“Remember,” he went on earnestly, “remember the point that Freud was always harping on.”
“Which point? There were so many.”
“The point about the sexuality of children. What we’re born with, what we experience all through infancy and childhood, is a sexuality diffused throughout the whole organism. That’s the paradise we inherit. But the paradise gets lost as the child grows up. Maithuna is the the organized attempt to regain that paradise.”…
…”Make the body capable of doing many things” she recited. “This will help you to perfect the mind and so to come to the intellectual love of God.”
“Hence all the yogas,” said Ranga. “Including maithuna.”
“And it’s a real yoga,” the girl insisted. “As good as raja yoga, or karma yoga, orbhakti yoga. In fact, a great deal better, so far as most people are concerned. Maithuna really gets them there.”…
…”What I’m wondering,” said Will, is why we aren’t all enlightened—I mean, if it’s just a question of making love with a rather special kind of technique. What’s the answer to that?”…
…”Attention, ” it was saying. “Attention, Attention…”
“That bloody bird again!”
“But that’s the secret.”…
…”And that’s the whole point of maithuna. It’s not the special technique that turns love-making into yoga; it’s the kind of awareness that the technique makes possible. Awareness of one’s sensations and awareness of the not-sensation in every sensation.”
“What’s a not-sensation?”
“It’s the raw material for sensation that my not-self provides me with.”
“And you can pay attention to your not-self?”
“Of course.” “To myself,” she answered, “and at the same time to my not-self. And to Ranga’s not-self, and to Ranga’s self, and to Ranga’s body, and to my body and everything it’s feeling. And to all the love and friendship. And to the mystery of the other person—the perfect stranger, who’s the other half of your own self, and the same as your not-self. And all the while one’s paying attention to all the things that, if one were sentimental, or worse, if one were spiritual like the poor old Rani, one would find so unromantic and gross and sordid even. But they aren’t sordid, because one’s also paying attention to the fact that, when one’s fully aware of them, those things are just as beautiful as all the rest, just as wonderful.
“Maithuna is dhyana,” Ranga concluded. A new word, he evidently felt, would explain everything.
“But what is dhyana?” Will asked.
“Dhyana is contemplation.”