A Heap of Skulls : A Sufi Story
There is a story about Bayazid, a Sufi mystic. He was passing through a cemetery and he came upon a heap of skulls. Out of curiosity he took one skull. He had always been of the thought that all skulls are almost the same, but they were not the same. There were a few skulls whose ears were joined together; there was a passage. There were a few skulls whose ears were not joined together; there was a barrier between the two. There were a few skulls both of whose ears were joined to the heart but not joined together; there was a passage running to the heart.
He was very surprised. He prayed and asked God, “What is the matter? What are you trying to reveal to me?” And it is said that he heard a voice. God said, “There are three types of people: one, who hear through one ear; it never reaches anywhere — in fact they don’t hear, just the sound vibrates and disappears. There is another type, who hear, but only momentarily — they hear through one ear, and through the other ear it is lost into the world again. There are a few souls, of course, who hear through the ears and it reaches to the heart.”
And God said, “Bayazid, I have brought you to this heap of skulls just to help you remember it when you are talking to people. Talk only to those who take whatsoever you say to their hearts — otherwise don’t waste your energy, and don’t waste your time. Your life is precious: you have a message to deliver.”
One day I also understood — not by going to a cemetery and coming across a heap, but by looking into alive people. There are three types; Bayazid is right. The story may be true or not; that is irrelevant. I looked into thousands of people, and I found that only a very few are there who will take the seed to the heart, who will begin soil to it, who will absorb it. And others are just curiosity-mongers, just entertaining themselves. Maybe entertainment is religious, but it is meaningless.
So here I don’t exist for the masses. Let it be known once and forever: I am not interested in the crowd, I am interested only in individuals. And you have to show your mettle.