Chapter 14: Let It Sink within Your Heart
Just let it sink within your heart, and you will find a new dimension opening up, in which each moment is a joy, in which each moment is an eternity unto itself.
I have heard you say, in connection with Martin Heidegger, that the work of a philosopher is to guide the leaders of the nations, not to follow them. Your work at this time seems to be moving in that direction. Your work is more global, involving whole nations and their people, and even transcending nations. Diogenes stood naked - and largely unknown - holding a lamp in broad daylight, and repeated the statement, “I am looking for a man.” Is your work really different from Diogenes’ or does it only appear so? Are you also looking for a man?
Diogenes is one of the most loved human beings, as far as I am concerned. As far as the world is concerned, he is one of those who are destined to be condemned for their behavior, for their ideas - and Diogenes particularly, because he is so unique.
His ways would have been understood in the far East. In Japan he would have become a great Zen master. In Greece he was simply condemned. He was not in the right place. First, he was naked - for a certain reason: that naked we have come into the world, and all the animals are naked, why should man hide his body behind clothes?
The strange insight was that it is not weather, cold or heat that has prompted man to use clothes - because if all the animals can exist without clothes, there is no reason.. Your face is naked, but it becomes immune. That’s how the whole animal world lives. Small birds are more powerful than you: they are immune to cold and to heat, they don’t need any clothes. Why did man need clothes? Not to protect his body, but to hide it, because he is the only animal who has not been natural, and his body has become ugly. Now, Diogenes has a strange insight.
I agree with him, that clothes help you immensely to hide your body. Man has lost his natural beauty, agility, and that’s why he had to discover clothes. It is very strange: if your naked body is brought before you, or just a photograph of your naked body is brought before you, you will not be able to recognize that it is your body. People are recognizable only by their faces; the whole body is ignored. Through clothes you can create the illusion of beauty. You can hide the ugly parts and you can expose the beautiful parts; you can emphasize the beautiful parts.
Diogenes was disgusted with the whole idea. This is exhibitionism, not what Sigmund Freud thinks is exhibitionism. I agree with Diogenes and not with Sigmund Freud.