Chapter 9: Into the Fantastic
First thing the discovery of a new attitude towards life, the discovery of science - a new window opened - and religion could not absorb it. Religion failed to absorb because ordinary religion is incapable of absorbing it.
There are three attitudes towards life possible one is logical, rational, scientific: another is infralogical - superstitious, irrational; and the third is suprarational - transcendental. The ordinary religion tried to cling to the infrarational attitude. That became the suicide; that became the slow poisoning. Religion has committed suicide because it got stuck in the lowest standpoint towards life - infrarational. What do I mean when I use the word infrarational? Just a blind faith. Religion thrived on it up to this century because there was no competitor, there was not a higher standpoint.
When science came into being, a higher standpoint, more mature, more valid came into existence, there was a conflict. Religion became apprehensive, afraid, because the new attitude was going to destroy it. It became defensive. It became more and more closed. It tried in the beginning - because it was powerful, it was the establishment - it tried to destroy the Galilee’s of science, not knowing that those destructive steps were going to become suicidal to itself. Religion started a long battle with science - of course a losing battle.
No lower standpoint can fight with a higher standpoint. The lower standpoint is bound to fail - today, or tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow. The battle at the most can postpone the defeat, but it cannot avoid it. Whenever a higher standpoint is there, the lower has to disappear. It has to change; it has to become more mature.
Religion died because it could not become more mature. Ordinary religion, the so-called religion, has died because it cannot raise itself to Patanjali’s level. Patanjali is religious and scientific. Only the religion of Patanjali can survive. Less than that won’t do now. Man has tasted a higher consciousness through science, more validity about truth. Now man cannot be forced to remain blind and superstitious; it is impossible. Man has come of age. He cannot be forced to be a child in the old ways, and that’s what religion has been doing.
It has become a dirty word, naturally.
The second attitude, the logical attitude, is Patanjali’s standpoint. He does not ask to believe in anything. He says be experimental. He says that all that is said is hypothetical - you have to prove it through your experience and there is no other proof. Don’t believe in others and don’t remain with borrowed knowledge.
Religion died because it became just a borrowed knowledge. Jesus says. “God is,” and Christians go on believing. Krishna says, “God is,” and Hindus go on believing. And Mohammed says, “God is, and I have encountered him and I have heard his voice.” and Mohammedans go on believing. This is borrowed. Patanjali differs there. He says, “Nobody’s experience can be yours. You will have to experience. Only then - and only then - is truth revealed to you.”