From Darkness to Light 03

Third Discourse from the series of 30 discourses - From Darkness to Light by Osho.
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What is the right way to help a child grow without interfering in his natural potential?
Every way of helping a child is wrong. The very idea of helping is not right.
The child needs your love, not your help. The child needs nourishment, support, but not your help.
The natural potential of the child is unknown, so there is no way of correctly helping him to attain to his natural potential. You cannot help when the goal is unknown; all that you can do is not to interfere. In fact, everybody is interfering with everybody else in the name of help; and because the name is beautiful, nobody objects. Of course, the child is so small, so dependent on you, that he cannot object.
The people all around are just like you: they have also been helped by their parents, the way you have been. Neither they have attained to their natural potential, nor have you. The whole world is missing out in spite of all the help from the parents, from the family, from the relatives, from the neighbors, from the teachers, from the priests. In fact, everybody is so burdened with help that under its weight… What to say of attaining one’s natural potential – one cannot even attain unnatural potential! One cannot move; the weight on everybody’s shoulders is Himalayan.
And not interfering is one of the most difficult things. It is not the nature of the mind. Mind is basically continuously, persistently, tempted to interfere. It lives on interference. The more you can interfere, the more powerful you are.
How do you measure power? It is not something material, you cannot weigh it – but it is measured, weighed. The way to measure it is by how much you can interfere in how many people’s lives. Adolph Hitler is powerful because he can interfere in millions of people’s lives. You are not Adolph Hitler, but still you can interfere in a few people’s lives…a little, miniature Adolph Hitler.
At least the husband can interfere in the wife’s life; the wife can interfere in the husband’s life. It is a mutual game; in this way, both become powerful. The husband goes on interfering in his own way, the wife goes on interfering in her own way, without being aware why they are interfering. They were supposed to be together to enhance each other’s life but…
The husband will come home late every day – not that it is essential to come home late, but it is a question of power, ego: if he comes home on time that means he has surrendered. I know husbands who go on sitting in their office doing nothing, gossiping, knowing perfectly well that their wives will be boiling. They could reach home in time, but that’s what she wants. Just because she wants it, it is impossible for the man, against his manliness, to be on time; he will come late. And the same scene is repeated every day.
Nor is the wife ready to drop asking him why he is late, knowing perfectly well that whatsoever he says is a lie. She knows it is a lie, he knows that she knows that it is a lie – and it is a lie, but it is a good beginning to a fight, a good start, a good excuse. And then the wife goes on doing the same…

I was sitting with a husband in his car, and he was honking his horn because he was worried; he had to take me to a particular meeting and I had to be there on time. I don’t like wasting people’s time; I am not a political leader. A political leader is supposed to come late. Again, the same power – you have to wait. He is not just a nobody; he is so occupied, so busy, that he is bound to be late.
I have known political leaders who were just sitting and gossiping, and I have said to them, “We have to go to your meeting.”
They said, “You don’t understand. A politician should not arrive on time. That means he is just a small fry, not a big shot.”
I am not a politician. I am neither a big shot, nor a small fry. I am just a human being, neither anything more nor anything less. I have been particular about arriving in time.
So the husband was worried. His wife leant out of the window and said, “Stop honking your horn! I have told you one thousand times that I am coming in one minute.”
I looked at the husband and said, “This is something, ‘one thousand times’ and ‘I am coming in one minute’! Where did she get the time to say it one thousand times in one minute?”

But it is a power trip. The wife wants it to be known who the boss is. You can go on honking the horn, but without the boss coming down, the car cannot move.
I have a certain rapport with women, so whomsoever I was staying with, soon I became very close to their mothers, to their wives, sisters. And I asked, “What is the matter? Every day it happens; the poor man goes on honking.”
They would say, “Nothing is the matter. We are not busy, but he goes on coming home late every day and pays no attention to what we are saying. So whenever we have the chance… It is simple give and take.”
All the people around you have been helped, greatly helped, to be what they are. You have been helped; now you want to help your children too.
All that you can do is be loving, be nourishing, be warm, be accepting. The child brings an unknown potential and there is no way to figure out what he is going to be. So no procedure can be suggested: “This way you should help the child.” Each child is unique so there cannot be a general discipline for every child.
People like Miss Judith Martin are suggesting measures for every child, as if children are produced on an assembly line in a factory. No two children are the same. How can you suggest, how can you even have the nerve to suggest a generalized program that should be followed?
But Miss Judith Martin…. I don’t know how many times she has become “Miss.” I think certainly at least a dozen times because no husband could survive her; he will either escape or commit suicide, but he will have to do something to make her a Miss again. And she must now be very old.
Perhaps when she finally became famous and the most well-known authority on child rearing, nobody dared to marry her again, because do you think such a woman, who has no compassion on children, will have any compassion on husbands? She will train them exactly the way animals are trained in a circus. She will make them dance to her tune; and her being a world-famous authority, what can the poor husband do except dance?
This kind of person has existed down the ages around the world, everywhere. They have prescriptions, recipes, disciplines for everybody, not only for their contemporaries but for all future generations, as to what is right. They are so idiotic – although they are known as great sages who have given you religions, disciplines, moralities, ethics, codes of conduct: great lawgivers. But I say to you again, these people are idiots. Only an idiot can think in a generalized way when human beings are concerned.
There is no average human being; you will never come across the average man. And all these authorities are concerned with the average man, who does not exist! The average man is just like God – omnipresent, yet you cannot find him anywhere. God is so omnipresent that…
I have heard about a nun…

The whole nunnery became concerned about the nun: “Is she sick or something?” She was taking her bath with her clothes on! The bathroom door was closed…
And when they asked, “What is the matter? Why don’t you undress when the doors are closed and nobody is there?” she said, “Nobody? God is omnipresent. Yes, none of you, but God is there, and to undress before God does not look right.”

They must all have thought her a crackpot, but she really, literally had accepted the idea of the omnipresence of God.
The average man is exactly like the omnipresent God: he exists nowhere and is supposed to exist everywhere. All principles are addressed to the average man.
You ask me how to help the child in the right way. The right way is not to help the child at all. If you have real courage, then please don’t help the child.
Love him, nourish him. Let him do what he wants to do. Let him go where he wants to go. Your mind will be tempted again and again to interfere, and with good excuses. The mind is very clever in rationalizing: “If you don’t interfere, there may be danger; he may fall into the well if you don’t stop him.” But I say to you, it is better to let him fall into a well than to help him and destroy him.
It is very rare that a child falls into a well – and then too, it does not mean death; he can be taken out. And if you are really so concerned, the well can be covered; but don’t help the child and don’t interfere with the child. The well can be removed, but don’t interfere with the child. Your real concern should be to remove all dangers, but don’t interfere with the child; let him go his own way.
You will have to understand some significant growth patterns. Life has seven-year cycles, it moves in seven-year cycles, just as the earth makes one rotation on its center in twenty-four hours. Now, nobody knows why it is not twenty-five, why it is not twenty-three. There is no way to answer it; it is simply a fact.
The earth takes three hundred and sixty-five days to make one round of the sun. Why three hundred and sixty-five? Nobody knows, nobody needs to know. And it does not make any difference. If it were taking four hundred days, what difference would it have made to you? Or three hundred days…? The question would have remained the same: Why?
So remember one thing: any question is absurd if, with every answer, the question still remains the same. In twenty-four hours the earth makes one turn on its center. Why? Make it twenty-five, make it twenty-six, make it thirty, sixty – as much as you want – the question still stands the same: Why? Hence I call the question absurd; it will always remain the same.
So don’t ask me why life moves in seven-year cycles. I don’t know. This much I know: it moves in seven-year cycles. And if you understand those seven-year cycles, you will understand a great deal about human growth.
The first seven years are the most important because the foundation of life is being laid. That’s why all the religions are very much concerned about grabbing children as quickly as possible.
The Jews will circumcise the child. What nonsense! But they are stamping the child as a Jew; it is a primitive way of stamping. You still do it on the cattle around here; I have seen the brands. Every owner brands his cattle, otherwise they can get mixed up. It is a cruel thing. Red-hot steel has to be used to brand the cattle’s leather, skin; it burns. But then it becomes your possession; it cannot be lost, it cannot be stolen.
What is circumcision? It is branding cattle. But those cattle are Jews. Hindus have their own ways. All religions have their own ways. But it should be known whose you are, who your shepherd is – Jesus? Moses? Mohammed? You are not your own master.
Those first seven years are the years when you are conditioned, stuffed with all kinds of ideas which will go on haunting you your whole life, which will go on distracting you from your potentiality, which will corrupt you, which will never allow you to see clearly. They will always come like clouds before your eyes, they will confuse everything.
Things are clear, very clear – existence is absolutely clear – but your eyes have layers upon layers of dust. And all that dust has been arranged in the first seven years of your life, when you were so innocent, so trusting, that whatsoever you were told, you accepted as truth. Later on, it will be very difficult for you to find whatsoever has gone into your foundation: it has become almost part of your blood, bones, your very marrow. You will ask a thousand other questions, but you will never ask about the basic foundations of your belief.
The first expression of love toward the child is to leave his first seven years absolutely innocent, unconditioned, to leave him completely wild for seven years, a pagan.
He should not be converted to Hinduism, to Mohammedanism, to Christianity. Anybody who is trying to convert the child is not compassionate, he is cruel: he is contaminating the very soul of a new, fresh arrival. Before the child has even asked questions, he has been answered with ready-made philosophies, dogmas, ideologies. This is a very strange situation. The child has not asked about God, and you go on teaching him about God. Why so much impatience? Wait!
If the child someday shows interest in God and starts asking about God, then try to tell him not only your idea of God – because nobody has any monopoly. Put before him all the ideas of God that have been presented to different people by different ages, by different religions, cultures, civilizations.
Put before him all the ideas about God and tell him, “You can choose between these, whichever appeals to you. Or if nothing suits, you can invent your own. If everything seems to be flawed, and you think you can have a better idea, then invent your own. Or if you find that there is no way to invent an idea without loopholes, then drop the whole thing; there is no need. A man can live without God; there is no intrinsic necessity: Millions of people have lived without God. God is nothing that is inevitably needed by you. Yes, I have my idea; that too is in the combination of all these ideals in this collection. You can choose that, but I am not saying that my idea is the right idea. It appeals to me; it may not appeal to you.”
There is no inner necessity that a son should agree with his father. In fact, it seems far better that he should not. That’s how evolution happens. If every child agrees with his father, then there will be no evolution because the father will agree with his father… Everybody will be where God left Adam and Eve – naked, outside the gate of the Garden of Eden. Everybody will be there.
Because sons have disagreed with their fathers, forefathers, with their whole tradition, man has evolved. This whole evolution is a tremendous disagreement with the past. The more intelligent you are, the more you are going to disagree. But parents appreciate the child who agrees; they condemn the child who disagrees…

It was the practice in my family to produce me in front of anybody who came, to condemn me. Any visitor, any guest of the family and I would be called. I knew for what, but I enjoyed it. I was called to be condemned: “This boy is in disagreement with everything.” In Hindi there is a phrase for it: ulti chopri – it means upside-down skull. So that was the phrase used for me.
I said, “It is true, but the reality is, I look upside down to all these people because they are standing on their heads. They are doing yoga asanas, shirshasana – the headstand posture. I am simply standing on my feet. I am the only one here who does not believe in any kind of nonsense. They are right because to them it must appear that I am standing upside down. And they are in the majority – perhaps you also belong to them.
“But this is the usual procedure: they don’t answer my questions, they only condemn my disagreement. Now this is inhuman. If you answer my question, and I still disagree, then certainly I am stubborn. But have you answered a single question of mine? Have you satisfied me? Have you any right to condemn me because I disagree?”
In India, at the end of the monsoon there is a festival of lights, Diwali, when the whole country becomes very festive and every house has thousands of small earthen lamps decorating the walls, the balconies. The whole town becomes a fairyland; the whole country turns into a fairyland, with firecrackers and great rejoicing. On that day they worship money.
The goddess of money is Laxmi. Laxmi is the wife of the Hindu god, Narayana, and of course a god’s wife should be the goddess of wealth. In fact, one of the Indian words for god, ishwar, means “one who has all the wealth of the world.” Narayana’s wife is the goddess of wealth. And on the night of the festival of lights, they worship money.
Before paper currency came into being, they used to make a pile of silver rupees and worship them. Now they place paper money there and worship it. Before silver rupees, there were golden rupees. The word rupee simply means gold; it comes from Sanskrit. It is an Indian word… In the beginning, the coin was gold, pure gold, so the word rupia, which became in English, rupee, was meaningful.
They used to worship gold, then came silver, then came paper currency. And they continued: the question was of worshipping money. I never participated in their worship. I simply hated the whole idea and told them, “This is one of the ugliest things you can do. Money is something to be used, not worshipped. On the one hand, your religions teach that money is nothing but dust. On the one hand it is dust and on the other hand it becomes a goddess. Can’t you see your split mind?
“On the one hand, you praise a man as a sage if he renounces money; then he becomes synonymous with God because he has renounced money and everything. And on the other hand, you worship money. Can you in some way help me to understand? Is this not a clear-cut contradiction?
“If money is God’s wife, then in the first place the person who renounces God’s wife is a criminal. In the first place, why did he possess God’s wife? That seems to be absolutely illegal. He should be caught and imprisoned. In the first place, was he pretending to be God’s wife’s husband?”
My father would say, “Just keep quiet; at least let us finish our worship.”
I would say, “No, first I want my answer.”
I had a big stool in the house – they used it as a ladder for taking things up or down – so in the main hall of the house, or wherever they were worshipping, I would sit on that stool. And they would say, “Please at least come down from that stool.”
I said, “No, I want my answer. I see so much stupidity in this because I have seen you touching people’s feet who have renounced money. You tell me that the man is great, a sage: he has kicked all that is thought to be valuable and that needs courage and guts. But what are you doing? If that man is right to renounce money, then at least stop worshipping it. And you have to answer me; otherwise my disagreement continues.”
My mother would say to me, “You should be out of the house on such festival days because you don’t know… If the goddess Laxmi becomes angry, we will all starve, be hungry and die poor.”
I said, “I have been sitting on my stool year after year. I don’t see that your goddess can do anything. If she can, I challenge her – let her come because at least that will give me an answer.” When they were finished with their worship, I would go and kick their rupees, spit on the rupees and say, “Now this is what I wanted to do; now let us see who is rewarded.” They could not prevent me, although they tried hard.
I said, “You cannot prevent me. I will do what I want to do, unless you prove me wrong. You call me in front of everybody, saying that I am in disagreement about everything. I have to be in disagreement about everything, for the simple reason that you go on doing things that any intelligent person would see the contradiction in.”
For example, in India, if somebody has smallpox it is not thought to be a physical disease. Smallpox is called in India, mata; mata means “mother goddess.” And in every town there is a temple for the mother goddess: “The mother goddess is angry, that’s why poor little children are suffering from smallpox.”
People like Mahatma Gandhi were against vaccination because it was unnatural. Smallpox is natural… It destroys so many beautiful children’s faces, their eyes, and it kills many. The prophet of nonviolence was against vaccination because he was against anything scientific – and moreover it was thought the disease is not a physiological disease, that it is spiritual anger.
One of my sisters died of smallpox, and I was very angry because I loved that sister more than any of my other brothers or my sisters. I told them, “You have killed her. I told you that she needed vaccination.
“I have suffered from smallpox, but at that time I could not say anything to you. I don’t even remember it, it happened in my first year. And every child suffers. When this girl was born, I insisted that she should be vaccinated. But you are all followers of Mahatma Gandhi: ‘Vaccination is against nature and to prevent… The anger of the mother goddess will be dangerous. It will come in some other form.’”
When the girl became sick with smallpox, they were doing both things: they were taking medicine from the doctor and they were continuously going to worship the mother goddess.
I said, “Please do just one thing at least; either take the medicine, or go and worship your mother. But you are being cunning; you are even deceiving the mother goddess. I am honest, I spit on your mother goddess every day” – I used to go to the river and the temple was just on the way, so there was no difficulty: coming and going I would spit.
And I said, “Whatsoever you do… It is strange: I am spitting, so I should suffer. Why should she suffer? And I cannot understand that the mother goddess becomes angry and small children suffer. They have not committed any crime; they have just arrived, have not had time enough to do anything, nor are they capable of doing anything. Others should suffer, but are not.
“And you call her ‘mother goddess’! You should call her a witch because what kind of mother makes small children suffer? And you are being cunning. You are also not certain; otherwise don’t use the medicine. Throw away all the medicines; depend completely on your mother goddess. There too you are afraid. You are trying to ride on two horses. This is sheer stupidity. Either depend on the mother and let the girl die, or depend on the medicine and forget about that mother.”
They would say, “We can understand that there is a contradiction, but please don’t bring it to our notice because it hurts.”
I said, “Do you think it hurts only you, and it does not hurt me seeing my parents being stupid, silly? It does not hurt me? It hurts me more. There is still time, you can change; but instead, you are trying to change me and you call it help. You think that I am going to be lost without your help. Please let me be lost. At least I will have the satisfaction that nobody else is responsible for my being lost. It is my own doing. I will be proud of it.”

If a child can be left innocent, uncorrupted by the ideas of others up to seven years old, then to distract him from his potential growth becomes impossible. The child’s first seven years are the most vulnerable and they are in the hands of the parents, teachers, and priests.
How to save the children from the parents, priests, teachers, is a question of such enormous proportion that it seems almost impossible to find an answer. It is not a question of helping the child. It is a question of protecting him.
If you have a child, protect the child from yourself. Protect the child from others who can influence him; protect him at least up to the age of seven. The child is just like a small plant, weak, soft: just a strong wind can destroy the plant, any animal can eat it. Put a protective fence around it, that is not imprisoning, you are simply protecting. When the plant is bigger, the fence will be removed.
Protect the child from every kind of influence, so that he can remain himself – and it is only a question of seven years because then the first cycle will be complete. By seven years of age he will be well-grounded, centered, and strong enough.
You don’t know how strong a seven-year-old child can be because you have not seen uncorrupted children; you have seen only corrupted ones. They carry the fears, the cowardliness, of their fathers, mothers, their families. They are not themselves.
You would be surprised to meet a child who has remained uncorrupted for seven years. He would be as sharp as a sword. His eyes would be clear, his insight would be clear. And you would see a tremendous strength in him which you cannot find even in a seventy-year-old adult because the foundations are shaky. In fact, as the building goes on becoming higher and higher, the shakier and shakier it becomes. So you will see that the older a person becomes, the more afraid he is. When he is young, he may be an atheist; when he becomes old, he starts believing in God. Why is that?
When he is below thirty he is a hippie. He has the courage to go against society, to behave in his own way: to have long hair, to have a beard, to roam around the world, to take all kinds of risks. But by the time he is forty, all that has disappeared. You will see him in an office in a gray suit, clean shaven, well groomed. You will not even be able to recognize that he is an ex-hippie.
Where have all the hippies disappeared to? You had seen them with a great force; then, just like used bullet cases, empty cartridges, impotent, defeated, depressed – trying to make something out of their lives, feeling that all those years of hippiedom were a wastage… Others have gone far ahead in life: somebody has become the president, somebody has become the governor, “We were stupid; we were just playing the guitar and the whole world passed us by.” They repent.
It is really difficult to find an old hippie. I have found just one: Bapuji, Sheela’s father. He will die a hippie. At his age – he must be near about seventy – he was living with hippies in northern New York State. Some photographer took a photograph of him; he was sitting naked on a hill with snow and ice all around. Somebody took a photo of him sitting there naked and the photos have come to me. People think Bapuji is me!
It is printed now… He looks really beautiful – naked, sitting on the top of the hill. The sun is rising, and all around there is snow; he looks really beautiful. Many people who have seen that photo – it is a postcard now – send it to me saying, “Osho, it was a surprise to find you sitting there.”
I told Sheela, “Tell Bapuji, ‘Don’t do such things because nobody knows you...’” But he will die a hippie.
He brought all his children to me, which no father has done except him. It was he who brought Sheela to me – forcibly because she was not interested. But he is not a man to listen to anybody. He said, “You have to go once; I will not ask you to go twice, then it is your business. But I have to force you to go once because you don’t know what you are refusing. Forgive me for forcing you, but I have to do it once.”
By and by, he brought all his children and almost all are now sannyasins. Once Sheela came, she never left me. He asked Sheela, teased her, “Now what about going back to America?” She had come from America.
She said, “I am not going anywhere.”
“But,” Bapuji said, “I had brought you just to meet him, not to stay.”
Sheela said, “But I have to be at the place I have been searching for.”
He said, “I am happy I have brought you to the right place: now I am freed of my responsibility. Now whatsoever becomes of you will be right.”
If you are a parent, you will need enough courage not to interfere. Open doors of unknown directions to the child, so he can explore. He does not know what he has in him, nobody knows. He has to grope in the dark. Don’t make him afraid of darkness, don’t make him afraid of failure, don’t make him afraid of the unknown. Give him support. When he is going on an unknown journey, send him on with all your support, with all your love, with all your blessings.
Don’t let him be affected by your fears. You may have fears, but keep them to yourself. Don’t unload those fears on the child because that will be interfering.
After seven years, the next cycle of seven years, from seven to fourteen, is a new addition to life: the child’s first stirring of sexual energies. But they are only a kind of rehearsal.
To be a parent is a difficult job, so unless you are ready to take that difficult job, don’t become a parent. People simply go on becoming fathers and mothers, not knowing what they are doing. You are bringing a life into existence; all the care in the world will be needed.
Now, when the child starts playing his sexual rehearsals is the time when parents interfere the most. It is because they have been interfered with. All that they know is what has been done to them, so they simply go on doing that to their children.
Societies don’t allow any sexual rehearsal, at least have not allowed it up to this century – only within the last two, three decades, and that too only in very advanced countries. Now children are having co-education. But in a country like India, even now co-education starts only at the university level.
The seven-year-old boy and the seven-year-old girl cannot stay in the same place. And this is the time for them – without any risk, without the girl getting pregnant, without any problems arising for their families – this is the time when they should be allowed playfulness.
Yes, it will have a sexual color to it, but it is a rehearsal; it is not the real drama. If you don’t even allow them a rehearsal and then suddenly one day the curtain opens, and the real drama starts… Those people don’t know what is going on; even a prompter is not there to tell them what to do. You have messed up their life completely.
Those seven years, the second cycle in life, is significant as a rehearsal. They will meet, mix, play, become acquainted. And that will help humanity to drop almost ninety percent of perversions. If the children are allowed to be together from seven to fourteen; to swim together – to be naked before each other – ninety percent of perversions and ninety percent of pornography will simply disappear. Who will bother about it?
When a boy has known so many girls naked, what interest can a magazine like Playboy have for him? When a girl has seen so many boys naked, I don’t see that there is any possibility of curiosity about the other; it will simply disappear. They will grow together naturally, not as two different species of animals. Right now they grow as two different species of animals. They don’t belong to one mankind; they are kept separate. A thousand and one barriers are created between them, so they cannot have any rehearsal of the sexual life which is going to come.
Because the rehearsal is missing, foreplay is missing in the actual sex; and foreplay is so important – far more important than actual sexual contact. Actual sexual contact lasts only for seconds; it is not nourishment. It simply leaves you in limbo. You were hoping for so much, and nothing comes out of it.
In Hindi we have a proverb: “Kheela pahad nikli chuhia. You dug out the whole mountain and you found one rat.’ After all the effort – going to the movies and going to the disco and going to the restaurant, and talking all kinds of nonsense which neither you want nor the other wants to do, but both are talking – digging the mountain, and in the end, just a rat! Nothing is as frustrating as sex.
Just the other day, Vivek brought me an advertisement about a new car, the Lagonda; in the advertisement they had a beautiful sentence that I liked. It is: “It is better than sex.” I don’t care about the car – the advertisement is beautiful. Certainly if you look around you, you will find a thousand and one things better than sex. Sex is just a rat! And that too after so much huffing and puffing, so much perspiration… In the end, both feel cheated.
The reason is that you don’t know the art of sex; you know only the middle point. It is as if you see just a few seconds in the middle of a film. Naturally you can’t make any sense of it; the beginning is missing, the end is missing. Perhaps you simply saw the interval, where there was nothing!
Man feels ashamed after sex; he turns over and goes to sleep. He simply cannot face the woman. He turns on his side and goes to sleep because he feels ashamed. The woman weeps and cries because this was not what she was hoping for: “This is all? Then what is this whole drama all about?” But the reason is that the rehearsal part of your life has been canceled by society. You don’t know what foreplay is.
Foreplay is really the most satisfying part in sex. Foreplay is more loving. Sex is simply a biological climax, but the climax of what? You have missed everything that could have made it a climax. Do you think you suddenly reach the climax, missing all the rungs of the ladder? You have to move up the ladder, rung by rung, only then can you reach a climax. Everybody wants just the climax.
Now the foolish psychoanalysts and their kind have put the idea of orgasm in people’s minds. Orgasm is an even higher stage than climax; it needs much more than climax. People are missing the climax – their sexual life is nothing but a kind of relief. Yes, for a moment you feel relieved of a burden, just like a good sneeze. How good it feels afterward! But for how long? How long can you feel good after a sneeze? For how many seconds, how many minutes, can you brag: “I had such a sneeze, it was great.” As the sneeze is gone, with it goes all the joy too.
It was simply something bothering you. You are finished with the botheration and there is a little relaxation. That’s the sexual life of most people in the world. Some energy was bothering you, bothering you, making you heavy; it was turning into a headache. Sex gives you relief.
But the way children are brought up almost butchers their whole life. Those seven years of sexual rehearsal are absolutely essential. Girls and boys should be together in schools, in hostels, in swimming pools, and in beds. They should rehearse for the life which is going to come; they have to get ready for it. There is no danger, no problem, if a child is given total freedom about his growing sexual energy and is not condemned, repressed – which is being done…
You are living in a very strange world. You are born of sex, you will live for sex, your children will be born out of sex – and sex is the most condemned thing, the greatest sin. All the religions go on putting this crap in your mind: they have made you almost into brown bags.
Only in New Jersey did I come to know what brown bags are. Strange… I don’t know whether it happens all over America, or only in New Jersey, because I have not seen anywhere else, only New Jersey. When I used to go to drive in the morning in New Jersey, everybody was coming out with a brown bag full of crap, putting it by the side of the road.
I inquired, “What is the matter? Couldn’t they have found any other color? A brown bag?” But then I thought perhaps that’s exactly right. Most of the people are simply brown bags. Never open anybody.

In my childhood, India became independent…. When India was under British rule, the British government had left some Indian states. India was in two separate sections; only one was under British rule. There were small pockets of Indian states all over India, which were still ruled by Indian kings. They were under the British government – their foreign policy was ruled by the British government – but otherwise in their internal policy they were completely free.
When the British left India, they left it in a mess, in a real mess. First, they divided it into India and Pakistan; second, they left the Indian states absolutely in a limbo, without making any decisions about them. The idea was to create a chaos – and they had already created a chaos because there were so many Indian states. Now the question was, were they independent nations? Were they part of India and would their foreign policy be ruled by India, or were they part of Pakistan and their foreign policy ruled by Pakistan?
Nothing was decided, the whole question was undecided. Those Indian states constituted almost half of India. The trouble was more complicated because in some Indian states, the major population was Hindu and the king was Mohammedan; in other Indian states, the major population was Mohammedan and the king was Hindu. Kashmir was ninety percent Mohammedan, but the king was Hindu. Hyderabad was ninety percent Hindu, but the king was Mohammedan.
Just close to my town, beyond the river, was a small state, Bhopal. The king was Mohammedan, the population was Hindu, so there were riots everywhere because the population wanted the state to merge with India, and the king wanted to merge it with Pakistan because he was Mohammedan. But it was in the middle of India so it was not easy to merge with Pakistan. There was a great fight between the king’s forces and the population, and we were just on the other side of the river. From that side we could see people being killed on the other side.
We caught hold of four corpses, people who had been killed by the forces of the king; they must have somehow fallen in the river and, as they came over to our side, we caught hold of them. Naturally, I had to persuade people, “This is not good. They have been fighting for the freedom of the country; they wanted the country to merge into India – you should not leave them like that.”
They wanted to throw them back into the river and be finished: who could be bothered with them? But somehow I gathered a few young people and then a few old people felt ashamed, so they came.
But first, before we could do anything, they had to have postmortems, so we took them to the hospital. The place was almost two furlongs away, behind the hospital, in the jungle. One can understand: they were cutting up bodies, the smell and everything… So they had made the place far away outside the city. We had to carry those corpses.
That was the first time I saw a brown bag open. The doctor was the father of one of my friends so he allowed me in. He said, “You can see how man looks inside,” and he opened the bodies. It was really shocking to see how a man looks inside. And this was only the body: later on I saw the postmortem of the mind also. Compared to that, the poor body is nothing. Your mind is so rich in crap…
That day something happened that I have to tell you about, although it is not concerned with what I was going to tell you – but it must be concerned in some way, otherwise why should I remember it?
When we were carrying the bodies out after they had the postmortem… They had put them together again and covered them. One of the leaders of my town, Shri Nath Batt, had always felt as if I was his enemy, for the simple reason that I was a friend of his son and he thought I was corrupting him – in a way he was right. By chance it happened that we were carrying a corpse together; I was ahead, holding the poles at the front of the stretcher and Shri Nath Batt was behind me holding the other end of the poles.
The head of the dead man was at my end and the legs at his end. I had just read somewhere that when a man dies, of course he loses all control – control over the bladder too, so if you put his head upward and his legs downward… I thought “This is a good chance to see whether that idea is right or wrong,” so I just raised the poles. And you should have seen what happened – the corpse pissed and Shri Nath Batt ran away!
We could not persuade him to come back. He said, “I cannot. Have you ever heard of a dead man pissing? It is a ghost!”
I told him, “You are a leader.”
He said, “To hell with the leader! I don’t want to be the leader if this is the kind of work I have to do. And I’ve always known you – from the very beginning. Why did you raise the poles?”
I said, “I don’t know, it must have been the ghost. I suddenly felt like somebody was lifting up my hands; I am not at all responsible.” I had to drag that body alone, for two furlongs.
Shri Nath Batt was in the town telling everybody, “This boy is going to kill somebody someday. Today I was saved just by God’s grace. That ghost just pissed over me, on my clothes. And he persuaded me: ‘You have to come because you are the leader; otherwise what will people think? A leader missing in times of need? Then remember, at voting time I will not be of any help.’ So I went, but I never thought that he would do such a thing to me.”

People all around the world are really brown bags, full of everything rotten that you can conceive, for the simple reason that they have not been allowed to behave in a natural way. They have not been allowed to accept themselves. They have all become ghosts. They are not authentically real people, they are just shadows of someone they could have been; they are just shadows.
The second cycle of seven years is immensely important because it will prepare you for the coming seven years. If you have done the homework rightly, if you have played with your sexual energy just in the spirit of a sportsman – and at that time, that is the only spirit you will have – you will not become a pervert, a homosexual.
All kinds of strange things will not come to your mind because you are moving naturally with the other sex, the other sex is moving with you; there is no hindrance and you are not doing anything wrong against anybody. Your conscience is clear because nobody has put into your conscience ideas of what is right and what is wrong: you are simply being whatever you are.
Then from fourteen to twenty-one your sex matures. And this is significant to understand: if the rehearsal has gone well, in the seven years when your sex matures, a very strange thing happens that you may never have thought of because you have not been given the chance. I said to you that the second seven years, from seven to fourteen, give you a glimpse of foreplay. The third seven years give you a glimpse of afterplay. You are still together with girls or boys, but now a new phase starts in your being: you start falling in love.
It is still not a biological interest. You are not interested in producing children; you are not interested in becoming husbands and wives, no. These are the years of romantic play. You are more interested in beauty, in love, in poetry, in sculpture – which are all different phases of romanticism. And unless a man has some romantic quality, he will never know what afterplay is. Sex is just in the middle.
The longer the foreplay, the better is the possibility of reaching a climax; the better the possibility of reaching the climax, the better the opening for afterplay. And unless a couple knows afterplay, they will never know sex in its completion.
Now there are sexologists who are teaching foreplay. A taught foreplay is not the real thing, but they are teaching it – at least they have recognized the fact that without foreplay sex cannot reach to a climax. But they are at a loss how to teach afterplay because when a person has reached a climax he is no longer interested: he is finished, the job is done. For that it needs a romantic mind, a poetic mind, a mind that knows how to be thankful, how to be grateful.
The person, the woman or the man who has brought you to such a climax, needs some gratitude – afterplay is your gratitude. And unless there is afterplay, it simply means your sex is incomplete; and incomplete sex is the cause of all the troubles that man goes through.
Sex can become orgasmic only when afterplay and foreplay are completely balanced. The climax turns into an orgasm just in their balance. The word orgasm has to be understood. It means that your whole being – body, mind, soul, everything – becomes involved, organically involved.
Then it becomes a moment of meditation.
To me, if your sex does not become finally a moment of meditation, you have not known what sex is. You have only heard about it, you have read about it; and the people who have been writing about it know nothing about it. I have read hundreds of books on sexology by people who are thought to be great experts, and they are experts, but they know nothing about the innermost shrine where meditation blossoms.
Just as children are born by ordinary sex, meditation is born by extraordinary sex.
Animals can produce children; there is nothing special about it. It is only man who can produce the experience of meditation as the center of his orgasmic feeling. This is possible only if from fourteen to twenty-one young people are allowed to have romantic freedom.
From twenty-one to twenty-eight is the time that they can settle. They can choose a partner. And then they are capable of choosing one; through all the experience of the past two cycles, they can choose the right partner. There is nobody else who can do it for you. It is something that is more like a hunch – not arithmetic, not astrology, not palmistry, not I-Ching; nothing else is going to do.
It is a hunch: coming into contact with many, many people, suddenly something clicks which had never clicked with anybody else. And it clicks with such certainty and so absolutely that you cannot even doubt it. Even if you try to doubt it, you cannot; the certainty is so tremendous. With this click, you settle.
Somewhere between twenty-one and twenty-eight, if everything goes smoothly the way I am saying, without interference from others, then you settle. And the most pleasant period of life comes from twenty-eight to thirty-five – the most joyous, the most peaceful and harmonious because two people start melting and merging into each other.
From thirty-five to forty-two, a new step, a new door opens. If up to thirty-five you have felt deep harmony, an orgasmic feeling, and you have discovered meditation through it, then from thirty-five to forty-two you will help each other go more and more into that meditation without sex, because sex at this point starts looking childish, juvenile.
Forty-two is the right time for a person to be able to know exactly who he is. From forty-two to forty-nine he goes deeper and deeper into meditation, more and more into himself, and helps the partner in the same way. They become friends. There is no more husband and there is no more wife; that time has passed. It has given its richness to your life; now there is something higher, higher than love.
That is friendliness, a compassionate relationship to help the other to go deeper into himself, to become more independent, to become more alone – just like two tall trees standing separate but still close to each other, or two pillars in a temple supporting the same roof – standing so close, but so separate and so independent and so alone.
From forty-nine to fifty-six this aloneness becomes your focus of being. Everything in the world loses meaning. The only thing meaningful that remains is this aloneness.
From fifty-six to sixty-three you become absolutely what you are going to become: the potential blossoms.
From sixty-three to seventy you start getting ready to drop the body. Now you know you are not the body, you know you are not the mind either. The body was known as separate from you somewhere when you were thirty-five. That the mind is separate from you was known somewhere when you were forty-nine. Now, everything else drops except the witnessing self. Just the pure awareness, the flame of awareness remains with you, and this is the preparation for death.
Seventy is the natural life span for man. And if things move in this natural course, then he dies with tremendous joy, with great ecstasy, feeling immensely blessed that his life has not been meaningless, that at least he has found his home. And because of this richness, this fulfillment, he is capable of blessing the whole existence.
Just to be near such a person when he is dying is a great opportunity. You will feel, as he leaves his body, some invisible flowers falling upon you. Although you cannot see them, you can feel them.
It has always been a great moment in the lives of disciples when the master leaves the body. And it is possible because the master can know when he is going to leave the body – he can collect all those who have been his fellow travelers, searching, moving in the same way. Now that he is leaving, he would like to give you his last gift. As the master opens his wings toward the other world, you will feel the breeze which is incomparable. There is nothing in life to which it can be compared.
It is sheer joy, so pure that even to have a little taste of it is enough to transform your whole life.

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