The East and the West have gone so far away from each other, that there is always misunderstanding: neither the East understands the West, nor the West understands the East. But in the final reckoning the West is the loser.
For ten thousand years the East has chosen a path which is not of the mind – which is not intellectual, which is not rational, which is not logical, which is not scientific. And the West has chosen the opposite.
The West is still far away from reaching the final heights of rational flight. And perhaps it will never be able to reach the end, because its enquiry is about the objects outside you. There is an infinity of universe, and the deeper science goes, the more it finds that it knows nothing. Its knowledge only helps it to know, that much more is to be known, and there seems to be no end in view.
On the other hand, the East has reached its goal: it has attained to the ultimate consciousness. In a certain way, it has reached inner perfection. This creates new difficulties of misunderstanding, because the East speaks from the heights of final realization, and the West can understand only relative truths, which are changing every day.
They have also chosen to speak in different ways. The East speaks in poetic metaphors; the West speaks in terms of mathematics. The East speaks intuitively; the West, only intellectually.
It is one of the greatest problems to be solved – how East and West can come together. Their meeting is absolutely necessary; otherwise, whatever has been attained in the East, or in the West, will all disappear into nuclear smoke.
The West has never developed any meditation – it is poor in that way, very poor. It knows only prayer, which is not even a far away echo of meditation. Even the so called prophets and saviors and messiahs, have never been able to go beyond prayer – prayer is the last thing, because God is the ultimate goal.
Meditation is a revolution in religion. It simply drops God, without even arguing against it. It is not even worthy of that, because it is a hypothesis – unproved, unexperienced; it does not deserve to be considered.
I had a friend, Professor Wilson, who was teaching in a theological college in Jabalpur. He could not understand that there could be a religion, which has no God, which has no prayer.
The West, for the last four or five centuries, has not conceived religion is possible without God, without prayer. In fact it is only possible without them. They are the disturbances, obstructions on the way to religious revolution.
They are the enemies.
The devil has not done any wrong in the world – he does not exist. God also does not exist, but he has done immense harm. God has kept man’s mind focused on something outside, and when you are focused on the outside, you remain in the mind. Meditation cannot be focused outside; only mind has the capacity to be focused outside. Mind cannot be focused inside; only meditation can do that. So meditation and mind go diametrically opposite ways.
It is not without reason that people of meditation have called their path the path of no-mind. But with the mind being dropped, gods, all kinds of theologies, devils, heaven and hell and their details, the ideas of sin and virtue – they are all dropped, because they are all part of the mind. And the West remains mind – obsessed – as if you are only mind and nothing more, your existence consists of body-mind, and that’s all.
In the East for thousands of years, disciples have been sitting by the side of the master, just doing nothing. It looks strange to the Western mind: what is the point of sitting there? If you go to a Sufi gathering, the master is sitting in the middle, and all around his disciples are sitting silently – nothing is happening, the master is not even saying anything. hours pass…
But something transpires – they all feel a fulfilment. When they come out, they are radiant. The master has not done anything; neither have they done anything. They just fall in tune, because both were not doing anything, both were silent.
The East has to be understood in its own ways. If somebody tries to interpret it intellectually, he has missed the point from the very beginning…
Osho: The Path of the Mystic