Chapter 5: A World inside You
The Venerable Master said:
Tao manifests both as the pure and the turbid, both as movement and stillness.
Heaven is pure, earth is turbid.
Heaven moves, earth is still.
The masculine is pure, the feminine is turbid.
The masculine is active, the feminine is passive.
Manifesting from its radical essence, Tao flows forth even to the last of things, bringing forth heaven and earth and all that is in between.
The pure is the cause of the turbid, and movement of stillness.
Taoism is not a religion in the ordinary sense of the term, it is not a so-called religion; it is authentically religious. But to be authentically religious it has to be basically scientific. Science and religion are separate only as far as their direction is concerned, but not in their approach. Religion can be scientific without being a science; science can be religious without being a religion. Tao is scientific without being a science.
Science means trying to know the objective world without any prejudice, without any a priori conclusions. The same is true about the inner world, the subjective world. One should approach it also without any conclusions. A scientist cannot be a Hindu or a Mohammedan or a Christian; if he is then he is not scientific. At least in his scientific endeavor he should put aside all his prejudices.
If Galileo remains a Christian, then he cannot discover the truth that the sun does not move around the earth. If Copernicus remains a Christian even while he is doing his scientific research, then he cannot go beyond the Bible. And the Bible is many thousands of years old; it contains the science of those days. It is very primitive - it is bound to be so.
All religious scriptures contain certain facts which they should not contain. They are not religious facts; they are concerned with the objective world. But in the old days everything was compiled in religious scriptures - they were the only scriptures. Religious scriptures have functioned in the world for thousands of years as encyclopedias: everything that was known, was discovered, was theorized, was collected in them.
The Vedas in India are called samhitas; samhita means a compilation, a collection. Their function was exactly that of the Encyclopedia Britannica. All kinds of things are compiled in them: the literature of those days, the science of those days, the astronomy of those days, the geography, the history, the art; everything that it was possible to know was compiled. As man has progressed, everything has become more and more specialized.