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    Tao: The Golden Gate, Vol 2

    Tao: The Golden Gate, Vol 2


    Man is a Becoming
    21 June 1980 am in Buddha Hall

    The first question:

    Question 1



    Man is not a being, man is a becoming. This is one of the most fundamental things to be understood.
    The trees, the animals, they are all beings. Man is different: he is a becoming, he is a process. And
    with the process the problem arises: you can fall below the animals, you can rise above the gods.
    No dog can fall below doghood, neither he can become a Buddha; both are impossible. He is neither
    stupid nor a genius; he has no growth. He is born the way he is born; he will live, he will die the
    same – between his birth and death there is going to happen no evolution.

    Man is different. That is man’s privilege, his prerogative, but there lies also great danger. Man is not
    born fully complete; he is not born entire – birth is only a beginning of a process. Now, the process
    can take any form: it can become deformed, it can take a wrong route, it can go astray. Man begins
    his life as freedom but freedom has its price; you can’t have it free. No other animal has any freedom
    except man.

    Hence for centuries the mystics have said that man is a bridge between two eternities: the eternity
    of the unconscious and the eternity of the conscious, and man is always moving between these two
    polarities. He is like a tightrope walker. Each moment is full of danger, but full of possibilities too.
    No possibility comes alone; it has its own danger. You can miss – you can fall from the rope into the

    Man has been called by the mystics a ladder. Now, the ladder can do two things: you can use it to
    go upwards, and the same ladder can be used to go downwards. You use the same ladder for both
    the purposes, just your direction changes. When you are moving upwards your direction is different;
    when you are moving downwards your direction is just the opposite of it. But the ladder is the same,
    the result will be totally different. Man is a ladder between heaven and hell.

    That’s why, Hein, it is only human beings who repress, who manipulate, who kill, who try to conquer
    the natural flow in nature, who are stupid – because they can be Buddhas. Because man has
    intelligence, that’s why he can be stupid. Stupidity simply means you have not used your intelligence;
    it does not mean absence of intelligence. If there is no presence of intelligence you cannot call man
    stupid. You cannot call a rock stupid; a rock is a rock – no question of stupidity.

    But you can call man stupid because with man there is hope, a ray of great light. With man, a
    door opens towards the beyond. He can transcend himself and he is not transcending – that’s his
    stupidity. He can grow and he is not growing, he is clinging to all kinds of immaturity – that is his
    stupidity. He goes on and on living in the past, which is no more – that is his stupidity. Or he starts
    projecting in the future, which is not yet – that is his stupidity.

    He should live in the present with deep passion, with great love, with intensity, with awareness, and
    that will become his intelligence. It is the same energy: upside down it is stupidity; put it right,
    rearrange it, and it becomes intelligence.

    Intelligence and stupidity are not separate energies. The same energy functioning in harmony is
    intelligence, functioning in contradictions is stupidity. Man can be stupid – don’t think that it is
    unfortunate. It looks on the surface that it is unfortunate, but hidden behind it is great glory, great
    splendor which can be discovered.

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