The East has suffered because the East became feminine. That’s why anybody could conquer it: it lost willpower, it lost zest, enthusiasm to live, it lost energy. It became very fatalistic, it became very relaxed. The whole history of the East is the history of being conquered by others – a history of poverty, a history of no science, no technology. It is not a beautiful history.
Yes, a few beautiful people happened: Buddha, Mahavira, Krishna, Kabir, Nanak, Dadu – a few beautiful people, but they are exceptional, they cannot be counted. The greater mass, the greater humanity, has lived in a very ugly way, a miserable way, in deep anguish. At this cost, if one Buddha happens and one Kabir and one Nanak, it is not of worth. The cost is too much.
The West has suffered from male-orientation: conflict, struggle, violence, fight, and no rest, no possibility of any relaxation; a great tension in the mind, hankering for speed, ambition; competition, a cut-throat competition, each fighting with everybody else – a very hostile atmosphere. Of course it has created mad people, it has created neurotic people. Still, a few beautiful people have existed on the fringe: a Christ, a Saint Teresa, a Saint Francis and an Eckhart. But this cannot be said to be a success: the philosophy has failed. The East and West have both failed.
That’s my whole effort here: what I am trying to do is to bring East and West closer. The twain can meet. Kipling was wrong when he said, “East is East and West is West, and the twain shall never meet.” I say they can meet; they have to meet. Now everything will depend… Even the possibility of a future humanity will depend on that meeting. Kipling has to be proved wrong. They have not met up to now, that’s true. Kipling is right about the past, but wrong about the future – has to be wrong, otherwise humanity cannot exist. Both are suffering: the East from outward poverty, the West from inner poverty. Both have failed tremendously – grand failures, but failures.
A man has to be a synthesis of will and surrender. A man has to grow his willpower, his ego, first. My approach is that if life is going to be for an average of seventy years, then thirty-five years, the beginning of life, should be devoted to strengthening the ego and willpower – and one should listen to Nietzsche and one should listen to Steiner and one should listen to Freud – and the ego has to be strengthened, made very integrated.
After the thirty-fifth year, one has to learn relaxing and dropping the ego and becoming more and more surrendered to the divine. The West, the first part of life; the East, the second part of life. Life should start Western and should end Eastern. One should first go into the world; in the world, will will be needed. One should go and fight and struggle, because struggle gives you a sharp intelligence, but one should not continue fighting and fighting to the very end. Then what is the point?
Fight, sharpen your intelligence, know the ways of the world, wander all over the world, be a conqueror, and then… Then move inwards. Now you have known the outside; now try to know the inner.