24 Feb He could not sell a single painting in his whole life… (Osho) | Part B’
Now, this kind of paintings you cannot sell. The man his brother had sent came. Van Gogh was very happy: at last somebody had come to purchase. But soon his happiness turned into despair because the man looked around, picked one painting and gave the money.
Vincent van Gogh said, “But do you understand the painting? You have picked it up so casually, you have not looked; I have hundreds of paintings. You have not even bothered to look around; you have simply picked one that was accidentally in front of you. I suspect that you are sent by my brother. Put the painting back, take your money. I will not sell the painting to a man who has no eyes for painting. And tell my brother never to do such a thing again.”
The man was puzzled how he managed to figure it out. He said, “You don’t know me, how did you figure it out?”
He said, “That’s too simple. I know my brother wants me to feel some consolation. He must have manipulated you — and this money belongs to him — because I can see that you are blind as far as paintings are concerned. And I am not one to sell paintings to blind people; I cannot exploit a blind man and sell him a painting. What will he do with it? And tell my brother also that he also does not understand painting, otherwise he would not have sent you.”
When the brother came to know, he came to apologize. He said, “Instead of giving you a little consolation, I have wounded you. I will never do such a thing again.”
Van Gogh lived his whole life in poverty. He died painting. Before dying he went mad, because for one year continually he was painting the sun.
Hundreds of paintings, but nothing was coming to the point he wanted. But the whole day standing in the hottest place in France, in Arles, with the sun on the head, but he went mad. Just the heat, the hunger…
But he was immensely happy.
Even in madness he was painting. And those paintings which he did in the madhouse are now worth millions.
In his life nobody appreciated his work.
In his life no art gallery accepted his paintings, even free.
After he died, slowly, slowly, because of his sacrifice, painting changed its whole flavor.
There would have been no Picasso without Vincent van Gogh. All the painters that have come after Vincent van Gogh are indebted to him, incalculably, because that man changed the whole direction.
Slowly, slowly, as the direction changed, his paintings were discovered. A great search was made. People had thrown his paintings in their empty houses, or in their basements, thinking that they were useless.
They rushed to their basements, discovered his paintings, cleaned them. Even faked paintings came onto the market as authentic van Gogh.
Now there are only two hundred paintings; he must have painted thousands. But any art gallery that has a Vincent van Gogh is proud, because the man poured his whole life in his paintings.
They were not painted by color, but by blood, by breath — his heartbeat is there.
Don’t ask such a man, “Is there any meaning in your painting?” He is there in his painting, and you are asking, “Is there any meaning in your painting?” If you cannot see the meaning, you are responsible for it.
The higher a thing rises, the fewer the people who will recognize it.
When something reaches to the highest point, it is very difficult to find even a few people to recognize it.
At the ultimate omega point, only the person himself recognizes what has happened to him; he cannot find even a second man.
You ask me, “Is there any point in life, in living?”
But I say to you that you are the meaning, the significance, and living itself is intrinsically complete.
Life needs nothing else to be added to it.
All that life needs is that you live it to its totality.
If you live only partially, then you will not feel the thrill of being alive.
And this is the situation: everybody is living partially, a small part.
So you make noise but you can’t create a song.
You move your hands and legs but no dance happens.
The dance, the song, the significance comes into existence immediately your whole functions in harmony, in accord.
Then you don’t ask such questions as: Is there any point in living?
Living itself is the point. There is no other point.
From Ignorance to Innocence