Chapter 28: Science plus Religion: The Dynamic Formula for the Future
The first question:
It seems that all the pioneers in art and science have reached the unknown spaces through some kind of obsession. What kind of obsessions has the new religious man?
Science, art, and other dimensions open to the human mind are all one-dimensional - hence the obsession. The mind moves in one direction, dropping all others. It chooses a single point to be focused on, against the whole of life, hence the obsession. Concentration is obsession, but there is no other way - science and art can work only obsessively.
For example, a man like Albert Einstein. He is a man of tremendous intelligence, a superb genius, but he is obsessed. He is so much in his own dimension, the world of stars, the universe, that by and by he becomes completely blind to everything else. He forgets when he has to go to sleep, he forgets when he has to come out of his bathroom.
Sometimes for six hours Einstein used to remain in his bathtub - till his wife started making too much fuss, knocking on the door. And she was understanding, hence she tolerated as much as was possible - but six hours in the bathtub! And she would be sitting with his lunch getting cooler and cooler and colder and colder, and she knew it was not good to disturb him because even while he was in his bathtub playing with the soap bubbles, his mind was moving into depths of the universe.
He discovered his theory of relativity in his bathroom. He used to say, “Don’t disturb me. Nothing is more important. When I am moving in a certain direction, and I am coming close to the clue, and you knock on the door. Let lunch be cold, throw it away, because just for your lunch you have distracted me. I was just getting close; now I am as far away as I was before. And nobody knows when again I will come so close to the point. It is not within my hands.” Now, this man is certainly obsessed.
Edison was a great genius; perhaps nobody else has so many discoveries to his name, to his credit, as Edison: one thousand discoveries. But he was so obsessed that once he forgot his own name. That is a very rare possibility, most improbable - forgetting one’s own name! Then you can forget anything.