In the West, celebration is associated with the American idea of having a good time which is synonymous with noise, loud music, watching movies, smoking, sex, and release of energy as such, while silence and serenity are automatically associated with boredom and excessive accumulation of energy which results in tension and anxiety. Could you say something about silence and celebration and life?
The question you have asked has many implications. It is not a single question; it is one question consisting of many questions of importance. I would like to go into each dimension of the question; only then you may be able to find the answer.
The first thing to remember is that man consists of two worlds, one that leads outward and one that leads inward. Man is a duality: he is a body and a soul. And because of this tremendous duality, all the problems of the world have arisen. The duality is not a simple one. It is what I have called a “gestalt duality.” In a gestalt duality you can never see both worlds together; if you choose to see one you have to forget about the other. As an example I have told you about a small children’s book where they have a picture made of simple lines, but in those lines there are two possibilities: if you fix your eyes on the picture, either you can see an old woman or you can see a beautiful young girl. You can see each separately. If you go on staring at the old woman, suddenly you will find a strange change: the old woman has disappeared and a beautiful young girl is in front of you.
If you still persist in staring…because the eyes are not meant to stare; naturally they are continuously moving. Movement is intrinsic to your eyes. They get tired of staring at a thing, they are always in search of something new. Because of this, soon you will find the young woman disappearing and the old woman replaced again. They are both made of the same lines, just different combinations, but you cannot see both together. That is impossible. Because if you see the young woman, where will you find the lines that make the old woman? If you see the old woman, you don’t have extra lines to create the young woman. You can see each separately, but you can never see them together. This is gestalt duality, and this is the reality of man.
The East has seen man only as a soul, as a consciousness, as an introvert being. But because it has chosen one gestalt, it has to deny the other. That’s why in the East for centuries the mystics have consistently been denying the reality of the world. They say it is just a dream, it is maya, it is illusion. It is made of the same stuff as dreams are made of. It is not really there, it is only a mirage, only an appearance. The East has denied the outside – has to deny, because of the inner necessity of the gestalt duality.