Spirituality: A Search for an Orgasmic State
Osho on German Writer Goethe
Born on 28 August 1749, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is regarded as one of the most influential and eminent writers of the German language whose compositions and advisory contributions helped to establish the city of Weimar as a literary and intellectual center. He was a part of the head council of the Duke of Saxe-Weimar, along with being a poet, playwright, novelist, scientist, theatre director and critic.
Goethe contributed significantly to each field that he was interested in. In literature, he wrote The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774), and Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship (1795–96), along with directing and premiering the acts of Friedrich Schiller. His poems were composed to music by many notable musicians such as Mozart, Beethoven, Mahler, etc. Goethe also wrote Metamorphosis of Plants (1788) and Theory of Colours establishing the spectrum of light. He is revered as a beloved gift to the world of literature – his words echoing through the generations of great thinkers under his influence.
Osho talks about Goethe, “When the German poet, Goethe, was dying, somebody said ‘In your long life you must have enjoyed many beautiful moments.’ He was a man of great calibre, one of the greatest geniuses of the world, and multi-dimensional. But the question made him very sad. He said ‘If I count then it can’t come to more than two weeks in my whole life. But those are the only two weeks that I have really lived — a few moments far and few between; those were the real moments. I have lived only two weeks, the rest has been just a wastage.’ If Goethe said that, what about an ordinary man? — not even two weeks.
But if one meditates, one simply sits for meditation, one keeps that one hour sacred and separate, slowly slowly that one hour becomes a window: it starts giving you glimpses of the beyond. In that one hour you become open to something unknown, mysterious. You start feeling the presence that can only be called divine; there is no other word to express it. That one hour becomes a transforming process.
So even if nothing happens in the beginning, don’t be worried; just go on sitting for that one hour. It brings great fruit. If you can, do Dynamic, Kundalini, or simply dancing will be good. If you cannot do anything — the situation does not allow — then simply sit silently. The whole question is: you should be deliberately in meditation for one hour. What you do is not so important, so all kinds of meditation help, because the basic thing is there: the deliberate effort to keep a few moments apart, away from the marketplace.”
GOETHE ONCE WROTE IN HIS ‘GOETZ VON BERLICHINGEN’, “POVERTY, CHASTITY AND OBEDIENCE — UNBEARABLE ARE THEY ALL.”
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT HIS STATEMENT?
It is absolutely correct. These are the three calamities that have ruined the very being of humanity. Obedience means, in other words, slavery. We are very clever to use good words for ugly realities. I do not teach you disobedience; this has to be understood clearly. Obedience is ugly, and the human mind moves like a pendulum of a clock — it immediately goes to the opposite. Then it starts making disobedience the law of life. Disobedience is only reaction. If there is no obedience imposed on you, disobedience will disappear automatically because there is nothing to disobey. So I have to make it clear to you that I hate obedience, but in that obedience disobedience is included, because they are part of one reality. I teach intelligence.
Obedience keeps you retarded. You have just to follow; you are not to doubt, you are not to question, you have just to be a robot. Naturally, sooner or later, particularly younger people start feeling that all this obedience is nothing but a strategy to impose slavery. They react, and move to the other extreme. Whatever is said, don’t do it — that becomes their religion. In both the ways they remain retarded. My struggle is against the retardedness of human mind. I want you to be intelligent, to decide for yourself.
I can explain something to you. I can put all my cards open before you. Now it is up to you to decide what to do. Action is going to be your decision. Explanation can be done by your parents, by your teachers, by the society, but explanation is not an order to act. They are simply making you aware of the whole situation. Making you aware of the whole situation makes you intelligent; you become more alert, you start seeing things which you were not seeing before. You become aware of new directions, new dimensions, new ways of looking at things.
But there is no order that you have to act according to the explanation given to you.
Action has to come from your own intelligence, from your own understanding. It will not be obedience, it will not be disobedience. Sometimes you may feel it perfectly right to do something, but that is your decision. Sometimes you may feel it is not right to do something; that too is your decision. The more decisions you are allowed to take, the more your intelligence is sharpened. Obedience takes away the very base of growth, it simply orders you.
You can see it happening in the army: the very psychology of obedience in its complete picture. The soldiers are for years trained for absolutely meaningless things… Turn to the left… there is no reason. Turn to the right… there is no reason. Go backwards, come forwards… there is no reason. For hours… It is an exercise in destroying their intelligence…The whole structure of armies around the world is made in such a way that in three or four years they destroy your intelligence completely, you become almost a mechanical robot. The moment you hear the order, “March!” you simply march; no question arises within you.
After the first world war, a man was retired. He had been awarded great prizes for his bravery. Two persons sitting in a restaurant watched the man carrying a bucket full of eggs on his head, and just to play a joke, one of them shouted, “Attention!”
In the middle of the street, the man stood in the position of attention and the eggs fell all over the street. He was very angry. He said, “This is not right. Now who is going to pay for my eggs?”
Those people said, “We have done nothing. There is no prohibition on using the word `attention’. We have not told you to obey it.”
The man said, “You don’t understand. I have been thirty years in the army. I have completely forgotten how to make any decision on my own — attention means simply attention. Although I am retired, the habit of thirty years of simply being obedient has become my second nature. I am a poor man. You should not have done this.”
Obedience is basically used by religions, politicians, educationalists, parents. They are all destroying your intelligence, and they are making a great value of obedience. It is a disease far more dangerous than any cancer, because cancer can be cured, can be operated on. But once you get caught into the net of obedience, there is no cure for you.
God was angry with Eve and Adam because they disobeyed; that was their only sin. Obedience is virtue. And the disobedience of Adam and Eve was so great that even now every Christian is born in sin, because your original forefathers — Adam and Eve — sinned against God. Obedience seems to be the very base of all your religions. In different ways they support it: belief, faith, no questioning, simply following THE HOLY BIBLE or the holy KORAN. You are not taken into account at all. You are just a slave. Certainly obedience makes you more efficient. That’s why everybody wants you to be obedient — your father, your mother, everybody wants you to be obedient.
In my childhood it was an everyday problem. I had made it clear to my parents, “If you want me to do something, please explain to me why and let me decide. If you don’t want me to do it, then you can order me to do it. I would rather die than follow your order.”
In my village we had a beautiful river. In summer it was not so big, but in the rainy season it became huge. I was a constant lover of the river, and if they could not find me anywhere else they searched for me near the river, and they always found me there.
My father told me, “Remember one thing: when the river is flooded with rainwater, it is a mountainous river, do not try to cross it.”
I said, “Now it is absolutely impossible for me to resist the temptation. I will cross it.”
He said, “You will die. You will not be able to cross such a strong mountainous current.”
I said, “It will be a glorious death, but I am going to cross it.”
The whole village gathered when I crossed the river. I was only twelve years of age. Nobody had done it before, it looked so dangerous. It took me almost six miles downstream to reach the other shore, and many times I felt that it was going to be impossible. But I crossed it.
Later on my father said to me, “Can’t you understand anything?”
I said, “That’s what I am trying to do, but you don’t let me understand.”
I had made it clear to the whole family, “Don’t order; otherwise I am not going to obey. You are making me disobedient. The whole crime will be on your heads. I simply want to have explanations and to be left at liberty to decide for myself. You should have explained to me the whole situation of the river, how dangerous it can be, and that is all; then it would have been my decision to do it or not to do it.
“But it has to be my decision, not anybody else’s. I understand your intention is good, but the way you are trying to impose your intention is very dangerous. Rather than seeing the death of my intelligence I would like to die myself, because what is the point of living like a robot?”
So Goethe is correct: obedience is one of the greatest sins. All the religions have perpetuated it, and all the generations have perpetuated it. He is absolutely right when he says about chastity that it is unbearable. It is not only unbearable — he is not being absolutely correct — it is impossible.
Chastity is against nature, and in anything against nature you are going to be a loser. You can be victorious with nature; against it, your defeat is sure and certain.
But that’s what for centuries we have been told, to be chaste — and at a time when it is naturally and absolutely impossible. At the age of fourteen the boy becomes sexually mature, nature is ready, the boy is capable of reproducing. At thirteen the girl is ready to reproduce. But all the societies prolong… There is education, the university…The scientific fact is that between fourteen and twenty-one, somewhere near eighteen and a half, the boy comes to the very highest peak of sexual energy, which he will never attain again. And the same is true with the girl: somewhere near seventeen and a half she comes to the greatest peak of attaining orgasmic experience.
The whole of humanity has been deprived of orgasmic experience. By the time somebody returns from the university he is twenty-five, and if he goes back there for a Ph.D. then he is twenty-seven or twenty-eight. His peak of sexual energy is gone… down the drain! And now he gets married. Both are declining, and now they are no longer capable of having that vigor, that natural force which could have produced the orgasmic experience — which is one of the foundations of religious experience. A person who has known orgasmic blissfulness, only for a few moments, has touched the boundary line that divides ordinary life from the divine life. And with the orgasmic experience the desire naturally arises, “Is it all or is there much more?” The experience is so tremendously thrilling that one wants to have something more, something better, something more refined.
The first person who became religious must have become religious only because of orgasmic experience — because there is no other experience which can give you an insight into religion.
Millions of people on the earth live their whole lives without the orgasmic experience. You want these people to pray in churches, in the temples, in mosques? You have destroyed the very energy in them which would have taken them to the beyond without any priest.
In the orgasmic experience a few things become very clear to the person: one, mind stops… for a few seconds there are no thoughts. Time stops… for a few moments there is no past, no future, but only the present. Of course the experience is very fleeting and very momentary. And the only drawback in it is that it depends on the other person; it happens between two persons — a man and a woman who are deep in love, who want to merge into each other so totally that they are not two entities but one organic whole. It is a very simple, intelligent understanding that if we can stop thinking and stop time, perhaps the same experience will happen without the other partner. And that’s how the whole spiritual phenomenon developed.
People tried; they succeeded. Mind stops and time stops — simultaneously. Mind and time are not two different things. Reality is only in the present; past and future are part of the mind. The present is the stoppage of time. When there are no thoughts, how can you think of the past and how can you think of the future? There is no way to think about the present, you are already in it. There is no need to think about it, you are experiencing it.
People tried, explorers of the interior world — we don’t know their names, who were the first explorers of the greatest discovery in human existence, who tried and succeeded in stopping time and mind — and they were surprised that when there is not the other, then this state of orgasmic blissfulness can last as long as you want.
It is no longer physiology; it is no longer biology; it is no longer genetics — you have come beyond. It can spread over all your twenty-four hours. Slowly, slowly you will start living in it. You don’t have to produce it; it becomes just like breathing — you don’t even have to think about it. This state of your consciousness is the greatest experience that life makes available to you. But before it becomes available you should have some taste, some experience that helps you to go in search for the ultimate. This is the ultimate state.
Enlightenment is nothing but an orgasmic state which has become natural to you, just like the heartbeat.
And then there are many discoveries which happen in this state. In this state it was discovered that each man is both a man and a woman, and each woman is both a man and a woman. In the contemporary world Carl Gustav Jung was the first to come across it. He thought he had discovered something great — it is something great, but it is not his discovery. In the East for at least ten thousand years we have known the fact: there are scriptures… there were statues made in which one half is male and the other half is female. When you are in an orgasmic state, you discover for the first time that no outside woman is needed, no outside man is needed; your own inner woman is meeting with your inner man. And because both are inside you, the meeting can last forever. Only this kind of man transcends sex.
Repression is not chastity; repression is not celibacy. Repression is perversion.
Using sex at the right moment, when it is at its peak… We are prohibiting our children from having anything to do with sex at the time when they are at the highest peak to which they will never attain again. Now it will be completely going down and down the hill… And when your energies are shrinking, orgasmic experience becomes more and more difficult, almost impossible. Goethe is absolutely right. Poverty is the third thing he says is unbearable. It is unbearable, but religions have made it bearable. They function as opium — opium can make anything bearable.
In India I have seen this happen. Poor women have to go to work; only the husband’s earnings are not enough to keep them alive. But they have children, small children, and nobody wants a woman bringing the child to work. If a road is being made, the woman will have to go a dozen times to the child to feed him, to take care of him, and the child will throw tantrums and will cry and weep and the woman will have to go to calm him down. This is a disturbance, so they have found a trick. All these poor women give a little opium to the child when they go to work. Then hungry, in the hot sun, he does not make any trouble; he simply lies down by the side of the road. I have seen hundreds of children lying by the side of the road and the women are working. I was puzzled in the beginning, why these children are so patient. Then I was made aware that they had been given opium. All the religions have been doing the same to make poverty bearable. The opium is very subtle. First, they all teach that whatever state you are in — in the East it is because of your past life, and if you don’t make any trouble, if you don’t make any revolt against your present state, in the future life you will enjoy all the riches possible. Now, this is psychological opium. Those people are waiting for a future life to have all the pleasures, and somehow carrying their poverty — which is unbearable.
In the West, where past life and future life are not part of the mythologies, they have other consolations. Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor for they shall inherit the kingdom of God.” What is this? — simple opium. To call the poor blessed… And to console them he says, “A camel can pass through the eye of a needle, but a rich man cannot enter into paradise.” So the poor man is in a better condition than the rich man. It is only a question of a few years — because there is only one life in Christianity, in Judaism, in Mohammedanism. This is a test of your trust: if you trust in God, if you trust in Jesus Christ, you will go through this very easily. And the whole paradise for eternity is specially made for you; all rich men will be thrown into hell. It gives great consolation. One starts thinking, “That’s perfect. We may be for seventy years poor, but these rich people are going to suffer for eternity and we are going to enjoy all the pleasures for eternity. It is not a bad bargain.”
If these religions were not giving people such poisonous ideas, the world would have destroyed poverty long, long ago.
Man is capable of reaching to the moon, and he cannot destroy poverty. He is capable of creating nuclear weapons which can destroy the earth seven hundred times, and he’s not capable of destroying poverty. It’s simply illogical, absurd. Poverty can be destroyed, but nobody wants to destroy it. Religions want to keep it, because otherwise all the blessed people of the earth will disappear and there will only be cursed people enjoying. That will be unbearable for the bishops and the cardinals and the pope — the cursed people are enjoying everything and all the blessed people have disappeared. And these blessed people who have disappeared — these blessed people are the people who come to the church; these blessed people are the people who support all kinds of idiots who pretend to be mediators between them and God.
Yesterday the local bishop has declared that he is going to take a protest march into the town against me. I was really excited, so I said, “That is great.” But nothing happened. I sent a few sannyasins to enquire what is the matter, what happened to the protest. The protest did not happen because nobody gathered there, only a few old women who go to the church. Who goes to the church otherwise? — only old women who have nowhere to go, old women who are not wanted anywhere go to the church. They gathered, but the bishop must have thought it will look foolish to have a protest with a dozen old women; it will be a protest against Christianity, not against me. So hiding somewhere in a small room… We tried to find out where they were meeting, but we could not. Then he gave a declaration to the newspapers that “the concerned people had a secret meeting.” And who are these concerned people? — the old women. I loved the words “concerned people.”
All these religions are living on poverty. The poor go there because they are suffering; it is unbearable, they need some kind of consolation. The rich don’t go there; they are not suffering. And if they are in a certain anguish, these priests are not capable of helping them. The rich people, feeling frustrated, have to search for somebody who can help them out of their anguish. They don’t want opium. The politicians don’t want everybody to become rich, because it is more difficult to enslave rich people than poor. It is easier to purchase the votes of the poor than to convince the rich people to vote for them. The richer a person becomes, the more out of hand he is as far as politicians are concerned. A richer person, if he has any psychological problem, will go to a psychoanalyst, not to a priest. He will go the East to find some meditator to help him realize himself so that he can go beyond the mind, but he will not go to these ordinary priests who don’t know anything.
Amrito has told me about another priest, a bishop, who lives far away from here. She has heard that he is a very revolutionary man, a very intelligent man. He was so intelligent and revolutionary that he was sent to Germany for ten years. The people of this island asked him back and forced the church to give their priest back. Now he is back. She was thinking that he is the man who will be able to understand me, so she went, wasted her whole day. The priest may have been intelligent and may have looked revolutionary, but he seems to be a coward because he said, “I am perfectly willing to come and meet Osho, but not on the island. He has been here just two days and things are boiling up, and it is too hot. I don’t want to take this danger. If Osho comes to Athens, then I can come and meet him secretly there.” These are your religious leaders. And this man was thought to be a revolutionary; the church had to send him away for ten years. And I don’t think that anything is boiling here. I don’t see any problem arising here. It is as peaceful here as it will be anywhere on the whole island.
Goethe is right, but nobody has criticized him for the simple reason that he does not elaborate. He simply says, “Chastity, obedience, poverty are unbearable” — in a very mild tone, so nobody has criticized him. He is criticizing your whole church, your whole religion, your whole civilization. But he is being clever, he is not straightforward; he should have defined everything that he meant by it.
I have been told by many sympathetic people — Indira Gandhi was prime minister of India; she told me, “If you say the same things without making them too elaborate and in a mild tone, nobody will take any objection. But you make everything so fiery…”
I said, “Then what will be the point? Why should I waste my time making mild, liberal statements if it does not create thinking in people? I am going to put more and more fire into my words.”
She said, “I know you. Because of your words I want to come to see you at your commune. I cannot come; I am afraid of my voters, that there will be great trouble. Just coming to meet you in your commune I will lose many voters, many sympathizers.”
This is from a very courageous woman. And from many sources people have been telling me, “Why don’t you say things in such a way that nobody is hurt?” The point is not that nobody is hurt; if nobody is hurt then nobody wakes up. I am ready to risk my life if I can wake people.
Those three words he has chosen are perfectly right. Goethe was a man of insight, tremendous insight, but not courageous. So that great statement has never been taken any note of by the people — nobody has bothered about it. But now that I have explained what he really means, you can understand that there are many people in the world who have said right things, but in such a lousy way that they don’t make any impact. Humanity needs people who are real fire and who can make them aflame. Certainly many enemies will be created, but that does not count. What counts is the friends.
Do you know how many enemies Gautam Buddha created? — you cannot name even a few of them. They disappeared, but his friends took over the whole of Asia. How many enemies did Jesus create? — almost the whole of the Jewish community. But where are the enemies? What is their position? What is their situation? Christianity has become the greatest religion in the world, and Jesus had very few friends. To begin with, he had only twelve disciples, a few sympathizers.
I am far more fortunate. I have millions of friends. I don’t care about the enemies because enemies disappear; they don’t make any impact on history.
The impact that is made, is made by friends. The friends of truth are the people who revolutionize, who change human beings for the better.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Woodlands, Bombay.
Discourse Series: Socrates Poisoned Again After 25 Centuries
Chapter title: You are accepted by the whole universe
25 February 1986 am in
Osho has spoken on distinguished poets like Byron, Coleridge, D.H. Lawrence, Ghalib, Heinrich Heine, John Ruskin, Kahlil Gibran, Kalidas, Keats, Leo Tolstoy, Mark Twain, Milton, Oscar Wilde, Rabindranath Tagore, Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, Rumi, Rudyard Kipling, Shakespeare, Shelley, William Blake, Wordsworth and many more in His discourses. Some of these can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- The Book of Wisdom
- The Sword and The Lotus
- Returning to the Source
- Light on the Path
- The Secret
- The Hidden Splendour
- The New Dawn
- Beyond Enlightenment
- From Bondage to Freedom
- The Golden Future
- Take It Easy, Vol 1
- The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 4, 5
- Theologia Mystica