My beloved ones.
Last year, in a world conference of biologists, the president of the British Institute of Biology, Sir Frederick Bawden, made a statement. I want to begin today’s talk with that statement. He said something very significant. He said that the evolution of human life is not a matter of anything new being added to man; rather it is the disappearance of some previous characteristics that have been hindering his development.
In the whole evolution of man, nothing additional has been added to him. What was dormant in him has simply become manifest. It is only a question of some obstacles being cleared away. If we compare man to the animals, man does not have anything more than them; in fact, he has less. Characteristics that are there in animals have disappeared in man. What was already potentially present in animals has finally become manifest in man.
Between a seed and its flower…the flower doesn’t have anything that was not contained in the seed; rather it has less. This appears very contradictory but actually it is the truth. The limitations that were there for the seed have disappeared and the seed has become a flower.
If you compare plants to animals, plants have more limitations. If those limitations were to disappear, the plant would move on to the animal realm. If the limitations of animals were to disappear, they would move on to the realm of humans.
When humans’ limitations disappear, then what remains is called godliness, the divine. If all limitations were to drop, what is dormant in us would become fully manifest. Then, whatever name we would like to give it – soul, godliness – is okay. Or if we don’t want to give it any name, that too is okay. Man still has limitations within, and that is the possibility for his growth.
Bawden has nothing to do with spirituality, but his statement is exactly the same as the one Buddha made after his enlightenment, twenty-five centuries ago.
The day Buddha became enlightened people asked him, “What have you attained?” Buddha said, “I have attained nothing. What was already within me has become manifest, has become known to me. I have attained nothing; I have only awakened to that which I already was and was asleep to. I want to say only this to you: there was ignorance and it is lost; there was sleep and it is lost. Now I can say that what I have attained I already had – I was only unaware of it.”
There is no difference between the statements of Bawden and Buddha. But Bawden’s statement refers to species that are behind man, and Buddha’s statement refers to the individual who has gone ahead of man.