Chapter 5: The Discipline of Transcendence
So the emphasis is not on conduct. The emphasis is on the mirrorlike purity of consciousness.
The Buddha said:
Even if one escapes from the evil creations, it is one’s.fortune to be born a human being.
These are the seven great rare fortunes. Buddha talks of them many times, in many ways. They have to be understood; they are of great import.
First: it is a rare fortune to be born as a human being. Why? Why is it not a rare fortune to be born as a dog? or as a buffalo? or as a donkey? or as a tree? or as a rock? Why is it a rare blessing to be born as a human being? - because except for human beings, the whole of nature is fast asleep. You also are not awake. Let me repeat: the whole of nature is asleep except for man, and man is also not awake, but just in the middle.
Sometimes it happens in the morning that you go on tossing and turning in the bed. You know that now it is time to get up, and still there is sleep. It is a midway state. You can hear the milkman talking to your wife, you can hear the children rushing and getting ready for school, you can hear the bus stop outside the house to take the children, and still dreaming also continues. You still feel sleepy, the eyes are closed. Sometimes you drift into sleep, sometimes you drift out of it. This is the state of human beings.
And Buddha says: It is a rare blessing - because the whole of nature is very deeply asleep, so deeply asleep that there is not even a dream. It is in a state of sushupti. Man has come to the second state: the state of dreaming. At least there is a certain dream. Dream means that you are not fast asleep anymore. You are certainly not awake, because when you become awake you become a buddha. You are somewhere in between the animals and the Buddha. You are hanging in a limbo.
And Buddha says: It is a great opportunity, a rare blessing - because if you make a little effort you can become awake. A dog cannot become awake, whatsoever effort he makes. A tree cannot become awake; howsoever hard it tries, it is not possible. If a tree tries hard, it will become a dog. If the dog tries hard, the dog may become a man. But awakening happens only when you are a human being. The way towards godliness goes only from the human being. And in the East we think - and the thought has much validity in it - that even devas, angels, gods, are not as blessed as a man. Why? Because man stands on the crossroads. Even if gods have to become liberated, they will have to be born as men.