Osho on Western and Eastern Mind
Question – Will the Western Mind have to expand as the Eastern Mind has?
Osho – The Western mind can succeed as far as science is concerned, but it cannot succeed in religious consciousness. Whenever a religious mind is born, even in the West, it is Eastern. In Eckhart, in Boehme, the very quality of the mind is Eastern. And whenever a scientific mind is born in the East, it is bound to be Western. East and West are not geographical. West means the Aristotelian, and East means the non-Aristotelian. West means equilibrium, and East means no equilibrium. West means the rational and East means the irrational.

Tertullian was one of the most Eastern minds in the West. He said, “I believe in God because it is impossible to believe. I believe in God because it is absurd.” This is the basic Eastern attitude: because it is absurd. No one can say this in the West. In the West they say that you should believe something only when it is rational. Otherwise it is just a belief, a superstition.

Eckhart too is an Eastern mind. He says, “If you believe in the possible, it is no belief. If you believe in the argument, it is not religion. These are parts of science. Only if you believe in the absurd does something that is beyond mind come to you.” This concept is not Western. It belongs to the East.

Confucius, on the other hand, is a Western mind. Those in the West can understand Confucius, but they can never understand Lao Tzu. Lao Tzu says, “You are a fool because you are only rational. To be rational, reasonable, is not enough. The irrational must have its own corner to exist. Only if a person is both rational and irrational is he reasonable.”

A totally rational person can never be reasonable. Reason has its own dark corner of irrationality. A child is born in a dark womb. A flower is born in the dark, in the underground roots. The dark must not be denied; it is the base. It is the most significant, the most life-giving thing.

The Western mind has something to contribute to the world. It is science, not religion. The Eastern mind can contribute only religion, not technology or science. Science and religion are complementary. If we can realize both their differences and their complementariness, then a better world culture can be born out of it.

If one needs science, one should go to the West. But if the West creates any religion, it can never be more than theology. In the West you give arguments to yourself to prove God. Arguments to prove God! It is inconceivable in the East. You cannot prove God. The very effort is meaningless. That which can be proven will never be God, it will be a scientific conclusion. In the East we say that the divine is the unprovable. When you are bored with your proofs, then jump into the experience itself; jump into the divine itself.

The Eastern mind can only be pseudo-scientific, just as the Western mind can only be pseudo-religious. You have created a great theology in the West, not a religious tradition. In the same way, whenever we make an attempt toward science in the East, we only create technicians not scientists, persons of know-how, not innovators, creators.

So do not come to the East with a Western mind or you will only misunderstand. Then you will carry your misunderstanding as an understanding. The attitude in the East is categorically opposite. Only opposites are complementary — like male and female.

The Eastern mind is female; the Western mind is male. The Western mind is aggressive. Logic is bound to be aggressive, violent. Religion is receptive, just like a woman. God can only be received; he can never be discovered or invented. One has to become like a woman: totally receptive, just open and waiting. This is what is meant by meditation: to be open and waiting.

Source – Osho Book “The Psychology of the Esoteric”

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