Chapter 5: Layer upon Layer
You don’t see people eye to eye; or, if you do see them, it is only for a few seconds. You don’t see people really; you go on avoiding. If you see, it is thought to be offensive. Just remember, do you really see people? Or do you go on avoiding their eyes? - because if you don’t avoid them then you may be able to see a few things which the person is not willing to show. It is not good manners to see something that he is not willing to show, so it is better to avoid. We listen t,, the words, we don’t see the face - because many times the words and the face are contradictory. A man is saying one thing and he is showing another. Gradually we have completely lost the sense of seeing the face, the eyes, the gestures. We only listen to the words. Just watch this and you will be surprised how people go on saying one thing and showing another. And nobody detects it because you have been trained not to look directly into the face. Or, even if you look, the look is not that of awareness, not that of attention. It is empty; it is almost as if you are not looking.
We hear sounds by choice. We don’t hear all kinds of sounds. We choose. Whatsoever is useful we hear. And to different societies and different countries, different things are valuable. A man who lives in a primitive world, in a forest, in a jungle, has a different kind of receptivity for sounds. He has to be continuously alert and aware of the animals. His life is in danger. You need not be alert. You live in a cultured world where animals don’t exist any more and there is no fear. Your survival is not at stake. Your ears don’t function perfectly because there is no need.
Have you seen a hare or a deer? How attentive they are, how sensitive. Just a small sound - a dead leaf stirred by the wind - and the deer is alert. You would not have noticed it at all. And great music surrounds life, subtle music surrounds life, but we are absolutely unaware of it. There is great rhythm - but to feel it you will need more alert ears, more alert eyes, a more alert touch.
So the first layer is of corrupted physical senses. We see only what we want to see. Our whole body mechanism is poisoned. Our body has been made rigid. We live in a kind of frozenness; we are cold, closed, unavailable. We are so afraid of life that we have killed all kinds of possibilities through which life can make a contact with us.
People don’t touch each other, they don’t hold hands, they don’t hug each other. And when you hold somebody’s hand, you feel embarrassed, he feels embarrassed. Even if you hug somebody, it feels as if something wrong is happening. And you are in a hurry to get away from the other’s body, because the other’s body can open you. The warmth of the other’s body can open you. Even children are not allowed to hug their parents. There is great fear.
And all fear is basically, deep down, rooted in the fear of sex. There is a taboo against sex. A mother cannot hug her son because the son may get sexually aroused - that is the fear. A father cannot hug his daughter. He is afraid he may get physically aroused. Warmth has its own ways of working. Nothing is wrong in being physically aroused or sexually aroused. It is simply a sign that one is alive. that one is immensely alive. But the fear, the sex taboo, says keep away, keep a distance.
Sudha’s father was dying; he was very old. He was my sannyasin. And Sudha was very much puzzled because before he died his hands would go again and again to his genital organs. His hands had to be pulled away. And she was puzzled and worried, naturally. What was happening to her father? Was there some sexual repression? Why did his hands go to the sexual organs, to the genitals, again and again? And he was almost unconscious.