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Osho on Zen Approach towards Sex

Question - Osho, What is the Zen Approach towards Sex? The Zen people seem to have a neuter gender, or asexual aura around them.

Osho - Zen has no attitudes about sex, and that is the beauty of Zen. To have an attitude means you are still obsessed this way or that. Somebody is against sex -- he has an attitude; and somebody is for sex -- he has an attitude. And for and against go together like two wheels of a bullock cart. They are not enemies, they are friends, partners in the same business.

Zen has no attitude about sex. Why should one have any attitude about sex? That's the beauty of it -- Zen is utterly natural. Do you have any attitudes about drinking water? Do you have any attitudes about taking food? Do you have any attitudes about going to sleep in the night? No attitudes. I know there are mad people who have attitudes about these things too: that one should not sleep more than five hours. Sleep is a kind of sin, something like a necessary evil, so one should not sleep more than five hours; or in India there are people who think only three hours.

And I have come across one person who has not slept for ten years. And he is worshipped for this only; he has nothing else, no other creative talents. It is his only talent. Maybe he is just an insomniac. Maybe even this is not a talent, maybe he cannot sleep. He has gone so neurotic that he cannot relax, and he looks mad. One will become mad if for ten years one has not slept. And people come, crowds come, to worship him. He has attained something great. What has he attained? What is the attainment there? He is just an abnormal person, ill. To sleep is natural. And he is bound to be very tense -- he is tense. He must be boiling within. Just think, for ten years not sleeping! But now it has become a great investment, now it is paying. His madness has become an invest-ment, now thousands of people worship him -- only for this?

Down the ages this has been one of the greatest calamities -- that people have been worshipping uncreative things, and sometimes pathological things. Then you have an attitude about sleep. There are people who have an attitude about food. To eat this or to eat that; to eat only so much, not more than that. They don't listen to the body, to whether the body is hungry or not. They have a certain idea and they impose the idea on nature.

Zen has no attitudes about sex. Zen is very simple, Zen is innocent. Zen is childlike. It says there is no need to have any attitudes. Why? Do you have any attitude about sneezing? -- to sneeze or not, whether it is sin or virtue. You don't have any attitude. But I have come across one man who is against sneezing, and whenever he sneezes he immediately repeats a mantra to protect himself. He belongs to a small foolish sect. That sect thinks that when you sneeze the soul goes out. In the sneeze the soul goes out, and if you don't remember God it may not come back.

So you have to remember, you have to immediately remember so that the soul is given back. If you die while sneezing you will go into hell. You can have attitudes about anything. Once you have attitudes, your innocence is destroyed and those attitudes start controlling you. Zen is neither for anything nor against anything. Zen says whatsoever is ordinary is good. To be ordinary, to be a no one, to be a nothingness, to be without any ideology, to be without character, to be characterless....

When you have a character you have some kind of neurosis. Character means something has become fixed in you. Character means your past. Character means conditioning, cultivation. When you have a character you are imprisoned in it, you are no more free. When you have a character you have an armor around yourself. You are no more a free person. You are carrying your prison around yourself; it is a very subtle prison. A real man will be characterless.

What do I mean when I say he will be characterless? He will be free of the past. He will act in the moment according to the moment. He will be spontaneous; only he can be spontaneous. He will not look back into the memories for what to do. A situation has arisen and you are looking in the memory -- then you have a character. Then you are asking your past, "What should I do?" When you don't have any character you simply look into the situation and the situation decides what has to be done. Then it is
spontaneous and there is response and not reaction. Zen has no belief-system about anything, and that includes sex too -- Zen says nothing about it. And that should be the ultimate thing.

Tantra has an attitude about sex. The reason? -- it tries to redress what the society has done. Tantra is medical. The society has repressed sex; Tantra comes as a remedy to help you redress balance. You have leaned too much to the left; Tantra comes and helps you to lean to the right. And to redress the balance sometimes you have to lean too much to the right, only then the balance is gained. Have you not seen a rope walker, a tightrope walker? He carries a staff in his hand to keep balance. If he feels he is leaning too much to the left, he immediately starts leaning to the right. Then again he feels that now he has leaned too much to the right, he starts leaning towards the left. This is how he keeps in the middle. Tantra is a remedy.

The society has created a repressive mind, a life-negative mind, an anti-joy mind. The society is very much against sex. Why is the society so much against sex? -- because if you allow people sexual pleasure, you cannot transform them into slaves. It is impossible -- a joyous person cannot be made a slave. That is the trick. Only sad people can be turned into slaves. A joyous person is a free person; he has a kind of independence to him.

You cannot recruit joyous people for war. Impossible. Why should they go to war? But if a person has repressed his sexuality he is ready to go to war, he is eager to go to war, because he has not been able to enjoy life. He has become incapable of enjoying, hence has become incapable of creativity. Now he can do only one thing -- he can destroy. All his energies have become poison and destructive. He is ready to go to war -- not only ready, he is hankering for it. He wants to kill, he wants to destroy.

In fact, while destroying human beings he will have a vicarious joy of penetrating. That penetrating could have been in love and would have been beautiful. When you penetrate a woman's body in love, it is one thing. It is spiritual. But when things go wrong and you penetrate somebody's body with a sword, with a spear, it is ugly, it is violent, it is destructive. But you are searching for a substitute for penetration.

If society is allowed total freedom about joy, nobody will be destructive. People who can love beautifully are never destructive. And people who can love beautifully and have the joy of life will not be competitive either. These are the problems.

That's why primitive people are not so competitive. They are enjoying their life. Who bothers to have a bigger house? Who bothers to have a bigger balance in the bank? For what? You are happy with your woman and with your man and you are having a dance of life. Who wants to sit in the marketplace for hours and hours and hours, day in, day out, year in, year out, hoping that in the end you will have a big bank balance and then you will retire and enjoy? That day never comes. It can't come, because the whole life you remain an ascetic.

Remember, the business people are ascetic people. They have devoted everything to money. Now a man who knows love and has known the thrill of love and the ecstasy of it will not be competitive. He will be happy if he can get his daily bread. That is the
meaning of Jesus' prayer: "Give us our daily bread." That is more than enough. Now Jesus looks foolish. He should have asked, "Give us a bigger bank balance." He asks only for the daily bread?

A joyous man never asks for more than that. The joy is so fulfilling. It is only unfulfilled beings who are competitive, because they think life is not here, it is there. "I have to reach to Delhi and become the president," or to the White House and become this or that. "I have to go there, joy is there" -- because they know here there is no joy. So they are always on the go, go, go, go. They are always on the go, and they never reach. And the man who knows the joy, is here. Why should he be going to Delhi? For what? He is utterly happy herenow. His needs are very small. He has no desires. He has needs certainly, but no desires. Needs can be fulfilled, desires never. Needs are natural, desires are perverted.

Now this whole society depends on one thing and that is sex repression. Otherwise the economy will be destroyed, sabotaged. War will disappear and with it the whole war machinery, and the politics will become meaningless and the politician will no longer be important. Money will not have value if people are allowed to love. Because they are not allowed to love, money becomes the substitute, money becomes their love. So there is a subtle strategy. Sex has to be repressed, otherwise this whole structure of the society will fall immediately.

Only love released into the world will bring revolution. communism has failed, fascism has failed, capitalism has failed. All 'isms' have failed because deep down they are all sex repressive. On that point there is no difference -- no difference between Washington and Moscow, Beijing and Delhi -- there is no difference at all. They all agree upon one thing -- that sex has to be controlled, that people are not to be allowed to have innocent joy in

To redress the balance comes Tantra; Tantra is a remedy. So it emphasizes sex too much. The so-called religions say sex is sin and Tantra says sex is the only sacred phenomenon. Tantra is a remedy. Zen is not a remedy. Zen is the state when the illness has disappeared; and of course, with the illness, the remedy too. Once you are cured of your illness you don't go on carrying the prescription and the bottle and the medicine with you. You throw it. It goes to the dustbin.

Ordinary society is against sex; Tantra comes to help humanity, to give sex back to humanity. And when the sex has been given back, then arises Zen. Zen has no attitude. Zen is pure health.

Source - Osho Book "The Diamond Sutra"

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