Buddha said, “Ten years ago if you had said these words to me I would have cut off your heads with the sword that I carried with me. But now I am awake. I listened to your words and I felt deep compassion for you because you were torturing yourselves unnecessarily. You cannot force me to do something, I am not a machine. Now I am a man and you cannot force me to do anything. I act out of my own choice; hence it is not reaction, it is action, and action is a response. I see the whole situation, and then out of my consciousness I act. At this moment I am feeling so compassionate for you, so sorry for you, that I cannot speak the same language that you are speaking to me.”
The man who is asleep reacts; he knows nothing of action. And reaction is a binding: it binds you into new prisons, new chains. Response is out of freedom, hence it brings more freedom. Reaction is out of the past; you act according to your memories, built-in by your experiences, conditionings. You react not to the present, not in the present. You don’t reflect the real situation as it is; you go on interpreting it according to your past, your past experiences.
The man who is awake is like a mirror: he reflects that which is the case. He is awake.
The victory is his.
He has conquered the world.
And Buddha says: “It is only by awakening that one becomes victorious; not by conquering the world but by conquering one’s unconsciousness.”
There are only two types of people in the world: the Alexander the Great type and the Buddha type. There are millions who belong to the Alexander type. Ninety-nine point nine percent of people belong to the Alexander type – small Alexanders and big Alexanders, but Alexanders all. Everybody is trying to conquer the world in his own way, big or small, through money, power, prestige. And everybody is carrying a deep desire, a great longing to succeed one day in becoming the most famous man in the world, the most powerful man in the world. This is the Alexander type, the extrovert, the worldly; he accumulates money, possessions, but he loses his soul.
There are very few, very rare people in the world who belong to the Buddha type, who are no longer interested in the world, whose whole interest is in self-actualization, in self-realization, in becoming more aware of the reality that they are.
These are not fixed types, they are liquid. Anyone who belongs to the Alexander category can move to the category of being a buddha. And all the buddhas, in their past, belonged to the Alexander category, and all those who are Alexanders now can become buddhas one day. It all depends on you; a conscious, deliberate choice is needed: that you turn your energies from extroversion into introversion, that you become more interested in the inner reality, that you become more interested in your subjectivity rather than in objects. You start moving, diving deeply into your interiority to find the center of your being.
And the magic is, the moment you find the center of your being you have found the center of the whole existence, because there is only one center; my center and your center are not two centers. Anybody who moves inwards comes to the same center. On the periphery we are different people; at the center we are one.