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Question - Beloved Osho, What is the right way to help a child grow without interfering in his natural potentiality?

Osho - Every way to help 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 to help him rightly to attain to his natural potential. You cannot help when the goal is unknown; all that you can do is not interfere. And in fact, in the name of help everybody is interfering with everybody else; and because the name is beautiful, nobody objects.

Of course the child is so small, so dependent on you, he cannot object. And the people around are just like you: they have also been helped by their parents, the way you have been helped. Neither they have attained 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 natural potential -- one cannot even attain unnatural potential! One cannot move; the weight on everybody's shoulders is Himalayan.

And it is one of the most difficult things, not to interfere. 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. Adolf Hitler is powerful because he can interfere in millions of people's lives. You are not Adolf Hitler, but still you can interfere in a few people's lives ... a little, miniature Adolf 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, without being aware why they are interfering. They were supposed to be together to enhance each other's life but ....

The husband will come late every day -- not that it is essential to come 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 offices doing nothing, gossiping, knowing perfectly well that their wives will be boiling. They can reach home in time, but that's what she wants. Just because she wants, 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 have sat with a husband in his car, and he is honking his horn because he is worried; he has to take me to a particular meeting and I have to be there in time. And I don't like to waste 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. And he is not just a nobody; he is so occupied, so busy, that he is bound to be late.

I know political leaders who were just sitting and gossiping, and I have told 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 not a big shot, just a small fry."

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 is worried, and the wife leans out of the window and says, "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 is the boss. 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." And 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." And each child is unique so there cannot be a general discipline for every child.

People like this 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 have even the nerve to suggest a generalized program, that this should be done? But Miss Judith Martin .... I don't know how many times she has become "Miss." I think at least a dozen times certainly, because no husband can survive her; either he will escape or commit suicide, but he will have to do something to make her Miss again. And she must be now very old.

Perhaps finally when she became famous and the most well-known authority on child-rearing, nobody dared to marry her again, because such a woman, who has no compassion on children -- do you think she will have some 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 law-givers. But I say again to you, 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 one nun ... the whole nunnery became concerned about her. Is she sick or something? -- because she was taking her bath with her clothes on! And the doors were closed in the bathroom. 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, there is none of you, but God is there, and to undress before God does not look right."

They all must have thought her a crackpot, but she really, literally had accepted the idea of the omnipresence of God. Exactly like omnipresent God is the average man: he exists nowhere and is supposed to exist everywhere. And all the 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; the child may fall into the well if you don't stop him." But I say to you, it is better to let him fall into the well than to help him and destroy him.

It is a very rare possibility that the child falls into the well -- and then too, it does not mean death; he can be taken out of the well. 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 on his way.

You will have to understand some significant growth patterns. Life has seven-year circles, it moves in seven-year circles just as the earth makes one rotation on its axis in twenty-four hours. Now nobody knows why not twenty-five, why 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 standing the same. In twenty-four hours the earth makes one turn on its own axis. 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 circles. I don't know. This much I know, that it moves in seven-year circles. And if you understand those seven-year circles, 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; that is a primitive way of stamping. You still do it on the cattle around here; I have seen stamps. Every owner stamps the cattle, otherwise they can get mixed up. It is a cruel thing. Red-hot steel has to be used to stamp the cattle's leather, skin; it burns the skin. But then it becomes your possession; it cannot be lost, it cannot be stolen.
What is circumcision? It is stamping cattle. But these cattle are Jews.

Hindus have their own ways. All religions have their own ways. But it should be known whose cattle 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 make everything confused.

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 was told to you you accepted as truth. And whatsoever has gone into your foundation, later on it will be very difficult for you to find: 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 towards the child is to leave his first seven years absolutely innocent, unconditioned, to leave him for seven years completely wild, 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 you can invent your own, if nothing suits. If everything seems to be with a flaw, 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 the son should agree with the father. In fact it seems far better that he should not agree. That's how evolution happens. If every child agrees with the father then there will be no evolution, because the father will agree with his own father, so 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 to condemn me. Any visitor to the family, any guest of the family ... and I would be called. And I knew for what, but I enjoyed it. I was called to be condemned: "And this boy is in disagreement with everything." In Hindi there is a phrase for it: ulti khopdi -- 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 -- 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 still I 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 all the walls, balconies. The whole town becomes a fairyland, the whole country turns into a fairyland, with firecrackers and great rejoicing. 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, iswar, means "one who has all the wealth of the world." His 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 put paper money 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 ... because 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 went on ... the question is of worshiping money. I never participated in their worship. I simply hated the whole idea and I 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, on the other hand it becomes a goddess. And you cannot 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 renounced money and everything. And on the other hand you worship money. Can you in some way help me to understand? Is there 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, "You just keep quiet; at least let us finish our worship."
I would say, "No, first I want my answer."

And I had a big stool in my house -- they used to use it as a ladder for taking things up or down -- so wherever they would be worshiping, in the main hall of the house, I would sit on that stool. And they would say, "At least please come down. You are sitting on that stool."

I said, "No, I want my answers. I see so much stupidity in it, because I have seen you touching people's feet who have renounced money. Then you tell me that this 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 all this money, at least stop worshiping it. And you have to answer me; otherwise my disagreement continues."

My mother would say to me, "On such days you should be out of the house because you don't know -- if the goddess Laxmi becomes angry we will all starve and be hungry and die poor."

I said, "I have been doing this year after year, sitting on my stool. I don't see that your goddess can do anything. If she can, I challenge her -- let her, because at least that will give me some answer." And when they were all finished with their worship I would go and kick their rupees, and spit on their rupees, and I would 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. And 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, or many temples ... 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. And the prophet of non-violence was against vaccination because he was against anything scientific -- and moreover it was thought the disease is not a physiological disease, it is a spiritual anger.

One of my sisters died of smallpox, and I was very angry because I loved that sister more than any of my brothers or my sisters. I told them, "You have killed her. I have been telling you that she needs 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 just in my first year. And every child suffers. When this girl was born I was insisting 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."

And 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, "Then please do 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" -- because I used to go to the river and the temple was just on the way so there was no harm; coming and going I would spit.

And I said, "Whatsoever you do ... but it is strange -- I am spitting, I should suffer. Why should she suffer? And I cannot understand that the mother goddess becomes angry and small children suffer -- who have not committed any crime, who have just arrived, who have not had time enough to do anything, nor are capable of doing anything. Others should suffer, but they are not suffering.

"And mother goddess you call her! You should call her a witch, because what kind of mother is she who makes small children suffer? And then you are cunning. You are also not certain; otherwise don't take the medicine. Throw 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 on the contrary, you are trying to change me, and you call it help. You think without your help I am going to be lost. Please let me be lost. At least I will have one satisfaction, that nobody else is responsible for my being lost; it is my own doing. I will be proud of it."

Up to seven years, if a child can be left innocent, uncorrupted by the ideas of others, 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 parents, teachers, priests .... How to save children from parents, priests, teachers is a question of such enormous proportion that it seems almost impossible to find how to do it.

It is not a question of helping the child. It is a question of protecting the child. If you have a child, protect the child from yourself. Protect the child from others who can influence him: at least up to seven years, protect him. The child is just like a small plant, weak, soft: just a strong wind can destroy it, any animal can eat it up. You put a protective wiring around it, but that is not imprisoning, you are simply protecting. When the plant is bigger, the wires 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 circle will be complete. By seven years he will be well-grounded, centered, 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 children. They carry the fears, the cowardliness, of their fathers, mothers, their families. They are not their own selves.

If a child remains uncorrupted for seven years .... You will be surprised to meet such a child. He will be as sharp as a sword. His eyes will be clear, his insight will be clear. And you will see a tremendous strength in him which you cannot find even in a seventy-year-old adult, because the foundations are shaky. So in fact as the building goes on becoming higher and higher, the more and more shaky it becomes.

So you will see, the older a person becomes, the more afraid. 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 courage to go against the 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 some 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? Suddenly you see them with a great force; then, just like used bullet cases, empty cartridges, impotent, defeated, depressed -- trying to make something out of life, feeling that all those years of hippiedom were a wastage. Others have gone far ahead; somebody has become the president, somebody has become the governor, and "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. Just one I have found; that is 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 ... snow, ice, all around. And he was sitting naked there. Somebody took his photo, and those photos have been coming to me. People think Bapuji is me!

It is printed now, because he looks really beautiful -- naked, sitting on the top. The sun is rising, and all around snow, and he is looking really beautiful. Many people who have found that photo -- it is a postcard now -- go on sending it to me saying, "Osho, it was a surprise to find you sitting here."
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, "Once, you have to come; twice I will not ask, then it is your business. But once I have to force you because you don't know what you are refusing. So forgive me for forcing you, but one time I have to force you."

He brought all his children by and by, and almost all his children are now sannyasins. And once Sheela came she never left me. He asked Sheela, teased her, "Now what about going back to 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 -- this is the place I have been searching for."

He said, "I am happy because I have brought you to the right place: now I am freed of my responsibility. Now whatsoever becomes of you, it will be right."
If you are a parent you will need this much 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 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 circle 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, that is the time when parents interfere the most, 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 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 be in the same boarding school. 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 all playfulness.

Yes, it will have a sexual color to it, but it is rehearsal; it is not the real drama. And if you don't allow them even the rehearsal and then suddenly one day the curtain opens, and the real drama starts .... And 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 circle 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 from seven to fourteen are allowed to be together; 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 that's how they grow: 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 their sexual life which is going to come.
Because this rehearsal is missing, that's why in people's actual sex life foreplay is missing; and foreplay is so important -- far more important than actual sexual contact, because actual sexual contact lasts only for seconds. It is not nourishment. It simply leaves you in a 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 on 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 so frustrating as sex.

Just the other day Vivek brought me one advertisement about a new car, Lagonda; in the advertisement they had a beautiful sentence that I liked. The sentence 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 ... and 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 a film just in the middle for a few seconds. 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 feels ashamed, that's why he turns to his side and goes to sleep. 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 because the rehearsal part in your life has been canceled by your 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 to the climax, missing all the rungs of the ladder? You have to move up the ladder, rung by rung, only then can you reach the climax. Everybody wants the climax.

Now the foolish psychoanalysts and their kind have put an idea in people's minds of orgasm. Now, orgasm is even a higher stage than climax; it needs much more than climax. People are missing 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 afterwards! -- but for how long? How long can you feel good after a sneeze? How many seconds, how many minutes can you brag that "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 that botheration, there is a little relaxation. That's the sexual life of most of the people in the world. Some energy was bothering you, was making you heavy; it was turning into a headache. Sex gives you a relief. But the way children are brought up is almost butchering 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 beds. They should rehearse for the life which is going to come; they have to get ready for it. And there is no danger, there is no problem, if a child is given total freedom about his growing sexual energy and is not condemned, repressed -- which is being done.

A very strange world it is in which you are living. 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. And all the religions go on putting this crap in your mind. They have made you almost 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 anything else, only New Jersey. In New Jersey when I used to go to drive in the morning, everybody was coming with a brown bag full of all crap, putting it by the side of the road.

I enquired, "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.

It happened in my childhood: India became independent but the British government had left some Indian states. India was in two separate sections; only one was under British rule. There were small pockets all over India of Indian states which were still ruled by Indian kings. They were under British government -- their foreign policy was ruled by the British government, but otherwise in their internal policy they were completely free.

When the Britishers left India they left it in a mess, in a real mess. First, they divided India and Pakistan; second they left the Indian states absolutely in a limbo, without making any decision 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 would their foreign policy be ruled by Pakistan?

Nothing was decided, the whole question was not decided. And the 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 some 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 everywhere there were riots 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. We could see from this side people being killed on the other side.

We caught four dead people who were killed by the forces of the king; somehow they must have fallen in the river, and they came to our side so 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 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 and they came. But first, before we could do anything they had to be postmortemed, so we took them to the hospital. The postmortem place was almost two furlongs away behind the hospital, in the jungle. One can understand that they were cutting up bodies ... the smell and everything, so they had made the place that far away outside the city. But we had to carry these four 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 man looks inside. And this was only the body: later on I saw the postmortem of the mind also. Compared to that it is nothing, this is only the poor body. Your mind is so rich in crap .... That day one thing happened that I have to tell you, 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 out the bodies after they were postmortemed .... They 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 -- and in a way he was right. By chance it happened that we were carrying a corpse together; I was ahead, holding both the poles at the front of the stretcher, and Shri Nath Batt was behind me holding the end of the two poles.

The head of the man, 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 also, so if you put his head upwards and his legs downwards .... 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 -- because that corpse pissed and Shri Nath Batt ran away!

And 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 the 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 those poles?"
I said, "I don't know, it must have been the ghost. I suddenly felt like somebody was raising my hands up; I am not at all responsible." I had to drag that body alone, for two furlongs, to the hospital.

Shri Nath Batt was in the town telling everybody, "This boy is going to kill somebody someday. Today just by God's grace I am saved. That ghost just pissed over me, on my clothes. And that boy persuaded me: `You have to come because you are the leader; otherwise what will people think? -- a leader in times of need, missing. Then remember, at voting time I will not be of any help.' So I went there, but I never thought that he would do such a thing to me."

These 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 grow in the natural way. They have not been allowed to accept themselves. They all have become ghosts. They are not authentically real people, they are only shadows of someone they could have been; they are only shadows.

The second circle 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, 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 not have ever thought about, 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 the possibility of reaching the climax; the better the possibility of reaching the climax, the better opening for afterplay. And unless a couple knows afterplay they will never know what sex in its completion is.

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 the climax. But they are at a loss how to teach afterplay because when a person has reached the 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. Just in their balance the climax turns into orgasm.

And 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 when they can settle. They can choose a partner. And they are capable of choosing now; through all the experience of the past two circles 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 is going to do. It is a hunch: coming in contact with many, many people suddenly something clicks which had never clicked with anybody else. And it clicks with so much 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.

Between twenty-one and twenty-eight somewhere, 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 persons 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 when a person should be able to know exactly who he is. From forty-two to forty-nine he gets 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 been always 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 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 towards 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.

Source - Osho Book "From Darkness to Light"

Related Osho Discourses:
Osho on Motherly Qualities of woman
Osho on Mother duty in Child Upbringing

Osho on Responsibility of being a Mother
Osho on Negativity in Mother Daughter Relationship
Osho - Whenever a Child is born, the Mother is also Born
Osho - Why is the New Generation such a problem to the Parents
Osho - Parents are cruel to their children because parents have some investment in them

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