Both are Half Right, Half Wrong – Osho

I have just arrived from the West—Paris—where I had heard about you and read some of your books.  They touched me very deeply and one question arose in me:

How is your spiritual dimension and the work you do on a spiritual level capable of conducting and enlightening the behavior of a man involved in action on a materialistic level, for instance, urbanism, struggle against hunger, thirst and all other distresses?

Jacques Daumal, I do not divide existence into these old dichotomies, the materialistic plane and the spiritual plane. There is only one reality: matter is its visible form and spirit its invisible form. Just like your body and your soul— your body cannot be without your soul and your soul cannot be without your body.

In fact, the whole split of the past has been a heavy burden on the human heart — the split between body and soul. It has created a schizophrenic humanity. As I see it, schizophrenia is not a disease that happens once in a while to a person. The whole humanity up to now has been schizophrenic. It is very rarely, only once in a while, that a man like Jesus, or Buddha, or Mahavira, or Socrates, or Pythagoras, or Lao Tzu, has been able to escape from this schizophrenic pattern of our living.

To divide reality into antagonistic, inimical realism is dangerous because it is dividing man. Man is a miniature universe; if you divide the universe the man is divided, if you divide the man the universe is divided. And I believe in the undivided, organic unity of existence.

To me there is no distinction between the spiritual and the material. You can be spiritual and function on the materialistic plane—and your functioning will be more joyous, your functioning will be more aesthetic, more sensitive. Your functioning on the materialistic plane will not be tense, will not be full of anguish and anxiety.

Once a man came to Buddha and asked, “The world is in such a distress, people are in so much misery — how can you manage to sit silently and so joyously?”

Buddha said, “If somebody is suffering from fever, has the doctor also to lie down by his side and suffer? Has the doctor out of compassion to get the infection and lie down by the side of the patient and be feverish? Is that going to help the patient? In fact, whereas there was only one person ill, now there are two persons ill — the world is doubly ill! The doctor need not be ill to help the patient; the doctor has to be healthy to help the patient. The healthier he is, the better; the healthier he is, the more help is possible through him.”

I am not against working on the material plane. Whatsoever work you are doing — urbanism, struggle against hunger, struggle for ecological balance, struggle against poverty, exploitation, oppression, struggle for freedom — whatsoever your work on the material plane; it is going to be benefited, tremendously benefited, if you become more spiritually rooted, centered, calm, quiet, cool, because then the whole quality of your work will be changed. Then you will be able to think in a more cool manner, and you will be able to act more gracefully. Your understanding of your own inner being will be of tremendous help to help others.

I am not a spiritualist in the old sense and I am not a materialist either in the old sense. The Charvakas in India, Epicurus in Greece, Karl Marx and others, they are materialists. They say only matter is true and consciousness is only an epiphenomenon, a by-product; it has no reality of its own. And then there are people like Shankara, Nagarjuna, who say just the same thing in a reverse manner. They say the soul is real and the body is unreal, maya, illusion, an epiphenomenon, a by-product; it has no reality of its own.

To me, both are half right, half wrong. And a half-truth is far more dangerous than a whole lie — at least it is whole. A whole lie has a certain beauty, but a half-truth is ugly — ugly and dangerous too — ugly because it is half. It is like cutting a man into two parts.

Just the other day I was reading a story:

It was very hot, and a man with his young daughter was passing by the side of a swimming pool of an intercontinental hotel. It was so hot, the girl said, “I would like to go in the pool and cool myself.”

The father said, “Okay, I will sit underneath the tree, and you go ahead.”

But she was stopped immediately by the guard and he said, “This pool is restricted. It is not allowed here for Jews… and you look Jewish.”

The father said, “Listen: I am Jewish. My daughter’s mother is not Jewish, she is a Christian, so my daughter is half Jew, half Christian. Can you allow her to take a bath only up to the waist?”

Dividing man is dangerous, because man is an organic unity. But this is how down the ages it has been done, and now it has become almost a routine thinking, a conditioning.

Daumal, you are still thinking in the old categories. I don’t belong to any school — the school of the materialists or the school of the so-called spiritualists. My approach is total, it is holistic. I believe that man is both together, spiritual and material. In fact, I have to use the words ‘spiritual’ and ‘material’ just because they have always been used. In fact man is psychosomatic, not material and spiritual, because that ‘and’ creates duality. There is no ‘and’ between the material and the spiritual, not even a hyphen. Man is material-spiritual — I use it as one word, material-spiritual. And both the sides….

Spiritual means the center of your being and the material means the circumference of your being. The circumference cannot be there if there is no center, and the center cannot be there if there is no circumference.

My work here is to help your center become a clarity, a purity. Then that purity will be reflected on the circumference too. If your center is beautiful your circumference is bound to become beautiful, and if your circumference is beautiful your center is bound to be affected by that beauty.

My sannyasin is a total man, he is a new man. The effort is that he will be beautiful from both the sides. […]

We are trying to create a harmony, a new synthesis.

-Osho

From The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, V.3, Discourse #2

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

Sex, an Old Leaf Dropping from the Tree – Osho

Can it be true that sex is already over? I have been your sannyasin for four and a half years and my body is thirty-one years of age. I never planned to drop sex, but now it feels like it has dropped me. Am I a quickie or what?

Dhyan Satyama, the place you are in and the space you are in… four and a half years is really too long. You can understand by the laughter of the people. They are in the same boat. If you meditate, sex is going to drop by itself.

Sex is part of your unconsciousness, and it is a blissful experience if it drops by itself. If you force it to drop, it never drops. On the contrary, it becomes perverted; it starts finding ways from the back door. Unless it drops by itself, it never drops.

Meditation is the secret most method of going beyond the body and all that the body contains. Sex is part of your body, your biology; it is not part of your consciousness. The moment you start rising up in your consciousness, sex is left far behind. Naturally, at the age of thirty-one one starts wondering, “Something seems to have gone wrong…. Nothing has gone wrong, everything has gone right. You should feel blessed that you are free from the greatest imprisonment of your being.

Adam and Eve were standing underneath the tree of knowledge, looking at the apple in Eve’s hand. Eve turned to Adam and said, “After we have eaten the apple, we are going to do WHAT?” Naturally the poor woman was not yet aware about what. And they had eaten only one apple… It seems you have been eating too many apples; then one becomes a quickie.

Little Ernie’s mother was worried about his progress at school, so she took him to see the psychiatrist. The shrink decided to give him an aptitude test and asked the nurse to put a hammer, a wrench and a screwdriver on the table. “If he grabs the hammer,” said the shrink, “he will be a carpenter. If he grabs the wrench, he will be a mechanic. If he grabs the screwdriver, he will be an electrician.” Ernie fooled them all. He grabbed the nurse.

It does not matter what your age is; sex has nothing to do with age. It can disappear at any moment or it may not disappear even when one leg is in the grave. It all depends whether your life is just a horizontal phenomenon or something vertical also.

That verticalness can happen any moment, particularly for those who are in meditation. You can start moving differently than any other animal is capable of – except a few men. It is unfortunate that I have to say “except a few men”; intrinsically, every man is capable of going beyond sex.

But people think sex is life; the moment sex disappears, they think; now there is no point in going on living. Sex was their meaning, their very salt. These are the poorest people in the world who have not known anything beyond the lowest; they have never raised their eyes towards the stars.

“A man has reached old age when he can’t take yes for an answer.”

So it doesn’t matter… at the age of thirty-one you have become a wise old man. And the beauty of a wise old man is tremendously valuable in comparison to the foolishness of all those who are just young. The young people are bound to fool around; it is rare at this age, to be able to get out of this stupidity that we call youth.

Dhyan Satyama, you are exactly what I would like every sannyasin to be. This place is a place for transformation, and the only energy you have got to be transformed is sex.

Sex is your basic life force.

If you transform it into higher forms, it is going to disappear from its lower manifestations. But you are not going to miss anything; at each higher state the energy will give you more and more blissfulness. The higher it rises… it becomes a tidal wave of blissfulness. You start feeling orgasmic in every fiber of your being. Sexual orgasm seems to be a faraway echo, almost as if you have seen it in a dream – just a faint memory.

Because what you are now experiencing is so authentic and so real, so solid, you will not need a companion. That too is one of the basic dependencies, and that’s why all couples are in constant fight. The reason is that nobody wants to be dependent on anyone. It takes away your dignity, your individuality, your freedom. It makes you in a subtle sense a slave.

The man who loves a woman will hate the woman, because that woman has become a necessity, and one hates to be dependent on anyone. And the same is the case for the woman. Every woman hates the husband, has to hate him, because she has become dependent on him for momentary pleasures which don’t last long.

A meditator finally comes into a space where he does not need anyone to give him pleasure. He is full of blissfulness, overflowing, he can share, he can fill the whole world with his blissfulness. His very being has become orgasmic.

Now that is something tremendously significant to be remembered: you are both, man and woman together. Because you are born of a father and a mother – half of your being has been contributed by your father and the other half by your mother – naturally you cannot be just man or just woman. It is a fallacy perpetuated for centuries that man is man and woman is woman. It is absolutely wrong.

Every man has his woman within him and every woman has her man within her. Only the meditator comes to know his whole being. Suddenly his inner woman and the inner man melt and merge into each other. That creates an orgasmic state in him. Now it is no more a momentary experience that comes and goes; it is something that continues, day in, day out, like heartbeat or breathing. Every moment he is in an orgasmic state.

Naturally, sex disappears. A greater experience has come in. The sun has risen; what is the use of having a candle unnecessarily burning? You are bound to blow it out. If somebody keeps his candle burning in the sun, it only shows one thing: that man is blind.

A meditator comes to know such a vast experience of joy that all other pleasures simply fade away.

You are asking, “Can it be true that sex is already over?”

Yes, it is true, and you need not repent for it. Don’t look back, look ahead. Something greater is going to open in your being, something like a lotus, which will give you absolute fulfillment and contentment, and freedom, independence, individuality. For the first time you will feel you are able to fly alone into the vast sky of existence. Your need for the other has disappeared – that is what sex is, the need for the other – and in this state of orgasmic experience within yourself, without the help of anyone else you become capable of sharing your love, not bargaining, not even hoping for something in return.

In other words, this is what I was just talking about: friendliness – friendliness towards the whole existence. Nothing is greater, more glorious. Nothing is more of a splendor and a miracle. You are saying, Satyama, “I have been your sannyasin for four and a half years and my body is thirty-one years of age.” The body can be of any age….

There are two things which are not necessarily of the same age as the body. The lowest of these two is well understood by the psychoanalyst; the higher is still beyond them. Psychology is still struggling to stand up. It is crawling on the ground at the lowest level of human energies; hence, about the lower it has found a few fundamental truths.

One is the mental age: a man may be seventy years old, yet his mental age may be only fourteen – or vice versa. In cases like Mozart… when he was only four years of age he was able to play on musical instruments like a great master; at the age of five he was already becoming famous. Even great masters of music could not believe the phenomenal energy of Mozart. At the age of five, he was almost as mature mentally as very few people become at the age of seventy.

Psychology has accepted that body and mind don’t grow together. Sometimes, most of the time, the mind is lagging behind and the body goes on growing. A few times, in rare cases, the mind grows ahead and the body lags behind.

When Emerson, a great creative and sensitive man, was asked about his age, he said, “Three hundred and sixty years.” The people who were present could not believe it; they could not believe that Emerson, a man of truth, a very innocent man, a man loved and respected by all those who could understand the heights of consciousness… why should he lie about such a thing? Three hundred and sixty years old? – he does not look more than sixty. What to make of it?

Finally, one man asked, “Perhaps I could not rightly hear what you said. Will you please repeat it?”

Emerson laughed and said, “Why are you going in a roundabout way? Why don’t you say directly that you cannot believe that my age is three hundred and sixty years?”

Then another man said, “Now we have to ask you. You look only sixty at the most; you will have to give us evidence that you are three hundred and sixty years of age. And a man of your integrity is expected not to lie.”

Emerson said, “I am not lying. I have lived so much in sixty years that you will be able to live only in three hundred and sixty years. According to my intensity and totality of life, I have lived in sixty years as much as an ordinary man will live in three hundred and sixty years. I am not lying; it all depends how you live.”

Meditation changes your life pattern completely.

This has still to be recognized by psychology. But the psychology of the enlightened ones knows perfectly well that consciousness can go on growing. It need not grow simultaneously with the body. Adi Shankara, the founder of a systematic, philosophical system for the Hindus, died at the age of thirty three. He became enlightened somewhere about the age of seven. When he was seven his father had died. He was the son of a poor father, a poor brahmin; the mother was only living for him, the only son. At the age of seven, Adi Shankara asked his mother that he wanted to renounce the world. Can you conceive of a child of seven years old thinking of renouncing the world? – must be another Mozart, a Mozart of spirituality.

The mother said, “Your father has died and you want to renounce the world. Don’t you think of me?”

Adi Shankara said, “I can only promise you one thing: before you die I will be present, so in your last moments you can die peacefully. But right now, allow me to renounce the world. I want to become a sannyasin and to go in search.” The mother refused.

Not to hurt her, Shankara remained for a few days more. One day he went to the river. He used to go for his bath every day, but that day he insisted that his mother should also come with him. The mother was a little concerned: why he was so insistent? But when he became absolutely adamant that “if you don’t come, I will not go for the bath. Then I cannot worship and then I cannot eat either,” so the mother had to go.

The mother was standing on the river bank and the little child, seven years old, was caught by a crocodile. A crowd gathered, but there was nothing that could be done. Both the feet of the boy were inside the mouth of the crocodile, and Shankara shouted to the mother, “Now there are only two possibilities: either you give me permission to renounce the world and become a sannyasin or the crocodile is going to eat me. It is up to you to decide. Be quick!”

It is a strange story. How did the crocodile conspire in this? And the mother of course immediately shouted, “I allow you, you can become a sannyasin. Even this much will be a solace to me, that you are still alive.”

And the story goes that the crocodile immediately left him and disappeared. Must have been a very saintly crocodile… Whatever the case – perhaps it is only a parable – one thing is certain: that Adi Shankara at the age of seven must have convinced his mother that either she had to allow him to be a sannyasin or she had to be ready for his death. How he managed it, that is a different matter. But one thing is certain: he gave her the clear-cut choice, either death or sannyas. Obviously the poor mother had no choice; she allowed him.

At the age of seven, Adi Shankara became a sannyasin. In the whole history of the world there is no other case parallel to Shankara. Somewhere between the age of seven and eleven – there is no historical record of it, but it seems just between seven and eleven – he must have become enlightened. At the age of eleven he started writing his great commentaries on the Upanishads, and on one of the greatest and most complicated scriptures that exists in India, Badrayana’s Brahmasutras.

At the age of eleven it is almost impossible even to understand it – and Shankara wrote the greatest commentary. It has defeated all the great commentators of the past and all the great commentators that came after him. Nobody has been able to go beyond these flights of consciousness and bring such tremendous meaning to the almost dead scripture of Badrayana, Brahmasutras. The way he interprets is possible only after enlightenment. Each small word… the way he gives a turn to its meaning. Something which was looking very ordinary immediately becomes extraordinary. He has the touch that transforms everything into gold.

By the time he was thirty-three, he had written all the great commentaries on all the great scriptures, and he had traveled all over the country and defeated all the so-called great philosophers, theologians, priests. At the age of thirty-three he died.

Consciousness is not limited to your physical age.

Consciousness can go far ahead of you, your body.

So don’t be worried, Satyama. You are saying, “I never planned to drop sex, but now it feels like it has dropped me.” That’s the right way. You should never drop sex with conscious effort, because that is only repression. You should not pay any attention to sex. Your whole focus should be towards meditation, and one day sex is going to drop just like an old leaf dropping from the tree, not making even any noise, silently falling into the earth and disappearing. […]

-Osho

From Satyam Shivam Sundram, Chapter Ten

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 OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.