Chapter 9: To Know What Is
But Nietzsche proved wrong. It appears that it was something like the age of scientific youth; the nineteenth century was the age of science’s coming of age. And as every youth is too full of confidence, too optimistic, in fact foolishly optimistic, the same was the case with science. In Tibet they have a saying that every young man thinks old people to be fools, but every old man knows that all young people are fools. Young people only think, but old people know. Science was the youngest growth in human consciousness, and science was much too confident; it even declared God is dead and religion is no longer relevant, it is “out of context.” Religion was part of humanity’s childhood, they declared. Freud wrote a book, The Future of an Illusion - about religion, that it is just an illusion and there is no future really.
But God survived, and a miracle has happened within these hundred years. If Nietzsche comes back he will not be able to believe what has happened; the more the scientific mind penetrated into matter, the more it came to know that matter does not exist. God survived, matter died. Matter has almost disappeared from scientific vocabulary. It exists in ordinary language, but it is just because of old habit; otherwise there is no matter now. The deeper the scientific penetration became, the deeper they came to understand that it is energy not matter. Matter was a misunderstanding; energy is moving so fast, with such tremendous speed, that it gives an illusion of something solid. The solidity is just an illusion.
God is not illusory. The solidity of the world is illusory. The solidity of these walls is illusory; they appear solid because the energy particles, electrons, are moving at such a speed that you cannot see the movement.
Have you sometimes watched the going very fast? Then you cannot see the wings, the blades. And if the electric fan is really moving with such speed as electrons, you can sit upon it and you will not fall down, and you will not feel the movement. You can hit it with a bullet and the bullet will not pass between the gaps, because the speed of the bullet will not be as much as the speed of the blades.
This is what is happening. Matter has disappeared, has no more validity.
But what science has discovered is not really a discovery; it is a rediscovery. Yoga has been talking about it for five thousand years at least. Yoga calls that energy prana. This word prana is very significant, very meaningful; pregnant with meaning. It is made out of two Sanskrit roots. One is pra: pra means the basic unit of energy, the most fundamental unit of energy. And na means energy. Prana means: the most fundamental unit is energy. Matter is just the surface. Prana is the real thing there is - and it is not a thing at all. It is more like a no-thing, or you can call it almost nothing. Nothing means no-thing. Nothing does not mean nothing: nothing simply means that it is not a thing. It is not solid, it is not static, it is not visible, it is not tangible. It is there, but you cannot touch it. It is there, but you cannot see it. It is there, beyond and beneath every phenomenon. But it is the most fundamental unit; you cannot go beyond it.
Prana is the basic unit of the whole of life. Rocks, trees, birds, man, God, everything is a manifestation of prana, on different levels, on different understandings, on different integrations. The same prana moves and manifests as millions, as many, but the basic unit is one.