Chapter 20: Ordinary Love and the Love of a Buddha
The second question:
Most of the techniques which you have discussed have used the body as an instrument. What are the reasons for the body to be given so much importance by Tantra?
Many basic points are to be understood. One, you are your body. Right now you are just your body and nothing else. You may have notions about the soul, the atman, etc. - those are simply notions, just ideas. As you are right now you are just a body. And do not go on deceiving yourself that you are the deathless soul, the immortal atman. Do not go on deceiving yourself. That is just an idea, and that idea too is fear-based.
You do not know whether the soul exists or not; you have never penetrated to the innermost core where one realizes the deathless. You have only heard about it, and you cling to the idea because you are afraid of death. You know death is real, so you go on wishing and believing that something in you must be there which is deathless. This is a wish fulfillment.
I am not saying that there is no soul, I am not saying that there is nothing which is deathless. No, I am not saying that. But as far as you are concerned, you are just the body with an idea that there is a soul which is deathless. This is just in the mind, and this too you have collected because of the fear. That is why the weaker you will become, the older, the more you will become a believer in the immortal soul and God. Then you will go to the church or the temple or the mosque. If you go to the mosque or the church or the temple, you will find that old men, just on the verge of death, are gathered there.
Youth is basically atheistic; always this has been so. The younger you are, the less theistic. The younger you are, the more you are an unbeliever. Why? Because you are still strong and you feel less fear, and you are still ignorant of death. Death is far away somewhere, it happens only to others. It happens only to others, not to you. But the older you grow, you will by and by begin to feel that now it is going to happen to you also.
Death comes near, and one begins to believe. So all beliefs are fear-based. All beliefs are fear-based! And one who believes because of fear is really deceiving himself. You are the body right now - this is a fact. You do not know anything about the deathless, you know only about the “deathful.” But the deathless is there; you can know it. Believing won’t do, only knowing can help. You can realize it, but just ideas are of no use unless they become a concrete experience.