The poet simply sees the lotus flower, the mystic goes beyond, he goes higher. He takes the roseflower or the lotus flower to the ultimate peak. And the scientist? – he will think about where it comes from. It comes from the mud. The scientist will start moving deeper and deeper into the mud; he will start inquiring about the mud and the elements that are in the mud.
Just look at these three approaches: the scientist goes lower than the lotus, the mystic goes higher than the lotus, the poet remains with the lotus. In the ultimate analysis the scientist will think that the lotus is nothing but mud – a form of mud – and the mystic will think the lotus is nothing but a manifestation of existence. And for the poet, a lotus is simply a lotus. Now, how can these three approaches meet?
The mystic cannot agree with the scientist – in fact, the mystic will think that the scientist is destroying something tremendously important. By all his logical answers, objective answers, he is destroying the subjectivity of the lotus. The mystic may agree a little bit with the poet, but only a little bit, not the whole way. He will nod to the poet. He will say, “You are on the right track, you have taken the first step, but don’t get stuck there – go on. The lotus is not enough. You have to find the face of existence in the lotus, and if you cannot find the face of existence in the lotus, where else are you going to find it?”
Your question is important – but don’t remain in this confusion that if you can find some clue as to how matter becomes life you will be bringing some understanding between religion and science. You will be talking about mud. And the poet will not be convinced by you, because he knows the lotus. And what to say about the mystic? He will simply feel pity for you.
Everything can either be reduced to its beginnings – that’s what science goes on doing – or it can be raised to the ultimate peak; that’s what the work of religion is. And poetry is just the bridge between the two. The poetic approach is in a way closer to both science and religion. If you really want to understand religion, you have taken a wrong route.
Religion does not think that life needs any answers. Life needs to be lived in its totality, life needs to be celebrated. Life needs to be penetrated – that is the only way to know it. Not in the lab, not going deep into life cells, not by analyzing the elements; those are constituents of life, but life is more than the sum total of its parts.
Somebody is playing on a guitar, beautiful music. The scientist will become interested in the guitar, not in the music. He will think, “From where is it coming?” He may become interested in the fingers of the musician and in the instrument. He will analyze the instrument and he will find some wood, some strings, this and that – but that is not music. And if he analyses the fingers of the musician he will find some blood, some bones, skin – and that is not music. Music is something more. The hands of the musician and the guitar are simply an opportunity for the beyond to descend to the earth.