Chapter 15: Kissing Is Absurd to the Eskimos
Modest though my experience of awareness is, when it is happening I feel intoxicated. It is a far more subtle, but headier drunkenness than anything that makes one unconscious.
Is this a case of illusion or a case of divine wine?
Awareness and divine intoxication are contradictory only in language but not in experience. In experience they are synonymous. But the divine intoxication is not at all similar to ordinary intoxication. It is not unconsciousness - it is too much consciousness.
You become so small, and the whole ocean of consciousness.you start drowning in it. Particularly in the beginning it feels as if you are becoming drunk. But the difference is clear: you remain aware that you are drunk. The ordinary drunkenness is unconscious; you are not aware that you are drunk. And that is a very fundamental difference.
You can be intoxicated just by too much consciousness because you cannot contain it. It starts overflowing; it is bigger than you. And in the beginning it is so sudden and so much that you feel almost without any control over yourself. That’s why the idea of drunkenness arises.
Because in intense awareness you start forgetting your ordinary mind - your so-called ego, your mundane worries, your trivia of worldly matters - there is a certain similarity with intoxication. The whole infatuation with intoxicants has remained down the ages, although all the religions, all the governments, all the masters, all the teachers, all the moralists, all the puritans - everybody has been against intoxicants. But they have not been able to prevent humanity from becoming more and more infatuated with newer drugs.
Older drugs are there in their place; new drugs are being continuously added - now man can manufacture synthetic drugs, certainly far more unconsciousness-creating than any drugs found in nature. One is surprised to know why, when everybody has been against, they have not been able to prevent it. The reason is very simple, and not far away to find. It is too obvious; perhaps that’s why one feels in a state of ignorance about the cause, about the reason.
Man’s life has remained miserable, so miserable that he wants to forget it, at least for a few hours, just to have a little rest. And all the religions and all the governments and all the so-called social servants have not been able to alleviate misery from human life. But without removing the cause, they have been forcing man not to drink alcohol, not to take marijuana. It was absolutely certain that they were going to fail. The cause has to be removed, not the symptom. The symptom will go on its own accord; just remove the cause.
And when in intense awareness you suddenly forget all your worries, miseries, suffering, tensions, it appears similar - that’s why one feels as if one is divinely intoxicated. Divinely because you have not taken any intoxicant, but there is a tremendous difference too, not to be forgotten: that you are aware.