The European people have been worried about Eastern religions, worried that their vitality can destroy the nations. Is there this danger/blessing with your religion too?
Religion is not geography. It is neither Eastern nor Western. It cannot be divided in such a stupid manner; otherwise there will be a Southern religion, a Northern religion, and there will be no end to these divisions. The Middle East is not the East, and the Far East is also not the East.
Just a few days ago one South African politician said, “Now the conflict between East and West is over; now the real fight is going to be between South and North.” Up to now nobody has been thinking in terms of a conflict between South and North, but basically, there is. Southern countries are all poor; northern countries are all rich. Southern countries are mostly black; northern countries are mostly white.
This seems to be a far wider gap than that between East and West. In fact to divide East and West is very difficult. In Europe, Russia is thought to be an eastern country, although half of Europe, the upper half, is Russian. Russia is spread from one end of Europe to the other end of Asia. In fact, Asia and Europe are nowhere divided; it is one continent, one continuity.
Politicians need division – without divisions politicians have no function. Priests also need divisions, because they are a spiritual kind of politician. Without divisions the priest also disappears.
So there are people who are tremendously interested in keeping divisions, and they go on dividing everything – even to the extent of stupidity. Now, dividing religion into Eastern and Western is just inconceivable. A little intelligence is enough to understand that love cannot be Eastern or Western – or do you think it can be? Can silence be Eastern and Western? Can meditativeness be divided according to geographical divisions?
A man meditating in Tibet or a man meditating in Europe or America will have the same quality of consciousness; there will be no difference at all, because the man in Tibet, when in meditation, disappears. He is no longer Tibetan, he is no longer even man; he is just pure silence, awareness. The same is true for anybody meditating anywhere.
Meditation is universal, just as love is, compassion is, intelligence is.
These are qualities – and religion is the ultimate quality of consciousness. At least don’t be so idiotic as to divide it.
I am reminded, when I was graduating from the university…. In India – I don’t know how it is in other countries – to pass the post-graduation class you have to pass two kinds of examinations. One is written and the other is oral. In the oral examination one professor from some other university is invited. The vice-chancellor is present, the head of the department is present, and each individual student is called in for an interview.