Chapter 10: The Door Opens
The first question:
The West has given birth to Aristotle, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Camus, Berdyaev, Marcel and Sartre. Is it going to give birth to buddhas by itself or is a communion with the Eastern consciousness needed?
Chinmaya, the buddha consciousness is neither Eastern nor Western. It has nothing to do with geography or history, it has nothing to do with mind as such. Mind is Eastern, Western, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, German, but the innermost pure consciousness is simply the pure sky. You cannot identify it with anything because it is unconditioned.
What is East and what is West? - ways of conditioning, different ways of conditioning. What is a Hindu and what is a Jew? - different ways of conditioning. These are names of diseases. Health is neither Eastern nor Western.
A child is born and immediately the conditioning starts. Very subtle are the ways of conditioning, directly or indirectly we start pressing the child into a certain mold. He will speak a certain language, and each language has its ways of thinking, each language has its emphasis, its particular direction. That’s why sometimes it becomes impossible to translate from one language into another; the other language may not even have words which correspond, the other language may not have looked at reality and life in that way. Life is infinite, the way you look at it is finite; there can be infinite ways of looking at it.
And then the child starts getting colored by the family, by the school, the church, the priest, the parents and silently it goes on. Slowly, slowly the whole sky of consciousness is closed, only a small window, an aperture, is left open. That aperture is Indian, English, American. That aperture is Hindu, Jaina, Buddhist. That aperture is Eastern, Western.
Buddhahood is to regain again the consciousness that you had brought with your birth. That uncontaminated purity, that original face without any masks, that innocence is buddhahood. So buddhahood cannot be Eastern and Western; it is transcendental.