Chapter 1: This Is the Bridge to That
- can be said to contain the whole approach, the vision. That means the beyond, the invisible. This means the within, the visible. That means the hidden, this means the manifest. That means the infinite, this means the finite. That is the whole, of course, but the insistence of the Upanishads is: this too, is the whole.
One is not supposed to renounce life. Renunciation is against the spirit of the Upanishads. The Upanishadic seers were not renunciates, they had not escaped away from life - because where can you escape to? Wherever you go you will be in the whole as much as you are in the whole here. The marketplace and the monastery both are part of the whole. To be with your wife, your husband, your children, your friends, is as sacred, as holy, as to go to the Himalayas and to live in a cave in absolute solitariness. Both belong to the same existence.
It is Jainism and Buddhism and their emphasis on renunciation that destroyed the Upanishadic flight - the flight from this to that, the flight of the part to the whole. Jainism and Buddhism are rooted in renunciation; they are life-negative, they are against life. Their attitude is that of condemnation: this is wrong and that is right. Leave this for that. If you want to attain to that, then you have to renounce this. And the Upanishad says:
That is the whole.
This is the whole.
There is no difference at all. It is one reality. The without and the within are not two, but two aspects of the same phenomenon. Matter and spirit are not to be put in antagonism against each other, they are not opposites. And we know they are not opposites because in you the meeting is happening. Even this very moment your body and your soul are not two, they are one. Your body affects your consciousness, your consciousness affects your body. Your body is only the outermost part of your consciousness, and your consciousness is nothing but the innermost core of your body. The body is the dimension that spreads outwards, and the consciousness, the soul, is the dimension that goes inwards. But it is one spectrum. You are already living the unity of this and that.
But Jainism and Buddhism both created a great calamity; the calamity was that they condemned life. And it appealed to the people - for the simple reason that people don’t know the art of living. Hence they are miserable, they are living in suffering; their life is a continuous drag from one suffering to another. And they don’t see any hope - everything seems to be a hopeless despair. So when Buddhism and Jainism started saying that life itself is wrong, it appealed to the people.