They say I am the Hugh Heffner of the spiritual world

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Q: You are known throughout the world as the tantra master or the sex guru, yet in the three years I have been in your ashram, not only have I had less sex than ever before in my life, but thought and heard less about it as well. Will you explain this discrepancy?

Osho brown hat

Just the other day in a magazine, Cine Blitz, I came across a headline, and they say I am the Hugh Heffner of the spiritual world. And what are they talking about?

Yes, I teach you how to go deep in love. I teach you how to go deep in sex too, because that is the only way to go beyond. To go through it is the only way to go beyond it – but my goal is to take you beyond. Now this is a problem, and I am going to be misunderstood again and again, all over the world.

People have become accustomed: they think religious people have to be against sex; and those who are not against sex, how can they be religious? These have become deadly settled categories. I am unsettling all those categories, and I don’t expect the world to immediately change so much from its settled patterns of mind. So I don’t expect them to understand me either. When they misunderstand, I perfectly understand their misunderstanding. I have no false hopes. It will take years or centuries for them to understand me, but this always happens.

I am creating a new vision of life. The vision is so new that they don’t have any category for categorizing it. So all are angry; Mahatma Morarji Desai is angry. He is angry because he is sexually repressed, utterly repressed, with no understanding. He has just repressed his sexuality.

The story is that when Morarji Desai was young, in his young days fifty or so years ago, a man in his village raped his own sister. That shocked him very much, and he thought that it was sex that was the cause of such a great crime. In fact, repression may have been the cause; otherwise who wants to rape his own sister? In fact, sisters don’t look very appealing at all. One has lived with them, one has grown up with them. Unless a person is very repressed it is very difficult to fall in love with his own sister, almost impossible.

Love always happens with the unknown, with the unacquainted. Familiarity breeds contempt. How can one love one’s own sister? But the man must have been living in a deep repression – maybe he had never known any woman! He must have been desperate. But what Morarji concluded out of it was this: that sex is the root cause of all crime. If it can drive people mad and they can rape their own sisters, this is the root cause of all crime. He decided never to go into sex again – not for any religious reason, not for any spiritual reason – and since that time he has been repressing.

And the same was true about his guru, Mahatma Gandhi. It was also a trauma that created his lifelong celibacy. His father was dying and he was massaging his father’s feet, and the doctors had said that this might be the last night, he might not see the morning again. But at twelve o’clock in the night when the father fell asleep, he went back and started making love to his wife. He went back to his room, and when he was just in the middle of the act, somebody knocked on the door and said, “What are you doing? Where are you? Your father is dead.”

It shocked him. It was a trauma, a great trauma that transformed his whole life – not for the better, but for the worse. He felt guilty. He concluded that it was the lust, the sex, that had driven him at the last moment when his father was dying. He had committed a crime, a sin. He could never forgive himself so he renounced sex, and for his whole life he suppressed sex. Only in the end, in the last years of his life, did he become aware of the suppression because the sexual fantasy continued to the very end. Then he started trying some Tantra experiments, so that before he died he could get rid of sex – but it was too late.

These people cannot understand. They will think that I am a sex guru, that I am teaching you sex, that I am teaching you indulgence. These people cannot understand.

Hugh Heffner cannot understand either, because he will ask why am I talking about meditation, why am I talking about spirituality? Spirituality, meditation, samadhi – these things will look like nonsense to him.

So both Morarji Desai and Hugh Heffner will misunderstand me. I am going to be misunderstood by the so-called spiritualists and by the so-called materialists, but I understand that it is going to be my fate.

I can only be understood by a new kind of being who has seen this totality: that man is both body and soul, and that life matures only through experiences.

Sex can become a stepping-stone towards samadhi. If you understand it deeply, if you experience it deeply, you will be free of it – but that freedom will have a totally different quality. It will not be a repressed sex. A repressed sex continues underground, goes on in your unconscious, on and on, and goes on affecting your life.

I have heard…

Once a wealthy old religious woman caught a burglar ransacking her things. She had lived her whole life as a celibate, almost like a nun.

“Listen lady, keep quiet if you don’t want to be hurt. Just tell me where your jewels are.”

She said, “I don’t keep them here. They are in the bank in the safe-deposit vault.”

“Where is all your silver then?”

“I am sorry, but it is all out, being cleaned and polished.”

“Give me your money then.”

“I tell you,” she said, “I don’t keep any cash on hand.”

“Listen lady, I am warning you – give me your money or I will rip it off you.” And he started feeling her up and down.

“I keep telling you,” she said, “I don’t have any money. But if you do that again I will write you a cheque.”

I have also heard another story; maybe it is about the same burglar…

In the middle of the night a phone call came through at the police station. Somebody was in need of immediate help.

The voice on the phone said desperately, “Come soon! Come immediately! A burglar is trapped in an old woman’s room!”

The police inspector on duty said, “We will be reaching within five minutes. But who is calling?”

And the voice said, “It is the burglar.”

If you repress, you will carry the wound for your whole life, unhealed. Repression is not the way.

The radical change comes through understanding, and understanding comes through experience. So I give you total freedom to experience all that your mind, your body want to experience, with just one condition: be alert, be watchful, be conscious.

If you can make love consciously, you will be surprised: love has all the keys to samadhi. If you go deeply into love with full consciousness, alert and aware, you will see that it is not love that attracts you; but in the highest peak of love, in the orgasmic explosion, your mind disappears, your thoughts stop, and that is from where the nectar flows into you. It is not really sex that gives you that beautiful experience. Sex simply helps you, in a natural way, to come to a point where mind is dissolved – of course, for a moment. The clouds disperse and you can see the sun. Again those clouds will be there and the sun will be lost, and again you will start fantasizing about sex. If you go unconscious, then you will miss this whole secret again and again.

It is not sex that is keeping you tethered to the world, it is unconsciousness! So the question is not how to drop sex; the question is how to drop unconsciousness. Be conscious and let your natural being have its whole flow.

And sex is a natural part. You are born of it; every cell of your body is a sexual cell. Repressing it is against nature.

But there is a transcendence which is a totally different matter. If you are alert and aware in your orgasmic moment, you will see time disappears – for a moment there is no time, no past, no future. You are utterly herenow, and that is the beauty. It is because of that that you feel such joy, so much blessing showers on you.

Now these two secrets have to be understood: one, the disappearance of the mind for a moment, and the disappearance of time for a moment. And these are two aspects of one phenomenon: one aspect is time, the other aspect is mind. When these two disappear you are in utter bliss, you are in God. And meditation is a way to let these disappear without going into sex.

When you go into meditation you will recognize one day the truth that in meditation it happens also: mind disappears, time disappears. And that day will be the day of great realization. That day you will see why you were so interested in sex, and that very day all interest in sex will disappear. Not that you will have to drop it by effort; it will simply disappear, just like dewdrops in the morning sun disappear, with no trace, with no wounds.

If you can create it through meditation, it is far easier to create it – because you do it alone. The other is not needed, you need not depend on the other.

Secondly, if you can do it meditatively, no energy is lost. On the contrary you become more vital because energy is saved.

Thirdly, if you can do it meditatively, then you can remain in it as long as you want. It is not momentary. You can by and by learn how to remain in it for twenty-four hours. A Buddha lives in the orgasmic state for twenty-four hours, day in, day out. Between the day Gautama Buddha became enlightened and the day he died there is a distance of forty-two years. For these forty-two years he was utterly in an orgasmic state. Just think! Those few moments you have are nothing compared to a Buddha’s.

I am teaching you a new kind of synthesis. I am all for that transcendence that brings you to Buddhahood, but it is transcendence, not repression. Through repression nobody ever transcends. Through repression one goes on moving and moving in the same rut. Repressing, you have to repress every day. To the very last moment of your death, sex will haunt you. If you really want to get rid of it… and I want you to get rid of it! But I am not against sex, because those who are against sex can never get rid of it. Hence the paradox of my teachings.

Only those who are really ready to understand will be able to understand; otherwise I am going to be misunderstood. The crowd, the mass, is going to misunderstand me. But I don’t expect, either, that they should understand. I feel sorry for them, but there is no expectation either, so l never feel offended. I know that the teaching is so new that it will take centuries to create criteria on which it can be judged. Criteria are not there. It is said when a poet is really great his poetry cannot be understood, because all the old poetry is different from it. The great poet has to create his own criteria on which his poetry can be judged. So is the case with a great painter: you cannot judge a great painter by the old painters and the old masters. He has such a new message that no old valuations will be of any help, so he has to create new values also. It takes time. And if it is so with poetry and painting and sculpture, what to say about enlightenment? That is the greatest art, the art of all the arts. It takes centuries.

Osho, The Secret of Secrets, Vol 2, Ch 6, Q 3

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