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Chapter 4: Because You Are Buddhas

Because a seed is a seed and cannot understand, and a man is not a seed and can understand. But if you are a seed you won’t listen; if you are a man you will understand. It depends on you because you may look like a man - you may be just a seed or even a rock. Appearance is not the real thing. You all look like man, but rarely is one a man.

The word man is beautiful. It comes from a Sanskrit root manu. Manu means “one who can understand.” Thence, from that same root, comes the Indian term man, manasvi: one who can understand. Man is a beautiful word. It means “who can understand,” “who has the capacity to understand.” So I cannot say to a seed, “Take a sudden jump and flower,” but I say to man. And this is the irony, that sometimes even a seed can hear it and the man won’t hear.

Have you read anything about Luther Burbank, an American lover of trees and plants? He did this miracle: he talked to seeds, he talked to his plants, and he talked continuously - that’s what I’m doing - and a moment came when the plants started hearing him. He was working on a cactus for seven years - continuously talking to the cactus, saying, “You need not be worried and need not be defensive, because there is no danger to your life.”

Every cactus has thorns to protect himself. That’s his armor. Insecure in a desert; a cactus lives in a desert in very deep insecurity and danger. How a cactus survives in a desert is a miracle, and some cactuses survive even for two thousand years, very old cactuses. In a desert there is no water; life must be a very deep struggle. They live only on the dewdrops. That’s why they don’t have leaves, because leaves evaporate too much water. That is their trick so the sun cannot evaporate water from them. The water is so scarce. Cactuses have no leaves, only thorns; and deep inside their belly they go on accumulating water. For months together if there is no water they will live; they are really only accumulators of water. They don’t have anything extra - no leaves, nothing. And there has never been any species of cactus without thorns.

This man Burbank was mad. Friends started thinking. “He has gone crazy.” Even his whole family started thinking, “Now this is too much: every day sitting near the cactus and talking. saying, ‘You need not be afraid; I am your friend. You can withdraw your thorns. There is no insecurity - you are at home with a friend, a lover. You are not in a desert. And nobody is going to harm you.’”

Seven years is a long.but it happened. After seven years a new branch sprouted out of the cactus without any thorns. That was the first human contact with the world of trees. It is a rare phenomenon - just by talk.

That’s why I go on talking, persuading you, you can jump knowing well that maybe seven years or seventy, or who knows? You will even start thinking about me: “He is crazy, goes on saying things every day; nobody listens.” But if Burbank can succeed with seeds, cactuses, trees. why not me?

The fourth question:

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