A man is not born to mastery.
A master is never proud.
He does not talk down to others.
Owning nothing, he misses nothing.
He is not afraid.
He does not tremble.
Nothing binds him.
He is infinitely free.
So cut through
the strap and the thong and the rope.
Loosen the fastenings.
Unbolt the doors of sleep
The master endures
insults and ill treatment
For his spirit is an army.
He is never angry.
He keeps his promises.
He never strays, he is determined.
This body is my last, he says!
Like water on the leaf of a lotus flower
or a mustard seed on the point of a needle,
he does not cling.
For he has reached the end of sorrow
and has laid down his burden.
Man is born only as a seed, not as a flower. Flowering has to be achieved; one should not take it for granted. Birth itself is only the opportunity for life, it is not life itself. You can still miss life – and millions miss it for the simple reason that they think that just being born is enough to be alive. It is not enough. It is necessary – without it there will be no life – but it is not synonymous with life. You have to be twice-born.
Jesus says: Unless you are born again you shall not enter into my kingdom of God.
A kind of rebirth is needed. The ordinary birth is the birth of the bodymind mechanism, but your spirit is only a potential – it has to be actualized. Abraham Maslow has called this process self-actualization. Gautam Buddha would call the same process “no-self actualization.” Abraham Maslow has no idea of the ultimate; he is thinking about it, speculating about it. He has stumbled upon a certain truth, but he does not know how to express it. He has not experienced it himself; it is only an intellectual understanding, hence he calls it “self-actualization.”
But in that ultimate flowering the first thing that disappears is the self. In fact, the self is the only barrier for that flowering. The self is the hindrance, not the help. The self surrounds you like a wall; it is not the bridge.
When you are really born, born to life or to God – to me both are synonymous – you are no more, no more as you understand yourself to be. A pure emptiness prevails, an utter void prevails, a silence which is soundless. A music is there certainly, but without any sound. The Zen people call it the sound of one hand clapping. That no-self is your original face. When you are not, you are, and you are for the first time.