And a merchant said, Speak to us of Buying and Selling.
And he answered and said:
To you the earth yields her fruit, and you shall not want if you but know how to fill your hands.
It is in exchanging the gifts of the earth that you shall find abundance and be satisfied.
Yet unless the exchange be in love and kindly justice it will but lead some to greed and others to hunger.
When in the market-place you toilers of the sea and fields and vineyards meet the weavers and the potters and the gatherers of spices –
Invoke then the master spirit of the earth, to come into your midst and sanctify the scales and the reckoning that weighs value against value.
And suffer not the barren-handed to take part in your transactions, who would sell their words for your labor.
To such men you should say:
“Come with us to the field, or go with our brothers to the sea and cast your net;
“For the land and the sea shall be bountiful to you even as to us.”
And if there come the singers and the dancers and the flute-players – buy of their gifts also.
For they too are gatherers of fruit and frankincense, and that which they bring, though fashioned of dreams, is raiment and food for your soul.
And before you leave the market-place, see that no one has gone his way with empty hands.
For the master spirit of the earth shall not sleep peacefully upon the wind till the needs of the least of you are satisfied.
Kahlil Gibran knows exactly what is needed, but he is absolutely unaware of how to transform man.
It is easy, very easy to give beautiful words to man’s essential needs. But unless you know how man can manage to fulfill his demands, your words may be beautiful but they carry no meaning at all. And it is not only with Kahlil Gibran – it is the case with many great poets, thinkers, philosophers. They talk as if these things are already available in the marketplace, just go and purchase them.
They go on telling people, “Love, have compassion. Be kind, enjoy sharing.” But these are empty words. It is good to read them, but it is nothing but entertainment.
And what is needed is not entertainment; what is needed is transformation. It is not enough to say to someone, “Love.” The real question is how he can find love arising in himself, what are the methods, the techniques which bring flowers of love. Nobody talks about it.
All these words are immensely beautiful – but as they are beautiful, so are they empty. It is like saying to a hungry man, “Eat, and eat nourishing food.” But the question is where that nourishing food is? And how is the hungry man going to reach it and find it?
This is a fallacy perpetuated for centuries, without anyone questioning it. Mahavira goes on saying to people, “Be nonviolent.” But the question is, man has come out of the animals, his whole being is full of violence – how can he get rid of the violence? How can he transform the same energy that is violence now, into nonviolence? Nobody asks the question, everybody gets hypnotized by beautiful words. The words are right, but they are not going to be the dawn of a new humanity.
They have all failed, utterly failed. The greatest human beings of the past have failed on a single point. And why has nobody questioned? – because nobody wants to change. It is beautiful to listen, it is beautiful to be a follower of Gautam Buddha or Jesus Christ, it enhances your ego. If you were really interested in transforming your energies you would have said, “Whatever you are saying is right, but show us the path, the signs.”
It is a strange story, of great people talking about the stars… And naturally one becomes impressed. But the question is how to get there. This is the problem with Kahlil Gibran too, and on a far greater level because he himself is not a transformed human being.