Chapter 10: Philosophical Bastards
In the West there have been people who are as Eastern as any Easterner can ever be - for example: Mr. Eckehart, Jacob Boehme, Plotinus, Pythagoras, Heraclitus. They are as Eastern as any Buddha, any Nagarjuna, any Shankara, any Lao Tzu. And there have been Western minds in the East which are as Western as any Westerner can be: a Charvaka is as Western as a Bertrand Russell.
It is not a question of East and West. All kinds of people exist in all kinds of places. The egoist has existed in the East as much as in the West. The idea to conquer - to conquer nature, to conquer God - is as much Eastern as Western. And the idea to surrender, to surrender utterly, is as much Western as Eastern. At the most emphasis differs, that’s all - only emphasis. It is not very essential. Emphasis differs - and emphasis is very accidental.
The moment you see that the essential is the same.. Otherwise how do you explain why Lao Tzu has so much appeal in the West And why Karl Marx has so much appeal in the East How do you explain it? Why is Buddha becoming more and more prominent in the West? Why is Zen becoming enormously significant in the West? And why is technology becoming so important in the East? The East is rushing towards the West to know what technology is, to know how to become more and more technologically skillful. And the West is coming to the East to know what meditation is.
Human inquiry is the same - if there is any difference it is only emphasis. It has nothing to do with the East, it has nothing to do with the West. In the East there are as many materialists as in the West and in the West there are as many spiritualists as in the East. Once you see this, you don’t try to create a synthesis - you simply see that there is no need for any synthesis because it is already one.
It is exactly like the bisexuality of man. Each man is a woman as well and each woman is a man as well. Only the emphasis is different. Maybe a man is fifty-one percent man and forty-nine percent woman, that’s all. Or he may be fifty-five percent man or sixty percent man - but the forty percent woman is there. And that difference is not constant and fixed, it changes. In the morning maybe you are more woman, in the evening you become more man. And sometimes when a woman is in a rage, angry, she can become more of a violent man than any man can be. And when a man is in love and compassionate he can become more loving than any woman can be. There is a reason for it. When a man is loving he is loving from a part of him which is not ordinarily used and because it is not ordinarily used it is very potential. It is like fallow ground. For many years nobody has been harvesting any crop on it so it will yield more. When a woman becomes angry she is more dangerous than any man can ever be, naturally, because her man part has never been used. It is very sharp, it is brand-new, it is right from the show-room. It is going to be very, very dangerous.
But this has to be understood: each man carries a woman within his heart and each woman carries a man within her heart. A unity is already there.
And so is the case with East and West.