Chapter 2: Truth and Science
There is great power in the hands of the unenlightened, of the unawakened. But these are the people who should not be allowed to possess power; if it is misused, power can wreak great evil. Our whole search has been for power. And this is man’s mistake. He is in danger from his own achievements, from his own successes. The world’s great thinkers and scientists should be made aware of the pitfalls of this preoccupation with the question of power. It is just this sort of blind, thoughtless investigation that has brought us to the brink of the present crisis. The aim should be peace, not power. And if the aim becomes peace, then the focus will be on the mystery of man himself, not into the secrets of nature. There has been much research and exploration into unconscious matter, but the time has come when we must concentrate on man himself, on his mind.
The science of the future will be the science of man, not the science of matter. This change must occur before it is too late. Those scientists who are committed to the investigation of the inanimate are orthodox men, with minds bound by tradition and convention. Men of awareness must come forth to alter the direction of scientific research. Science must strive for knowledge of man himself.
In their efforts to master the material world modern scientists have attained results unprecedented in human history; there is no reason they cannot be equally successful in achieving the same insight into man. Man can be known. He can be mastered; he can be transformed. I see no reason to be discouraged. We can come to know ourselves, and on this knowledge we can build a totally new consciousness.
A new man can be born; a new life can begin. This has been attempted by various religions in the past, but to see it through, to perfect it, a scientific approach is needed. What religion has begun, science can complete.
In relation to the world of matter, the attitudes of conventional science and orthodox religion have always been dissimilar. In fact, religion has not been concerned with matter at all. In this area, science reigns supreme. But this does not mean religion has nothing of value to contribute. Traditional science must be abandoned and science and religion must join forces. Only this kind of marriage can save mankind. What we have acquired through our knowledge of matter is nothing compared to what we will gain by knowledge of the self. In the past, religion has only made it possible for this knowledge to be possessed by a very select few; with a scientific approach, this knowledge can be available to all.
In the human mind there are latent powers and infinite possibilities as yet undeveloped. And the reason mankind is so miserable is because of the confused state of these untapped energies. When the mind of a man is in chaos, his individual confusion automatically multiplies by the time it merges with the collective consciousness, by the time it mixes with the universal mind. Society is much more than the sum total of its individuals - it is its individuals, multiplied; it is the expanded effect of our personal interrelations. You must remember that whatever happens in each individual will be reflected in society in a greatly magnified form. The cause of all war, the roots of all social degeneration, are within the individual human minds. If we are to change society we have to change the men who exist within it; if there is to be a new base for society we have to offer a new kind of life to the individual.
I said earlier that both poison and nectar exist within the hearts of men. The confusion of energy is the poison; the control of energy is the nectar. And the way in which a man’s life can be transformed into harmony and bliss is through yoga.