Chapter 10: The Pure Sky of Consciousness
The first question:
The Western mind is so oriented toward analysis, the left hemisphere of the brain - the Eastern mind just the opposite, the intuitive right hemisphere. The West is fascinated by the East and the East by the West. Equal amounts of both - is this the harmony of wisdom and the transcendence of opposites?
The transcendence of opposites is not a quantitative phenomenon, it is a qualitative revolution. It is not a question of equal amounts of both; that will be a very materialistic solution. Quantity means matter. Equal amounts of both will give you only an appearance of synthesis but not a real synthesis - a dead synthesis, not alive, not breathing, not with a heart beating.
The real synthesis is a dialogue: not equal amounts of both, but a loving relationship, an I-thou relationship. It is a question of bridging the opposites, not putting them together in one place.
Both are important, immensely important. Neither analysis can be discarded nor intuition. Discard analysis and you become outwardly poor, starved, unhealthy. And when one is outwardly poor, starved, unhealthy, how can he go inwards? It is impossible.
The outward poverty prevents the inward journey. You are so obsessed with food, clothes, shelter, you don’t have time and space to go in, to think about the higher things of life.
In the Upanishads there is a beautiful story:
Svetketu, a young man, came back from the university full of knowledge. He was a brilliant student, he had topped the university with all the medals and all the degrees that were possible, available. He came back home with great pride. His old father, Uddalak, looked at him and asked him a single question. He said to him, “You have come full of knowledge, but do you know the knower? You have accumulated much information, your consciousness is full of borrowed wisdom - but what is this consciousness? Do you know who you are?”
Svetketu said, “But this question was never raised in the university. I have learned the Vedas, I have learned language, philosophy, poetry, literature, history, geography. I have learned all that was available in the university, but this was not a subject at all. You are asking a very strange question; nobody ever asked me in the university. It was not on the syllabus, it was not in my course.”
Uddalak said, “Do one thing: be on a fast for two weeks, then I will ask you something.”