Chapter 11: None Can Transcend It
Most of the diseases of women are because of the lack of attention given to them. Whenever a man is in love with a woman she remains healthy, but as soon as the love affair is over she starts becoming sick - her sickness is saying that nobody is paying attention to her. Fifty percent of women’s diseases arise out of the desire for attention. A wife gets sick as soon as her husband comes home: she was okay when he was out of the house. And it is also not true that she is pretending, no. But seeing the husband, she gets sick. Seeing him, the desire arises in her for her husband to pay attention to her, to care for her and worry about her. This desire goes deep down into her unconscious and she creates the situation in which her husband will be attentive to her, will care for her and serve her.
Now psychologists say that the mind is very complex, but the sages of the East have always said that whatsoever we are and whatsoever we have become is the condensed form of our old desires. Whatever we have wished for is fulfilled now, in this birth. So there is no reason to hate the body: you have asked for this body and you have got it.
The second thing to remember is that this body is not holding you: in fact, you are holding it. How can the body hold you? The day you are able to let go of the body, the body will let go of you. If you can let go of the body totally, even for a moment, the body will start to die.
This is why mystics are able to decide when to die. The secret of this art is that they know how to separate themselves from the body. They hold on to a few desires which function as a connecting link with the body so that the body can fulfill its purpose. But on the day that they see it is time to depart, they disconnect the last link and their boat leaves this shore.
This is why mystics can announce their death beforehand, that they will die on a certain day. People think that it is because the mystic can see the future. No, it is not because of that: a mystic does not know the future, he can simply free himself from the body whenever he wants to. This is his freedom: he can give up the body whenever he wants to. He has understood this secret that the body is not holding him, it is he who is holding on to the body. So he can hold on to his body as long as he wants and he can drop the body whenever he wants. You have forgotten this. You think that the body is holding on to you - and this misunderstanding has created so much nonsense.
The so-called saints of a certain Christian sect used to whip themselves day and night just to torture the body because they felt it to be an enemy. And the one who whipped himself more was thought to be a greater saint. Nowadays, we call these people masochists - they are sick people who enjoy torturing themselves. Now we put them in a madhouse as sick people, but in the Middle Ages the whole of Europe was full of these types of so-called saints. Actually, they were just mentally ill people, not saints.
There were some Christian saints who used to wear shoes with nails inside, who used belts which had spikes in them so that the body was in pain all the time. And people would give them much respect. We also give respect to people who are torturing their bodies. Somebody is torturing the body by fasting, somebody else is torturing the body by standing in the sun, somebody is torturing the body just by continuously standing and not sitting down at all, someone is torturing the body by lying down on thorns. If you go to Varanasi you will see many such exhibitions; the Kumbha Mela is full of these insane exhibitions.