Osho on hell of living with a
woman and the hell of living without a woman
Question: My love-life drama now
reflects an old saying of Humphrey Bogart's: Women -- they're
hell to live with, and hell to live Without. What to do?
Osho : One has to pass through this
hell. One has to experience both the hell of living with a woman
and the hell of living without a woman.
And it is not only true
about women, it is exactly true about men too. So don't be a
male chauvinist pig! It is applicable both ways, it is a
double-edged sword. Women are also tired of living with men and
they are also frustrated when they have to live alone. It is one
of the most fundamental of human dilemmas; it has to be
understood. You cannot live without a woman because you don't
know how to live with yourself.
You are not meditative enough. Meditation is the art of living
with yourself. It is nothing else than that, simply that: the
art of being joyously alone. A meditator can sit joyously alone
for months, for years. He does not hanker for the other, because
his own inner ecstasy is so much, is so overpowering, that who
bothers about the other? If the other comes into his life it is
not a need, it is a luxury. And I am all for luxury, because
luxury means you can enjoy it if it is there and you can enjoy
it when it is not there. A need is a difficult phenomenon.
For example, bread and butter are needs, but the flowers in the
garden are a luxury. You can live without the flowers, you will
not die, but you cannot live without bread and butter. For the
man who cannot live with himself, the other is a need, an
absolute need, because whenever he is alone he is bored with
himself -- so bored that he wants some occupation with somebody
else. Because it is a need it becomes a dependence, you have to
the other. And because it becomes a dependence you hate, you
rebel, you resist, because it is a slavery.
Dependence is a kind of slavery, and nobody wants to be a slave.
You meet a woman – you are not able to live alone. The woman is
also not able to live alone, that's why she is meeting you ;
otherwise there is no need. Both are bored with themselves and
both are thinking that the other will help to get rid of the
boredom. Yes, in the beginning it looks like that, but only in
the beginning. As they settle together, soon they see that the
boredom is not destroyed -- it is not only doubled but
Now, first they were bored with themselves, now they are bored
with the other too -- because the closer you
come to the other, the more you know the other, the more the
other becomes almost a part of you. That's why if you see a
bored couple walking by you can be certain they are married. If
they are not bored you can be certain they are not married. The
man must be walking with somebody else's wife, that's why there
is so much joy.
When you are in love -- when you have not yet persuaded the
woman and the woman has not yet persuaded you to be together
forever -- you both pretend great joy. And something of it is
true, too, because of the hope that "Who knows, I may come out
of my boredom, my anguish, my anxiety, my aloneness. This woman
may help me." And the woman is also hoping. But once you are
together the hopes soon disappear, despair sets in again. Now
are bored and the problem has become multiplied. Now, how to get
rid of this woman?
Because you are not meditative you need
others to keep you occupied. And because you are not
meditative you are not able to love either, because love is an
overflowing joy. You are bored with yourself. What have you got
to share with the other? Hence, being with the other also
becomes hell. In that sense Jean-Paul Sartre is right that the
other is hell. The other is not hell really; it only appears so.
The hell exists in you, in your nonmeditativeness, in your
incapacity to be alone and ecstatic. And both are unable to be
alone and ecstatic.
Now both are at each other's throats, continuously trying to
snatch some happiness from each other. Both are doing that and
both are beggars.
I have heard:
One psychoanalyst met another psychoanalyst on the
street. The first said to the other, "You look fine. How am I?"
Nobody knows about himself, nobody is acquainted with himself.
We only see others' faces. A woman looks beautiful, a man looks
beautiful, smiling, all smiles. We don't know his anguish. Maybe
all those smiles are just a facade to deceive others and to
deceive himself. Maybe behind those smiles there are great
tears. Maybe he is afraid if he does not smile he may start
weeping and crying.
But when you see the other you simply see the surface, you fall
in love with the surface. But when you come closer, you soon
know that the inner depths of the other person are as dark as
your own. He is a beggar just as you are. Now... two beggars
begging from each other. Then it becomes hell.
Yes, you are right: "Women -- they're hell
to live with, and hell to live without."
It is not a question of women at all, nor a question of
men; it is a question of meditation and love. Meditation is the
source from which joy wells up within you and starts
overflowing. If you have joy enough to share, then only will
your love be a contentment. If you don't have joy enough to
share, your love is going to be tiring, exhausting, boring. So
whenever you are with a woman you are bored and you want to get
rid of her, and whenever you are alone you are bored with
yourself and you want to get rid of your loneliness, and you
seek and search for a woman. This is a vicious circle! You can
go on moving like a pendulum from one extreme to the other your
whole life. See the real problem! The real problem has nothing
to do with man and woman.
The real problem has something to do with meditation and the
flowering of meditation in love, in joy, in blissfulness. First
meditate, be blissful, then much love will happen of its own
accord. Then being with others is beautiful and being alone is
also beautiful. Then it is simple, too. You don't depend on
others and you don't make others dependent on you. Then it is
always a friendship, a friendliness. It never becomes a
relationship, it is always a relatedness. You relate, but you
don't create a marriage. Marriage is out of fear, relatedness is
out of love.
You relate; as long as things are moving beautifully, you share.
And if you see that the moment has come to depart, because your
paths separate at this crossroad, you say goodbye with great
gratitude for all that the other has been to you, for all the
joys and all the pleasures and all the beautiful moments that
you have shared with the other. With no misery, with no pain,
you simply separate. Nobody can guarantee that two persons will
be happy together always, because people change. When you meet a
woman she is one person, you are one person.
After ten years you will be another person, she will be another
person. It is like a river: the water is continuously flowing.
The people who had fallen in love are no more there, both are no
more there. Now you can go on clinging to a certain promise
given by somebody else -- but you have not given it. A real man
of understanding never promises for tomorrow, he can only say,
"For the moment." A really sincere man cannot promise at all.
How can he promise? Who knows about tomorrow?
Tomorrow may come, may not come. Tomorrow may come: "I will not
be the same, you will not be the same." Tomorrow may come: "You
may find somebody with whom you fit more deeply, I may find
somebody whom I go with more harmoniously." The world is
vast. Why exhaust it today? Keep doors open, keep alternatives
open. I am against marriage. It is marriage that creates
problems. It is marriage that has become very ugly. The most
ugly institution in the world is marriage, because it forces
people to be phony: they have changed, but they go on pretending
that they are the same.
One old man, eighty years old, was celebrating his fiftieth
wedding anniversary with his wife who was seventy-five. They
went to the same hotel, to the same hill-station where they had
gone on their honeymoon.
The nostalgia! Now he is eighty, she is seventy-five. They
booked into the same hotel and took the same room. They were
trying to live those beautiful days of fifty years ago again.
And when they were going to sleep, the woman said, "Have you
forgotten? Are you not going to kiss me the way you kissed me on
our honeymoon night?"
The old man said, "Okay." So he got up.
The woman asked, "Where are you going?"
He said, "I am going to get my teeth from the bathroom."
Everything has changed. Now this kiss without teeth or with
false teeth is not going to be the same kiss. But the man says,
"Okay." The journey must have been tiring, and for an eighty
year- old.... But people go on behaving as if they were the
One old woman and one old man got married. It must have happened
in America, where else! In America nobody seems to be getting
old, everybody is pretending to be young.
So they went on their honeymoon. The old man took the wife's
hand in his hand and pressed it for two, three minutes -- that
was all they could do as far as lovemaking was concerned -- then
they went to sleep.
Next day he again pressed the old woman's hand -- but this time
only for one minute -- three minutes may have been too long. And
the third day, just as he was going to press the woman's hand,
she said, turning to the other side, "Today I have a headache."
Very few people really grow up; even if they become aged, they
don't grow up. Growing old is not growing up. Real maturity
comes through meditation. Learn to be silent, peaceful, still.
Learn to be a no-mind. That has to be the beginning for all Sannyasins. Nothing can be done before that and everything
becomes easier after that. When
you find yourself utterly happy and blissful, then even if the
third world war happens and the whole world disappears leaving
you alone, it won't affect you. You will be still sitting under
your tree doing vipassana.
The day that moment comes in your life you can share your joy --
now you are able to give love. Before that it is going to be
misery, hopes and frustrations, desires and failures, dreams...
and then dust in your hand and in your mouth. Beware, don't
waste time. The earlier you become attuned to no-mind, the
better it is. Then many things can flower in you: love,
creativity, spontaneity, joy, prayer, gratitude, God.
Related Osho Article:
Osho on what is Love
Marriage and Friendship
discourse on Love - Am I in Love
Osho - why do you ask people to get
What is Jealousy and why does it Hurt so much
I very much doubt my wife. What should I do
Relationships and learn how to Relate
Osho on importance of
Commitment in a Relationship
Relationship between Living Partners and Growth
Problems of Love - In my relationship I often
lose my Self
relating with people, Relationship is not relating
Aloneness - We are born alone, we live alone, and we die alone
Osho on hell of
living with a woman and the hell of living without a woman
If love becomes
destroyed in Marriage, how are we to Live if we wish to share
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