East and West

The East says: "I have seen God's Face. Now I must see His Feet." The West says: "I have seen God's Feet. Now I must see His Face."

The East says: "I have seen God's Transcendence." The West says: "I have seen God's Immanence."

The East considers life to be a continuous growth from matter to spirit. The West considers life to be a continuous growth from the simple material life to a complex and ever-expanding scientific development.

The indifferent East felt that it had nothing to hear from the West. The proud West thought that it had nothing to learn from the East.

According to the East, the West is anything but divine. According to the West, the East is idle.

It is no exaggeration to say that the East is terribly afraid of a dynamic life. Similarly, the West is terribly afraid of lone self-poise.

The East is perhaps wanting in care, detail and exactitude. But the West is wanting in breadth, vastness and universality. The East is wanting in an earthly, practical intelligence. The West is wanting in the matchless realisation of the Self. The East feels that the mastery of one's own inner movements is the true fulfilment of life. The West feels that the mastery of the world is the true fulfilment of life.

Humility and devotion are the birthright of the East. Honesty and frankness are the birthright of the West. The combination of these four powers should be the ideal of a human being.

The East wanted to conquer the world in the name of liberation. The West wanted to conquer the world in the name of commerce and religion.

The East has control of Spirit. The West has control of Matter. Spirit is creative, conscious existence. What is Matter? It is anything but lifeless mechanical substance. Matter is vibrant energy which deliberately hides within itself life and consciousness.

The individual of the East is content to abide by the maxim, "Let me live unseen and unknown, and unlamented let me die." And, it might be added, "Let it all be done without too much exertion." The individual of the West, on the other hand, seems to desire the full expression of his individuality. He wishes to make for himself a strong and powerful position in his own world.

The East's age-long experience with the spiritual life has taught it an inner poise and equanimity in work. It can stand aside from frustration, excitement, irritation over minor upsets and all that disturbs the inner balance. It can make tranquil readjustments and proceed in the same calm tenor. This the West has yet to learn.

The West's intensive experience with material progress has taught it to be objective in work. It has learned to stand aside from favouritism, nepotism and other personal considerations in carrying out a necessary job. It can do the work for its own sake, quickly and efficiently, and with the best man-power available. This the East has yet to learn.

Indian philosophy is, in its origin, the search for the highest Truth. Only the Reality beyond the senses has been able to quench the inner thirst of the East.

European philosophy is, in its origin, an examination of ideas by the critical intellect. Until now, reason and intellect have been enough to feed the hungry West.

It is now that East and West have come to realise the need of a marriage between Mind and Spirit.

East and West may be taken as the two eyes of the same human body. The other human divisions and distinctions — racial, cultural and linguistic — are destined to disappear from the human consciousness when it is flooded with the supramental Light and Force. This is the inevitable consequence of the Hour of God that is dawning all over the world. Diversities will be there, enriched and enhanced in fullest measure. But these diversities will not be disturbances to the general consciousness. On the contrary, they will be happy and harmonious complements to a unique whole. Humanity will be a true human family in every sense of the term and in a yet unknown sense. The response to the new Light will certainly exceed human expectations.

The awakened consciousness of man is visibly tending towards the Divine. This is a most hopeful streak of light amidst the surrounding obscurities of today. This is a moment, not merely of joining hands, but of joining minds, hearts and souls. Across all physical and mental barriers between East and West, high above national standards, above even individual standards, will fly the supreme banner of Divine Oneness.