Both these schools have been conflicting continually for centuries without coming to any conclusion; and there is no hope that they can ever come to any conclusion, because the reality is something else. Neither of them is aware of it.
Modern physics has given a tremendous new insight. According to modern physics and its research, matter certainly does not exist. The spiritualists were very happy to hear this from the scientific sources, that matter does not exist. They thought that their standpoint has been proved – not only logically, but scientifically also; not only religiously, but by an objective science. But they have not understood exactly what modern physics is saying.
Modern physics is saying: matter does not exist, what exists is energy. Condensed energy appears to be like matter. But as you divide matter, ultimately you come to the electron – a particle of electricity – which is not material, which is immaterial energy.
But it is not spiritual either. This energy expresses itself in two ways, according to me: one expression is matter, another expression is spirit – different formulations of the same energy. When it is condensed it appears as matter. When it is not condensed it appears as spirit.
Zarathustra had no knowledge of what was going to happen after twenty-five centuries, but he came very close to the fact. He says:
Since I have known the body better…
As I have explored the body in its very depth, in its interiority, I have become aware that spirit or soul are only metaphors – figurative ways of indicating that the body also has an immaterial interior to it.
But it is not against the body; it is part of it, it is the same phenomenon. Just as when you see ice melting, the water seems to be totally different – it is flowing, the ice is static – but the difference is only of temperature. And if the water is heated, it will change again into another form; it will become vapor. So you have three forms of one energy – you have the ice, you have the water, and you have the vapor. And the vapor is invisible. You cannot connect the vapor with the ice; you cannot even see it.
Zarathustra is saying, “Trying to understand the body in its totality, I have come to know that spirit is nothing but a manifestation of the same energy as that which the body is.” The same energy has two aspects: on the outside it is visible, on the inside it is invisible. He is trying to destroy the duality which all the religions have created in the mind of man. He is trying to destroy the schism between the materialist and the spiritualist.
His effort is for a tremendous synthesis – that you need not torture the body to attain spiritual experiences. On the contrary, the body has to be as healthy, as wholesome as possible, because that will be helpful for you to go into your innermost invisible world. There is no conflict, there is a deep harmony.