Chapter 9: What Can Man Offer?
But if you divide the world, if you divide existence into polar opposites, then you will be in a very deep dichotomy and your mind will move to the opposite. The more you resist, the more attractive it becomes. Negatives are very attractive. When you insist so much on “don’ts,” the attraction becomes unbearable. “No” is a very enchanting invitation. So whenever you try to force your mind towards something, the other - which you are trying not to go towards - will become inviting. Sooner or later you will be bored with the part you have chosen and the mind will move. It always goes on moving.
Chinese philosophy says that the yin goes on moving into the yang and the yang goes on moving into the yin, and they make one circle. They are in a constant movement of one into the other. The man goes on moving into the woman and the woman goes on moving into the man, and they make one circle. The light goes on moving into the darkness and the darkness goes on moving into the light, they make one circle. When you are bored with the light you are attracted by darkness, and when you are bored by darkness you are attracted by light.
You go on moving between the opposites. So if your God is also a part of the opposite world, part of the logic of opposites, you will move to the other extreme. That is why the Upanishad says That. In this That everything is implied, nothing is denied. The Upanishads have a very life-affirmative concept, a very life-affirmative philosophy.
Really, this is very strange. Albert Schweitzer has said that Indian philosophy is life-negating, but he has really misunderstood the whole thing. In his mind, when he says “Hindu philosophy,” he must have been referring to Mahavira and Buddha. But they are not really the main current, they are just rebellious children. Hindu philosophy is not life-negating. On the contrary, Albert Schweitzer is a Christian, deeply Christian, and Christian philosophy is life-negating! Hindu philosophy is one of the most affirmative.
So it is good to go deep in this life-affirmation; only then will you be able to understand the meaning of That, because this is one of the most affirmative words - not denying anything. “Life-denying” means that your God is something against life. Jainas are life-denying. They say that this world is sin; you must leave it, deny it, renounce it! Unless you renounce it totally you cannot achieve the divine. So the divine becomes something you can achieve only conditionally - if you renounce the world. It is a basic condition.
For Buddhists also it is a basic condition: “You must renounce everything; you must choose death. Death must be the goal, not life. You must struggle not to be born again. Life is not of any value, it is of non-value. It exists only be-cause of your sins, it is a punishment, and you must somehow go out of it, not be born again.” But this is not the Hindu concept. The Upanishads are not concerned with this at all.
The same life-denying attitude is of Christianity also: “Life is sin and man is born in sin.” History begins in sin. Adam has been expelled from heaven because he has sinned. He has disobeyed, and now we are born out of the sin. That’s why Christians have been insisting that Jesus was not born out of sex, that he was born out of a virgin girl - because if you are born out of sex you are born out of sin, and at least Jesus must not be born out of sin. So everyone is born in sin; mankind lives in sin. So a deep renunciation is needed to reach the divine.