Chapter 16: The Western Mind and the Eastern Mind
Sarva niramaya paripoornohamasmiti mumukshunam mokshaik siddhirbhawati.
I am that absolutely pure brahman: to realize this is the attainment of liberation.
Existence is divided in two. Existence, as we see it, is a duality. Biologically, man is divided into two: man and woman. Ontologically, existence is divided into mind and matter. The Chinese have called this yin and yang. The duality penetrates every realm of existence. We can say that sex penetrates every layer of existence. The duality is always present.
This duality also penetrates into mind itself. There are two types of mind, two types of mentality: masculine and feminine. You can give other names also: Western and Eastern, or, more particularly, you can say Greek and Hindu. In a more abstract way, the division can be called philosophical and religious.
So the first thing to be discussed today is the Greek and the Hindu minds, because the Upanishads are the peak of the Hindu mind, or the Eastern mentality, or the religious way of looking at existence, so it will be easy to understand the Hindu mind in contrast to the Greek mind - and these are the basic minds.
When I say “Greek mind,” what do I mean? The Greek mind is one aspect of the duality of minds. The Greek mind thinks, speculates. The approach is intellectual, verbal, logical. The Hindu mind is quite the contrary. It doesn’t believe in thinking, it believes in experiencing. It doesn’t believe in logic, it believes in an irrational jump into being itself.
The Greek mind speculates as an outsider, standing outside, as an observer, an onlooker. The Greek mind is not involved. The Greek mind says if you are involved in something, you cannot think - you cannot think scientifically. Your observation cannot be just; it becomes prejudiced. So one must be an observer when one is thinking.
The Hindu mind says you cannot think at all when you are standing outside. Whatsoever you think, whatsoever you try to think, will be just about the periphery. You cannot know anything about the center. You are standing outside: penetrate in. So much penetration is needed to know that ultimately you become one with the center. Only then do you know rightly; otherwise everything is just acquaintance, not knowledge.
The Greek mind analyzes; analysis is the instrument for it to know anything. The Hindu mind synthesizes. Analysis is not the method - not to divide into parts, but to look for the whole in every part, always looking for the whole in the part. The Greek mind, in Democritus, comes to atoms, because if you go on analyzing, then the atom becomes the reality, the last particle, which cannot be divided.