When I look around your commune and see people hugging the way they do, and feel the energy I have when I hug someone here, I wonder why this doesn’t happen in the outside world. Please comment.
It cannot happen in the outside world, because for centuries man has been conditioned against the body. It has been told by all the religions that if you want to become spiritual you have to become anti-body. If you want to achieve the other world you have to renounce this world. And hugging is a very sensuous, physical experience of tremendous importance. But what to say about hugging? – even touching has been tabooed.
These religious programs that have been given to you are so inhuman that if we can simply drop out of all religions and forget the past completely, you will see an immense explosion of warmth, love, hugging, touching, and for the first time you will feel alive.
The whole effort in the past has been to make you as little alive as possible, more dead, just surviving somehow, breathing somehow, dragging yourself to your grave, waiting for death to come to release you.
And your body is such a beautiful phenomenon. It is you. It is your circumference, and if you deny the circumference you can never find the center of it. The center is your being; it is not against the body. It cannot survive without the body for a single moment; the body is its nourishment.
You see in the whole world people almost dead, somnambulists walking in their sleep, miserable, suffering for thousands of reasons; but the whole thing is based on a simple phenomenon: you have been turned against your own body. Your center and your circumference have been cut off from each other. But to reach you one has to pass the circumference.
You have seen in the East, saying hello to someone, you don’t shake hands. That is against spirituality. You are coming in contact with the body of the other person, the warmth of the other person. In the East nobody hugs anybody, because hugging is thought to be something sexual. It is not. Certainly it is sensuous, but not sexual. And you have to understand these two words clearly.
The alive man is sensuous. It means all his senses are functioning at the very peak. He sees better. His touch is not like holding a dead branch of a tree in your hand. His touch is alive; it is a language, it has a message. His energy is transferred to you, your energy is transferred to him.
The meeting of two energies is always a rejoicing. It is just like two dancers dancing in rhythm, two musical instrument players playing in rhythm, complementary to each other. But even in the West, where people shake hands, energies don’t meet. Christianity is the cause. You shake hands but your energy, rather than going to the other person, shrinks back. The fear of being sexual, the fear of being sensuous, the fear of being interested in the other person’s body – that is thought to be unspiritual.