A Tree Grows
When you cannot be silent, when you have to speak and you cannot do otherwise, then your words are meaningless, gibberish. Then there is no poetry, then they are very ordinary. Have you not watched it? Jesus speaks the same words that you speak, Buddha uses the same words that you use – then what is the difference? When you speak certain words they carry no meaning, not at all. When Jesus speaks the same words they are tremendously significant – so burningly alive, so aflame with his vitality. From where do they come? They come from his silence.
Jesus used to go into silence again and again. Whenever he came to the masses, for a few days he would talk to people, meet people, convert them, and then one day suddenly he would say, “Now I will go to the mountains or to the desert. I would like to be silent.” He would leave even his disciples and go alone into the wilderness, just to be silent. He had exhausted his silence by speaking, the silence was spent in words – now he had to go back to become full again, to be full of silence. Then he would be full of poetry, then he would be full of song, then his words would not be ordinary words, they would be full of luminosity. Then they would hit you and go directly into the heart.
Remember, the words go to exactly the same depth from which they come. If my words come from my heart they will touch your heart. If they come only from my head they will touch only your head. It depends.
Have you seen an archer pulling his bow backwards? The farther back he pulls his bow, the farther ahead will go the arrow. If the bow is not pulled back the arrow will fall short.
The deeper the words come out of the silence of your innermost core, the further they will go – like an arrow – into the hearts of the people.
The master said:
“Tzu-kung can be eloquent but cannot hold his tongue.”
Eloquence is of no importance as far as religion is concerned. Eloquence is important in politics, but in religion eloquence is secondary. The basic, the fundamental importance is silence. Words are secondary, stillness is primary. If words come out of stillness then they have some significance. If they don’t come out of stillness they are just rubbish.
The master said:
“For eloquence he is a better man than I am.”
But he makes the difference. Tzu-kung may have practiced eloquence but he does not know what silence is. He cannot hold his tongue.
“Tzu-lu can be brave but cannot be cautious.”
When you are brave but cannot be cautious you turn into a fool – you become foolhardy, you become stupid. Bravery in itself is of no value. It can be suicidal, it can be murderous. Bravery in itself is of no value unless there is a light inside it of awareness, alertness. That’s what cautiousness is.
Tao: The Pathless Path, Vol. 2 CH: 7