Chapter 4: Everything Is Interdependent
The first question:
While talking about wisdom, insights, and enlightenment, you often say “We in the east.” Please explain the meaning of this phrase.
The East has nothing to do with the East. The East is just symbolic of the inner space, of the inner world of consciousness. East is symbolic of religion, West is symbolic of science. So even if in the East a person attains a scientific attitude, he becomes Western. He may live in the East, he may be born in the East - that doesn’t matter. Or, whenever a person attains religious consciousness - he may be born in the West, it makes no difference - he begins to be a part of the East. Jesus, Francis, Eckhart, Böhme, Wittgenstein, even Henry Thoreau, Emerson, Swedenborg - they are all Eastern. The East is symbolic, always remember. I am not concerned with geography. So whenever I say “we in the East,” I mean all who have come to know the inner reality. And whenever I say “you in the West,” I simply mean the scientific mind, the technological mind, the Aristotelian mind: rational, mathematical, scientific, but not intuitive; objective but not subjective.
Once you understand it, then there will be no problem. All the great religions were born in the East. The West has not yet produced a great religion. Christianity, Judaism, Mohammedanism, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Tao: they were all produced in the East. It is something like a feminine mind, and it has to be so because on every level there is a meeting of yin and yang, the male and the female. The circle has to be divided. The East functions as a feminine part, the West functions as a male part.
The male mind is aggressive; science is aggressive. The feminine mind is receptive; religion is receptive. Science tries hard. It forces nature to reveal its secrets. Religion simply waits, prays and waits, invokes but does not force; calls, cries, weeps, persuades, almost seduces nature to reveal its mysteries and secrets, but the effort is feminine. Hence, meditation. When the effort is male, aggressive, it is like the laboratory: all sorts of instruments to torture nature, to force nature to reveal its secrets, to hand over the key. The male mind is an attack. The male mind is a rapist mind, and science is a rape. Religion is the mind of a lover; it can wait. It can wait infinitely.