If you are not afraid of your own repressions you can help tremendously. If you are not afraid of your own unconscious, if you have solved your problems a little bit, you can help greatly by getting involved in the world of the patient, by becoming a participant rather than remaining just an observer.
In fact, because psychoanalysts are having their own problems, sometimes even more than the patient himself, one can understand Sigmund Freud’s fear. As far as I am concerned, I would like to make a categorical statement about it. Unless a person is really awakened, enlightened, he cannot be a real, authentic therapist. Only a buddha can be a real therapist because he has no problems left. He can merge and melt into the patient. In fact, for him the patient is not the patient at all.
That’s the difference between the relationship that exists between a patient and his therapist and the relationship that exists between a disciple and a master. The disciple is not a patient; the disciple is a beloved, a loved one. The master is not just an observer, he has become a participant. They have lost their separate entities, they have become one, and that oneness helps.
Hugging is only a gesture of oneness – even the gesture helps. You are right. You ask: “Why is hugging such an incredibly effective therapeutic tool?” It is, and it is only a gesture. If it is true – not only a gesture but your heart is also in it – it can be a magical tool, it can be a miracle. It can transform the whole situation instantly.
A few things have to be understood about it. One is: the idea that the child dies and the man becomes adolescent, then the adolescent dies and the man becomes young, then the young man dies and he becomes middle-aged, and so on, so forth – is wrong. The child never dies – nothing ever dies. The child is there, is always there, wrapped by other experiences – wrapped by adolescence, then by youth, then by middle age, then by old age – but the child is always there.
You are just like an onion, layers upon layers, but if you peel the onion soon you will find fresher layers inside. Go on deeper and you find more and more, fresher layers. The same is true about man. If you go deep into him you will always find the innocent child – and to contact that innocent child is therapeutic.
Hugging gives you an immediate contact with the child. If you hug somebody with warmth, love, if it is not just an impotent gesture, if it is meaningful, significant, true, if your heart is flowing through it, immediately you come in contact with the child, with the innocent child. And the innocent child surfacing even for a single moment makes a tremendous difference because the innocence of the child is always healthy and whole; it is uncorrupted. You have reached to the innermost core of the person where no corruption has ever entered; you have reached to the virgin core. Just making the virgin core throb again with life is enough – you have started, triggered a process of healing.