Old Age is the Last Opportunity – Osho

Why is there such an expression as “The dirty old man”? I am getting on and I suspect people are beginning to think about me in exactly those words. 

It is because of a long, long repressive society that the dirty old man exists. It is because of your saints, your priests, your puritans, that the old dirty man exists.

If people are allowed to live their sexual life joyously, by the time they are nearing forty-two—remember, I am saying forty-two, not eighty-four—just when they are nearing forty-two, sex will start losing its grip on them. Just as sex arises and becomes very powerful by the time one is fourteen, in exactly the same way by the time one is forty-two it starts disappearing. It is a natural course. And when sex disappears, the old man has a love, has compassion, of a totally different kind. There is no lust in his love, no desire, he wants to get nothing out of it. His love has a purity, an innocence; his love is a joy.

Sex gives you pleasure. And sex gives you pleasure only when you have gone into sex; then pleasure is the end result. If sex has become irrelevant—not repressed, but because you experienced it so deeply that it is no more of any value…. You have known it, and knowledge always brings freedom. You have known it totally, and because you have known it, the mystery is finished, there is nothing more to explore. In that knowing, the whole energy, the sexual energy, is transmuted into love, compassion. One gives out of joy. Then the old man is the most beautiful man in the world, the cleanest man in the world.

There is no expression in any language as the clean old man. I have never heard it. But this expression, the dirty old man, exists in almost all languages. The reason is that the body becomes old, the body becomes tired, the body wants to get rid of all sexuality, but the mind, because of repressed desires, still hankers. When the body is not capable, and the mind continuously haunts you for something which the body is incapable of doing, really the old man is in a mess. His eyes are sexual, lusty; his body dead and dull. And his mind goes on goading him. He starts having a dirty look, a dirty face; he starts having something ugly in him.

It reminds me of the story of the man who overheard his wife and her sister discussing his frequent out-of-town business trips. The sister kept suggesting that the wife should worry about her husband being unchaperoned at those posh resort convention hotels with so many attractive, unattached career women around.

“Me worry?” said the wife. “Why, he’d never cheat on me. He’s too loyal, too decent… too old.”

The body sooner or later becomes old; it is bound to become old. But if you have not lived your desires they will clamor around you, they are bound to create something ugly in you. Either the old man becomes the most beautiful man in the world, because he attains to an innocence the same as the innocence of a child, or even far deeper than the innocence of a child—he becomes a sage. But if desires are still there, running like an undercurrent, then he is caught in a turmoil.

A very old man was arrested while attempting to sexually molest a young woman. Seeing such an old man, eighty-four, in court, the magistrate reduced the charge from rape to assault with a dead weapon.

If you are becoming old, remember that old age is the climax of life. Remember that old age can be the most beautiful experience, because the child has hopes for the future, he lives in the future, he has great desires to do this, to do that. Every child thinks that he is going to be somebody special—Alexander the Great, Josef Stalin, Mao Zedong – he lives in desires and in the future. The young man is too much possessed by the instincts, all instincts, exploding in him. Sex is there. Modern research says that every man thinks once at least about sex every three seconds. Women are a little better, they think of sex every six seconds. It is a great difference, almost double; that may be the cause of many rifts between husbands and wives.

Once every three seconds sex somehow flashes in the mind. The young man is possessed by such great natural forces that he cannot be free. Ambition is there, and time is running fast, and he has to do something and he has to be something. All those hopes and desires and fantasies of childhood have to be fulfilled; he is in a great rush, in a hurry.

The old man knows that those childish desires were really childish. The old man knows that all those days of youth and turmoil are gone. The old man is in the same state as when the storm has gone and silence prevails. That silence can be of tremendous beauty, depth, richness. If the old man is really mature, which is very rarely the case, then he will be beautiful. But people only grow in age, they don’t grow up. Hence the problem.

Grow up, become more mature, become more alert and aware. And old age is the last opportunity given to you: before death comes, prepare. And how does one prepare for death? By becoming more meditative.

If some lurking desires are still there, and the body is getting old and the body is not capable of fulfilling those desires, don’t be worried. Meditate over those desires, watch, be aware. Just by being aware and watchful and alert, those desires and the energy contained in them can be transmuted. But before death comes, be free of all desires.

When I say be free of all desires I simply mean be free of all objects of desires. Then there is a pure longing. That pure longing is divine, that pure longing is God. Then there is pure creativity with no object, with no address, with no direction, with no destination — just pure energy, a pool of energy, going nowhere. That’s what buddhahood is. Atisha calls it bodhichitta, buddha consciousness.

-Osho

From The Book of Wisdom, Chapter 26

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Also read a related post Don’t Get Stuck in the Outer. 

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com  or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

Don’t Get Stuck in the Outer – Osho

You ask: “Do I rightly understand you that even if you and your beloved can transmute your sexual energy into spirituality, that this relationship will not be satisfying either?”

Yes, it will not be satisfying either. In fact, it will create in you the greatest discontent that you have ever felt, because it will make you aware how much is possible. It will make you aware of the tremendous moment of that orgasmic unity, of that spiritual transmutation. But it will remain only momentary. With the outer, nothing can become permanent. And once the moment is gone, the higher was the peak, the lower will be the valley, and you will fall deep down in darkness. But it will make you aware of one thing, that if male and female energy can have a meeting which is non-temporal, then there will be eternal contentment.

How to manage it? Out of this question the whole science of Tantra was born. How to do it? It can be done. It cannot be done with the beloved outside — it cannot be done without the beloved outside, remember that too, because the first glimpse comes from the beloved outside. It is only a glimpse, but with it comes a new vision that, deep down inside yourself, there are both the energies present — male and female.

Man is bisexual — every man, every woman. Half of you is male and half of you is female. If you are a woman, then the female part is on top and the male part is hidden behind, and vice versa. Once you have become aware of this, then a new work starts: your inner woman and inner man can have a meeting and that meeting can remain absolute. There is no need to come back from the peak. But the first vision comes from the outer.

Hence Tantra uses the outer woman, the outer man, as part of inner work. Once you have become aware that you have a woman inside you or a man inside you, then the work takes on a totally new quality, it starts moving in a new dimension. Now the meeting has to happen inside; you have to allow your inner woman and man to meet.

In India we have had that concept for at least five thousand years. You may not have seen the statues of Shiva as Ardhanarishwar: half man, half woman. That is the picture of everybody’s being, inner being. You must have seen shivalinga: it symbolizes the male. But shivalinga is placed in the female sexual organ, it is not alone; they are together. That again represents the inner duality, the inner polarity, but the polarity can meet and merge.

With the outer, the merger will be only for the moment. Then great frustration and great misery… and the higher the moment, the deeper will be the darkness that follows it. But the meeting can happen inwardly.

First learn that the peak is possible, and then feel grateful to the woman who has given you the peak, feel grateful to the man. Tantra worships the woman as the goddess and the man as the god. Any woman who helps you to attain to this vision is a goddess, any man that helps you to attain to this vision is a god. Love becomes sacred because it gives you the first glimpses of the divine. Then the inner work starts. You have worked without, now you have to work within.

Tantra has two phases, two stages: the outer, the extrovert Tantra, and the inner, the introvert Tantra. The beginning has to be always from the without; it is because we are there, so we have to start from the place we are and then move inwards. When the inner man and woman have met and melted, and when you are no more divided inside, you have become one — integrated, crystallized, one — you have attained. This is enlightenment.

But right now everything is upside down. You have completely forgotten the inner; the outer has become your whole life. This is as if somebody is standing on his head and has forgotten completely how to stand on his feet again. Now, standing on your head your life will be really difficult. If you want to go somewhere, if you want to do something, everything will become very, very difficult, almost impossible.

And that is what is happening. People are upside down, because the without has become more important than the within. The without has become all-important, and the within is completely ignored, forgotten.

The real treasure is within. From the without, you can get only hints of the inner treasure; from the without, only arrows pointing to the innermost core of your being; from without, only milestones. But don’t cling to a milestone, and don’t think that this is the goal and you have arrived.

Remember that the ordinary man is living a very abnormal life, because his values are upside down. Money is more important than meditation, logic is more important than love, mind is more important than heart. Power over others is more important than power over one’s own being. Mundane things are more important than finding some treasures which death cannot destroy.

Larry went to an Italian restaurant, and just as the waiter was about to serve, he tripped and dumped a whole bowl of minestrone right in Larry’s lap.

Was Larry angry? Was he even slightly ruffled?

He simply looked up with great dignity and disdain and said, “Waiter, I believe there is a soup in my fly.”

Things are completely upside down. The fly is not in the soup, the soup is in the fly. And that’s why there is so much misery. Everybody seems to be simply running after shadows, knowing perfectly well that there is nothing to happen, that nothing is ever going to happen, but what else to do? Standing by the side of the road when everybody is rushing looks silly. It is better to go on rushing with the crowd.

Let this sink deep in your heart: that unless the within becomes more important than the without, you are living a very abnormal life. The normal person is one whose within is the source of everything that he is doing. The without is only a means, the within is the end.

The love affair that you have with a woman or a man is a means to the end. The end is having a love affair with your inner woman or inner man. The outer has to be used as a learning situation; it is a great opportunity.

I am not against the outer love affair, I am all for it, because without it you will never become aware of the inner. But remember don’t get stuck in the outer.

-Osho

From The Book of Wisdom, Chapter 26, Q3

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

You may also like to read a related post, Old Age is the Last Opportunity.

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com  or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

Dry Leaves Falling – Osho

Could dry leaves really be falling at such a young age? I am thirty, and I enjoy sex when it comes, though I don’t come so often. I don’t feel I am holding something down; on the contrary, I find I usually have to hold it up.

Beloved Osho, it now takes me all night to do what I used to do all night. Am I missing, or is it missing?

Nityanando, this is the difference between the Eastern evolution of consciousness and the Western mind.

In the East, to get rid of sex is a blessing; in the West, it is the ultimate calamity, it is dying before death. The day one starts feeling that his sexual energy is getting down, he starts counting days—that death is not far away.

In the East, the day one gets beyond sex, he rejoices—the earlier the better – because now the time has come to grow into a new dimension, into freedom from biology, into freedom from body, into freedom from mind. It is the beginning of the experience of your innermost self.

Sex is continuously taking you away from yourself. Whether you are a man or a woman, it doesn’t matter: sex takes you away from yourself. The moment sex is not there, there is no drive to go away from yourself. You start settling within.

So, Nityanando, old leaves are really falling because new leaves want to grow. And old leaves have to go and give space for new experiences, new spaces. It is a blessing—don’t take it according to the Western, rotten mind.

The West has everything, but it has forgotten itself. And once you are no longer aware of yourself, then sex becomes the ultimate reality. In the West, sex is God. Sex is now the only God worshiped in the West. But sex simply means you are no longer independent: you depend for your happiness, for your joy, on somebody else—and that dependence is the greatest misery.

It is not incidental that men and women, husbands and wives, are continuously quarreling. Even if they are not quarreling, they are in the mood, and the reason is that nobody wants deep down to be dependent on the other. It brings many other diseases by the side: if you are dependent on the woman you love, you will be jealous, you will be continuously watchful… you will start becoming a detective, a CIA, a KGB, an FBI agent, upon your own wife! You will put your children on alert: Be careful, when I am away… what happens in the house.

Why this jealousy…? The fear is that perhaps she may start loving someone else. And the fear is natural, because you are starting to think of other women: why should she not think of other men? This is a natural corollary that goes on in both the minds. So she goes on detecting you, she goes on looking into your letters, she goes on searching into your pockets, any address, any phone number…

One night a phone rang, and as the bell was ringing Mulla Nasruddin went there, said “Okay,” and put it down.

The wife said, “Who was there?”

He said, “It was nobody. I have just been unnecessarily disturbed by someone phoning on the wrong number.”

The wife said, “What is the number from where the phone came?”

These kind of things go on continuously in every house, because the wife has already read the number in his diary. And when he quoted the number, the wife said, “Don’t lie to me that it was a wrong number. This is your diary, and this is the number…. Now tell me, what is her name?” —  now it is no more his, now it is her: “Tell me, what is her name?” Under pressure — and every husband is under pressure — “her name is Kamala… but this is only the name of a horse. And because it is the season of horse racing and I’m thinking to go to the races tomorrow….”

The next morning again the phone rang, and Mulla was standing by it. The wife said, “Wait. This time I will take the call” — and she listened and told Mulla, “Come on, your horse is calling!” It is very difficult… one of the most difficult things is to deceive your wife. But man goes on making his efforts, and is defeated continuously. […]

Nityanando, let the dry leaves fall. You are fortunate that they are falling at thirty. And they are falling at thirty because, as I say, if you live intensely, totally, then the year forty-two… it is only the average, and in existence nothing is average. It all depends on you: there are people who will be at the age of ninety and still thinking of nothing but sex. All other things are finished… the only thing left is sex. That continues to the very end of their life, because they never lived it intensely; they have spread a thin layer of sexuality over all their life. If you live intensely, it is going to disappear sooner.

The thirtieth year is perfectly the right time that sex leaves you — because you are from the West — at least fifty to sixty years to work upon yourself, to find yourself, and to find the innermost mysteries of existence. In fact, now begins the real life; up to now you were a slave. Now, boundaries are dropping and the whole sky is becoming available to you with all its stars.

But in the West it is certainly a very difficult problem. The whole conditioning of centuries has brought man to such a state that sex seems to be everything: it is money, it is power, it is position. Everything is sacrificed for sex, and everything is achieved only for sex.

Nobody bothers that sex is not your reality, sex is not love, and nobody even bothers whether you are getting anything out of it or not. What are you getting out of it? — it is almost like people smoking cigarettes: one wonders why they are smoking, and once in a while they also wonder why. But just a habit… and it is only a mental habit. Sex is a biological habit, very deep-rooted.

You say, “It now takes me all night to do what I used to do all night.” That’s why – you did well. Soon it will take you twenty-four hours to do what you used to do the whole night!

Now, try to understand: you have lost the infatuation and the foolishness and the slavery, and this is the time to start meditating. If you cannot meditate now, then when will you be meditating? I will not prevent you… once in a while you can have your sex, but it will become more and more sparse.

There is a saying in Tibet: If you feel tired, lie down. If you feel energetic, move over.

But first, feel whether you are energetic, otherwise it is better to lie down.

And from me the advice is:

If you do not know what to do, at least laugh.

Grandma was in her eighties. She tired easily, had little appetite, and was sometimes confused mentally. Her son called the gynecologist, who arrived shortly and was shown up to Grandma’s room, where he examined her thoroughly. Half an hour later he came down.

“There is no need to worry,” he explained. “There is nothing really wrong with her except her age. She will be alright.”

The son was very relieved and went upstairs to see her. “Well, mother,” he asked, “how did you like the gynecologist?”

“So that was the gynecologist?” she said. “My god, I thought he acted very familiar for a priest.”

Priests and monks and saints, Nityanando, are in more difficulty than you think you are, because the time when they could have been deeply into sex is gone. Now only the thought goes on and on like a continuous record. And the needle of the record has stuck at sex; it does not move from there.

Ronald Reagan gets into bed with Nancy. Ronnie is feeling very horny, so he turns to

Nancy and says, “Oh, Nancy, I would like to launch my missile into your Gulf.”

Nancy says, “Oh, Ronnie, you are so romantic, but you have not been able to bring your missile up since the Second World War.”

Ronnie pleads, “But Nancy, I think I can do it if you would only have faith in me.”

Nancy replies, “But honestly, Ron, it has been so long since we made war that I would not know where to begin.”

Frustrated, Ronnie says, “God, I hate peace!”

Don’t be an old fool. And if you can become wise while you are young, just thirty, thank God. Be grateful to existence that he is allowing you so much time to explore much that is not available to any other animal, which is only available to man. And the more time you have to explore it, the deeper will be your insight, the greater will be your consciousness and tremendous will be your splendor. You will not die an ugly death; you will die with a grace and with a smile on your face.

A life that cannot reach to enlightenment has been a sheer waste. It is good that your thirty years were passed in the West. Thirty years in the East are bad luck; thirty years in the West are good luck,  but good luck only if after thirty years you can come into contact with the Eastern mysteries. Then you have more chances than the Eastern counterpart, because the Eastern counterpart has been repressing sex, so it will not be possible for him to meditate at the age of thirty. If he can manage to meditate even at the age of sixty, it will be a surprise.

It is a tremendously fortunate moment, at least for my people, because the East is so orthodox, so traditional, so blind, so deaf, that they will not hear me. They can hear Morarji Desai and even can start drinking their own urine. That is possible because for centuries they have been drinking the urine of the cows, so in fact it is better to drink your own—self-sufficiency! Why be dependent on a cow? And who knows what kind of dirty water she has been drinking? As far as I know Morarji Desai has no need of any water. The same water goes on circulating, so naturally he never falls sick, because infections are difficult, pollution is difficult….

But they will not listen to me. They cannot listen to any reasonable, logical, scientific truth.

So it is a very strange situation. I am here in the East, but my people are going to be from the West, because only the Western youth can understand. Sex has become futile, he has lived with too many women; drugs have become useless, he has known too much… now what else? There seems to be nothing around which can keep the youth in the West interested, intrigued, still feeling that life may have some significance.

All the modern, contemporary Western philosophers are talking about one thing only: meaninglessness. And they appeal to the Western youth because he can see himself: it is not a question to be convinced about, to be argued—he has lived everything and he finds everything falls flat sooner or later. He has lived with many women; the woman has lived with many men. They are all alike… you have just to put the light off! The question is only whether the light is on or off; that much difference and the most beautiful woman or the most ugly woman are the same.

Because they have known many women and many men, the hope that still can be helpful in the East is no more for them. In the East everybody is caught up with one woman, and that means monotony. People call it monogamy, but that is not the right word. They are so fed up with the woman, the woman is so fed up with the man, but there is no other way. It is a lifelong contract.

So they go on hoping that, perhaps what my wife does not have, other women have; what my husband is not able for, other people seem to be able…. But in the West, that hope has died. People have tried and found that it is all nonsense; every woman has the same physiology, the difference is just superficial. Every man has the same physiology, and everything comes to the same end.

Then they tried marijuana, they tried hashish, they tried transcendental meditation. Now they are trying yogic flying and making themselves so foolish. But what to do?—they have to do something, otherwise life seems to be empty.

Nityanando, you are fortunate that life need not be empty for you. If sex is going, say goodbye to it. It was good when it was there; it is better when it is gone. Now begins a totally different space of experiencing. Now begins a new adventure, more free, more individual, more unfettered. And the sky is so vast to explore… and on each step there are miracles and miracles.

So sing and dance and meditate. And life is immensely beautiful: it has all that Gautam Buddha experienced and more, because twenty-five centuries have passed; man has become far more mature, and evolution has gone higher. We can produce greater Gautam Buddhas with more dimensions to them.

In the past it was thought that a man can only experience himself or God,  which are only different names,  if he tortures himself. That was a primitive idea.

I give you a sophisticated, cultured version, the latest edition: there is no need to torture yourself—it is absolutely absurd! You can be blissful, you can be ecstatic; you can be meditative, comfortably. I don’t see the connection that you can be meditative sitting in a bullock cart but you cannot be meditative sitting in a Rolls Royce. If you can be meditative sitting on a camel, then why can’t you be meditative flying in a jumbo jet—which is far more comfortable, far more silent, far more peaceful.

Have you ever tried sitting on an animal like a camel? Sex is exactly like that! It is the ugliest vehicle…. I have suffered it; I’m not saying it without experience. And those two, three hours I was on a camel, I said, “My god, whether I’m going to survive or not…” Life has gone on—in spite of all hindrances from politicians, from priests, from traditionalists, from the orthodox. Life has gone on, although it could have gone far faster if all these hindrances were not there. But still, after twenty-five hundred years we are in a position to create better Gautam Buddhas, better Mahaviras. We know much more about human physiology, we know much more about human biology, we know much more about human sexuality.

The ancient most book on sex was written in India; that was Vatsyayana’s Kamasutras, sutras on sex. But looking at it, it looks as if a child is writing about sex. After Sigmund Freud and Masters and Johnson, and after so many discoveries in biology, in genetics, we are in such a position that we can create far greater giants of enlightenment, awareness, illumination. But if you are feeling too much attached to that which is gone, then your life will be a life of misery, continuously thinking of something which you cannot do. It is up to you.

Being my sannyasin, I don’t think you will accept this despair. Less than ultimate ecstasy is not our concern.

-Osho

From The Great Pilgrimage: From Here to Here, Chapter Eleven

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com, or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from Viha Osho Book Distributors and OshoStore-Sedona.