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Chapter 3: The Atomic Moment

Then the jester shook his head sadly and put the staff into the king’s hand and said, “Take this staff, your majesty. This belongs to you, for you are going to another world without preparation. Surely this wand belongs to you and to nobody else.”

Life is an occasion to prepare for death and the beyond. If you don’t prepare for death and for the beyond you are a fool - you are missing a great opportunity. Life is only an opportunity.

This life that you know is not real life. It is only an opportunity to attain to real life. The real life is just hidden somewhere in this life, but it has to be provoked, it has to be awakened. It is fast asleep. It is not yet aware of itself. And if your real life is not aware of itself, your whole so-called life will be nothing but a long dream. And it cannot be sweet either - it will be a nightmare.

To live without being rooted in the real life is to live like a tree without being rooted in the soil. That’s why there is no beauty, that’s why there is no grace. That’s why you don’t see the splendor of man that the buddhas talk about.

Jesus goes on saying again and again, “The Kingdom of God is within you.” But you don’t seem to be like an emperor. Jesus says to his disciples, “Look at the lilies in the field. How beautiful they are! Even Solomon, the great king, was not so beautiful, attired in all his grandeur, as these poor lily flowers.” Why are the lilies so beautiful and man so ugly? Why is only man ugly? Have you ever seen an ugly parrot, or an ugly peacock, or an ugly lion, or an ugly deer? Ugliness seems to be something human. A peacock is a peacock and a deer is a deer, but a man is not necessarily a man.

A man is man only when he is a Buddha or a Christ or a Krishna - when he has become aware of his total being - otherwise you live groping in the dark. You live in the dark caves of the unconscious. You only appear to be conscious. Your consciousness is very fragile. It is very momentary, it is a very thin surface. It is not even skin-deep - just a little scratch and you lose your consciousness.

Somebody insults you: just a word or just a glance, and all your consciousness is gone and you are a rage, anger, violence, aggression. In a moment your humanity disappears - you are again wild, again an animal - and man can fall below the animals, because when he falls there is nothing to stop him. Man can rise above the angels, but it rarely happens because to rise above the angels is an uphill task, arduous; one has to work for it. It needs hard work, it needs guts, courage, to explore the unknown.

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