The whole world is going through a unique kind of neurosis, which was not there in the past. This is simply because modern man has stopped using his body to a large extent. In the past, when you intensely involved yourself in physical activity, a lot of your neurosis was worked out. Your nervous energy got spent. I know many people, especially young people, who had psychological problems. They just started swimming or playing some sport daily and then everything became okay; because of enough activity, the energy was expended.
Today, man has become physically inactive like never before – he could not afford to be so physically inactive before, he had to do so many things physically, just to survive. He has become more neurotic than in the past. As a general phenomenon, there were neurotic people then also, but not in these numbers. Today, it has become a common phenomenon in society that everybody is in some level of neurosis. This is simply because your energy is not worked out; it’s trapped. If you went out and chopped wood for the whole day – if you chopped a hundred logs a day – a lot of your energy would be spent, and life would be peaceful; but today it’s not like that. You are not using your body the way it used to be used, so you go on generating all kinds of diseases, like never before.
This builds up into your system over a period of time. Then your physical and emotional energy needs some outlet. That is how your bars, your clubs and your discotheques have come into place. People have to work out their neurosis somewhere, somehow. These discos look like madness, you can’t even breathe inside. They are full of smoke and sweat but people are just going wild. You can’t even dance, everybody is bumping into everybody else, but it doesn’t matter, you have to work it out, otherwise you will go crazy. So on Saturday, you go work out your neurosis for the week. Then the piling up starts once more and once again the Saturday night fever comes.
There is another way to drop this madness and go ahead. Completely leaving it behind and going ahead where you are no more a part of it. This is what meditation is all about. Now, if you dance, you simply dance for the joy of it, and not because there is something to work out. If you’re dancing to work out something, maybe it is therapeutic. It is good therapy, alright, but there is a certain ugliness about it. It is lusty; you cannot dance out of love. You can only dance out of lust.
Do you know the difference between love and lust? Lust is a strong need, love is not a need. When you love, you settle down, nothing more is needed. You can just sit here for a lifetime. With lust you can’t sit anywhere, you either get into some mad action, or you are bound to go crazy. When there is a certain neurosis, a certain madness within yourself, you can only be in lust. Your lust can be for sex, for food or for some particular activity or some hobby, it doesn’t matter what it is, but you develop lust for something. Without that lust you cannot live. Even your work is an effective way of throwing out your lust. It’s just that it is the most popular and accepted way in the world. Today people just go on working, working and working. Not because they are creating something fantastic, but simply because they have to work, otherwise they don’t know what to do with themselves.
You have to guard that madness cautiously. Nobody ever knows that you have this within yourself and you yourself would like to forget it. You do everything possible to forget it. All the entertainment in the world has come just to hide your madness. If you were perfectly sane, you would not need entertainment. You need entertainment just to cover your madness. If we take away your entertainment, you will go crazy. Man needs entertainment simply to hide his madness. If he was perfectly sane, he would not need entertainment. He could just sit and watch the bamboo grow. He would not really need entertainment.
(Sadhguru is a Yogi, mystic, visionary and a New York Times bestselling author)
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