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Chapter 16: The Western Mind and the Eastern Mind

So philosophers go on contradicting each other, creating their own systems, never reaching to any conclusion. The Greek mind thought in abstract terms, the Hindu mind in concrete terms of experience. Both have their merits and demerits, because if you insist on experiencing, then science is impossible. If you insist on logic, system, reason, then religion becomes impossible.

The Greek mind develops into a scientific world view, the Hindu mind develops into a religious world view. Philosophy is bound to give birth to science. Religion cannot give birth to science; religion gives birth to poetry, art. If you are religious, then you are looking into the existence as an artist. If you are a philosopher, then you are looking into the world as a scientist. The scientist is the onlooker, the artist is the insider. So religion and art are sympathetic, philosophy and science are sympathetic. If science develops too much, then philosophy, by and by, gradually transforms itself into science and disappears.

In the West now, philosophy has disappeared. It is already dead. It is now only professional. They say now only professors talk about philosophy with other professors. Otherwise, philosophy is dead. It is a dead thing, part of the past, part of history, a fossil. It has some interest, but the interest is only historical, because science has taken its place. Science is the heritage - the heritage is of philosophy. Science is the outcome. Now that science has taken its place, philosophy is dead. In the West, religion has no roots. Poetry is also dying, because it can exist only with religion.

These two types of mind develop into totally different dimensions.

When I say religion gives birth to poetry, I mean it gives you an aesthetic sense, a sense which can feel values in life - not facts but values; not that which is, but that which ought to be; not that which is just before you, but that which is hidden. If you can take a nonrational, aesthetic attitude, if you can take a jump into existence, throwing your logic behind, if you can become one with the ocean of existence, if you can become oceanic, then you begin to feel something which is divine.

Science will give you facts, dead facts. Religion gives you life: not something dead - alive. But then it is not a fact, then it is a mystery. Facts are always dead, and whatsoever is alive is always a mystery. You know it and yet you don’t know it. Really, you feel it.

This emphasis on feeling, experiencing, realization, is the last sutra of this Upanishad. This Upanishad says:

I am that absolutely pure brahman: to realize this is the attainment of liberation.

Before we probe deep into this sutra, one thing more. If you have a logical mind, a Western way of thinking, a Greek attitude, then your search is for truth: “What is true?” Logic inquires about what is true, what is truth.

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