4. Question: What is the difference between sharing and gossip?

Sri Chinmoy: Gossip only pleases the vital in us. It only satisfies the undivine in us, the destructive forces in us. Once it destroys the world around us — and unfortunately we are not aware of the fact until it happens — then it destroys us. It destroys our inner good qualities. Gossip will never illumine others. On the contrary, it tries to eclipse others' hearts and eclipses our own aspiring heart.

In sharing there is an expansion of one's consciousness in a divine way. If we share something with someone, it is not with a sense of pride, not with a feeling that "I heard it first." When we share we feel an extension of our knowledge. When we have any news — whether it is bad news or good news, sad news or divine news — when we share it with others, immediately we feel a sense of expansion. If it is sad news, we will share it with others to strengthen ourselves. If we hear sad news, we feel that we are being forewarned and forearmed. If it is good news that we share, we feel that we are achieving it ourselves. This is the foundation-stone, and here we shall build a tall edifice.

But gossip is not an expansion of one's consciousness. It is an offering, unconscious or conscious, of a message of destruction. If I offer gossip, it means that I am telling you something bad about a person. I am offering destructive news to you so that you can also use this weapon and destroy the person about whom we are speaking. No matter how important or unimportant it is, in back of gossip there is always destruction. You can't kill a person when he is standing right in front of you. But when you gossip, rest assured that in the inner world you are killing him. If you hear gossip or spread gossip about someone, you are stabbing him in the inner world. And because you are not satisfied with what harm you have done you are asking somebody else to stab him also, so that he will be totally destroyed. You have destroyed someone, but you are not satisfied; so you tell your friend, "Destroy him more, so that he does not stay on earth." This is gossip.

Sharing does not have any bad motive. You have heard something and you are sharing it with all innocence. But when you indulge in gossip, you have to feel that you are only stabbing a person in the inner world. And you are stabbing not only the person whom you are gossiping about, but also the divinity within him, the divinity which is the real message of inseparable oneness. The moment you indulge in gossip you are breaking the ribbon of universal oneness. In the outer world you will try to do it in such a way that others will not recognise it. But even though others may not recognise it or catch you as the culprit, in the inner world you are already caught. There you can't escape. Gossip is a deplorable tendency in human nature that we cherish.

Sri Chinmoy, A God-lover's earth-Heaven-life, part 1.First published by Agni Press in 1974.

This is the 180th book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.

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by Sri Chinmoy
From the book A God-lover's earth-Heaven-life, part 1, made available to share under a Creative Commons license

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