Abdul Baha

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“Till the age of twenty or twenty-one I spoke very little, and never, never anything like a speech. I wouldn't take part in conversations: I would listen, but speak very little.... Then I was put in touch with Abdul Baha (the Baha'i), who was then in Paris, and a sort of intimacy grew between us. I used to go to his gatherings because I was interested. And one day when I was in his room, he said to me, “I am sick, I can't speak; go and speak for me.” I said, “Me! But I don't speak.” He replied, “You just have to go there, sit quietly and concentrate, and what you have to say will come to you. Go and do it, you will see.” Well then (laughing), I did as he said. There were some thirty or forty people. I went and sat in their midst, stayed very still, and then ... I sat like that, without a thought, nothing, and suddenly I started speaking. I spoke to them for a half-hour (I don't even know what I told them), and when it was over everybody was quite pleased. I went to see Abdul Baha, who told me, “You spoke admirably.” I said, “It wasn't me!” And from that day (I had got the knack from him, you understand!), I would stay like that, very still, and everything would come. It's especially the sense of the ‘I’ that must be lost — that's the great art in everything, for everything, anything you do: for painting, for ... (I did painting, sculpture, architecture even, I did music), for everything, but everything, if you are able to lose the sense of the ‘I’, then you open yourself to ... to the knowledge of the thing (sculpture, painting, etc.). It's not necessarily beings, but the spirit of the thing that uses you.”[1]

See also