It cannot happen in the outside world, because for centuries we've been conditioned against the body. And hugging is a very sensuous, physical experience of tremendous importance. But what to say about hugging, even touching when it has been tabooed!
Some of the religious programmes that have been given to you are so inhuman that if we can simply drop out of all religion 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.
You are beautiful
Your body is such a beautiful phenomenon. It is you. It is your circumference, and if you deny the circumference, you can never find it's centre. The centre is your being; it cannot survive without the body for a single moment.
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 centre and your circumference have been cut off from each other. But to reach you, one has to pass the circumference.
Just open up
You have seen in the East, saying hello to someone, you don't shake hands. That is against spirituality. Hugging is thought to be something sexual. It is not. It is sensuous. 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 his 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, complementary to each other. But even in the West, where people shake hands...your energy, rather than going to the other person, shrinks back. The fear of being sexual, sensuous, of being interested in the other person's body — 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. 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.
Respect or re-spect?
But do you know the meaning of the word 'respect'? It means looking again. Respect does not mean honour, 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. 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 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 so.