Acupuncture is more holistic. The difference has to be understood. When you take man as a machine you take a partial view of him. If his hand is sick, you just treat the hand; you don’t bother about his whole body of which the hand is only a part. The mechanical outlook is partial. It succeeds, but its success is not real success because the same disease which has been repressed in the hand by medicine, surgery and other things, starts expressing somewhere else in a worse form.
So medicine has developed tremendously; surgery has become a great science – but man is suffering from more diseases, sicknesses, than ever.
This dilemma can be understood. Man should be taken as a whole, treated as an organic unity. But the problem with modern medicine, Western medicine is that it does not think you have any soul, that you have anything more than a body-mind structure. You also are a machine: your eyes can be replaced, your hands can be replaced, your legs can be replaced – and sooner or later brains will be replaced.
But do you think if we can take Albert Einstein’s brain while he is dying, remove it before death is certain and transplant it – for example in the skull of Polack the pope – do you think he will become an Albert Einstein? The brain is only a part. He would become a strange phenomenon, a crossbreed between a Polack and Albert Einstein. At least right now he is perfectly a Polack; then he would be in a limbo, not knowing who he is – a pope or a physicist.
This we are already doing: we transfuse blood and we change people’s other parts; we have mechanical hearts. A man with a mechanical heart cannot be the same as a man with a real, authentic heart. The man with the mechanical heart will not have anything like love. Even if he loves, he will love through the mind. His love will be, “I think I love you”; it will not be direct from the heart, because he has no heart.
In India, medical science developed almost five thousand years ago. And you will be surprised to know that whatever surgery we have today is exactly described by Sushrut, one of the greatest surgeons in the East, in ancient scriptures five to seven thousand years old. But it was abandoned – and that is the point I want you to notice.
Why was a developed science abandoned? Because it was found that surgery takes man as a mechanism – and man is not a mechanism; so rather than destroying man they abandoned surgery.
All the finest instruments that surgery uses are described by Sushrut in his scripture. All the operations – even the brain operations – are described in full detail as if it is a modern textbook on surgery. But it is seven thousand…or at least five thousand years old. They developed it to the same point where we are, and they must have faced the same problem that we are facing. They must have found that something is basically wrong.
We go on working so much…and the sickness and the disease go on increasing. Even if we make a person without sickness, that does not mean that he is healthy. Absence of sickness is not health; that is a very negative definition. Health should have something more positive, because health is the positive thing and sickness is the negative thing. Now the negative is defining the positive.