05/10/2015 8:01 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

All That Is Beautiful Is Inner

Philip and Karen Smith via Getty Images
Person touching surface of lake water (focus on hand)

All that is beautiful is inner, and the inner means privacy.

Do one thing one day: run the bath and then switch on and off the light. When there is darkness you will hear the water falling more clearly, the sound will be sharp. When the light is on, the sound will be not so sharp. What happens in darkness?

In darkness, everything else disappears because you cannot see. Only you and the sound are there. That's why, in all good restaurants, light is avoided; sharp light is avoided. They are candle-lit. Whenever a restaurant is candle-lit, taste is deeper: you eat well and you taste more. The fragrance surrounds you. If there is very bright light the taste is no longer there. The eyes make everything public.

"When you see, something is far away. In darkness, in secrecy, in privacy, something is revealed which cannot be revealed in openness, in the marketplace."

In the very first sentence of his Metaphysics, Aristotle says that sight is the highest sense of man. It is not. In fact, sight has become too domineering. It has monopolized the whole self and it has destroyed all the other senses. His master -- Aristotle's master, Plato -- says that there is a hierarchy in the senses: sight at the top, touch at the bottom. He is absolutely wrong. There is no hierarchy.

All senses are on the same level and there should not be any hierarchy. But you live through the eyes: eighty percent of your life is eye-oriented. This should not be so; a balance has to be restored. You should touch also, because touch has something which eyes cannot give. But try: try to touch the woman you love or the man you love in bright light and then touch in darkness. In darkness, the body reveals itself; in bright light, it hides.

Have you seen Renoir's paintings of feminine bodies? They have something miraculous in them. Many painters have painted the feminine body, but there is no comparison with Renoir. What is the difference? All other painters have painted the feminine body as it looks to the eyes. Renoir has painted it as it feels to the hands, so the painting has a warmth and a closeness, an aliveness.

When you touch, something happens very close. When you see, something is far away. In darkness, in secrecy, in privacy, something is revealed which cannot be revealed in openness, in the marketplace. Others are seeing and observing; something deep within you shrinks, it cannot flower. It is just as if you put seeds down on the open ground, for everybody to look at. They will never sprout. They need to be thrown deep in the womb of the earth, in deep darkness where nobody can see them. There they start sprouting and a great tree is born.


Excerpted from Come Follow To You

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