For the moment, the cigarette gives to a simple, ordinary person a little space you can only call contemplative. He knows it harms, so later on he judges, then condemns it, condemns himself: “I am stupid, doing something that is not good for me.”
But he never observes the whole process. If he observes the whole process then he should not condemn it; rather he should learn how to relax, how not to be nervous, how not to be tense. And he will find fewer and fewer opportunities for smoking. And when these superficial opportunities are dissolved, he will come to the rock bottom of the fact: smoking is some kind of substitute. It is the mother’s breast.
Every child has been taken away from the mother before he wanted to be taken away. For example, in aboriginal tribes, smoking is not a problem because children go on using the mother’s breast for feeding themselves as long as they want. It is only up to them to decide when they want to change and go to solid food.
But in civilized societies…the more civilized a society, the more there will be smoking – for the simple reason that every child is taken away from the breast too early. The reason is clear: if the child goes on feeding from the mother’s breast, the breast loses its shape, the woman loses some beauty; she starts looking older before she is old.
The very modern women simply never feed the child from the breast. Now, the breast is not only just giving milk – because milk can be given by a bottle. It is also giving warmth, love, concern for the child.
Humanity has forgotten a few very basic things; for example, touching and its tremendous importance in your life.
If the mother has not taken you close to her body, to her warmth, you will remain cold your whole life; you will not be able to give love and warmth to any woman, because you never received any. You don’t know that anything like that even exists. The breast keeps you close to the mother’s warmth, makes you feel one with the mother’s body.
In nature, the break between the mother and the child does not come drastically-the child is not taken away from the mother when it is born. No, the break comes very slowly and very naturally; it comes only in its own time. When the child is mature enough he will not be interested in smoking.
Smoking is very similar to breast-feeding. The cigarette represents the nipple of the mother, and the warm smoke represents the warm milk flowing through the mother’s breast. So you may be even fifty, or sixty, or seventy, but somewhere, in some corner of your being, you have remained retarded. The day you were taken away from the mother’s breast…something in you is still ungrown and wants to be fulfilled.
To many sannyasins I have suggested that whenever you feel like smoking, just try a bottle of milk, warm milk. They laughed at the idea. I said, “You can laugh at the idea, but just try and enjoy it.”