That’s what scientists hope, that sooner or later they will be able to dismantle man and reassemble him. At least theoretically it seems possible for them. It is not possible. You cannot dismantle and reassemble man, because there is something which is nonmechanical in man. And that nonmechanical part is his glory. But it is better to deny it; it makes life easier, it makes life less anxious, it makes life less of a problem. You can go on living the shallow day-to-day life of so-called pleasures – eat, drink and be merry.
Those who decide for it are renouncing the opportunity Atisha is talking about. They are renouncing the opportunity to become godly. They are settling for something very low, they are settling for something very cheap, they are missing something very essential. Yes, you can be at ease with the lower self, you can settle with the doubting self. But then there is no growth. And there will be no ecstasy, because there will never be any buddha born in you. You will never come to know anything of Christ-consciousness. You will remain in darkness – of course at ease, but what is the point of being at ease?
Far more valuable is creative discontent, far more valuable is the insecurity of the unknown, far more valuable is a homeless wandering in search of the real home.
Religion is for those who don’t accept the lower as the be all and end all. I am not saying deny the lower, remember, because there are foolish people who go to the other extreme. One stupid type of person denies the higher, says it does not exist, and settles with the lower. The other stupid kind denies the lower, says there is no lower, there is only the higher. One says godliness is illusion, the world is truth. The other says the world is illusion, godliness is truth.
In my approach, both are being stupid, because both are doing the same thing. Both want to be at ease; both are denying the polar opposite, both are denying the possibility of any inner tension. And remember, it is the inner tension that gives you aliveness. The bigger the tension, the more alive you are.
You know; you have experienced it. Everybody has experienced it, more or less: the attraction of the opposite. Men are attracted to women, and vice versa – why? The negative pole of electricity is attracted towards the positive pole, and vice versa – why? Why the attraction for the opposite? Because in that very attraction, life arises. In that tension, how can you remain dead? In that very tension you start pulsating.
Those who settle and choose one against the other become stale, become dead. The materialist becomes superficial, and your so-called spiritualist also becomes phony. Your so-called materialist lives with shallow pleasures, and your so-called spiritualist lives in imagination, in fantasy. Both are missing life and its life-giving tensions. Man has to live with both, and in such a way that neither is denied and yet both become complementary to each other. Yes need not be against no; there is no necessity that the no should be against the yes. They can define each other, they can nourish each other.