Chapter 7: Forgetfulness, the Only Sin
Let this be understood clearly: what you call pleasure is only a state of intoxication where you become so unconscious that you can’t be aware of the pain. This can happen by taking a drug from the outside; it can also happen by releasing some drugs in your inner body chemistry. That’s what happens when you are sexually intoxicated: your body secretes its own drugs. It is not much different.
Your body is also outside of you. You are not your body, you are consciousness inside your body; your body is only a resting place, a house. One day you enter it and one day you will have to leave it: a caravanserai, an overnight stay. You are not your body, your pilgrimage is eternal. But being in the body one can become identified, one can start thinking, “I am the body.” And this is happening more today than ever before.
For centuries man has been aware that he is not the body, but within the last two, three centuries, a scientific approach about everything has destroyed that long, long-cherished understanding. Science is a good method to know about matter, but it is absolutely impotent as far as the world of consciousness is concerned. Because science can only know matter it is bound to deny consciousness; it is beyond its grasp.
If you are trying to see light through your ears you will not be able to see it, and the ears will say, “There is no light.” If you try to listen to music through your eyes you will not be able to hear it, because your very method excludes it. Eyes can’t hear music, ears can’t see light, your hands cannot smell, your nose cannot taste. Every sense has its own limitation. It is perfectly valid within its own circumference; beyond it, it is utterly irrelevant.
This is the case with science and this is the case with religion. In the past, religion denied - absolutely denied - the existence of the body, matter and the world. The mystics used to call the world illusory, maya, a dream. That is one extreme; I am not in support of it. That is going beyond the religious approach, saying something which does not come into its vision. Now the same thing is being done by science, the same extreme: that consciousness is an illusion and the body is the only truth.
As I see it, both attitudes are half-truths, and half-truths are far worse than absolute lies because half-truthfulness can deceive many, many people. For thousands of years man was deceived by one half-truth: that consciousness, God, brahman, is the only reality, and everything else is just dream stuff. Now the pendulum has turned entirely to the other extreme. Science says: consciousness is illusion, body is the only reality. Both are fallacies.
The whole truth is: the body has its own reality, and consciousness has its own reality. And the miracle is, the mystery is, that these two separate realities are together, that these two separate realities are functioning in deep synchronicity. This is the mystery: matter dancing in tune with consciousness, consciousness dancing in tune with matter. This mystery I call godliness, this mystery I call truth, the whole truth.