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Osho on Sexual suppression and freedom from Sex

Question: What is the difference between great sexual suppression and freedom from sex? On the surface, both have no interest in sex. How does suppressed sex bubble up?
Osho : First, suppressed sex has more interest than expressed sex can ever have. The interest is not direct -- it is indirect, it is vicarious, it is cunning; the interest is there, immensely there. If your sex life is normal, unrepressed, uninhibited, the interest cannot be so much, because you will have a kind of satisfaction, a contentment.

It is like when you have taken your food, you forget about food. But if you fast, then you continuously think about food. Fast one day and then go to the market, and you will see only hotels, restaurants, food stores, and you will smell only food smells coming from everywhere. And you had been to this place before many times. It had never happened like that.

Repression cannot free you from interest. The repressed person becomes more interested in sex than anybody else. Maybe he shows antagonism, that's possible, but antagonism is interest. That's why your so-called religious scriptures are full of antagonism towards sex, condemnation. Your so-called MAHATMAS go on cursing sex. That simply shows their interest, nothing else. They are still haunted by it. They may be sitting in their caves in the Himalayas, but they are condemning sex. Why?

It is deep inside them, in their very guts, they are fighting with it. Their condemnation is a way of their fighting with it: they condemn it so that they can remain on top of it. If you don't condemn for even a single day, they start feeling afraid that the real thing from inside may surface, may throw away them and their control and their saintlihood and their holiness.

And the more you repress, the more it accumulates. It becomes more and more powerful.

So the first thing to understand is that it is impossible for a repressed person not to show interest. He will show DIS-interest -- but that is interest upside down. And if you watch, you will see it coming everywhere. A normal sexual life has sex in a normal way. Sometimes it takes possession of you, and it is beautiful.to be possessed by it, because to be possessed by any life energy is to be possessed by God.

That is the only natural way for ordinary people who are not trying to attain some higher consciousness, who are not going into meditation; that is the only way to have a taste of meditation.

When sex possesses you, it is God possessing you -- on the lowest rung, of course. SAMADHI IS the highest rung of being possessed by God, and sex is the lowest rung of being possessed by God. But in both ways you are possessed by God. In sex God has to function through your body, in SAMADHI he functions through your soul. In music, in art, in poetry, in dance, he functions through your mind. But whenever you are in a state of let-go, whenever you are not...

And that is the joy of sex, because you disappear for a moment. That moment is very small, but immense is its impact. For one moment you are no more the ego, you don't think in terms of 'I', for one moment you dissolve into the unity of the all, you become one with the whole, you pulsate with the whole. You are no more an individual, you are no more confined to your body. You don't know limitations, for a moment you are unlimited, infinite.

That is the meaning of sexual orgasm -- that your frozen energy melts, becomes one with this universe, with the trees and the stars, and the woman and the man, and the rocks -- for a single moment, of course. But in THAT moment you have a kind of consciousness that is religious, that is holy, because it comes from the whole.

The attraction for sex is the attraction for God. The attraction for sex is the attraction to let-go. There is nothing wrong in it; it is the beginning of the search for God. And of course the beginning can begin where you are. You ARE in the body. So only in the body can the search start. It should not remain there, that's true, but it cannot start anywhere else. You have to go rung by rung, step by step. The higher you move, the more meaningless the lower starts becoming. Not that you are against it, but because you are gaining higher ecstasies -- who bothers about the lower?

The man who is against sex is below sex. He has fallen below sex, he is obsessed with sex. His twenty-four hours will be full of sexual thoughts, fantasies. and you can watch. He will show his fantasy, his repression everywhere. You can see him walking on the road -- he will not be able to walk naturally. A beautiful woman passes by, then what do you do if you are carrying great repression? Trembling comes in him. He starts looking the other way, or he escapes into a small street to avoid her. He cannot look at the woman.

By looking he is showing where his interest is. But by not looking he is also showing his interest.

The man who is above sex, the man who has become free of sex avoids nothing. He has no antagonism toward sex. He will have compassion for all those who are still in the world of sex. And the man who has gone beyond sex will look at the beautiful woman, and the beautiful woman will not remind him of sex but of God -- because ALL reminds him of God. A beautiful flower reminds him of God, a beautiful face reminds him of God. In fact, all reminds him of God. 

A man went to his psychiatrist and the psychiatrist was trying to find out what his problem was.

And psychiatrists, psychologists, psychoanalysts have stumbled upon one great fact about humanity: that out of a hundred, ninety-nine problems arise out of sex. Not because of sex, but because of your religious conditioning against sex.

So the doctor was trying to find out where the problem was arising from. He asked the man 'When you see a tree, what does it remind you of?'

And the man said 'Of sex.'
Tree? -- of sex? To be more certain, the doctor asked 'And when you see stars, what do they remind you of?'
And the man said 'Of sex, of course.'
And the doctor, to be still more certain, asked 'When you see a camel walking by what does it remind you of?'

And the man said 'Of sex.'

And the doctor said 'Camel? -- reminding you of sex?'

And the man said 'Yes, everything reminds me of sex... It is not a question of the camel or the tree or the elephant or the dog... EVERYTHING reminds me of sex!' 

If you are obsessed, repressed, everything will remind you of sex -- EVERYTHING, because you are carrying such a load, you will go on projecting. There is no need for a real woman to be there, just a SARI, hanging, will do. There is no need for a real woman there, just one of my long-haired sannyasins going by... and from the back you see... and those long hairs... and it is there.

You cannot get beyond sex by repressing it. The way beyond is through. The way beyond is through understanding. 

I have heard... Several men who had been involved in a serious road accident were brought to hospital on stretchers and the dead were separated from the living. One of those believed to be dead had been accompanied by his wife, who was mainly interested in the insurance money to which his death would entitle her.

As soon as she arrived therefore, she approached one of the harassed doctors dealing with the emergency, and pointing to her husband on his stretcher, said 'He's dead, isn't he, doctor?'

'I'm afraid so, madam' said the doctor, incautiously assuming that the judgement of the stretcher-bearers as to who was dead and who was not had been correct.

At this moment, the woman's supposedly dead husband, who was in fact alive and had overheard the conversation, suddenly sat up on his stretcher, and said 'I'm not dead, doctor!'

'Lie down' snapped his wife. 'The doctor knows!' 

Now, her interest is in the insurance money. It shows; you cannot hide it. It will show in some way or other. It will empty out of you.

You must have heard about great RISHIS and MAHATMAS doing their meditations in the forest. And then APSARAS, beautiful damsels from heaven, come to distract them. But why should these beautiful women be interested in distracting these poor people, who are not doing any harm to anybody? They are just sitting under their trees doing their JAPA, their meditation. Why should anybody be interested in distracting them?

Indian scriptures are full of these stories. But nobody asks 'Why in the first place...?' Why should God have a portfolio, a special department to distract these poor, fasting, meditating people? But they come. And those beautiful women dance around naked, and they hug the MAHATMAS, and they try to distract them from their meditations. These women are NOT coming from heaven. Heaven has no interest.

Heaven really should rejoice that another man is coming higher, reaching to heaven. It is not very populated. Heaven is very uncrowded, almost a desert, because people go to hell. God should rejoice, the angels should dance and sing that a new guest is coming. There should be a sensation in heaven. Why should they send beautiful women to distract? And in the first place, where will they find the beautiful women? They all go to hell.What are they doing with beautiful women in heaven? But they come. They don't come from heaven, they come from the unconscious repressed sexuality

If you fast if you torture your body, if you go on repressing your natural desires, a moment comes when you are so full of it that the fantasy looks almost real. Then you cannot make any distinction between the fantasy and the real. Then the imagination looks objective. You are in a kind of hallucination. These are hallucinations.


The difference is great! The difference is: that the man who has repressed his sex will remain continuously giving signals about his sexuality and obsession. He will continuously talk against it, he will condemn it. He will never be able to forgive anybody for being sexual. Just the WORD IS enough to trigger his anger and hatred. If he sees two persons in a loving state, he will be off his rocker.

Just a few days before, it happened. One SHANKARACHARYA came to see me. Now this is the last place for SHANKARACHARYAS to come to. He was staying with a doctor in Poona, and the doctor is interested in me, and he must have persuaded the poor old man -- 'You come.' Somehow he managed and brought him to the gate. He was sitting in the car. The doctor had gone to the office to arrange for the meeting.

When he went back, the SHANKARACHARYA was very angry. And he said 'Take me away from this place immediately!'

The doctor said 'What has happened?'

He said 'Look! Sannyasins -- men and women -- holding hands! I CANNOT remain here a single moment. THIS IS not a holy place! This is AGAINST religion and against culture!' He really got very irritated.

The doctor wrote a letter to me 'I have never seen him in such anger. He was in a rage, a MURDEROUS rage!'

Now where is it coming from? Why should you be worried if a man and woman are holding hands? This is none of your business. They are not forcing you to do anything, they are just going on their way. They have not even looked at you. They are not enraged about you. Why should you be enraged about them?

But about them is not the question.

The repressed sexuality is provoked. Seeing a beautiful woman holding somebody's hand, jealousy arises. To repress that jealousy, sex starts bubbling up. To repress that sex. one has to be very very angry. Only through anger can you repress sex.

People who repress sex become angry. Have you watched it? They become irritated -- small things irritate them. They are never at ease, always in anger. Have you seen people who have repressed sex? They become aggressive, and they start finding ways and means to express their aggression. They become politicians, they become money-oriented. They have to find some way out for their aggression. It may be politics, it may be money, it may be some other kind of ambition, but they become very aggressive.

And have you known this too -- or not -- that if you want to earn money you will have to repress sex? If you don't repress sex you will not have enough aggression left to fight in the market, to compete with people. If you want to become a great politician you will have to repress sex; otherwise, from where will you find this stupid energy to be a politician? You have to repress sexuality so that energy starts becoming more and more accumulated in you. And finding no natural way, it is ready to go into any way, any channelisation where you want it to go.

A man who has-repressed sex is not uninterested in sex -- no, not at all. He is more interested than the ordinary man. His whole interest is centered there. He is continuously afraid of sex, afraid of beauty, afraid of bodies, afraid of his dreams. He cannot sleep well, he cannot communicate well because everything reminds him of sex.

And it is not only that women... If you repress sex toward women long enough you will start turning homosexual. Even men will remind you of sex and nothing else. If camels can remind you of sex, then why not men? People who repress sex are going to have great difficulties, are going to be perverted. Men will remind you... everything by and by will start having a sexual tinge and colour. Beware of it.

Do you know that Alexander the Great was a homosexual, Julius Caesar was a homosexual? And many other great kings and generals have been homosexuals. And the reason? -- Continuously fighting, continuously on the move, battling on the front women not available -- sex starts turning towards homosexuality. Soldiers -- people in the army, navy, air force, start turning homosexual. Monks, nuns start being homosexual or lesbian, because monks are not allowed any women in the monastery.

Now there are monasteries in Europe where for a thousand years not a single woman has entered -- not even a small baby of seven days old, no. Now what will happen there? A thousand monks in the monastery... and once you enter in the monastery you are not allowed to get out of it; you enter forever. Mount Athos is such a monastery. You enter once, forever -- it is like the grave -- then you never come out of it.

Sometimes people come out of graves too, but nobody comes out of Mount Athos. And no woman ever has crossed the threshold -- not even a small baby. The limit is seven days -- a small baby more than seven days old is dangerous. What kind of people are living there? Just think of an eight-day-old girl... These people must be great MAHATMAS -- the same MAHATMAS scriptures talk about -- to whom damsels and beautiful APSARAS come to distract. Now even an eight day old baby is not allowed. It is against the code of the monastery.

When these thousand people live in a complete 'boys' club', naturally the repressed sexuality starts turning into homosexuality; nuns start turning into lesbians. This goes on. This has been so down the ages. That's why I don't like MY ashram to be mono-sexual -- only men or only women. I want men and women to mix and meet. I want this place to be very natural, healthy, whole; only then can you go beyond it, otherwise not.

And the man who has gone beyond sex is free from sex. To say that he has no interest in sex is also wrong. His interest is not personal any more. He has no involvement, that is true, but he is interested in everything -- in the flowers, in the birds, in the animals, in the people; he is interested in everything. His interest is not personal. No involvement of his own being, but he is interested in everything.

If such a man sees a couple looking into each other's eyes, he will be happy. He will thank God that he has seen love energy moving. He will BLESS this couple! He will say 'Go ahead. This is the way. Enjoy these moments.' He will show no obsession this way or that. He will not start thinking of possessing this woman and he will not start thinking of how to escape from this situation, because he has no fear. He can bless the couple.

It happens every day. Couples come to me... Sometimes Indians are also there. They become very puzzled, because Indians cannot think that any sage will give any advice about sex too. They cannot conceive of it. They think a sage only talks about God, ONLY about God. When I advise people on their ordinary life problems, Indians who have never heard of Buddha advising anybody or Mahavir advising anybody even about their sexual problems, feel very uneasy, embarrassed. They cannot understand what is happening. They expect from me only advice about God, meditation and things like that. I should not help a couple in their problems.

But how is this couple going to become meditative, if this couple which is involved, entangled in sexuality, is not helped to go beyond it? How is it possible some day for them to become meditative? I have to take their whole life, and I take great interest in every kind of problem. I get completely lost in their problems, I become completely absorbed.

I forget the whole world when somebody is facing me with his problem: that problem is my whole world -- whatsoever the problem. Whether is is sex, whether it is money, whether it is over-eating, whether it is body health, meditation, God, prayer does not matter -- whatsoever it is, the person has a problem which has to be solved, and I have to bring all my energy to solve it. I am utterly interested in everything, because I am not afraid of anything. Why should I not be interested?

But remember, the interest has a totally different meaning. I am interested in a flower, I am interested in beauty, I am interested in poetry, in music, in dance, I am interested in all kinds of possibilities. And God too is interested, otherwise sex would have disappeared long before. Why should sex continue? If MAHATMAS are right, then God is wrong.

George Gurdjieff used to say that your so-called MAHATMAS are all against God, and your so-called religions are all against God. And he is right, he has something very significant to say there. They are, because God goes on creating the world and God goes on creating the world in such variety, in such richness, in all directions. dimensions. And MAHATMAS are monotonous. They just simply do the JAPA, repeat 'Ram, Ram, Ram'... go on repeating.

The life of a MAHATMA IS a very poor life -- no richness, no inner variety, no dimensions to his being. He is linear, one-dimensional. The man who is free of sex has no personal involvement in it, he has no desire for it. Not that he is against it, just his desires have moved higher.

It is like a child. Once you were a child and you used to play with coloured stones, used to collect shells and stones on the sea beach. Then one day you became a grown-up, now you don't collect. But if your child is collecting sea shells and coloured stones, won't you be able to understand him? Won't you show interest? Won't you say to the child 'Good. This stone is beautiful. Where did you find it? Even I didn't find such stones when I was young, and like you I was searching and exploring sea beaches. You are fortunate.' You will not condemn the child.

 You will not say 'This is nonsense, rubbish . Throw these stones away! I know they mean nothing.' You will show all interest. That is real grown-upness. If you start shouting at the child, and you say 'This is nonsense and rubbish. Throw all these stones away. Don't carry them, they will dirty your clothes, your pockets. Your pockets will lose shape, this and that, and your mom will be very very angry. Throw them away! I have known through my own experience that they are meaningless' that simply shows you are not yet mature enough.

Maturity is mature enough ONLY when it can accept the immature. Maturity is real maturity when it can not only accept the immature but can bless you, with all the hopes that you will grow out of it. Everybody grows, just time is needed.

You had a teddy bear or a toy that you loved so much that there were days you could not sleep without it. You had to carry it to bed, you had to carry it on journeys. Your parents were feeling a little embarrassed that you have carried this big teddy bear with you, this big toy, and 'You have become a big boy now, or a big girl. Stop it.' But you had to carry it everywhere. And then one day suddenly something changed: the teddy bear got lost. It remained for a few days in the comer of your room, then you threw it out onto the rubbish heap. What happened? How did you get rid of it? You became mature.

You have not repressed the desire, you have not repressed your love affair with the teddy bear. You have simply grown up: you have gone beyond.

Freedom from sex is not repression of sex, it is the understanding of sex. And through understanding one goes beyond it. But that does not mean that you will be angry and against and antagonistic. You will be blissful, you will have a blessing for everybody. And you will bless with the hope that some day they will also go beyond it.

Real religion has to be rooted in the earth. Yes, real religion also has to rise towards the sun. It is like a lotus flower -- rooted in the mud and rising towards the sun. The lotus has to be freed from the mud, but the mud has not to be condemned at all, because the mud is the nourishment. Your sex energy is the nourishment for your SAMADHI. It is out of the mud of sex that the lotus of SAMADHI IS going to bloom. Never repress it! Never be against it; rather, go deep into it with great clarity, with great love. Go like an explorer. Search all the nooks and comers of your sexuality, and you will be surprised and enriched and benefitted.

Knowing your sexuality, one day you will stumble upon your spirituality. Then you become free. Your energy has risen high. Now sex is just like a toy. But you are not angry with other people who are still playing with the toy. You will understand them too, you will have compassion for them. You would like to help them go beyond, but you will not condemn them and you will not want to throw them to hell to be punished. They are not doing anything wrong.

Sex is not a sin. Nobody is ever punished for sex. Nobody ever goes to hell for sex; otherwise God would be responsible, not you. He has given it to you, you are born with it; you have not created it. It is nothing like your invention, it is not like an atom bomb, it is not like a bayonet, it is not like a sword, it is not like money, it is not like politics -- these are inventions of man, of the ugly human mind. These people will go to hell, certainly.

But sex is a God-given gift, and it is a great seed. And in the seed is hidden SAMADHI. Once it starts sprouting and finds the right soil, it will become a big tree. Millions of flowers will come to it. It is not only a child that is born out of sex, it is out of sex that you will be reborn too! Sex is the generating force, sex is the very source of creativity. It is out of sex that new life is born. You will give birth to a child -- this is new life, God coming in another garb, another manifestation, another incarnation of God in your child; but it comes through sex. Just watch it. Sex must be immensely valuable -- God has chosen it to be the passage for life.

What is more valuable than life? What CAN be more valuable than life? God has chosen sex as the vehicle for life. Life comes through sex, in sex, out of sex. And those who know, those who have gone beyond say that another life, spiritual life, also comes through it. Not only your child is born through it, you will be reborn through it: you will become twice-born through it, you will resurrect out of it. It is life-giving energy.

Sex has to be respected. Sex is sacred. Sex is the very temple of God. So I cannot say the man who is free from sex has no interest, because sex is life. And sex is potential spirituality. How can he be disinterested in it? Yes, he has no personal interest in it. he has gone beyond it; but he is immensely interested. In fact for a man who is free from sex his interest becomes very very great. Now, he is interested in everything.

When you are obsessed with sex you are not interested in anything. You are not interested in poetry, you are not interested in music, you are not interested in beauty, you are only interested in sex. And if sometimes you show interest in music, poetry, beauty, art, you show interest only because some sexuality is there. You become interested in poetry if it is sexual. You become interested in a picture, in a painting if it is nude, pornographic. You become interested in the music if it excites you sexually; otherwise you are not interested.

This is not interest in music -and painting, this is interest in sex. That's why ninety-nine per cent of poetry, music, painting and sculpture is sex-based, because ninety-nine per cent of people don't want anything other than sex. Your films, your novels, your books -- even your so-called religious books -- are all full of sexuality. Sometimes it is in the name of condemnation, but they go on talking about the physical, the sexual. Sometimes they are obscene. The man who is free of sex, his interest is also free of sex. His interest spreads to the whole of life.

Just the other day I was reading: In a school, the teacher asked the children -- small children 'How many stars do you see at night?'

One child said 'Thousands.'
Another child said 'Millions.'
And the third child said 'Trillions.'
And then the smallest boy in the class stood up and said 'Three.'

The teacher asked 'Three? And these, your friends, are seeing thousands, millions and trillions, and you see only three?'
He said 'What to do? We've got a very small window.' 

Now the small window becomes the frame. Only three stars...

You have a very small window through which to look at life. That window is called sex -- only three stars. When you are free of sex, you jump out of the window. The whole sky becomes available to you. Those three stars are also still there but no longer prominent. Lost, in so many stars... your interest becomes bigger, infinite. The whole sky becomes your limit: that means there is no limit anymore.

A man who has attained to freedom from sex is immensely interested in everything. Everything thrills him, everything excites him to ecstasy, and everything reminds him of God. 

Source: from book I say Unto to You, Volume 2 by Osho

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          Shortcoming in Tantra Sex Teachings
          Osho discourse on Repressed Sexuality
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Osho - why do you ask people to get Married
          Osho on difference in Normal Sex and tantric Sex
          Osho on Relationship as Living Partners and Growth
          Osho - Sex is Stupid, Sex keeps you unconscious    
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          I Love my husband but I hate Sex, that creates conflict. Isn't sex Animalistic

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