Chapter 10: Buddha and the Beast
The first question:
What exactly is man?
Man is a mere perhaps, a possibility, a potential, a becoming, a longing. Man is not yet. Man has to be. That’s the agony of man, and the ecstasy too. The beast is - there is no growth possible. It is a finished product. There is no possibility to seek and search and be. Hence, there is no freedom. The beast is in absolute bondage. The beast lives and dies without knowing that he lives and dies. The beast is, but knows not that he is.
Man is and knows that he is, but knows not who he is.
Man is a constant process. Something is always happening, is always on the verge of happening. Man is an excitement, an adventure, a pilgrimage.
No beast can ever miss its destiny. It is always predetermined. The beast has an absolute fate. Nothing is going to be otherwise. The beast is pre-programmed. Man has no preprogram but is just an opening. A thousand and one things are possible. Hence the anxiety: “To be this or to be that? To go to the east or to the west? To live this way or to live that way? And what is right? And what is going to fulfill me?”
Each moment man has to decide. And, obviously, when you decide, there is trembling. You can always go wrong. In fact, the possibilities to go wrong are more. Out of one thousand and one ways, only one will be right. Hence great trepidation, anguish: “Am I going to make it? Am I going to succeed in being myself? Or is it just going to be a long futile effort, and in the end frustration and failure? Will I be able to know life abundant? Will this life become a foundation for a greater life to come? Or is there nothing but death? Is there only the grave in the end, or something more?”
Man is an open being. everything is possible, but nothing is certain. The beast is absolutely certain. It has a definition. Man has no definition.
So when you ask me: What exactly is man? you ask me a wrong question. Man is nothing exactly. He is just a vague longing, a very vague dream of things to be, of things which may be possible, may not be possible. Man is a hesitation. Each moment man is gripped by hesitation, because any single step gone wrong will destroy your whole life.
Man can lose. No beast can ever lose. But because man can lose, man can gain too. They both come together. Man can grow - man is growth. The mere perhaps can become actual. The potential can be transformed into reality. The seed can become a flowering. That which is just unmanifest can be manifested, and then there will be great splendor, great benediction.