Chapter 15: Inquire of the Holy Ones
And you will be surprised to know that both these sicknesses have been born because of clothes. If you ever happen to visit a tribal society where both men and women usually go naked, you will not find either a voyeur or an exhibitionist. There, no one is bothered about seeing anything, because what is there left to see? What is there to be curious about? Everybody is naked; what is there to see? Your curiosity is only aroused when something is being hidden. When everything is out in the open, what is there to see? So in a tribal society, where both men and women are naked, no one is curious to see anything, no one is eager to show off anything. This sickness of peeping and exhibiting happens because of clothes. And you just cannot imagine the lengths to which these perversions can go.
So many pictures, so many stories, so many films and magazines are printed and sold only because they contain photos of naked people. Governments the whole world over are trying to ban them, but it cannot be stopped. There are underground presses; there is a big racket involving millions of rupees which goes on producing huge amounts of such literature, and all this is sold underground. No power on this earth is able to prevent it. Instead, the more they try to ban such items, the more such things are sold on the black market. But it is very surprising: why is man interested in seeing someone naked?
You will be amazed to know that you only become interested in seeing those parts which are covered up. You are not interested in those parts which are uncovered. You may perhaps think that the people who invented clothes are against sexuality and that’s why they invented them - but in that you would be very much mistaken. No, the people who invented clothes created a great device for making man more sexual. A lot of interest has been generated, in fact sick interest, in those parts of the body which have been covered. There is no reason for this interest, because the body is a natural phenomenon. But by constantly hiding them, by continuously forbidding them, we have generated a lot of interest in them. Now the whole world has become obsessed with such things.
So keep both things in mind. An intelligent person will not be curious to see anyone naked, nor will he be interested in others seeing him naked. Both are sicknesses. And both of these sicknesses should be discarded along with your clothes. Only then will spirituality be a part of your nudity. Only then will your nudity not be indecent.
But this will be so only as far as you are concerned. Society will not necessarily agree, because society is full of those same, old, perverted attitudes. The newspapers will not agree. The person who is publishing those newspapers and the journalists; they all have the same, old, perverted ideas. Their problem is the same, their difficulty is the same. The governments will also not agree. Because if those who are occupying high positions in the government had any idea of spirituality they would not be where they are now, they would be somewhere else. So it is not a question of any of these people agreeing. And there is no need to persuade them to agree, there is no point in trying to do so. There is no need even to pay any attention to what they are doing. But one thing is certain: they can create obstacles and hindrances for us, but they can only do this if we hold onto nudity obsessively. Otherwise they cannot create problems. This matter concerns our personal spiritual practice, and it is in a private place.