Chapter 16: The Only Miracle
There are indications in your words that the coming years are going to be full of crisis, are going to be fatal and decisive for mankind. Perhaps your presence is also related to this imminent crisis: so that man can come to the minimum harm, and human and religious values can be saved to the maximum.
Will you please throw some light in this direction?
The history of mankind and man’s consciousness do not travel in a straight line. In the West, the idea prevails that man’s evolution is linear. Darwin, Marx and many others share this view, but it is a notion that has no substance to it. The Eastern concept is that the evolution of life is circular, not linear. We are not progressing along a straight line but moving round in a circle. This seems much more fitting.
A child is born, and with his birth the circle is begun. As he grows up and grows old, death happens at the same point where birth had begun - the circle is complete. We do not see a straight-line progression in the journey from childhood to old age; it rises to a peak and then gradually descends. In nature the change of seasons follows a circular motion, not a straight line. Summer passes, then it comes again; the winter goes, then it comes again. Each season gives way to the next as though some giant wheel is turning. The sun, the earth, the moon and the stars, all travel circular paths.
So the circle seems to be an essential feature of life. Human history too moves in circles: now the heights, now the depths, now the peaks of progress, and now the decline and fall, and so it goes on - but the journey ends where it begins, and it is at such a time, when life takes a leap in the circle, that a crisis happens.
Such a crisis is present today.
To understand this crisis, first two things have to be understood. One, just as life is cyclical, it is also dialectical - that is, nothing is singular, its opposite is always present with it. When the East is religious, the West goes intellectual; when the West becomes religious, the East goes intellectual. This East and West divides one wholeness into two parts. The East was religious in the past, today it is turning to intellectuality; the West was intellectual until very recently, and today it is becoming religious.
The greatest search in the West today is for meditation. People are coming from the West to the East in search of meditation, in search of peace. Whether it is possible to realize the soul and the ultimate truth seems to have become their most important quest in life. And the people in the East laugh at them! They think money is the real thing, and if anyone goes from the East to the West it is in search of science, not religion. People from the East are going West, but in search of universities, science, technology, nuclear physics, and so on. People from the West are coming East in search of the soul and the divine. Now this is a unique phenomenon - that the West is willing to sit at the feet of the East if it can have religion, and the East is willing to sit at the feet of the West if it can have wealth.