Chapter 8: The Whole Sky Belongs to You
There is a certain limit, a time limit: psychologists have come to discover that it is near about three seconds. If for three seconds you look at somebody there is no problem, it is just a casual look. Two strangers can look at each other passing on the road for three seconds. Up to that time, it is a casual look. If it is longer than that, then the look becomes not casual. Now you are trying to penetrate the other person. If you love the person it can be allowed, because lovers are open to each other. But if you don’t love the person and the person doesn’t love you, then you are offending. Then this is violence. Then you are trespassing on the privacy of the other person, and the other person will feel offended, will feel uneasy. He will retaliate. Why? - watch: you are sitting alone in your room; you are totally a different person. Then somebody comes in; you immediately change because two eyes have come. You are no more in private. You are taking your bath in the bathroom, humming, making faces in the mirror, and then suddenly you become aware that somebody is looking through the keyhole; you change. That gaze, that look penetrates you like a sharp sword. You are no more - the humming stops - your privacy has been violated.
Why do you feel offended if somebody is looking through the keyhole? - because you have been reduced to a thing. Your subjectivity has not been respected. You are not a thing. Your permission should be asked before somebody looks at you. Without your permission, somebody looking at you like a thief is offending you. He is creating a thing out of you. You are a consciousness, a subjectivity. You cannot be reduced to a thing.
Wherever you feel that you are reduced to a thing, you don’t feel free, you don’t feel good, you don’t feel happy. You feel very, very suppressed. That’s the misery in being a slave, or being a servant. You are reading a newspaper, sitting in your room; your servant passes by - you don’t even look at him, you don’t even recognize that a man has passed. It is as if a robot has passed, a mechanism, not a man. You don’t say hello, you don’t say good morning. Nothing is needed, he is a servant. You treat the man as if he had no inwardness, he is just outside, a servant. A servant is a role; it is not his being. He feels - it hurts that he has been taken as a thing.
You go to a prostitute: you pay because you will make love to her, she feels hurt because she is not a commodity - but you reduce her to a commodity. Life somehow has forced her to be a thing in the market. Even the ugliest woman is more beautiful than the most beautiful prostitute, because to be a woman and not to be a thing gives a grace, a dignity. Even the most beautiful prostitute is ugly. And people who go to her must be people who don’t have any aesthetic sense. How can you make love to a woman if you have reduced her first to be a thing? You are making love to a dummy. You are making love to a dead body, a corpse. You are making love to your money. You are not making love to a person, because a person is an inwardness, and a person cannot be purchased.
Always watch around yourself, and you will see that the person is elusive. You can catch hold of the body, but not the soul. Nobody can do that.
The question is, “Sometimes I feel I don’t exist. When I come into a room no one sees me” - no one can see you. Just because nobody can see you, don’t think that you are not. In fact, the vice-versa would have been a curse: if people could see you, you would be a thing, a chair, a rock.
Feel blessed that nobody can see you, howsoever they try. Even if they brought magnifying glasses they could not see you. You are elusive - this is your subjectivity, this is your soul, this is your dignity. This is the beauty and the mystery of life: that nobody can see you except you. This is your privacy. Beautiful is the world, because at least one thing is private - your own consciousness. Otherwise everything would be sold in the marketplace. It cannot be objectified. That’s what the Upanishads say: The knower cannot be known; the seer cannot be seen. The knower can feel himself, the seer can see himself.