Osho states, “Now, for the first time, barriers are breaking.”
Why have we not been able to create a society which combines both polarities – philosophy and poetry, science and religion?
Is there a possibility of the total meeting of these polarities?
Which land is more fertile for this meeting – East or West?
Is this meeting possible only in an individual, or can it exist simultaneously in the society also?
In which way can meditation be useful for this meeting?
What are the factors which can help man to grow in both the dimensions – science and religion?
Hitherto, it was impossible to create a society which synthesizes both polarities of science and religion, of logic and poetry. It was impossible because this synthesis can become possible only when both the alternatives, taken alone, have proved to be total failures. Now, for the first time in the history of human consciousness, we are at the stage where both the alternatives have proved failures. Chosen alone, taken alone, each has proved a failure. So this age is really of very deep significance because the human mind will transcend the old conflict and the old polarities now.
The East tried one alternative – choosing religion at the cost of science. The West tried the reverse – choosing science at the cost of religion. The East succeeded in attaining the inner center in a few individuals. The West succeeded in attaining a prosperous affluent society. The East failed economically, technologically; it remained poor. The West failed spiritually; it remained empty inwardly. Thus, a synthesis began to happen.
A few individuals in the East and in the West also were able to conceive of it. They could look into the future. They are known as prophets because of this – because they can know, because they can probe deep into the future. But prophets are never believed when they are alive because they go too far ahead. We cannot follow them and we cannot see how their innerness is working. So they are never believed, never followed. Only retrospectively do we feel that they were right.
Many times this synthesis was proposed. For example, Krishna proposed it. His was one of the most penetrating efforts of synthesis. The Gita has been read, worshipped, but no one listened to him. Really, prophets are always born before their time. So the people who can understand them are yet not, and the people who are cannot understand them. There is a gap.
In a few individual cases, the synthesis was attained. There have been a few individuals who were both – religious and scientific, logical and poetic. But that is a very subtle balance, and only a genius could attain it in the past. For example, a Michelangelo or a Goethe or, even in our own times, Albert Einstein: they could attain a synthesis in their individuality. But then they became puzzles to us – because they moved between two polarities so easily that they appeared inconsistent.
Consistency can be had only if you belong to one extreme. If someone moves between two, if a scientist is also a poet, then he has two personalities: he moves between the two. When he goes to his laboratory, he forgets poetry completely. He changes his being from a poet’s being to a scientist’s being. He begins to think in totally different categories. When he moves out of his lab, he moves again into a different being. The second being is not mathematical, not experimental. It is more like a dream than like any scientific experiment.
This is very difficult, arduous, but sometimes this has been attained in a few individuals who could move. Michelangelo was a mathematician and also a great artist. Goethe was a poet and also a very deep probing logical thinker. Einstein was essentially a mathematician, a physicist, and yet he was aware and in deep contact with that which was mysterious around him. But then this was possible for only a few individuals. This should be possible for a greater number. Now the time is ripe, and the moment will come when society need not think in terms of opposites. Rather, it must think in terms of complementaries.
Two opposites are not really two enemies. They support each other; neither can exist without the other. Deep down they are related. We can call them “intimate enemies”. They depend on each other. Each cannot exist without the other, and yet they are opposite. This opposition gives a tension, a certain energy, which helps them to exist.
But this was not possible in the past. Many tried one alternative because to try one is easy. You can be religious easily, you can be scientific easily – but to be both is a very delicate balance, and then you need a very developed mind which can move from one group to another without any difficulty.
Look at our minds! When you move from your house to your office, your mind continues in the house. When you move from your office to your house, it is not that by leaving your office your mind leaves your office – it continues to be in your office. Physical movement is easy; mental movement is difficult. And between a house and an office there is no opposition.
When someone thinks mathematically, it is a totally different approach toward life; when one begins to think poetically, it is totally different. It is as if you have moved from one planet to another, and the other cannot be allowed any voice. So a very deep control and integration is needed; otherwise the mind continues in one pattern. It is easy to move in one pattern. That is why it is easy for societies to choose.
The East experimented with one choice and the West with another. Both have failed. The whole history of man is the history of two failures – Eastern and Western. Now both of these failures can be studied, and now we can become aware of the fallacies of history and the errors of the experienced standpoints. Now you can feel that a new world with a new attitude is possible – a synthetic attitude.
Obviously, that world cannot be Eastern and cannot be Western. So do not ask which land is more fertile, because then the whole world will become one world. Really, if you can still continue in terms of which land is more fertile, you again are trying to think in old categories. If East and West both have failed, then really this is the moment to drop the whole nonsense of being Eastern or of being Western. Now one humanity emerges. It is neither Eastern nor Western. It is human, and the whole planet earth becomes a small village.
A whole earth is possible, but the earth has not been whole. Now, for the first time, barriers are breaking. This breakdown of the old barriers will have to be consciously worked out. Unconsciously, it will take a longer time. Consciously, it can be done very easily and with less pain and less suffering. Now men should not belong to any land, to any culture, to any civilization, to any religion. Now, for the first time, men must belong to the whole earth.
Osho, The Ultimate Alchemy, Vol 2, Ch 17, Q 1 (excerpt)