Chapter 1: Always on the Rocks
Now it can be understood. Mahavira was using the same language in religion that is being used by Albert Einstein in physics. Albert Einstein calls it the theory of relativity. Mahavira has called his philosophy exactly the same: sapekshawad - the theory of relativity. Nothing is certain, everything is flexible, fluid. The moment you have said something, it is no longer the same. Things don’t exist, Mahavira says, but only events.
That’s what modern science is saying, that there are no things in the world, but only events. And we cannot say anything absolutely, we cannot say, “This is so.” Whenever somebody says absolutely, “This is so,” he is behaving foolishly. In the past he was thought to be a man of knowledge; the more certain he was, the more it was thought that he knew. The uncertain person, the hesitating person, was thought to be ignorant.
That’s why Mahavira could not influence the world very much; he had come too early, he arrived before his time. Now is the time for him - now he will be understood by the scientist, by the highest intelligence in the world. But he was talking to people, the ordinary masses, who could not understand his syatvad, his “perhaps-ism.” People wanted certain knowledge: “Is there a God?” And Mahavira would say, “Perhaps. Yes - in one way it can be said yes, and in another it can be said no. And both are right together, simultaneously.”
Now the time has come. Ananda Prabhu, don’t try to reconcile things - that will be a false phenomenon. Just watch, just look deep into things as they are. They are already reconciled; there is no conflict in existence. All contraries are complementaries.
You say: “Meditativeness and science are difficult to reconcile.” If you try to reconcile them it is not only difficult, it is impossible. It cannot be done. You will go mad - the very effort to reconcile them will drive you crazy. Avoid such an effort. Rather, on the contrary, simply watch.
Life is paradoxical. It is already a synthesis of paradoxes; the opposites are already meeting in it. All that we need is a pure mirror-like consciousness, so that whatsoever life is, it is reflected. And you will see in that reflection the meeting of the opposites: the meeting of East and West, the meeting of religion and science.
You say: “Yet painting a picture, writing a poem, and solving a scientific problem all bring the same joy; the same joy!” Yes, they can - because art is just in the middle, equidistant from religion and science. Art has the qualities of both. One aspect of art is scientific, the technological aspect. Hence the scientist can paint and enjoy painting, and will have the same joy, and the mystic can also paint and will have the same joy as in prayer, as in meditation. Although both are doing the same thing, the mystic’s painting will be totally different from the scientist’s painting.
You can look: modern painting in the West is too much under the influence of technology. It has lost beauty; it is no longer helpful in bringing you to the divine presence that permeates existence. On the contrary, it simply reflects the insane mind of man. Looking at Western painting you will feel dizzy, nauseous, ill.