SEX AND DEATH SEEM TO BE THE MAIN ATTRACTIONS FOR ME. WHAT CAN YOU SAY ABOUT THESE POLES TO HELP ME GO BEYOND?
Saguna, sex and death are really one energy. Sex is one side of the coin, death the other side. Hence, anybody who is interested in sex is bound to be interested in death — although he would like to avoid it. Anybody who is interested in death is bound to be interested in sex — although he would like to avoid it. Why? — because the popular conception is that sex and death are opposites. They are not. And because of this popular conception there have existed two kinds of cultures in the world: sex-oriented and death-oriented. For example, India has remained for centuries a death-oriented culture. Because it is death-oriented it represses sex. Thinking that sex is against, it represses sex, it avoids sex; it pretends sex does not exist. You can talk about death with no problem, but you cannot talk about sex…
India is a death-oriented culture. You can talk about death; dead bodies of beggars can lie down by the side of the road and nobody will pay any attention. People will go on passing. It is accepted; death is accepted. In fact, not only accepted, but magnified — to create fear in people so that they become religious. If death is magnified, it really scares you. And out of fear you can start going to the temple, to the mosque, to the priest, because death is coming — sooner or later you will have to die. Some arrangements have to be made, arrangements for that long journey. Who knows what will be needed? The priests pretend that they know. And all the so-called saints of India will be talking about death. They will bring up the subject of death again and again and again. Their whole business depends on death; if people forget about death, people start forgetting about God, people start forgetting about temples, people start forgetting about saints. So saints cannot leave you alone; they will go on bringing the subject of death in your mind so they can go on keeping you trembling. Your fear is the secret of their trade: if you are afraid, you will remain slaves to them. If you become unafraid, then you will get out of their folds; then you cannot be exploited. Death is not bad for them, it is good. It helps their business.
But sex… that is a danger for them. India is not a sex-oriented country. Kissing, hugging, love, the very phenomenon of love, makes you more earthbound, makes you less afraid of death.
Lovers are the people who are the least afraid of death. When you are in love you don’t care about death. If it comes, it comes. So what? If you are in love, you can die smilingly. With a kiss on your lips you can say goodbye. You loved, you lived; there is nothing to repent. Your life has not been a wastage. You bloomed! You danced in the sun, in the wind, in the rain — what more can you expect? Immense was the gift of life: love was its gift. You are grateful!
Why should you go to the priest? You may go to the poet, you may go to the painter, you may go to the musician, but you will not go to the priest. That’s why you will be surprised: in my commune you will find musicians and you will find poets and you will find dancers and you will find singers, but you will not find any priest at all. The priest seems to be the center of all religious activity, and he is missing here, absolutely missing — because my approach is that first you have to know what love is, you have to go deep into love. Dive as deep as possible into love!
If you can dive really deep into love you will be surprised that you have arrived at death. That’s my own experience — I am not propounding a theory, I am simply stating my own existential state, my own experience. I am only stating a fact: if you love deeply you are bound to come to the phenomenon of death. And when you come through love to death, even death is beautiful, because love makes everything beautiful. When you come through love to death, love glorifies death, love beautifies death; even death becomes a blessing. Those who have known love will know death as the ultimate in orgasm.
Now there are sex-oriented cultures, for example, America. There, death is taboo; you should not talk about death. If you start talking about death, people will avoid you. You will not be invited to parties anymore. You are not supposed to talk about death; death has not to be mentioned. Death is still one of the unmentionables. That’s why even if somebody dies we have euphemisms, words to cover up the fact of death. We say, “He has passed away.” We don’t say, “He has died.” We say, “He has become God’s beloved.” We don’t know about God, we don’t know what it means to become God’s beloved, because we have never been beloved to anybody. Even if God wants to hug you, the police will catch hold of him. If he kisses you, even you will feel a little disturbed — God? and kissing me? Is he really a God or just a fraud? How can God kiss? Kissing has never been thought a spiritual activity. Even in public places it is prohibited, and he is doing it on a universal plane — not only public but universal, at the very center of the cosmos! But we have these ways of avoiding death; it has to be somehow avoided. The word itself is taboo.
It is because of Sigmund Freud that the taboo against the word ‘sex’ was removed — the whole credit goes to this man. He is one of the greatest benefactors of humanity. Although he himself was not enlightened, he has done a great service, a pioneer work: he removed one great taboo. Now you can talk about sex without feeling ashamed, without feeling guilty. Another Freud is needed — a Freud who will remove the taboo against death.
The West is sex-oriented, the East is death-oriented; hence in the East people are repressive of sex and in the West people are repressive of death. Both are wrong because sex and death are two sides of the same coin. If you repress one, you cannot experience the other in its totality, because to experience the one in its totality is to experience the other too, and both have to be experienced. Life is an opportunity to experience sex and death. If you experience these two and if you can come to your own authentic experience that they both are one, you have transcended. Knowing that both are one is transcendence.
Saguna, you ask me, “What can you say about these poles to help me go beyond?”
Experience both. But right now death is not there; right now you have to experience love, sex — all the delicacies of love, intricacies of love, complexities of love, all the nuances of love. Right now, go deep into love, Saguna. And then when death comes you will be able to go deep into death too. In fact, while making love,
at the highest peak of orgasm a small death happens, because mind disappears, ego disappears, time disappears, as if the clock suddenly stops. You are transported into another world. You are not a body anymore, not a mind anymore, not an ego anymore… you are pure existence. That’s the beauty of orgasm. To know orgasm is to experience a little bit of death, a small death. First go deep into love so you can have a few tastes of death. Then death will come one day — then go dancingly into it, because you know it is going to be the greatest orgasm that you have ever known, that it is going to be the deepest of love. And that’s how one transcends — knowing that both are one. That very knowing is transcendence.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
The Dhammapada – The Way of the Buddha, Vol 3
Chapter title: There is no evolution
17 August 1979 am in Buddha Hall
Osho has spoken on ‘death, sex, orgasm, transformation, life, beauty, love, relationship’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses: