These are the three stages. And when I say the beast, there are many men who are like the beast. They are – they are not even aware that they are. They live mechanically. There are many people who are men – they know they are, but they don’t know who they are. And there are only few and far between, those rare people, who know who they are. They become three dimensional.
Man is a bridge between the beast and the buddha. Remember, man is a bridge. Don’t make your house on the bridge; the bridge is not meant for that. The bridge has to be crossed. Don’t remain a man, otherwise you will remain in anxiety and anguish – because man is not a place to stay and abide. It is a passage to be passed. It is a ladder! You cannot stay on the ladder. It is only a link from one point to another point.
The beast is, and is in a certain state of contentment. No anxiety, no fear, no death, no ambition, no longing; utterly calm and quiet. But unaware, unconscious. The buddha is again contented, utterly at peace, at home; has arrived, the journey is finished. There is nowhere to go, he has attained. Between these two is man: half-beast, half-buddha. Hence the tension: one part moving backwards, one part moving forwards.
Man is torn apart.
Let me repeat: Man is not a being yet. Man has lost one kind of being – the being of a beast. And man has not yet attained another kind of being – the being of a buddha. And man is constantly moving between these two beings, between these two banks.
You cannot go back, because in existence there is no backward movement. You cannot go back in time; time has only one dimension: it flows forward. You can go only forward. Don’t waste your time in thinking that you can also be a beast and can live like a beast: eat, drink and be merry. It is not possible for a human being. He will have to think, he will have to contemplate. He cannot afford non-thinking. And it is very risky to do that, because then you will be stuck and you will become a pool of dirty water. Your freshness, your aliveness is possible only if you go on flowing and flowing till you reach the ocean. That ocean I am calling the buddha – the buddha state of consciousness.
Man has to become a buddha. Create that intense desire, that intense longing, to become a buddha. Be in a passionate search for it. Put all the energy that you have! Become aflame with that longing…and you can become a buddha. And the day you become a buddha, you have become a being again – and a being on a higher level, on the highest Level. There is nothing higher than that.
You ask me: “What exactly is man?”
As man, man is nothing exact – just a vague phenomenon, cloudy, foggy. Man is not exact because he is a crowd. Man is many men; hence he is foggy. The unity is missing. You don’t have the center – the center arises only through consciousness. Man simply lives like a driftwood.