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Chapter 10: Self Actualization: The Basic Need

It is said of Beethoven that when he was on the stage he was a different man, altogether different. Goethe has said that when Beethoven was on stage directing his group, his orchestra, he looked like a god. It could not be said that he was an ordinary man. He was not a man at all; he was superhuman. The way he looked, the way he raised his hands, was all superhuman. But when he came back from the stage he was just an ordinary man. The man on the stage seemed to be possessed by something else, as if Beethoven was no more there and some other force had entered into him. Back down from the stage he was again Beethoven, the man.

Because of this, poets, musicians, great artists, creative people are more tense - because they have two types of being. Ordinary man is not so tense because he always lives in one: he lives on the earth. But poets, musicians, great artists jump; they go beyond gravity. In certain moments they are not on this earth, they are not part of humanity. They become part of the buddha world - the land of the buddhas. Then again they are back here. They have two points of existence; their personalities are split.

So every creative artist, every great artist is in a certain way insane. The tension is so much! The rift, the gap between these two types of existences is so great - unbridgeably great. Sometimes he is just an ordinary man; sometimes he becomes buddha-like. Between these two points he is divided, but he has glimpses.

When I say self-actualization, I do not mean that you should become a great poet or you should become a great musician. I mean that you should become a total man. I do not say a great man because a great man is always partial. Greatness in anything is always partial. One moves and moves and moves in one direction, and in all other dimensions, all other directions, one remains the same - one becomes lopsided.

When I say become a total man, I do not mean become a great man. I mean create a balance, be centered, be fulfilled as a man - not as a musician, not as a poet, not as an artist, but fulfilled as a man. What does it mean to be fulfilled as a man? A great poet is a great poet because of great poetry. A great musician is great because of great music. A great man is a great man because of certain things he has done - he may be a great hero. A great man in any direction is partial. Greatness is partial, fragmentary. That is why great men have to face more anguish than ordinary men.

What is a total man? What is meant by being a whole man, a total man? It means, firstly, be centered; do not exist without a center. This moment you are something, the next moment something else. People come to me and I generally ask them, “Where do you feel your center - in the heart, in the mind, in the navel, where? In the sex center? Where? Where do you feel your center?”

Generally they say, “Sometimes I feel it in the head, sometimes in the heart, sometimes I do not feel it at all.” So I tell them to close their eyes before me and feel it just now. In the majority of cases this happens: they say, “Just now, for a moment, I feel that I am centered in the head.” But the next moment they are not there. They say, “I am in the heart.” And the next moment the center has slipped, it is somewhere else, at the sex center or somewhere else.

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