Money is not bad in itself. That’s my basic approach towards existence: money is neutral, it depends on you. In the hands of a man of understanding, money is tremendously beautiful. It can become music, it can become art, it can become science, it can become religion. It is not money that is bad, it is the person. The stupid person, if he has money, does not know what to do with it; his money becomes more greed. Money can free you from greed, but the stupid person changes money into more greed. It becomes anger, it becomes sexuality, it becomes lust. The more money the stupid person has, the more stupid he becomes, because he becomes more powerful to do stupid things.
With the wise, everything is transformed into wisdom.
The analytical mind is not bad, the scientific approach towards reality is not bad – but it is only a means, it can’t be the end. The end is self-knowledge, the end is to know godliness, the end is to know the eternal, the deathless. Aes dhammo sanantano: that is the end, to know the ultimate law which pervades, permeates the whole existence – because by knowing it, one is liberated. Truth liberates.
The East has contributed greatly, immensely, towards that ultimate end. But without means, how can you reach the end? And without the end what is the point of having all the means? It is a question of deep dialogue between East and West, it is a question of a marriage, not a quantitative combination of these two different approaches, not half East, half West, not a little bit of science and a little bit of religion. Human life is not that mathematical; it is poetic.
What is needed is a dialogue, an I-thou relationship, a love affair between East and West, a deep embrace. It is not a question of equal quantities; the whole West and the whole East meeting and merging into each other – not half East, half West – the whole East and the whole West melting into each other in a deep love relationship. Only then the real synthesis, the transcendence of opposites, will be possible.
When two lovers meet in deep orgasmic joy, there is transcendence. The attraction is there: the East feels fascinated by the West, the West is fascinated by the East, but the danger is that the people from the West who are too fascinated with the East will drop being Western, they will become Eastern; and the people who are fascinated by the West will drop being Eastern and will become Western. So nothing has changed; there has been no meeting, there has been no merger, just the same problem again. People have simply changed places: now the Eastern is standing in the Western hemisphere and the Western is standing in the Eastern hemisphere. Now the Westerner is meditating and the Easterner is studying in Oxford, in Cambridge, in Harvard, and becoming a scientist, a physicist. This is not going to help because there is no meeting happening.
My effort here is not to change the Western mind into the Eastern, not to change the Eastern mind into the Western, but to let there be a meeting of both – not in part but in totality. And remember, when two wholes meet, it becomes one whole. When two totalities meet, it becomes one totality. That is transcendence. It is urgently needed, because without it there is no hope for humanity, no future for humanity.