The position of science at present is that it is prepared to believe that electricity is uncreated, that it is self-originated, and that all this vast growth, this expansion, is that of the only element – electricity. Electricity, says science, is not a compound produced by the combination of two substances, it is uncreated. Science calls that substance an element which is self-originated. So now science calls electricity a self-originated element. It cannot be created, because only that substance which can be produced by a combination can be made. If you combine two things, a third thing will be produced. If you combine three things, the result will be the making of a fourth. But how can you create the original element which is without any combination? You can neither make it nor destroy it. If we wish to destroy water, we can do so by separating hydrogen and oxygen, because water is made by combination. If we wish to destroy hydrogen, we can do so. If we separate its electric particles – which we call atomic energy – then hydrogen will no longer be there. Only the electric energy will remain. Only the energy will remain. But we cannot destroy that energy because there is no combination of two substances which we can separate. We can simply do this much – we can either combine or separate things. We cannot create. That which is uncreated is element.
At present science calls electricity, electrical energy, a self-originated element. But religion calls the atman a self-originated element. It will become possible, if not now then in future, for scientific investigation to break, to separate electricity also; and then we will be able to see that even electricity is not self-originated. Some years back we knew water as an element; then we were able to analyze it and found that oxygen and hydrogen are elements, water is not. Then we analyzed hydrogen and could see that it is also not an element; electricity is the element.
There are two possibilities: either it may be established that electricity and the atman are one and the same, or it may be that electricity will also be broken down and we will discover that it is also not an element. As far as I understand, electricity also can be broken down, and when it is broken we will find that only consciousness remains.
Now, it is interesting to consider that no one regards stone as energy. It is a substance – a matter. Our old distinctions divide things into matter and energy. Stone is matter. But when stone was analyzed, and in the final analysis the atom was found, then matter was lost and energy remained; and science had to abandon its old notion of duality – duality of matter and energy. On matter being analyzed further and further, it was found that it did not exist; there was only energy. Matter is energy. Now there is no substance like matter; the latest position of science is that there is nothing like matter. Now the materialists have to be very careful in saying anything in support of matter because nothing like matter exists; there is only energy.
As long as we had not arrived at the final analysis of matter, two substances were accepted by scientists – matter and energy. You will definitely see the distinction if you hold a stone in one hand and touch an electric wire with the other. You will know that a stone is a stone and what is passing through the wire is energy. There is a great difference between the two. But now science says if you go on breaking and analyzing a stone, you will end up with energy which can pass through an electric wire. By further breaking it, we killed one hundred thousand people in Hiroshima. That was an electric shock! By breaking matter, by the explosion of a small atom, so much energy was produced that we could kill one hundred thousand people in Hiroshima and one hundred and twenty thousand in Nagasaki. So many people would not die by touching even the most powerful current.
A small atom produces a tremendous amount of electricity, and by transforming it into electricity the atom was destroyed – it was no more. So science now says that its old notion of duality – matter and energy – is gone. Now only energy remains. But I tell you, there still exists one more distinction, and that is the distinction of energy and consciousness.