Chapter 2: Personal and Existential
Your work with the people who come here includes both meditation methods and the humanistic psychology methods. Can you explain what you are trying to achieve through this?
We are trying to present a new synthesis between East and West. The Eastern methods are more individualistic, more inward-going, and more concerned with solitude, aloneness, and the person. They are meditative methods, more concerned with the person and his integrity. They are not group methods.
The Western methods are all group methods, and are more out-going, more concerned with communication and relationships, with the group, and integrity in relationships, not in aloneness. So what they can be reduced to is: the Western methods are more concerned with love, the Eastern methods more with meditation.
These are the two polarities of human consciousness - love and meditation. Meditation means to be alone, as if you alone exist. And love means that you are not, the other is; as if you exist only in relation to the other, and there is no other existence. These are the two polarities. Taken separately they both become extremes and both are dangerous.
The East has tried the first extreme - of meditation. It became life-negating and escapist - hence the poverty, the ugliness. There has been no scientific progress in the East, because nobody has paid any attention to society. All those who were interested in any search always escaped to the forests and the mountains.
In the West, the society has progressed. There is a better standard of living, more affluence and comfort, more convenience, more health, and more life. But they have moved to the other extreme and the individual has by and by disappeared.
These two things taken separately are dangerous, because life exists in polarity. The whole emphasis here is that there are no opposites, there are only complementaries. Meditation and love are not opposites, they are complementaries. All religion should be life-affirming, and life should be meditative.
So we are trying to create a synthesis, and it is not only an ideology - because that is not difficult. This synthesis is really in the being of people who come here. A new synthesis is being tried and much depends on it.
We have to give birth to a world psychology. The East has succeeded in certain ways and failed in others, just as the West has failed in certain areas but succeeded in others. Now there should be no more of this bifurcation of East and West. There should be a unitive psychology, global, in which there is no East and no West, but the polarities meet and dissolve.
Our work is on human beings. It is not academic, theoretical, philosophical. It is absolutely personal and existential.