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[NOTE: The first interview is a tape transcript which has not been edited or published. It is for reference only. The second interview is published in the book: The Last Testament, Volume 1, as Chapter 31.]

SWAMI PREM PRASAD, MA YOGA PRATIMA, RAJNEESHPURAM, OREGON

INTERVIEW WITH SWAMI PREM PRASAD

QUESTION: BHAGWAN, COULD YOU SAY SOMETHING ABOUT THE SCIENTIFIC STUDY OF RELIGION? AND COULD YOU SPEAK TO THE SCIENTISTS WHO ARE MEETING TO DISCUSS CONFLICT AND UNITY IN THE CHURCHES AT THE UPCOMING CONFERENCE IN GEORGIA?

A: It is one of the most ridiculous questions that I have come across! (laughter) It is more absurd than somebody asking about a poetic study about mathematics, or a medical study about paintings! This is more absurd for the simple reason because scientific approach is basically objective. It needs some object to study, something outside, something there, so it can be dissected, so that it can be analyzed, put into test-tubes.

And religious experience is not an objective phenomenon at all. Religious experience is subjective. The scientist can study everything as an object but he cannot study himself as an object. It is just not in the nature of things to reduce your subjectivity into an object.

And the whole religious experience is purely subjective experience. You go more and more inwards. A point comes when there is nothing left, nothing which you can say (is) an object, but pure consciousness, pure subjectivity.

This experience of pure subjectivity is religious experience. There is no way for science to study it. It can study about it. But to study it, and to study about it, are totally different things. You can study about swimming without knowing swimming. But to know swimming is a totally different thing. You can study about love, without ever being in love. There are hundreds of books on love. You can become a great scholar on love. But that will not make you a lover!

So the first thing I would like, emphatically clear, is that science has no business as far as religious experience is concerned. Yes, if scientists want to experience religion, that is possible. But that is not through study;

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