Western psychologists say that meditation is a subjective phenomenon and therefore much psychological research is not possible. Do you agree?
I do not agree, because no research is possible. You are saying, “Much psychological research is not possible.” That’s why I do not agree.
Man’s interiority, his subjectivity, cannot be trespassed. There is no way to make it an object of study. Research is absolutely impossible – even search has not been done, and you are thinking of research.
Man can experience his subjectivity on his own, but he cannot invite a researcher to go into him and to find out who he is. This is, by nature, impossible. And it is very fortunate that it is impossible – that your subjectivity, at least, is always private, always your freedom. No trespass is possible.
Yes, one can study one’s own interiority, and one can make an effort to explain in words what he has found within himself. Perhaps that may give you some idea of your own subjectivity – not exactly the same, but some glimpse, or at least the possibility that there is some inner essence in you which needs to be discovered; an encouragement that if somebody else can do it, why cannot you do it? Perhaps his methods of his own inner journey may help you to find methods suitable for yourself. Maybe a little bit modified, changed, but the same methods may be applicable.
But one hundred and twelve methods of going inwards are available, have been for ten thousand years. Not a single method more can be added. The science of inner search is complete. You can just look at those one hundred and twelve methods, and it is my experience and many of my sannyasins’ experience that when you come to the method that will be suitable for you, something immediately rejoices in you – as if something in your heart has been touched, some bell starts ringing within you.
So just going through those one hundred and twelve methods – and each method is described in two lines – you just go slowly and see which method synchronizes with you. Then give it a try. Most probably that will be the method. If by chance you don’t succeed in it, then look again. Some other method may be even more striking. But for the whole of humanity all the methods are there.
Symptoms can be told to you: when you come to the method that is going to be your journey, something immediately is lit up in your being. Your mind falls silent, you know – not from any outside authority, but by your own heartbeats – that “This is the method for me.”
And as you start working on the method you will see how relaxing it is, and how simple, smooth.
And on each step you will feel yourself more grounded, more rooted – no more phony, no more American, no more plastic. For the first time you will feel you are real, authentic. And as you go deeper with the method, the sense of joy, sensitivity, goes on increasing. Love, for no reason at all, unaddressed to anybody – just a lovingness surrounds you. And when you reach to the very center of your being there is an explosion of immense light, and a fragrance that you have never known.
Those who are a little receptive may even become aware that something great has happened to you, because your face will take on a certain quality which you can find in the statues of Gautam Buddha. Your eyes, for the first time, will have a magnetism; your gestures will have a grace. Your whole being will be a beauty and a benediction to you and to all. As this experience ripens, you become a blessing to the whole existence.
It is true that no objective research can be done on it, but that does not mean that this subjective world does not exist. That will be a stupid conclusion. It will be like a blind man who cannot see the light; hence he concludes that the light does not exist.
There are things which are objectively available to be studied, but they are always things – not life, not love, not consciousness. All that is great is subjective. And it is one of the greatest misfortunes of humanity that scientists go on insisting that unless you can study something objectively, it does not exist. That means that in the lab of Albert Einstein, everything exists except Albert Einstein.
Then who is doing all these experiments? Who is watching and researching, and who is finding electrons and protons and neutrons? They all exist because they are objective. Albert Einstein does not exist, because his consciousness is not available to objective study. This is sheer stupidity.
Your eyes cannot hear music; that does not mean that music does not exist. Your ears cannot see light. That does not mean light does not exist. It simply means you are using wrong means – ears to see, eyes to hear.
The method of objective study is for things, matter. And the inward journey – because it is not a research into matter but into consciousness – needs different methods. Those are the methods I am calling meditations.
For the objective world, observation, experiments – these are methods. For the subjective world, witnessing, experiencing – these are the methods.
And one of the fundamental rules of science is that everything exists with its polar opposite. The polar opposite is not contradictory, it is complementary. If love exists, hate exists; if beauty exists, ugliness exists. And if objective reality exists, you cannot deny subjective reality; otherwise, you will be going against the fundamental rule of science itself. Objective reality needs, as a polar opposite to it, a subjective reality. And certainly the same methods cannot be applied to both. Different methods are needed.
Meditation will not help you to find atomic energy, nuclear weapons; otherwise, the East would have discovered all this nonsense long ago. And objective methods will not allow you to discover man’s real being. And without knowing man’s real being you can have all the riches of the world, but deep inside you will remain a pauper, miserable. East and West – the objective approach and the subjective approach – both are half. My own effort is that they should become one. There is no need to divide.
Rudyard Kipling has stated, “West is West and East is East, and ne’er the twain shall meet.” He is dead, but sometimes I think to drag him out of his grave and ask him, ”Where is the line which divides East from West? They are meeting everywhere.” You are, in comparison to some place, East, in comparison to another place, West. And what nonsense is this, that ”ne’er the twain shall meet”? The twain are always meeting on each point, because the same point can be called West and the same point can be called East. Calcutta is East of Bombay, Bombay is West of Calcutta. But Calcutta itself is West of Rangoon, and Rangoon is East of Calcutta.
Rudyard Kipling was the poet laureate of the British Empire. To me, he is simply an idiot. East and West are meeting everywhere, except in man. Things become easier; it is only a question of man’s mind. In reality there is no division; the division is only mental.
And in my sannyasins that division has dropped. My sannyasins don’t belong to East or to West.
They claim the whole earth as their own.
They claim the objective reality as their own. They claim the subjective world as their own.
To represent this, I have called the new man Zorba the Buddha. Zorba represents the materialist, objective approach. Buddha represents the subjective, spiritual approach.
Divided, both are poor. Neither of them is a full circle. Joined, they become immensely rich. Joined together, they experience the greatest ecstasy that is available to humanity.
From From Bondage to Freedom, Discourse #43
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