Chapter 22: The Greatest Discovery There Is
And you can see the dichotomy in the very name of psychology. Psychology means the science of the soul. But the scientific attitude is to deny the existence of the soul, because there is no possibility of catching hold of it. There is no possibility of dissecting it, no possibility of taking it into the lab and doing all kinds of experiments before they can say yes, there is something like the soul, which is immortal. Because it is invisible. All forces are invisible, all energies are invisible. Energies and forces are known not by themselves, because they are not visible. They are known by their effects, because the effects are visible.
Nobody knows what electricity is - not even Thomas Alva Edison, who discovered it. But everybody knows how to switch it on, how to switch it off. Electricity, as energy, is not visible. You are seeing the light but the light is not electricity, it is an effect of its presence. We infer that electricity must be there because the light is on.
And there is enough evidence that the soul must be there in man because there are so many effects indicating towards it. Without a soul, man is a machine. But have you ever heard of machines revolting? going through a communist revolution? - machines throwing away one government, creating another government? No, machines are not concerned. They are not even prejudiced. They will work perfectly under communism, they will work perfectly under capitalism.to them, there is no question because there is no consciousness. A machine cannot say: “I cannot do this because this is immoral, criminal.” If machines could do that, there would be no war - because no weapon will agree with your politicians.
If the atom bomb had been asked whether it wanted to destroy Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the bomb would have laughed: “Why should I destroy? They have done no harm to me. In fact, I don’t know those people; there is no reason at all for me to destroy them. And I refuse to be a slave in an act which is irrational.”
Machines don’t think, don’t have consciousness, don’t have a heart, don’t feel.
It is certain that man is not a machine because he has qualities which machines don’t have. Those qualities are indicative of a certain mysterious phenomenon inside, at the very center of our being - a flame of light, a flame of awareness. But science will accept it only if your consciousness can be put into their test tubes, if they can play around with your consciousness. But this, by the very nature of consciousness, is impossible.
Psychology accepted a very stupid definition: that it is a science. If I am allowed to rename it - and I have the right because I have renamed more people than anybody has ever done in the whole of history! so renaming is something which I have been doing continuously for years - I would call it parapsychology. In the East, it has been parapsychology: psychology of the beyond. And man has so much space beyond himself - the whole universe - that to give him a definition, to say that he is just matter, is to reduce him to the lowest denominator. Only his body is matter, the house in which he lives.
He is not the body and he is not the mind: he is beyond both.
Western psychologists, thinkers and philosophers are very well acquainted with my thinking, but strangely enough, very few of them seem to have guts to stand against the vested interests.