You don’t see people eye to eye; or, if you do see them, it is only for a few seconds. You don’t see people really; you go on avoiding. If you see, it is thought to be offensive. Just remember, do you really see people? Or do you go on avoiding their eyes? — because if you don’t avoid them then you may be able to see a few things which the person is not willing to show. It is not good manners to see something that he is not willing to show, so it is better to avoid. We listen t,, the words, we don’t see the face — because many times the words and the face are contradictory. A man is saying one thing and he is showing another. Gradually we have completely lost the sense of seeing the face, the eyes, the gestures. We only listen to the words. Just watch this and you will be surprised how people go on saying one thing and showing another. And nobody detects it because you have been trained not to look directly into the face. Or, even if you look, the look is not that of awareness, not that of attention. It is empty; it is almost as if you are not looking.
We hear sounds by choice. We don’t hear all kinds of sounds. We choose. Whatsoever is useful we hear. And to different societies and different countries, different things are valuable. A man who lives in a primitive world, in a forest, in a jungle, has a different kind of receptivity for sounds. He has to be continuously alert and aware of the animals. His life is in danger. You need not be alert. You live in a cultured world where animals don’t exist any more and there is no fear. Your survival is not at stake. Your ears don’t function perfectly because there is no need.
Have you seen a hare or a deer? How attentive they are, how sensitive. Just a small sound — a dead leaf stirred by the wind — and the deer is alert. You would not have noticed it at all. And great music surrounds life, subtle music surrounds life, but we are absolutely unaware of it. There is great rhythm — but to feel it you will need more alert ears, more alert eyes, a more alert touch.
So the first layer is of corrupted physical senses. We see only what we want to see. Our whole body mechanism is poisoned. Our body has been made rigid. We live in a kind of frozenness; we are cold, closed, unavailable. We are so afraid of life that we have killed all kinds of possibilities through which life can make a contact with us.
People don’t touch each other, they don’t hold hands, they don’t hug each other. And when you hold somebody’s hand, you feel embarrassed, he feels embarrassed. Even if you hug somebody, it feels as if something wrong is happening. And you are in a hurry to get away from the other’s body, because the other’s body can open you. The warmth of the other’s body can open you. Even children are not allowed to hug their parents. There is great fear.
And all fear is basically, deep down, rooted in the fear of sex. There is a taboo against sex. A mother cannot hug her son because the son may get sexually aroused — that is the fear. A father cannot hug his daughter. He is afraid he may get physically aroused. Warmth has its own ways of working. Nothing is wrong in being physically aroused or sexually aroused. It is simply a sign that one is alive. that one is immensely alive. But the fear, the sex taboo, says keep away, keep a distance.
Sudha’s father was dying; he was very old. He was my sannyasin. And Sudha was very much puzzled because before he died his hands would go again and again to his genital organs. His hands had to be pulled away. And she was puzzled and worried, naturally. What was happening to her father? Was there some sexual repression? Why did his hands go to the sexual organs, to the genitals, again and again? And he was almost unconscious.
It happens to many people when they are dying. One of the reasons is repression, but only one. They are losing the social consciousness; they are losing the conditioning. This first layer of corrupted senses is disappearing; death is moving in. And they are becoming small children again. Small children play with their genital organs; they have not yet been corrupted. They enjoy their bodies, they love their bodies. They are playful about it, it is fun.
Now the man is no longer old; he is becoming younger again. Death is taking the layer away — that is one thing. Another thing is that when a man dies, for a single moment all his senses become totally alive as they would have been if they had not been corrupted. It is like a flame before a lamp goes out — the flame burns brightly, with intensity, for a single second. Exactly the same happens when life is going out. For a single moment the last effort is made to live, and one burns bright with total sensitivity.
Another reason: when a man is dying the circle is complete — naturally death is very close to birth. Death is very close to life; it is the very crescendo of life. Life comes out of sex energy and life is moving back into sex energy.
But all our senses are corrupted. We have not been allowed to be natural — -hence man has lost dignity, innocence, grace, elegance. This is the first layer. And because of all these repressions the body has become non-orgasmic. There is no joy — it has happened both to man and woman, in almost the same way, but man has gone deeper into corruption than woman — because man is perfectionistic, neurotically perfectionistic. Once he gets an idea, he tries to go to the very extreme of it. Women are more practical, less perfectionistic, less neurotic, more earthly, more balanced, less intellectual, more intuitive. They have not gone to the very end. It is good that women have not become as neurotic as men — that’s why they still retain some dignity, some grace, some roundness of being, some poetry. But both have been corrupted by the society, both have become hard. Men more, women a little less, but the difference is only of degrees.
Because of this layer, everything that enters you has to pass this filter first, and this filter destroys, interprets, manipulates, gives new colors of its own, projects, invents — and the reality becomes very garbed. When this layer disappears…. That is the whole effort of yoga: to make your body alive, sensitive, young again, to give your senses their maximum functioning. Then one functions with no taboos around; then lucidity, grace, beauty flow. Warmth arises again, openness — and growth happens. One is constantly new, young, and one is always on an adventure. The body becomes orgasmic. Joy surrounds you.
Through joy the first corruption disappears. Hence my insistence to be joyous, to be celebrating, to enjoy life, to accept the body — not only to accept it, but to feel grateful that God has given you such a beautiful body, such a sensitive body, with so many doors to relate to reality: eyes and ears and nose and touch. Open all these windows and let life’s breeze flow in, let life’s sun shine in. Learn to be more sensitive. Use every opportunity to be sensitive so that that first filter is dropped.
If you are sitting on the grass, don’t go on pulling it up and destroying it. I had to stop sitting on the lawn — I used to give darshan on the lawn — because people would go on destroying the grass, they would go on pulling on the grass. I had to stop it. People are so violent, so unconsciously violent, they don’t know what they are doing. And they were told again and again, but within minutes they would forget. They were so restless they didn’t know what they were doing. The grass was available to their restlessness so they would start pulling it up and destroying it.
When you are sitting on the grass, close your eyes, become the grass — be grassy. Feel that you are grass, feel the greenness of the grass, feel the wetness of the grass. Feel the subtle smell that goes on being released by the grass. Feel the dewdrops on the grass — that they are on you. Feel the sun-rays playing on the grass. For a moment be lost into it and you will have a new sense of your body. And do it in all kinds of situations: in a river, in a swimming pool, lying on the beach in the sun-rays, looking at the moon in the night, lying down with closed eyes on the sand and feeling the sand. Millions of opportunities are there to make your body alive again. And only you can do it. Society has done its work of corruption, you will have to undo it.
And once you start hearing, seeing, touching, smelling, then you smell the reality.