Chapter 1: A Living Silence
When Rudyard Kipling said, “East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,” he was giving expression to all the vested interests. They want the world to remain divided, they want man to remain divided - into many religions, philosophies, political ideologies, in every possible way they would like you not to become one. Why? - because the man who is integrated and one is impossible to enslave. He cannot be exploited by the priests or by the politicians. In fact, he becomes absolutely free from all possibilities of exploitation and oppression. He becomes an individual, he becomes rebellious, he becomes intelligent. He becomes so sharp and clear that he can see through all superstitions, howsoever old and ancient. He can see the stupidity in which humanity has lived - and not only lived in but glorified. He can see the foolishness of nationalities, the utter nonsense of so many religions in the world.
There are three hundred religions in the world and at least three thousand subsects. He can see clearly that to divide matter from spirit is to create a division in the very being of man - because the body, matter, is nothing but spirit manifest, and the spirit is nothing but matter, body, unmanifest.
God and the world are not two things. God is not the creator and the world is not the created; God and the world are one. It is a process of creativity. You can divide creativity in two parts, the creator and the created, but in fact that division is arbitrary. It is one flow of creativity God is not the creator, let me remind you again and again and the world is not the created. This whole existence is a riverlike creative energy.
My sannyasins have to understand this oneness in as many ways as possible so that no nook and corner of your being remains divided. The West is very proud of its materialism, science, technology. That pride hinders it from getting into a deep communion with the East, but that pride is nothing compared to the Eastern ego.
The Eastern ego is far more subtle and far more dangerous, far more poisonous. The Eastern ego pretends, projects, brags about its spirituality. Of course, the people who think they are spiritual can condemn the people who are materialists more easily than vice versa, because even the materialist feels somehow that matter is a lower reality. He may not even consciously believe in any higher reality, but the conditioning is so old - it has penetrated into the blood, into the bones, into the very marrow - that a man can become consciously a materialist but deep down he remains part of the whole heritage of humanity. Hence the Western ego is not much of a danger, but the Eastern ego is very dangerous - for the simple reason that it is more subtle, more hidden, not on the surface, more unconscious.
The East goes on proclaiming itself as the source of all spirituality, the source of all mysticism - which is patent nonsense. It depends only on ignorance. If you ask any Eastern so-called mahatma, you will be surprised that he knows nothing about other spiritual masters who have existed in other parts of the world. He has not heard about Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, Lieh Tzu, Ko Hsuan. He has not heard about Lin Chi, Basho, Bokuju. He has not heard anything about Pythagoras, Heraclitus or Dionysius.