Chapter 2: The Tower of the Spirit
It is not something that happened in the past; it happens every time a child is born - again the Adam comes into being, again the Eve comes into being. Up to the age of four there is no knowledge. By the age of four the child starts understanding what is what. Then he misses the path, then he is no longer natural, then the spontaneity is lost. Now he will live according to the rules.
Once you start living according to the rules you will suffer. You will suffer because you cannot love spontaneously, you cannot enjoy, you cannot dance, you cannot sing. Once you start living according to the rules you have to move in a fixed pattern - and life is never a fixed pattern. It is a fluidity, it is a liquid, flexible flow, and nobody knows where it is moving. Once you start living through rules then you know where you are moving. But deep down the movement has stopped. Now you are simply vegetating, now you are simply dying, because you are imprisoned. And the imprisonment is very subtle - unless you become absolutely alert you will not be able to see it. It is like an unseen armor around you.
One of the greatest revolutionary thinkers of this age, Wilhelm Reich, stumbled upon this armor. But he was proved by society to be mad and was thrown in jail. He died in jail in deep anguish. The anguish was this: whatsoever he said was true but nobody was ready to even listen to him. He came upon the same thing which Chuang Tzu talks about in this sutra - the imprisonment. Wilhelm Reich found that every mental disease has a bodily part to it, a parallel part in the body; in the body something has gone dead, solid. And unless that part of the body is relaxed, that block dispersed, and again your body energy becomes a flow, it is impossible to make your spirit free. The imprisonment must be broken; the armor must be thrown.
For example, look how the child is prohibited from the age of two. He is not allowed to play with his genital organs: “Don’t touch your penis, don’t touch your vagina.” There seems to be a natural enjoyment in playing with one’s own body. There seems to be an ecstasy, a natural ecstasy.
Look at a small child, boy or girl, enjoying his own body, sucking his own thumb, playing with his own body, and you will see what ecstasy is. Tremors of ecstasy move all over the body. You can even see the waves passing all over the body - the child is madly ecstatic. But this looks wild to us. Because we have forgotten how to be wild and natural, we will stop the child.
This stopping is for two reasons: one is that deep down we feel jealous. The second reason is that we were also stopped in our childhood, and man’s mind is a repetitive mechanism. Whatsoever has been done to us by our parents we will do to our children. We feel guilt. Something is wrong. The child is happy and we feel something is wrong. Remember, whenever a child is happy don’t make the association in his mind that something is wrong, otherwise deep down happiness will become something wrong.