Chapter 16: In the Lake of the Void
Kipling is right - that “East is East and West is West and the twain shall never meet.” Logically it is true. How can the East meet the West? How can the West meet the East? But existentially it is utter nonsense; they are meeting everywhere. For example, you are sitting here in Pune: is it East or is it West? If you are comparing it with London it is East, but if you are comparing it with Tokyo it is West. What exactly is it, East or West? On each point East and West are meeting, and Kipling says, “The twain shall never meet.” The twain are meeting everywhere. No single point is such where East and West are not meeting and no single man is such where East and West are not meeting - it cannot be otherwise. They have to meet, it is one reality: East, West - one sky.
But mind divides. And if you are trying to put things together through the same mind, you will go crazy. That’s what happened to Richard Wilhelm - a beautiful man, a genius in his own right, but just intellectual. And when he went mad, Jung was naturally afraid: it was Wilhelm who had introduced Jung to these secret books of the East, the I Ching and The Secret of the Golden Flower. He had persuaded Jung to write a commentary on this book. He became really afraid of the East. He talked about these things but he never tried in any way to practice them. And he has prescribed to the Western man that the West has to evolve its own yoga, its own methods of meditation, it should not follow the Eastern methods. It is as stupid as some Eastern chauvinist saying that the East should evolve its own science, its own physics, its own chemistry. It should not follow the West because these methods have been developed in the West. They cannot be followed because “East is East and West is West.”
Do you think that the East has to evolve its own chemistry? What difference will there be? Has the East to evolve it’s own physics? What difference will there be? Will water evaporate in a different way in the East than it evaporates in the West? Nothing will be different. And if it is so with matter, it is so with the inner consciousness too.
All the differences are superficial. All the differences are in your conditionings, not in your being. Your essential being is the same; whether you have the skin of a white man or a black man does not matter. The difference is only of a little bit of color. In the old days they used to say: the difference is only of a little pigment - four annas’ worth. The white man has a little less pigment than the black man. Remember, the black man is richer - four annas richer, but just four annas’ difference in the color in the body. Sooner or later we will be able to invent injections so that the white man can become black and the black can become white. Just an injection and in the morning you are a perfect negro! The difference is not much - it is only superficial, just on the surface. And so too is the difference in the mind.
A Hindu has a different mind - certainly - than a Mohammedan or a Jew, but the mind is nothing but that which has been taught to you. When the child is born he is neither Jew nor Hindu nor Christian. He is simply pure essence. If the child is born out of Jewish parents and is brought up by Hindu parents, he will have a Hindu mind, not a Jewish mind; he will never become aware, that he was a Jew, his blood will not show it. Blood doesn’t show at all, who is who. You cannot go and be tested by the doctor, through your blood, to show whether you are a Hindu or a Mohammedan. Your bones will not show.. So the difference is only in that which is taught to you, imposed upon you. The difference is only of clothing, dresses, and nothing else; behind the dresses, the same naked humanness.