groups within Western culture, like the ecological and New Age movements, can find a place
here as well. A spiritual and futuristic science, recognizing the role of consciousness in
the universe, could also play an important role in this broader field of spiritual culture
to counter not only totalitarian but exploitative commercial ideologies. India, particularly through Hinduism and yogic spirituality,
provides a radically different idea of humanity than the West with its expansionist
political and religious cultures. It sees the human being in terms of consciousness, not
in terms of political or religious labels.
India represents the continuity of a radically different type of civilization than the
West, one of spiritual aspiration pervading the whole of life. Hinduism is the largest
culture that has preserved its ancient and spiritual roots against the onslaught of modern
civilization. It is the main religion that has preserved its ancient teachings from the
assault of missionary creeds. However Hindu culture for this very reason remains under
attack and is only now beginning to hold its ground and mount a counter attack.
Hinduism is still struggling to recover from a thousand
years of suppression that has weakened it and distorted its values and practices. Yet it
still has the potential to truly awaken and rise up to become a cultural force of great
benefit to the entire world.
This clash of cultures need not become a battle, though it
obviously must involve much dialogue and debate. It can be an interchange and bring about
much growth in all camps. The clash between spiritual and materialistic traditions can
become a new adventure in human consciousness. What is positive in the West, its outer
rationality and scientific spirit, can integrate with what is positive in the East, its
inner rationality and scientific spirituality. But clearly a different force must take the
lead. The materialism of the West must give way to a spirituality that has been better
preserved in the East, which in turn needs to be modernized and globalized beyond its
medieval forms and limitations.