“Sex & Death: Two Poles of One Energy” – OSHO

BELOVED OSHO,

I HAVE HAD A STRONG FEELING OF SEX AND DEATH OVER THE LAST FEW WEEKS. IS IT NECESSARY THAT I UNDERSTAND? WHY?

The question is one of the most fundamental questions — the connection between sex and death. And if you can see it clearly, slowly the distance between death and sex will disappear and they will become almost one energy.

Perhaps sex is death in installments.

And death is sex wholesale.

But there is certainly one energy functioning at both corners. Sex is the beginning of life, and death is the end of the same life; so they are the two ends of one energy, two poles of one energy. They cannot be unconnected.

There is only one living being, the amoeba, which has no sex life; but then it has no death either. It can go on living for millions of years; it dies only accidentally. Death is not intrinsic, because there is no intrinsic sex. The way the amoeba recreates itself is very strange: it simply goes on eating, becoming bigger and bigger. And there is a certain limit at which it cannot go on becoming bigger; then it splits in two. That is the way amoebas go on growing. Both will go on living, giving birth in the same way, but there is nothing like sex in that life.

The point to note is, there is not any natural death either. They can live, given the opportunity, forever.

Death and sex remind me of one spider found in Africa, where death and sex come very close to each other. In man there is a distance of seventy years, eighty years; but in that particular species of spider there is no distance. The male spider makes love only once in his life. While he is making love, the moment he comes to an orgasmic state, the female starts eating him. But he is in such an euphoria, he does not care that he is being eaten. By the time his orgasm is finished, he is also finished.

Death and sex are so close... but whether they are close or distant — they are not different energies. So one can feel them arising together.

It is good to see them together, it is a great understanding — because people don’t see it. People are almost blind, they never connect death with sex. Perhaps it is an unconscious fear that prevents them connecting the two, because if they start connecting death with sex they may become afraid of sex itself — and that is dangerous for its biological purpose. It is better for biology that they don’t connect them.

It has been noted that whenever people are beheaded — there are still a few countries where this happens — the strangest thing observed is: the moment the man is beheaded, he ejaculates — without exception.

It is strange, because while his neck is being broken, is this the time to ejaculate? But it is not within his capacity…. When death is happening to him, when life is leaving him, it is natural that his sexual energy also leaves. It was part of the whole phenomenon. There is no point in it remaining in his body.

The question is significant. It does not mean that you are going to die. It simply means your sexual energy is coming to its highest peak; hence you are feeling death also. It would not be felt if the sexual energy was being released.

Whoever has asked the question must not be making love. Energy is accumulating, coming to such intensity that it is automatic to remember death. Death, if you die consciously, brings you the greatest orgasm you have ever had in your life.

It is meaningful to understand why religions have been against sex, for many reasons. Basically the idea was that if you can remain celibate you can prolong your life as long as you want. That idea is still present.

Mahatma Gandhi in India became celibate — he was nearabout forty — because he wanted to live up to the age of a hundred and twenty-five to fight the freedom struggle and to bring it to a conclusion. That was the reason to go into celibacy — to prolong life.

There is a possibility that if by some scientific means a man’s sexual energy is absorbed in his own body, the body will go on renewing, rejuvenating itself for a long time. But ordinarily these so-called celibates are not celibate. The energy is released in some way or other. Even at the age of seventy, Mahatma Gandhi was having nocturnal emissions. And he died with the idea that he had failed in being totally celibate, that’s why he was dying before the time he had decided.

The idea has a great potentiality in it. But as far as man is concerned, he cannot do anything directly; it is something that biologists have to do — to change the sexual energy that accumulates, to revitalize the body rather than being released from the body. Perhaps a scientific celibacy may help man’s life to be longer.

But remember, I am talking about scientific celibacy. It has nothing to do with religious celibacy — that is simply stupid. You cannot do anything with your biology; you don’t know anything about your biology or how it functions.

By the way, woman lives longer than man lives, is healthier than man, is more resistant to disease, does not go mad as easily as man, does not commit suicide so easily. The reason may be that her sexual energy is negative. The positive energy is the active force; the negative energy is the absorbing force.

Perhaps because of this negative, absorbing energy, she has a healthier body, is more resistant to disease, and lives longer. And if biology could manage to get her free from her monthly periods, she could live even longer and healthier. She could really become the stronger sex.

So the idea of sex and death arising together, simply shows that the sexual energy is accumulating — positive or negative. And negative energy can be accumulated longer.

In fact, I have been watching Jaina monks and nuns, who are perhaps the most sincere people in what they are doing…. It may be stupid, but their sincerity is beyond doubt. The nuns seem to take it quite easily, remaining celibate. But the monks get into tremendous difficulty — the same difficulty as Christian monks or any other monks.

Negative energy simply means it is more silent, waiting for the active energy so that it can absorb it. But it has no active force of its own. These are the reasons why I am against things like lesbianism. It is simply stupid — two negative energies trying to reach to some orgasmic peak. It is simply that either they are pretending, or what they are calling their orgasm is only clitoral, it is not vaginal. And clitoral orgasm is nothing compared to the vaginal orgasm. Clitoral orgasm is just a kind of foreplay. It can help to bring the vaginal orgasm, but it cannot replace it.

It is really very amazing that such an intimate thing as lovemaking has remained in darkness. I am making the statement — and this is for the first time in the whole of history that anyone has made this statement — that clitoral orgasm can be of immense help as foreplay; otherwise the psychologists have been at a loss as to what to make of it, because it has no biological function. To avoid the question, many psychologists even have denied that there is any vaginal orgasm, there is only clitoral orgasm.

Man’s orgasm is so quick that he cannot create the vaginal orgasm in that small period of time — a few seconds. But if clitoral orgasm is created just as foreplay, it is creating a situation for the vaginal orgasm to happen. It has already started: the clitoral orgasm has triggered the process in the body.

But men pay no attention to the clitoral orgasm, because their orgasm can happen easily only with vaginal contact. They are interested only in their own orgasm, and when they are finished they don’t think about the woman at all.

Lesbianism is spreading in the woman’s liberation movement because it is giving them clitoral orgasm; but that is another stupidity because it is simply foreplay. It is as if you had the preface of the book but the book is missing. So you go on reading the preface as long as you want, again and again, but you don’t go into the book at all.

If the woman is waiting and waiting, she also accumulates a negative energy which she absorbs. If it is too much, then the idea of death can come, because having love in this state, and having a really beautiful orgasmic feeling, will give her an insight into what happens at death.

There is nothing to fear in it; nothing is destroyed. It is the ultimate peak of your life.

If you have lived your life unconsciously, in misery, in suffering, then before death comes, you are bound to go into a coma. So you don’t experience the orgasm, or the awareness that death is not happening to you, to your being, but is happening only to the body, to the vehicle that you have been using up to now.

If the question is from a man, the same is to be understood. But very rarely can a man come to such a peak that he can start thinking of death. His energy is so dynamic, active, that before he comes to such a peak, the energy is released. So my feeling is the question is from a woman.

And nobody has listened to the woman. Nobody has even taken care about what she feels, how she feels. One thing has been understood by man for centuries — in India we have paintings, statues, depicting the phenomenon — that man has felt in woman a certain kind of death. That is a misunderstanding. It is not in the woman, it is in your sexual energy itself.

But that’s how men always project things; they cannot see that their own sexual energy brings them close to death. And they cannot see very clearly because their sexual energy never comes to such a peak that it reminds them of death. But women, if listened to, have many things of wisdom to say about the phenomenon.

The wise woman has been destroyed by Christianity. They were burned in their thousands in the Middle Ages. The word “witch” simply means a wise woman, but because it was so condemned, even the word has become condemnatory; otherwise it is a compliment. It is equal to the man of wisdom. All over the world there were wise women, and there were matters into which only a wise woman could give an insight.

These statues in India, and the paintings, are very strange if you don’t understand the phenomenon. For example, Shiva is lying down, and his wife, Shivani, is dancing on his chest with a naked sword in one hand, and with a recently-cut head in the other hand; she has a garland of heads, blood is oozing out of all the heads and she is in a mad dance. It seems she will kill Shiva. That dance is so mad, and the woman is in such a mad state, there is no hope for Shiva.

What I have been saying is related to such experiences. In the East, the woman has been listened to. There has never been anything like what happened in the West — killing and burning women. Women of wisdom have always been listened to, and their wisdom has been absorbed — because they are half of man. Man’s wisdom is half; unless the woman’s wisdom is also absorbed, the wisdom cannot become a whole. She has to be asked what the experience is from her side.

The woman, in many orgasmic experiences, particularly in the East, has felt death very close, almost hovering around. I say particularly in the East, because in the East in the ancient days, before repressive ideologies started making people split and schizophrenic, love was not to be made until the urge came to its peak.

It was not that you have to make love every day. Both the partners should wait for each other to come to a state where it is no longer possible to hold on. Naturally, those people were far more wise. They might have been making love once a week or once a month, but their love yielded tremendous experiences which everyday love cannot yield.

You don’t have enough energy for that great experience to happen. It needs to be at the peak of your control, throbbing with energy, and then it is really a dance, a merger and meeting of two energies. And at the highest peak, then man may also feel death surrounding him.

One fact has to be remembered — that nobody in the whole history of man has died making love. That is strange! People have died in all kinds of situations, but nobody has died while he was making love. The feeling of death is there because it is all one energy, but as the sexual energy is released, the feeling of death disperses.

Only lately has medical science accepted one fact, that the people who go on making love do not die of heart attacks. But they should ask: Do they die of anything else? They live longer, and remain younger. But you can make love at the lowest point… that’s where people are making it. It is not satisfying, not gratifying; it does not give you any contentment, it simply leaves you in despair.

Love should be made at the highest peak, and that needs a certain discipline. People have used discipline to not make love. I teach discipline to make love rightly, so that your love is not just a biological thing, never reaching your psychological world. And it has the potential to reach even your spiritual world. At the highest peak it will reach your spiritual world.

Why — at that point — is one certainly reminded of death? Because you forget your body, you forget your mind; you remain just a pure consciousness, merged with your partner. It is very, very similar to death.

As you die — if you are dying consciously — you will forget the body, you will forget the mind… just consciousness, and then suddenly the consciousness merges into the whole. That merging with the whole is a thousandfold more beautiful than is possible through any orgasm. But both these things are certainly deeply related. They are one. And anyone who wants to understand death, has to understand sex — or vice versa.

But strange — people like Sigmund Freud or Carl Gustav Jung, who are trying to understand sex, are so much afraid of death. Their understanding of sex cannot go very far. And as far as death is concerned, nobody thinks about it, nobody even wants to talk about it.

If you start on the subject of death people think you don’t know your manners. It is something that has not to be talked about; death has to be simply ignored. But by ignoring death you cannot understand life. They are all connected: sex is the beginning, death is the end. Life is just in between, the energy that flows from sex to death. All three have to be understood together.

The effort has not been made. The experiments have not been made, particularly in the contemporary world. In the East, way back, before Buddha and Mahavira, they must have looked into the phenomenon very closely. Otherwise, what is the need to make Shiva’s wife dance on his chest with a garland of skulls and in her hands… one hand is holding a recently-cut head, blood is flowing, and in the other hand is a naked sword? She looks absolutely mad.

This is just a pictorial illustration of the deepest state of orgasm; this is how the woman can be depicted. And the man is just lying under her as she dances. She can cut off his head or he may die just from the dance on his chest. But one thing is certain, that death is there. Whether death happens or not, that is another thing.

Perhaps this is one of the reasons — unconsciously… because in the West they have always been afraid. They chose only one posture to make love in — that is, with the man on top, so that he is in control and the woman cannot go absolutely berserk, the way Shivani goes on Shiva’s chest.

And the woman has been taught for centuries that she must not even move, because that is not lady-like — only prostitutes move. She has to lie down almost as if she is dead, unmoving. She will never attain any orgasm, clitoral or vaginal. But she is a lady, and the question of reputation, respectability…. She is not allowed to enjoy, she has to be serious in the whole affair. It is only the man who can make movements, not the woman.

My insight is that this is because of the fear. In the East the common position for love is with the woman on top, not the man. The man being on top is absolutely ugly. He is heavier, he is taller, and he is just crushing a delicate woman unnecessarily. And it will be scientifically right that he is not on the top so that he cannot move much, and the woman has more freedom to move — to scream with joy, to beat the man, to bite the man, to scratch his face, or whatsoever comes to her.

She has to be a Shivani. She does not have a sword, but she has nails, long nails; she can do much with those nails. And if she is on top she is faster, the man is slower, and that can bring them together to the orgasmic peak. With the man on top and the woman under him it is impossible to come together to the orgasmic peak. But the man has not cared; he has simply used the woman.

The ancient Eastern wisdom had a totally different attitude. In the time of the Upanishads, the woman was respected the same as the man. There was no question of inequality. She read all the religious scriptures, she was allowed even to go to great discussions.

In one of the great debates called by a king, all the great philosophers and scholars had gathered. He had one thousand cows with gold covering on their horns for the one who was victorious. The debate continued, and about midday Yagnavalkya, one of the most logical minds, came in and told his disciples, “Take the cows to the ashram because they are tired, standing in the hot sun. And as far as the debate goes, I will take care of it.”

So confident was he that he was going to win, he took the award before winning! — those cows were going to be given to the person who was victorious. But he was proved wrong — and he was proved wrong by a woman. Those must have been beautiful days, when even a woman was allowed to discuss the highest and the most complex questions of life in the court.

The woman did not ask Yagnavalkya many questions. She said, “First I want to ask you: Who created the world?” And Yagnavalkya said, “Everybody knows! Do you think this is a big question? God created the world!”

She laughed — the name of the woman was Gargi. She said, “You don’t have great insight. I said I was going to ask only two questions and this was the first. Now I want to ask: Who created God? If you answer it, you fall into infinite regress.”

That is a logical term meaning that you cannot come to any conclusion. You say, “Another god,” and it will be asked again, “Who created him?” You say, “Another god,” and the question remains the same; so it is absolutely foolish to bring the first god in — because it solves nothing; the question remains.

Yagnavalkya became very angry. He was so respected, and the woman had put him in a corner, and the whole meeting of scholars was giggling and laughing. Somebody said, “Send somebody to bring those cows back!”

In his anger, Yagnavalkya said, “Gargi, don’t ask such questions; otherwise your head will roll” — meaning “I will kill you!”

Gargi said, “It would be a great pleasure for me to be killed by the greatest scholar in the country. But I am not going to ask anything else; you simply bring those one thousand cows back.”

They had to be brought back, and Gargi took away those one thousand cows.

The king was very happy. He said, “It is perfectly right.” And he said to Yagnavalkya, “You should behave. That woman was more cultured than you. Telling her, `Your head will roll’ is not the way of a wise man. And the woman did not retort.”

If this kind of thing had continued — continual discussion and understanding between man and woman — we would have been far more ahead in everything.

It was the worst day when man decided that woman was second-grade and had simply to follow man and his dictates. She is not even allowed to read scriptures, she is not allowed to discuss the great problems of life. And there is no question that she should be asked what the situation is from her side. Her side is half, and this rejection has kept man split, schizophrenic.

It is time that we should bring man and woman wholeheartedly together. Their experiences, their understandings, their meditations, should make one whole — and that will be the beginning of a real humanity.

– OSHO

[Light on the Path]

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