basics of self-study
“The Socialist asserts that man’s highest happiness is the complete knowledge of the truth, and that only through this can one enter paradise. The idea seems very profound, very true, but unfortunately socialists take it too literally and cease to understand it literally and to distinguish between the ideal and reality. According to them, we must reach that ideal, then only will we achieve true happiness. But we are deeply convinced that no ideal is possible for man: his understanding of truth always remains incomplete, and his understanding of happiness always remains incomplete. Humanity cannot realize the ideal, cannot follow the path indicated by the ideal, and it can only be achieved by the infinite development of science. Science, according to the teachings of the socialists, must reveal the truth to us, otherwise we will not know happiness.
How is this to be understood? Will science, with the help of a new logic, really reveal the truth to us? How can this be done? We cannot answer these questions either positively or negatively. Science is irrelevant to our happiness. Happiness is possible only in the sense that the Buddha says it is. And the Buddha says, “When you have attained perfect goodness, then you will realize that the reason for happiness is the knowledge of the true truth. Science must lead us to the knowledge of truth, but in order to arrive at the truth we must free ourselves from all our artificial notions. But liberation from all artificial notions takes an infinite amount of time. And the more we free ourselves from all notions and the more we come to know the true truth, the more we will be in a state of happiness. The mind of each individual and the mind of humanity as a whole must reach such a state; that is all that matters. But this really requires liberation from our sensuality, from our notions, from our passion. A new logic, a new psychology, a new philosophy is indeed necessary for this. But how difficult it is to reach this stage! Our sensuality, our sensual life does not allow us to reach such higher stages; we have to go from that stage to this one; and for that we cannot rely on our sensuality.
“Socialism,” as we have looked at it so far, is an eclectic, empirical, not a philosophical system. The whole doctrine of socialism is an eclectic conception of life, based on the idea of equality, but there can be no such equality of men as there is in the animal kingdom, in the world of animals and men. Equality is only equality of ability and the same period of development, but not equality in knowledge and happiness.