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Chapter 10: Self Actualization: The Basic Need

Really, you are not centered; you are only momentarily centered. Each moment has its own center, so you go on shifting. When mind is functioning you feel that the head is the center. When you are in love, you feel it is the heart. When you are not doing anything particularly, you are confused - you cannot find out where the center is, because you can find this out only when you are working, doing something. Then a particular part of the body becomes the center. But you are not centered. If you are not doing anything, you cannot find where your center of being is.

A total man is centered. Whatsoever he is doing, he remains in the center. If his mind is functioning, he is thinking, thinking goes on in the head but he remains centered in the navel. The center is never missed. He uses the head, but he never moves to the head. He uses the heart, but he never moves to the heart. All these things become instruments, and he remains centered.

Secondly, he is balanced. Of course, when one is centered one is balanced. His life is a deep balance. He is never one-sided, he is never at any extreme - he remains in the middle. Buddha has called this the middle path. He remains always in the middle.

A man who is not centered will always move to the extreme. When he eats he will eat much, he will overeat, or he can fast, but right eating is impossible for him. Fasting is easy, overeating is okay. He can be in the world, committed, involved, or he can renounce the world - but he can never be balanced. He can never remain in the middle, because if you are not centered you do not know what middle means.

A person who is centered is always in the middle in everything, never at any extreme. Buddha says his eating is right eating; it is neither overeating, nor fasting. His labor is right labor - never too much, never too little. Whatsoever he is, he is always balanced.

First thing: a self-actualized person will be centered. Second thing: he will be balanced.

Thirdly: if these two things happen - centering, balance - many things will follow. He will always be at ease. Whatsoever the situation, the at-easeness will not be lost. I say whatsoever the situation - unconditionally, the at-easeness will not be lost, because one who is at the center is always at ease. Even if death comes, he will be at ease. He will receive death as one receives any other guest. If misery comes, he will receive it. Whatsoever happens, it cannot dislodge him from his center. That at-easeness is also a by-product of being centered.

For such a man, nothing is trivial, nothing is great; everything becomes sacred, beautiful, holy - everything! Whatsoever he is doing, whatsoever, it is of ultimate concern - as if of ultimate concern. Nothing is trivial. He will not say, “This is trivial, this is great.” Really, nothing is great, nor is anything small and trivial. The touch of the man is significant. A self-actualized person, a balanced, centered person, changes everything. The very touch makes it great.

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