Excerpt from chapter 11 of Avikal’s new book, ‘When the Ocean Dissolves into the Drop: Osho, Love, Truth and me’.
In a discourse in Hindi in the 70s Osho said:
“Up to now, it has been taken for granted that those in search of religion can have nothing to do with sex, and that those who delve into sex can have nothing in common with spirituality. Both are illusions. The journey to kama is also the journey to Rama. The journey to lust is also the journey to light. The tremendous attraction for sex is also the search for the sublime. … Where are you standing now? You say you long to make the journey to Rama? Good. You say you desire to reach God? Very good. But where are you standing now? Now you are stranded in lust; now you are stranded in sex – and it is from this point, from where you are now, that you must take the first step forward. It is imperative you realize where you are now. By accepting this simple fact, by understanding this stark reality, you can also see the possibility for the future. To know what you can attain, it is important to know what you are.”
And so Osho continually invited his disciples to let go of their fears which were due to repression and conditioning and to explore sex with joyous abandonment. The principle underpinning this was simple: you can’t go beyond what you haven’t fully experienced first. At the same time Osho wove sex, love and freedom into his discourses, constantly reminding us that they were three aspects of Spirit, and that it was not possible to separate them, while directing our yearning towards a sexuality that was not just an offloading of energy and the pursuit of narcissistic pleasure, but an opportunity of communion with oneself and the other person.
The image of that interdependency was simple and effective: the seed of sexuality could transform itself into the flower of love when nourished by freedom.
One particular form of love that was a part of this natural cycle was the love of truth. Night after night, discourse after discourse, Osho wove together different aspects of reality, showing their interrelationships, how they supported and enhanced each other, illuminating the perfection, beauty and intelligence of the universe, and he also invited us to explore, to find our own path.
To illustrate this unlimited inclusivity of everything, this non separation that contained all dualities as complementary, he used a paradoxical language which constantly contradicted itself, therefore obliging us to verify it personally and directly, and preventing the truth from being rigidified into maps or interpretations that were “right and final.” The mystery and adventure of experiencing this lay at the heart of every word, every concept, every exhortation, every invitation, at the very base of every comprehension. In and around Osho and his commune, sexuality was demystified, defused, it was simple, abundant, fun, unpredictable and open, and exactly because of these qualities every individual, male or female, inevitably ended up having to look inside to understand their own shadows, their fears, beliefs, possessiveness and jealousy, envy and desire for power, masochism and hypocrisy. There was no escape from the wave of vitality that continually flowed inside the Commune. Almost every evening Osho would throw in four of five jokes of a sexual nature for good measure to completely play down any seriousness in the matter.
I had heard Osho say many times, half serious half joking, that for a man, a woman was the quickest route to enlightenment and my dedication to Kali, the terrible and wild female, was virtually undivided. I had had a lot of experience of love and passion, and moreover, I had had some relationships where I surrendered every inch of myself, with the rapture of giving myself completely, the joy of giving and taking without holding back, and where I had found myself on my knees before the goddess and the fiendess. And until you have fallen on your knees before a loved one you haven’t yet known the depths of love. But I also felt that something else was waiting for me and that a part of the darkness I carried inside still had to be confronted, illuminated.
That step came towards the end of 1994 through two tapes, and their transcription, a discourse by an enlightened Australian master, Barry Long. The title of the discourse was: ‘Making Love’. The tapes were direct, unrelenting and quite ruthless in stripping bare the hypocrisy of Western culture on the subject of love, the disfunctionality of the male attitude reduced to compulsive satisfaction and orgasm based on selfish and narcissistic ejaculation, and the desperate and opportunist submission of women who were dissatisfied and undermined. The divine nature of the penis and vagina, their innate intelligence and capacity for merging had been betrayed over the centuries and completely forgotten, said Barry Long with such passion and conviction that it left you breathless. But as well as merciless statements, there was the proposal of a direction, a journey into sexuality; the most radical and fascinating I had ever come across.
Just a few months previously, a relationship that I had been completely involved in for the past five years came to an end in a somewhat painful way. Quite simply, it was over because it was over. It was over because we both had different needs and our paths were moving further apart. It was over because new and unknown parts of us were being explored and we needed different models and traveling companions, and our friendship, our understanding, our spiritual closeness and gratitude went its way with the pain of that separation. It was also clear that she wasn’t the one to accompany me on my new journey, the one that Barry Long was proposing, and that the emptiness she had left behind her would attract someone else, because by its very nature this is what emptiness does, inviting and appealing to be filled once more.
For a few months I reacted by throwing myself mentally and physically into martial arts, my work and meditation, and my soul began to find itself once more, also stimulated and excited by those tapes and the possibilities they opened up. Kali was performing her dance, and I realized, also thanks to what Barry Long pointed out, that I was not yet Shiva, that my surrender was not yet complete, that my faith in myself and in my ability to be “absolutely present” in the act of love, was still distorted by some tensions, in my body, my mind and my emotions.
The central element to Barry Long’s approach was understanding how repressed emotions and expectations created and supported an unconscious and mechanic approach to making love, and how the lack of presence made it impossible for love to be manifested and shared: All the things that Osho had taken great pains to emphasize. The approach that Barry Long proposed was clearly explained and well: to first find a partner, preferably someone with whom there wasn’t already a steady relationship; to recognize together the desire to penetrate one’s own defenses and to let go of any form of conditioning still present and, finally, to give voice to the frustration that one’s conditioning was still producing. Then to arrange to meet on set days and times, and with absolute commitment to respecting that agreement, to get into bed naked, unite the genitals without foreplay and stay present one with the other, communicating what was happening internally and leaving the genitals to respond on their own accord. The orgasm, the back and forth, the various techniques and positions and manipulations and enticements and push and pull, in short, the classic routine, were avoided in order to break down the habitual and the known, to facilitate a falling of the normal masks of coitus and to make oneself naked in a situation where neither partner was, or tried to be, in control.
It began to become clear to me that the primary reason for the tensions I still felt was a subtle but persistent attachment to my power and the control that I was able to exert on myself and on women. I also began to look deeper inside.
Perhaps another month passed, maybe two, until one day I was having lunch in one of the Commune canteens, a restaurant next to a wonderful swimming pool, and while chatting with some friends, I saw a woman I knew sitting at a table not so far away. Her name was Halima, blonde, tall, with the look of an Amazon, a primal and tantra retreat leader, and something in me said, she’s the one! Almost without realizing it, as if being pulled by invisible strings, for sure driven by Eros, I got up, went over to her and, falling to my knees, I asked her if she would be willing to make love with me every day, for at least two to three hours per day, for two weeks to start with, and the answer was yes.
The two weeks turned into a month and the month turned into more months.
Together we looked under every single stone, communicating eye to eye, sex to sex, whatever we found, under every reluctance, under every attempt to escape, under every need to manipulate, into the pain of isolation, the need to dominate the other, fear of failure, into crystallized images of my masculinity and her femininity, the vulnerability of not having control, the fear of being abandoned, betrayed, the desire to possess and, one step at a time, one date after the other, with the falling of the masks and our defenses, the mistrust and anxiety that had been hiding somewhere turned into an intimacy I’d never before experienced, into a being whose soul was laid bear, in innocent and deep-rooted honesty, in friendship and closeness, in recognition of the divine incarnated, in me, in her, in my penis and her pussy.
There were tears and laughter, storms and serene lakes, long hours passed without separating, with movements of a subtle and unfamiliar intensity in the genitals, dozens and dozens of meals skipped and substituted with cashews and dates, the food of the tantric lovers. There was sharing of secrets and vulnerability, moments of wild fury and overpowering memories, embraces so strong that our skin burned and dissolved, holding onto each other in order to feel the breath of life, our smiles gentle and timid, illuminated by a light that was love, fragile and delicate, caresses and sighs. We left each other only to go home to sleep or meditate or offload uncontrollable emotions. Halima discovered the fierce sweetness of Kali, I discovered the power and vulnerability behind Shiva’s surrender. Together we discovered a love that was both friendship and freedom.
Excerpt from chapter 11, Kali, of Avikal’s new book, ‘When the Ocean Dissolves into the Drop: Osho, Love, Truth and me’ – photo of Goddess Kali by Piyal Kundu
Note by the editor: the Osho quotes are from From Sex to Superconsciousness, Ch 5 – 1 October 1968
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Review on Osho News: When the Ocean Dissolves into the Drop
Avikal is founder and director of the Integral Being Institute which is active in Europe, Asia and Australia. In his newest books published by O-Books – Freedom to be Yourself and Without a Mask – with the respective, revealing subtitles Mastering the inner judge and Discovering your authentic self – Avikal provides far-seeing insight into his world of training and personal development. Avikal lives in Sydney, Australia. www.integralbeing.com – articles by Avikal on Osho News