Chapter 6: The Distinction between Prayer and Meditation
What sight fails to see, but what sees sight - know thou that alone as Brahman, and not this that people worship here.
What hearing fails to hear, but what hears hearing - know thou that alone as Brahman, and not this that people worship here.
What prana does not reveal, but what reveals prana - know thou that alone as Brahman, and not this that people worship here.
This century started with a very strange declaration. The declaration was made by Friedrich Nietzsche. He said, “God is dead, and hence man is totally free from now on.” The declaration looked very strange the moment it was made, but it proved prophetic. And, by and by, it became the base of the modern mind.
Really, for the modern man, God is dead. It is not that God is dead: if God can be dead then nothing can be alive, because by God we mean the essential, eternal life, the very ground of existence. But for modern man God is dead. Or, we can say in another way that modern man is dead toward God. The relationship has broken; the bridge is no longer there. Whether you believe or disbelieve, it makes no difference. Your belief is superficial; it doesn’t go very deep.
Your disbelief is also superficial. When belief itself is superficial, how can disbelief go very deep? When theists are very superficial, how can atheists be very deep? When the yes itself has lost its meaning, how can the no carry any meaning? All the meaning that atheism can carry comes from the depth of theism. When there are people who can say with their total being yes to God, only then does the no become meaningful. It is secondary.
God is dead, and with God even the disbelief is dead. Belief is dead and with it the disbelief is also dead. This century and the modern mind are, in a way, in a very peculiar situation. It has never been so before. There have been persons who were theists who really believed that God exists. There were persons who were really atheists and who believed with the same intensity that God does not exist. But the modern mind is indifferent: it doesn’t care. Whether God exists or not, it is irrelevant. No one is interested in proving it one way or the other.
Really, this is the meaning of Nietzsche’s declaration that God is dead. You do not care even to deny him. You do not care even to argue against him. The bridge is simply broken. We have no relationship with him - neither for nor against. Why has this happened? Why has this phenomenon become so prominent in the modern mind - this indifference? We will have to seek the causes.