The first question:
Why is hugging such an incredibly effective therapeutic tool?
PS I used to think that clarity, wit and analysis was the way, but they are all garbage alongside hugging.
Man needs to be needed. It is one of the most fundamental needs of human beings. Unless one is cared for, one starts dying. Unless one feels that he is significant to somebody, at least to somebody, his whole life becomes insignificant.
Hence love is the greatest therapy there is. The world needs therapy because the world is missing love. In a really loving world no therapy will be needed at all; love will be enough, more than enough. Hugging is only a gesture of love, of warmth, of caring. The very feel of the warmth flowing from the other person melts many illnesses in you, melts the ice-like, cold ego. It makes you again a child.
The psychologists are now well aware of the fact that unless a child is hugged, kissed, he misses some nourishment. Just as the body needs food, the soul needs love. You can give to the child all the physical needs, all the physical comforts, but if hugging is missing the child will not grow into a wholesome being. He will remain sad somewhere deep down, uncared for, neglected, ignored. He was nursed, but he was not mothered.
It has been observed that if a child is not hugged he starts shrinking – he can even die – although everything else was provided for. As far as the body is concerned every care was taken, but no love surrounded the child. He became isolated, he became disconnected with existence.
Love is our connection, love is our very root. Just as you breathe – for the body it is absolutely essential – stop breathing and you are no more. In the same way, love is the inner breath. The soul lives by loving.
Analysis won’t do it. Wit and clarity, knowledge and scholarship won’t do it. You can know all there is to know about therapy, you can become an expert, but if you don’t know the art of love you remain only on the surface of the miracle of therapy.
The moment you start feeling for the patient, for the one who is suffering…out of a hundred cases, ninety people are suffering basically because they have not been loved. If you start feeling the need for love in the patient, and if you can fulfill the need, there will be almost a magical change in the condition of the patient.