Osho on Hugging
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.
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. It has been discovered that if you look at a woman for more than three seconds, it is unspiritual. Three seconds is casual. Just passing on the road, you cannot avoid it; a woman comes there, a Cleopatra walks by — three seconds is casual. Beyond that, your eyes are touching the woman — a distant touch, like a remote control. And if you stare in the eyes of the woman more than three seconds, she will feel offended; you have already penetrated her body through her eyes. And it is not allowed by etiquette to look back again and again at the woman.
But do you know the meaning of the word `respect’? It means looking again. Respect does not mean honor, respect means you are enchanted. It is re-spect; you would like to see again… again…. Perhaps you will change your route and follow the woman. In a more humane society the woman will not feel offended. And deep down she does not feel offended now. Even after thousands of centuries’ conditioning, her feeling of being offended is superficial. Deep down she rejoices, deep down the undercurrent of nature is there. Not to look at a woman again, not to look back, is certainly an insult. Not to look in the eyes of a man or woman for more than three seconds is humiliation. You have rejected the person, you have not been nice to the person. Hugging is closer than seeing. If seeing makes people offended, if in shaking hands people shrink their energy back…. People use the phrase “a warm welcome,” but it rarely happens. It is always a cold welcome because your energy moves back. Your hand is just cold, not radiating warmth. There are dangers for the religious people: if your hand feels warm and the other person is also open to receive and give, things are not going to stop there.
If just two hands meeting in a warm glow give you so much joy, hugging the whole body will be a thousand fold more. And making love…? These are just steps. Hugging the body, you are close but still separate. Making love means you have entered into each other. Your so-called phony saints, messiahs, prophets, have all been very cunning. They did not allow you the first step, because one thing leads to another, and finally it is going to end in a very deep sexual orgasm. So you will not find the same quality, the same intensity in the outside world. If people hug, it is just out of etiquette, but they keep as distant as the stars are — millions of light-years distant. And have you watched, when you hug? You feel… not joyous, you are doing some duty. You have to hug your mother, your father, your sister on some occasions, but both of you keep aloof. The fear of sex has been so deeply programmed in you that anything that can lead toward sex is prohibited.
To me, to my people, warmth is life. In your sharing it, it grows. The more you share it, the more you have it. And each individual has a unique quality in his warmth. If you are sensuous enough-and that is what I want you to be — you will be surprised that in shaking hands with different people you find differences in energy. The quality, the force, the intensity, the flavor, the fragrance of it — everything is unique with every individual. But when you shake hands in a cold way, or hug a body as if two skeletons are meeting in a graveyard, then there is no difference.
Life gives you uniqueness; death destroys your uniqueness. Two dead bodies are exactly the same, just dead, but two living bodies are never exactly the same. Existence does not believe in carbon copies. Existence believes in originals; it creates only originals.
If you are sensuous you will be surprised how many riches you have been unaware of. Even a beautiful dress touching your body will give you a feeling of well-being. The cloth is not alive, but you are alive and sensuous. Your senses are functioning at their climax. Have you watched it? Wearing some clothes, you feel dirty, although the clothes may be clean. Wearing their clothes the way businessmen wear their gray suits in the marketplace — they don’t feel anything for their clothes. They cannot feel human beings, how can they feel clothes? But I say to you on my own authority, that if you are sensuous enough, even ordinary things — clothes, a cold drink, a hot cup of tea or coffee, the smell of the coffee, the fragrance of tea boiling in the kettle, the aroma that it creates…. You will feel all these things, and they will all make you richer and richer, more and more alive — and there is no limit to it. How alive you can be — and how rich you can be, there is no limit to it. It all depends on you how many programs you are courageous enough to drop…
And this is the only world there is; there is no other world. Yes, this world extends to infinity, multi-dimensional infinity, but this is the only world, there is no other world. And this seventy-years’ life is a training period. If you are befooled by the religions, by your political leaders, and destroy these seventy years of joy, blessing, love, ecstasy, one thing is absolutely certain: paradise is not for you, because you have not even graduated from this seventy-year life. In seventy years you trained for hell! All your religions are giving you training for hell. Suffering, torturing yourself, fasting, celibacy; no smoking, no drinking, no taste while you are eating.
Hinduism makes it one of the first fundamental principles: tastelessness. Now how can these people teach you sensuousness? Taste is a sense.
You cannot taste food the way I taste. I can say it because once I was also a camel like you, so I know both kinds of taste. When I see a sunset you may be standing by my side, but you cannot see it; your eyes have lost their sensitivity. Listening to Mozart you may fall asleep, but listening to jazz music you start jumping, shouting, screaming. Jazz is simply crazy! It is not music. These Beatles are really beetles, not human beings, but they appeal to you. To understand the classical music of the East you will need very sensuous ears, very trained, disciplined; the music is so subtle. The same is true about all your five senses. Five senses are the accepted number of senses around the world, although we should change it now because there is a sixth sense hidden in your ears. But old habits die hard. And that sixth sense is far more important than any other; that’s why it has been kept hidden in your ears, so nothing can disturb it. That is the sense of balance. When you drink too much, that sense gets affected; you cannot walk in a straight line, you wobble. Above all, don’t wobble! When you are hit on your head, and you see the whole world moving around you, and you fall, that sense of balance has been hit. If all your six senses are functioning, ready to be receptive, you will have a rich life.
When I say I am a rich man’s guru, I don’t mean that Rockefeller, Ford, Morgan, and the Kennedys are my disciples. When I say I am a rich man’s guru, I mean real riches. Dollars are bogus! What richness is there? Richness comes through your senses. I want you to become more and more sensuous. That’s why you feel a difference when you hug somebody here, because the person who is hugging you is absolutely open, vulnerable, available to you; you are open, vulnerable, available to the other person. And when these two vulnerabilities, two opennesses, two skies full of stars meet together, for a moment you are not two; you become one. Your circumferences overlap each other. You feel life throbbing within you with a double force. Nobody is a loser, both are gainers, because both feel the same way — life doubled. In my commune hugging is a way of becoming rich. It is a way of understanding life. It is a way that leads ultimately to the goal of love, and there is no other God than love.
I contradict Jesus. He says, “God is love.” He has misunderstood. No, I say to you, “Love is God,” When you say God is love, it means love is only an attribute of God, and there may be thousands of other attributes. When I say love is God, I have really finished God completely: only love is. My communes are universities to learn the ways of a rich life, of love, beauty, warmth, compassion, humanity. We are not gathered here in search of some dodo God who always sits on the roof — I don’t know why can’t he come down a little bit so people can see him? If you go on the roof, he disappears from there. He has been disappearing constantly. First, he used to live on the peaks of mountains. Then man reached there, and found nobody. God has moved his luggage to the moon, because the silly priests could not think that sooner or later man is going to reach to the moon.
One cannot expect much intelligence from priests, for the simple reason, that if they were intelligent people they would not be priests in the first place. They waste their life in teaching nonsense. They destroy other people’s lives, because other people become conditioned by that nonsense. According to me, all your religious prophets and messiahs are criminals. They have only supplied you with consolations, hopes, and they have taken all that is real from you.
I want you to drop all hopes. That does not mean that you become hopeless. You can become hopeless only if you have hope. Hopelessness is the shadow of a hope that has failed. The moment you drop hopes you have dropped hopelessness, the moment you drop expectations you have dropped frustrations – two birds with a single stone. And if you are courageous enough to drop your consolations, reality is yours.
My people hugging are not two skeletons rattling their rib-bones with each other.
My people are flesh, blood, everything that is real. And they know the secret: radiate warmth and love around you, and you will be getting more and more from existence. Existence understands only the language of reality. The moment you are real, you are in a communion with existence. It is not only a question of hugging, it is a question of accepting your body as a beautiful phenomenon. It is the most complex, delicate thing in the whole of existence.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse Series: From Death to Deathlessness
Chapter title: Become more and more sensuous
11 August 1985 am in Rajneeshmandir
Osho has spoken on ‘sensuous, love, sensitivity, intelligence’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- The Book of Wisdom
- The Last Testament, Vol 2
- The Secret
- The Secret of Secrets, Vol 2
- The Transmission of the Lamp
- Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Vol 1
- Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 4
- Ancient Music in the Pines
- Beyond Enlightenment
- The Hidden Splendor
- Socrates Poisoned Again After 25 Centuries
- Zarathustra: A God That Can Dance
- The Invitation