Chapter 18: Meditation: The Door from Slavery to Freedom
But science is too much ruled by one mind: Aristotle. This one man for two thousand years has been dictating everything in the world of science: the laws, the logic that he wrote two thousand years ago continue to be applied. Anything against Aristotle is simply unacceptable. No man in the whole history of humanity has dominated so much. A single man - and he created the whole system of logic, and science goes on following his logic.
He himself is not very logical. Looking into his books you can find so many flaws, even according to his logic; it is not a scientific mind who is writing it. And in his personal life he was absolutely illogical.
He writes in one of his treatises, “Women have fewer teeth than men.” He had two wives, not only one. It is not a scientific mind who is writing it. He could have said to Mrs. Aristotle One, or Mrs. Aristotle Two, “Please just open your mouth.” And it is not such a big thing just to count the teeth. In fact there is no need even to tell women to open their mouth; you always have to say, “Shut up!” You can always count their teeth without saying anything! Just a little alertness is needed.
Or, if he was so afraid and henpecked, in the night he could have managed it; when one of the Mrs.’s was snoring he could have counted. But my feeling is that he never tried. He simply accepted the view prevalent among the masses for thousands of years, that the woman has to have everything less than the man, naturally. It is a logical corollary that if the man has thirty-two teeth then the woman must have no more than thirty-one. She can’t be allowed to have thirty-two.
This is not logic, this is superstition. And this man has been dominating the whole world of science for two thousand years. Only just now, within these fifty years, have a few scientists started feeling a little uneasy with Aristotle because they have come very close to a few things in existence which don’t follow Aristotle’s law.
For the first time when it was found that nature goes on its own way - it has its own laws, it has no obligation to follow Aristotle - it was such a shock that even though people had discovered things which went against Aristotle, they were not courageous enough to publish them. People kept those discoveries for years without telling anybody, because how could anything go against Aristotle? He had put logic so tightly together..
For example, A can only be A. It cannot be B. Now this is a simple logical formulation: A is A and can never be B. But in the East twenty-five centuries ago we also had discovered many systems of logic, not just one; that is significant. The West knows only one system of logic, that of Aristotle. The East knows many logical systems developed by different people, very contradictory to each other but in themselves very logical. According to their own logic they are absolutely logical. According to somebody else’s logic of course they are not.
The fact that in the East there are many systems of logic symbolizes one thing: whatever man creates is going to be a very small fraction of reality. It may represent a fraction of reality, but it cannot represent the whole reality.