Chapter 9: Techniques for Centering
One: when man is born he is rooted in a particular spot, in a particular chakra - center - and that is the navel. The Japanese call it hara; hence the term hara-kiri. Hara-kiri means suicide. Literally, the term means killing the hara - the spine, the center. Hara is the center; destroying the center is the meaning of hara-kiri. But in a way, we have all committed hara-kiri. We have not killed the center, but we have forgotten it, or we have never remembered it. It is there waiting, and we have been drifting away and away from it.
When a child is born he is rooted in the navel, in the hara; he lives through the hara. Look at a child breathing - his navel goes up and down. He breathes with the belly, he lives with the belly - not with the head, not with the heart. But by and by he will have to drift away.
First he will develop another center - that is the heart, the center of emotion. He will learn love, he will be loved, and another center will develop. This center is not the real center; this center is a by-product. That is why psychologists say that if a child is not loved, he will never be able to love.
If a child is brought up in a non-loving situation - a situation which is cold, with no one to love and give warmth - he himself will never be able in his life to love anyone because the very center will not develop. Mother’s love, father’s love, family, society - they help to develop a center. That center is a by-product; you are not born with it. So if it is not being helped to grow, it will not grow. Many, many persons are without the love center. They go on talking about love, and they go on believing that they love, but they lack the center, so how can they love? It is difficult to get a loving mother, and very difficult and rare to get a loving father. Every father, every mother, thinks that he or she loves. It is not so easy. Love is a difficult growth, very difficult. But if love is not there in the beginning for the child, he himself will never be able to love.
That is why the whole humanity lives without love. You go on producing children, but you do not know how to give them a love center. Rather, on the contrary, the more society becomes civilized, the more it forces into being a third center, which is intellect. The navel is the original center. A child is born with it; it is not a by-product. Without it life is impossible, so it is given. The second center is a by-product. If the child gets love, he responds. In this responding, a center grows in him: that is the heart center. The third center is reason, intellect, head. Education, logic and training create a third center; that too is a by-product.
But we live at the third center. The second is almost absent - or even if it is present, then it is non-functioning; or even if it functions sometimes, it functions irregularly. But the third center, the head, becomes the basic force in life because the whole life depends on this third center. It is utilitarian. You need it for reason, logic, thinking. So everyone becomes, sooner or later, head-oriented; you begin to live in the head.