard just to be Doctor Eichling…because with a beard he was looking a little beautiful.
In the East shunyata – emptiness – does not mean emptiness as in the English language. It is fullness, overfullness, so full that nothing is needed any more. That is the message of The Book. Please include it in the list.
First, The Book of the Sufis.
Second, The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. I could easily drop The Prophet for the simple reason that it is only an echo of Friedrich Nietzsche’s Thus Spake Zarathustra. In our world nobody speaks the truth. We are such liars, so formal, so full of etiquette…. The Prophet is only beautiful because it echoes Zarathustra.
Third, The Book of Lieh Tzu. Lao Tzu I mentioned, Chuang Tzu I mentioned; Lieh Tzu I forgot, and he is the very culmination of both Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu. Lieh Tzu is the third generation. Lao Tzu was the master, Chuang Tzu was the disciple. Lieh Tzu was the disciple of a disciple, perhaps that is why I forgot him. But his book is immensely beautiful and has to be included in the list.