Relaxation is not something big. It is a simple matter. It is just waking sleep. You need every day a few hours of sleep. Try to understand the phenomenon of sleep. The child in the mother’s womb sleeps 24 hours a day for nine months continuously. After he is born, slowly, slowly, the sleep hours are cut. And as he becomes mature, it comes to a fixed normal routine of seven or eight hours. This will continue until he starts feeling old. So as a person starts feeling old, tired, his sleep is cut even more – he is sleeping three to four hours, then slowly to two to three hours.
The reason is that in sleep your body functions perfectly without your interference.
For nine months in the mother’s womb, the body works so much – it will not work that much in the whole remaining life – because in those nine months the body has to pass through all the evolutionary steps that humanity has taken since the very beginning.
The old man, as he gets older his body is no longer building any new tissues, any new nerves. The old nerves are dying, and they are not being replaced by new ones.
Relaxation is a deliberate effort to allow the body to do its work without your interference. You simply become absent; you leave the body as if it is a dead corpse – and it is needed. As human life has become more and more tense, more and more frantic, more and more speedy, the ordinary sleep is not enough. Relaxation leads you to a deeper realm of sleep. ‘Hypnos’ means ‘sleep’. The word simply means sleep, but a sleep of a different kind – consciously produced, not biologically but psychologically. Biologically, sleep can go only to a certain extent, but psychologically, sleep can penetrate very deep. It all depends on you.
The society certainly prepares you for activity, for ambition, for speed, for efficiency. It does not prepare you to relax and to do nothing and to rest. It condemns all kinds of restfulness as laziness. It condemns people who are not madly active – because the whole society is madly active, trying to reach somewhere.
The whole society is geared for work. It is a workaholic society. It does not want you to learn relaxation, so from the very childhood it puts in your mind anti-relaxation ideas.
I am not telling you to relax the whole day. Do your work, but find some for yourself. And you will be surprised that if you can relax for an hour or two hours out of each 24 hours, it will give you a deeper insight into yourself. It will change your behaviour outwardly – you will become more calm, more quiet. It will change the quality of your work; it will be more artistic and more graceful. You will be committing fewer mistakes than you used to commit before, because now you are more together, more centred. Relaxation has miraculous powers; it is not laziness. The lazy man may look from the outside as if he is not working at anything, but his mind is going as fast as it can; and the relaxed man – his body is relaxed, his mind is relaxed, his heart is relaxed.
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