Chapter 13: Light in the Seed
The first question:
How can I become a light unto myself?
These were the last words of Gautam the Buddha, his parting message to his disciples: “Be a light unto yourself.” But when he says, “Be a light unto yourself,” he does not mean become a light unto yourself. There is a great difference between being and becoming.
Becoming is a process, being is a discovery. The seed only appears to become the tree, that is an appearance. The seed already had the tree within itself, it was its very being. The seed does not become the flowers. The flowers were there unmanifest, now they are manifest. It is not a question of becoming, otherwise a pebble could become a flower. But that doesn’t happen. A rock cannot become a rose; that doesn’t happen because the rock has no potential for being a rose. The seed simply discovers itself through dying into the soil: dropping its outer shell, it becomes revealed in its inner reality.
Man is a light in the seed. You are already buddhas. It is not that you have to become buddhas; it is not a question of learning, of achieving. It is only a question of recognition - it is a question of going within yourself and seeing what is there. It is self-discovery.
You are not to become a light unto yourself, it is already the case. But you don’t go in, your whole journey is outward. We are being brought up in such a way that we all become extroverts. Our eyes become focused on the outside. We are always seeking and searching for some goal “there,” far away. The farther the goal, the more challenging it appears to the ego. The more difficult it is, the more attractive it appears. The ego exists through challenges; it wants to prove itself. It is not interested in the simple, it is not interested in the ordinary, it is not interested in the natural, it is interested in something which is neither natural, nor simple, nor ordinary. Its desire is for the extraordinary. And the reality is very ordinary, it is very simple.
The reality is not there but here, not then but now, not outside but in the innermost sanctum of your being. You have just to close your eyes and look in.