These so-called spiritualists have been saying the same thing as the materialists. The materialists say, “The soul does not exist, only matter exists.” The spiritualists say, “The matter does not exist, only the soul exists.” My own observation is that both are right in part, and both are wrong in part. And remember one very fundamental truth: that half-truths are far more dangerous than lies, because half-truths have a certain truthfulness about them. That becomes deceptive, that keeps people deluded.
A lie is a lie – sooner or later you will discover, but a half-truth is very dangerous. You may not go to such depths to discover that it is only half, that the other half is missing.
The West has followed one half: the materialist approach to life. It has created great science and technology. Science and technology is enough proof that matter exists, that the Shankaracharya is utterly wrong in saying that matter is illusory. The West has proved finally that matter is there, a reality; and it has to be understood, otherwise we cannot survive. But it is only half of the truth. Even Albert Einstein realized it before dying, that it is only half of the truth. He knew so much about the universe, but he knew nothing about himself. The knower knows nothing about himself. This is a very sad state of affairs.
The East has done the other half. They have proved, certainly they have proved that the soul is a reality, because thousands of mystics have lived in such profound silence, peace, bliss…their blissfulness, their silence, their tranquility, their unaffectedness in different situations. In life, in death, in success, in failure, they remain absolutely still, unaffected. That shows definitively that there is a center inside you, your interiority – and if it is explored you can attain to some transcendence, you can attain to the beyond. You can remain calm and quiet in failure, even in death. It is enough proof that the soul exists, that it is not illusory, as the materialists say.
But the other part is missing, and the East has remained poor, starving. Its outside is ugly. It has found some inner secrets, but its outside is sick, its outside is almost not worth living. It has committed a suicide on the outside, just as the West had committed a suicide on the inside.
The West has enough technology, enough science, enough affluence, enough money, but something of the inner is missing. There is no peace, no silence, no joy, no bliss, no meditativeness, no experience of godliness. It is time we should see that up to now humanity has lived dividedly.
A new human being is needed on the earth, a new human being who accepts both, who is scientific and mystic, who is all for matter and all for the spirit. Only then will we be able to create a humanity which is rich on both sides. If it is possible to be rich on both sides, why choose poverty in any way? – the outer poverty or the inner poverty.