Chapter 1: The Body: The First Step
In America alone, three million people are consulting psychoanalysts every day. Slowly, slowly in America the number of physicians is becoming less and psychoanalysts are increasing. The physicians also say that eighty percent of man’s diseases are of the mind, not of the body. And as the understanding grows this percentage increases. First they used to say forty percent, then they started saying fifty percent, now they say that eighty percent of diseases are of the mind, not of the body. And I assure you that after twenty to twenty-five years they will say that ninety-nine percent of diseases are of the mind, not of the body. They will have to say so because our whole emphasis is on man’s mind. The mind has become insane.
You have no idea how very delicate, very fragile and very subtle a thing the brain is. Man’s brain is the most delicate machine in the world. So much stress is being imposed on this machine that it is a wonder that it does not break down completely and become mad! The whole burden of life is on the brain, and we have no idea how delicate a thing it is. We have hardly any idea of how fine and delicate the nerves in the head are which have to carry all the burden, all the anxiety, all the suffering, all the knowledge, all the education.the whole weight of life.
You may perhaps not know that in this small head there are about seventy million nerves. Just by their number you can tell how tiny they are. There is no machine or plant more delicate than this. The fact that there are seventy million nerves in the small head of man shows how delicate it is. There are so many nerves in a single man’s head that if they were spread out one after the other, they would encircle the whole earth.
In this small head there is such a subtle mechanism, such a delicate mechanism. In the past five thousand years all the stress of life has been placed on this delicate brain alone. The result was inevitable. The result is that the nerves have started breaking down, becoming insane, going mad.
The burden of thoughts cannot take man anywhere else other than into madness. Our whole life-energy has started moving around the brain.
A meditator has to bring this life-energy deeper, more downwards, more towards the center; he has to turn it back. How can it be turned back? To understand this we must understand something about the body - the first step.
The body is not seen as a vehicle for the spiritual journey or as a temple of the divine or as an instrument for discovering the center of life. The body is seen either from the point of view of indulgence or from the point of view of renunciation - but both of these approaches are wrong.
The path to whatsoever is great in life and whatsoever is worth attaining to is within the body and goes through the body.
The body should be accepted as a temple, as a spiritual path - and as long as this is not our attitude we are either indulgers or we are renouncers. In both cases our attitude towards the body is neither right nor balanced.