Chapter 4: Desire for Sensation
That is why, in the search for happiness, every happiness turns into a suffering - because you need a greater and greater sensation of happiness. Today a woman appears to be beautiful, but after being with her for a few days she no longer appears to be so beautiful. After being with her for a few more days you will need an even more beautiful woman, because your senses have in the meantime become used to that level of arousal - so now you need a greater stimulus.
A friend came to see me; there was great struggle between the husband and his wife. After I had heard both sides, I felt that there no longer existed any meeting point between them. I asked them, “Please tell me honestly.do you even look at each other?”
The husband told me that since I was asking him to be honest, even when he was making love to his wife he was actually thinking of some film actress. Without visualizing some film actress, he could not make love to his wife. The husband thought that this was only happening to him, but then his wife said, “Now the matter is being discussed.to be honest, unless I can imagine him to be the man I was in love with before I was married, I cannot make love to him.”
Do you know what all this means? Neither one of them loves the other. And there are not two people in that house but four: the two fantasy figures are standing between husband and wife. And because of those two figures there can never be any meeting between them. And both of them are helpless, because now there is no excitement left between them.
With experience excitement dies - that is why happiness turns into suffering. That which you have not yet experienced still appears to promise happiness, but when you get it, the same experience becomes suffering. The moment you have it, it becomes unhappiness. Happiness becomes unhappiness because the experience of excitement demands a greater and greater stimulus. And with each experience your sensitivity goes on decreasing until a time comes when you cannot experience anything, because all your senses have become completely dull, they have all become numb. And then you begin your search for the ultimate experience.
When a man becomes old. I call a man old not because of his age but because he has numbed all his senses by running after excitement. This can even happen in youth, in childhood. Today in America it is already happening in childhood. Nowadays it does not take very long; there is no need to wait until old age. If, as a child, you are given so many ways to experience excitement, your senses will be dulled. And after that has already happened man sets off in search of bliss: “Where is the soul? Where is the universal soul?” Then it becomes difficult, because on this search you will need a pure sensitivity.