Why has it happened that in the East, religion came to its highest flowering, and in the West the same has happened to science? Is there some difference of consciousness between the Eastern man and the Western man?
Consciousness is one and can only be one.
It is just like the light. East and West make no difference at all. Geography has no effect as far as consciousness is concerned.
But it is true that in the East religion blossomed, reached to the highest peaks. The same was not the case with science in the East. It began its journey but it never reached to the peaks the same way as religion reached.
Just the opposite has happened in the West. Religion is still primitive, just the beginnings, while science has taken a tremendous flight. Naturally the question is very relevant, but it has nothing to do with any difference between Eastern and Western man and his consciousness. It has to do with some other factors.
One thing that is most significant to understand is that religion happens only when a civilization, a culture, reaches to the state of ultimate luxury – the omega point beyond which you cannot conceive that things can be better. All your physical needs are fulfilled, all your psychological needs are fulfilled. Only then do you start feeling the spiritual urge.
Religion in fact is the only luxury, because it happens when you are rich in every possible way.
Blessed are not the poor, because they shall never know the kingdom of God; the question of inheritance does not arise.
Blessed are the rich, those rich in every dimension of life.
They need not bother about God; the kingdom of God is theirs, not God’s. But the basic thing is the richness in all dimensions.
This will help you to understand why East and West have developed differently. The East is very ancient; Western history starts with Jesus Christ. That’s why you use “before Christ, “after Christ” – Christ is the demarcating line. Before Christ it is prehistory, mythology, there is no evidence for it. After Christ things start becoming more factual; you have evidence for them.
But Christ is only two thousand years old. Centuries before Western history began the East had reached to its highest peak of material richness – in all dimensions. Not only had it reached to its ultimate peak of development, it had also fallen. This all happened before the West started its history. In comparison to the East the West is childish.
The East is ancient. This is the reason why religion reached its highest peak in the East. Science too began there. For example, arithmetic began in India many centuries before Jesus Christ. Astronomy began in India many centuries before Jesus Christ. Medicine began in India. Printing, the mechanism to print, began in China one thousand years before Jesus Christ. Guns, machine guns, all were invented in China.