Two Faces Of Sex Obsession: Indulgence & Repression


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It is not a question of West or East. Both are obsessed with sex.
Of course, in different ways. The West is indulgent, the East is repressive, but the obsession is the same. And the significant question is: Why is the West so indulgent? It is two thousand years of Christianity and its repressive methods that have brought this indulgence.

The East is repressive; sooner or later, it is going to become indulgent. The mind of man moves like a pendulum, from the right to the left, from the left to the right. And remember, while the pendulum is moving to the right it is gaining momentum to move to the left, and vice versa. It appears it is going to the left, but it is gaining momentum, energy, to go to the right.

So a strange thing is bound to happen, and in fact, it is happening: the West has been indulgent for a few decades and the repressive trend is arising again. There are many cults which preach celibacy now.

Cults agree that sex has to be repressed

The Hare Krishna movement preaches celibacy, brahmacharya, and thousands of people have become interested in it. And there are many cults arising which are all agreed on one point: that sex has to be repressed. In the name of yoga, in the name of Zen, in the name of Christianity, many cults are arising which are again repressive.

The West will become repressive soon. And in the East, the number of porno magazines is growing every day; porno movies are coming more and more. The East is a little slow in everything, a little lazy in everything, so it takes a little longer. The West moves with speed. But the East is becoming West and the West is becoming East, and that is one of the greatest problems. If this happens, then the misery remains the same. Again the pendulum has moved and again you will go on doing the same things. This has happened many times in the past.

A repressive society becomes indulgent sooner or later.

When the repression comes to a point where you cannot repress it anymore it explodes: people go berserk. Or when a society has been very indulgent it starts seeing the futility of it, the sheer wastage of energy. And it gives no contentment; rather it makes one feel more and more frustrated. Then one starts thinking of brahmacharya — celibacy. Maybe the ancient rishis were right! In the East also it has happened many times. The Hindu religion, in the beginning, was very indulgent; it was not a repressive religion. The Hindu seers were married people. Not only were they married, they were allowed to have a few other women also as their concubines. They were allowed even to purchase women — because in those days in India, men and women were sold in the marketplaces just like any commodity.

Beware of all those people who go on talking about the Golden Age of India. There has never been any golden age. Even in the days of Rama…. Hindus talk very much about Ramarajya — the kingdom of Rama is thought to be the highest pinnacle. People were sold like commodities in the marketplaces, and particularly women were thought to be just property; anybody can sell, anybody can purchase. People used to give them as gifts. A guest would come to your house and he would like one of your women, and you would present the woman to him.

Indulgent Saints

Even the so-called saints used to have many women; they were all indulgent. All the stories of those days, even about the gods, are very indulgent. You must have seen Shiva temples — temples devoted to the god Shiva. The statue is nothing but a phallic symbol. If you look, if you observe minutely, you will be surprised: it has both man and woman’s sexual organs in it. It depicts the meeting of man and woman.

The story is this: One day Vishnu and Brahma went to see Shiva…this is the Hindu trinity: Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva. Brahma is the creator god, Vishnu is the maintainer god and Shiva is the destroyer god. All the three are needed to keep the world running. One creates, one maintains, one destroys; then again one creates, the other maintains and the third one destroys. So it remains in a flow.

Brahma and Vishnu went to see Shiva. As it happened, the guard was fast asleep, so they entered in without asking any permission, and Shiva was making love to his wife, Parvati. He was so passionately into it, so drunk! — he may have taken some drug, because he is perfectly well known to have used drugs. Marijuana and hash and opium were all known to him. He continued to make love and these two gods stood there watching. Great gods! They could not even say, “Excuse us,” and get out. They must have enjoyed the scene — living pornography!

Six hours it continued, the love-making, and these two gods stood there for six hours watching. A long blue film! — and nothing else, just making love! No other incidents, nothing else… just Shiva making love to his wife. But they were very angry.
When Shiva was finished they told him, “We have been waiting for six hours and you have not even taken any notice of us. We are very angry and we curse you that you will be remembered forever and forever by your sexual organs.” That’s why in the Shiva temple you see the phallic symbol: Shiva is remembered by his sexual organ.

India still lives in a repressive society

Now, these Hindus must have been very indulgent. Their gods, too, were very indulgent. But then came a reaction, the pendulum moved. Buddhism and Jainism rebelled against this indulgence and they created a very repressive world, a repressive morality. India still lives under that influence, but it is moving slowly slowly again towards the indulgent. The West is influencing it — Western films, Western novels are influencing it. The West is being influenced by Buddha, by Zen, by Patanjali, by yoga, by meditation, and the East is influenced by Playboy! People are reading Playboy, hiding it inside their Gitas!

Stop in the middle between indulgence and repression

You ask, “The West seems to be obsessed with sex.” It is not true only about the West. The whole of humanity, up to now, has remained obsessed with sex, and it is going to remain so unless we change the whole gestalt. Up to now the gestalt has been repression/indulgence, indulgence/repression, going on moving between these two. We have to stop exactly in the middle. Have you ever tried to stop the pendulum of a clock in the middle? What happens? The clock stops. The time stops. That’s my effort here. I don’t want you to be indulgent and I don’t want you to be repressive. I would like you to be balanced, just in the middle.

It is in the middle that transcendence is possible

And it is in the middle that we can create a humanity which will be neither Eastern nor Western. And it is immensely needed, urgently needed, that a man comes on the earth which is neither Eastern nor Western: a new kind of man with a new vision, freed of all the bondage of the past.”

OshoThe Dhammapada: The Way Of The Buddha, Talk #10

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