Osho on Suppression

Question – Beloved Osho, Would you talk to us about the alternative to suppressing or expressing our emotions?

Osho – Man is the only being who can suppress his energies — or who can transform them. No other being can do either.Suppression AND transformation, they exist as two aspects of one phenomenon, which is that man can do something about himself. The trees exist, the animals exist, the birds exist, but they cannot do anything about their existence — they are part of it. They cannot stand out of it. They cannot be the doers. They are so merged with their energy, they cannot separate themselves.

Man can do. He can do something about himself. He can observe himself from a distance — he can look at his own energies as if they are separate from him. And then either he can suppress them, or he can transform them. Suppression means only trying to hide certain energies which are there — not allowing them to have their being, not allowing them to have their manifestation. Transformation means transforming, changing energies towards a new dimension.

For example, sex is there. There is something in sex which makes you feel embarrassed about it. This embarrassment is not only because society has taught it to you. All over the world many types of society exist, have existed, but no society, no human society, has taken sex easily.

There is something in the very phenomenon of sex that makes you embarrassed, guilty, conscious. What is that? Even if nobody teaches you anything about sex, nobody moralizes to you about it, nobody creates any conceptions about it, still there is something in the very phenomenon that you are not at ease with. What is that? First, sex shows your deepest dependence. It shows that somebody else is needed for your pleasure.

Without somebody else that pleasure is not possible. So you depend, your independence is lost. This hurts the ego. So the more a person is an egoist, the more he will be against sex. Your so-called saints are against sex — not because sex is bad, but because of their egos. They cannot conceive of themselves being dependent on somebody, begging for something from somebody. Sex hurts the ego most.

Secondly, in the very phenomenon of sex the possibility of rejection is there — the other can reject you. It is not certain whether you will be accepted or rejected; the other can say no. And this is the deepest rejection possible, when you approach somebody for love and the other rejects you.This rejection creates fear. The ego says it is better not to try than to be rejected.

Dependence, rejection, the possibility of rejection…and still deeper. In sex, you become just like animals. That hurts the human ego very much, because then there is no difference between a dog making love and you making love. What is the difference? Suddenly you become like animals, and all the preachers, moralists, they go on saying to man: Don’t be an animal! Don’t be like animals! That is the greatest condemnation possible.

In no other thing are you so animal-like as in sex, because in no other thing are you natural — in everything else you can be unnatural. You are eating food. We have created so much sophistication about eating that you are not like animals. The basic thing is like the animal; but your tables, your table manners, the whole culture, the etiquette you have created around food is just to make it distinct from animals.

Animals like to eat alone. So every society creates in the mind of every individual that to eat alone is not good. Share, eat with the family, eat with friends, invite guests. No animal is interested in guests, in friends, in family. Whenever an animal is eating he wants nobody to come near; he goes into loneliness.

If a man wants to eat alone you will say he is animal-like, he doesn’t want to share. His habit of eating is natural, not sophisticated. Around food we have created so much sophistication that hunger has become less important, taste has become more important. No animal bothers about the taste. Hunger is a basic necessity — hunger is fulfilled, the animal is satisfied. But not man — as if hunger is not the point; something else is the point. More important is taste, more important are manners, more important how you eat, not what you eat.

In everything else man has created his own artificial world around him. Animals are naked — that’s why we don’t want to be nude. And if somebody is nude suddenly he hits our civilization totally, he cuts the very roots. That’s why there is so much antagonism against naked people — all over the world.

If you go and move naked in the street, you are not hurting anybody, you are not doing any violence to anybody; you are absolutely innocent. But immediately the police will come, the whole surrounding will become agitated. You will be caught and beaten and put into jail. But you have not done anything at all! A crime happens when you DO something. You have not been doing anything — simply walking naked! But why does the society get so angry? The society is not so angry even against a murderer. This is strange. But a naked man…and society is absolutely angry.

It is because murder is still human. No animal murders. They kill for eating, but they don’t murder. And no animal murders his own species, only man. So it is human, the society can accept it. But nudity the society cannot accept — because suddenly the naked man makes you aware that you are all animals. Howsoever hidden behind clothes, the animal is there, the nude, the naked animal is there, the naked ape is there. You are against the nude man not because he is nude but because he makes you aware of your nudity — and the ego is hurt. Clothed, man is not an animal. With eating habits, manners, man is not an animal. With language, morality, philosophy, religion, man is not an animal.

The most religious thing is to go to a church, to a temple, to pray. Why is it so religious? Because no animal goes to a church and no animal prays; it is absolutely human. Going to a temple to pray, this makes the distinction absolute, that you are not animals.

But sex is animal activity. Whatsoever you do, howsoever you hide it, whatsoever you create around it, the basic fact remains animal. And when you move into it, you become like animals. Because of this fact many people cannot enjoy sex. They cannot become totally animal. Their ego won’t allow it. So ego and sex, this is the conflict — sex versus ego. The more egoistic a person is, the more he is against sex. The less egoistic a person is, the more involved he is in sex. But even the lesser egoist feels a guilt — feels less, but still feels something is wrong.

When one moves deeply into sex the ego is lost, and as the moment comes nearer when the ego is disappearing, fear grips you. So people make love, go into sex, not deeply, not really. They just make a superficial show that they are making love, because if you REALLY make love, all civilization will have to be dropped. Your mind will have to be put aside — your religion, philosophy, everything. Suddenly you will feel a wild animal is born within you. A roar will come to you. You may start actually roaring like a wild animal — screaming, groaning. And if you allow it, language will disappear. Sounds will be there, just like birds or animals making sounds. Suddenly the whole civilization of a million years is dropped. You are again standing like an animal, in a wild world.

There is fear. And because of that fear love has become almost impossible. And the fear is real — because when you lose the ego you are almost insane; you become wild, and then anything can happen. And you KNOW that anything can happen. You may even kill, murder your beloved, you may start eating her body, because then controls are removed.

Suppression seems to be the easiest way to avoid all this. Suppress, or allow only as much as will not lead you into danger — just a part of it which can be controlled always. And you remain in control, you manipulate. You allow up to an extent and then you don’t allow. Then you close yourself and shut yourself.

Suppression exists as a protection, as a safeguard, as a security measure, and religions have used this security measure. They have exploited this fear of sex and they have made you more afraid. They have created an inner trembling. They have made sex the basic sin and they say: Unless sex disappears, you will not be able to enter into the Kingdom of God. They are true, in a sense, and still wrong.

I also say unless sex disappears you will not be able to enter into the Kingdom of God. But sex disappears only when you have accepted it totally — not suppressed, but transformed it. Religions have exploited human fear and the human tendency to be egoistic. They have created many techniques to suppress. It is not very difficult to suppress, but it is very costly — because your whole energy becomes divided against itself, fighting, and then the whole life is dissipated.

Sex is the most vital energy, the only energy, I say, which you have. Don’t fight with it — it will be a waste of life and time — rather transform it. But how to do it? How to transform it? What can we do? If you have understood the fear, then you can understand the clue, what can be done.

The fear is there because you feel that the control will be lost, and once the control is lost you cannot do anything. I teach you a new control: the control of the witnessing self, not the control of a manipulating mind, but the control of a witnessing self. And I tell you that that control is the supreme possible and that control is so natural that you never feel you are controlling. The control happens spontaneously with witnessing.

Move into sex but be a witness. The only thing to remember is: I must encounter the whole process, I must see through it, I must remain a witness, I should not become unconscious — that’s all. Become wild, but don’t become unconscious. Then there is no danger in wildness; then wildness is beautiful. Really, only a wild man can be beautiful. A woman who is not wild cannot be beautiful — because the more wild, the more alive. Then you are just like a wild tiger, or a wild deer running in the forest…and the beauty of it!

But the problem is: not to become unconscious. If you become unconscious, then you are under unconscious forces, then you are under the forces of karma. Whatsoever you have done in the past is accumulated there. That accumulated conditioning can take grip of you and move you in certain directions which will be dangerous for you and for others. But if you remain a witness, that past conditioning cannot interfere.

So the whole method, or the whole process of becoming a witness, is the process of transforming the sex energy. Moving into sex, remain alert. Whatsoever is happening, observe it, see through it; don’t miss a single point. Whatsoever is happening in your body, in your mind, in your inner energy, the new circuit is being made, the body electricity is moving in a new way, in a new circular way; now the body electricity has become one with the partner, with the wife, with the consort. And now an inner circle is created — and you can feel it. If you are alert, you can feel it. You will feel that you have become a vehicle of a vital energy moving.

Remain alert. Soon you will become aware that the more the circuit is created, the more thoughts are dropping; they are dropping like yellow leaves from a tree. Thoughts are dropping. The mind is becoming more and more empty. Remain alert and soon you will see that you are but there is no ego. You cannot say I. Something greater than you has happened to you. You and your partner, both have dissolved into that greater energy.

But this merger should not become unconscious, otherwise you miss the point. Then it is a beautiful sex act, but not transformation. It is beautiful, nothing is wrong in it, but it is not transformation. And if it is unconscious then you will always be moving in a rut. Again and again you will want to have this experience. The experience is beautiful as far as it goes, but it will become a routine. And each time you have it, again more desire is created. The more you have it, the more you desire it, and you move in a vicious circle. You don’t grow, you just rotate.

Rotation is bad, because then growth is not happening. Then energy is simply wasted. Even if the experience is good the energy is wasted, because much more was possible. And it was just at the corner, just a turn, and much more was possible. With the same energy the divine could have been achieved. With the same energy the ultimate ecstasy is possible, and you are wasting that energy in momentary experiences. And by and by, those experiences will become boring; because repeated again and again, everything becomes boring. When the newness is lost, boredom is created.

If you remain alert you will see: first, changes of energy in the body; second, dropping of the thoughts from the mind; and third, dropping of the ego from the heart. These three things have to be observed, watched carefully. And when the third has happened sex energy has become meditative energy. Now you are no longer in sex. You may be lying with your beloved, bodies together, but you are no more there — you are transplanted into a new world.

This is what Shiva goes on talking about in VIGYAN BHAIRAV TANTRA and in other tantra books. He goes on talking about this phenomenon: you are transmuted, a mutation has happened. This will happen through witnessing. If you follow suppression, you can become so-called human beings — bogus, superficial, hollow within; just dummies, not authentic, not real. If you don’t follow suppression but follow indulgence, you will become like an animal — beautiful, more beautiful than so-called civilized man, but just animals — not alert, not aware, not conscious of the possibility of growth, of the human potential.

If you transform the energy, then you become divine. And remember, when I say divine, both things are implied in it. The wild animal with its total beauty of being is there. That wild animal is not rejected and denied. He is there — richer, because he is more alert. So all the wildness is there and the beauty of it. And all that civilization has been trying to force is there, but spontaneous, not forced. Once the energy is transformed, nature and god meet in you — nature with its beauty, god with total grace.

This is what a sage means. A sage means a meeting of nature and the divine, a meeting of the created and the creator, a meeting of body and soul, a meeting of that which is below and of that which is above, a meeting of the earth and the sky.

Says Lao Tzu: Tao happens when earth and heaven meet. This is the meeting. Witnessing is the basic source. But it will be difficult to become a witness in the sex act if you are not trying to become a witness in other acts of your life. So try it the whole day, otherwise you will be in self-deception. If you cannot become a witness while walking on the road, don’t try to deceive yourself, you cannot become a witness while making love. If just walking on the road, such a simple process, and you cannot become a witness — you become unconscious in it — how can you become a witness while making love? The process is so deep…you will fall unconscious.

You fall unconscious while walking on the road. Try it: even for a few seconds you will not be able to remember. Try it; walking on the road just try: I will remember I am walking, I am walking, I am walking. After a few seconds you have forgotten. Something else. has popped into the mind, you have followed some other direction, you have completely forgotten. And suddenly you remember: I have forgotten. So if such a small act like walking cannot be made conscious, it is going to be difficult to make love a conscious meditation.

So try with simple things, simple activities. While eating, try it. While walking, try it. While talking, listening, try it. Try from everywhere. Make it a constant hammering inside; let your whole body and mind know that you are making an effort to be alert. Only then some day in love the witnessing will happen. And when it happens, ecstasy has happened to you — the first glimpse of the divine has descended upon you. From that moment onwards sex will not be sex at all. And sooner or later sex will disappear. This disappearance gives you BRAHMACHARYA — then you become a celibate.

Monks in the Catholic monasteries, or monks following traditional Jainism, or other types of monks, are only celibates for the name’s sake, because their mind goes on making love — more so than your mind. For them, sex becomes cerebral, which is the worst possible thing that can happen, because it is a perversion. If you THINK about sex, it is a perversion. Making love is natural; thinking about it, constantly being involved inside in the mind, is a perversion. The so-called monks are perverted beings, not because they are monks, but because they have chosen the path of suppression, which is a wrong path, which leads nowhere.

Jesus, Mahavira, or Buddha, they are following the path of witnessing. Then brahmacharya happens. This word ‘brahmacharya’ is very beautiful. The very word means: the way the divine behaves. The way the divine behaves — brahmacharya. It has nothing to say against sex; it is not against sex at all, the word. The word simply says this is how the divine acts, behaves, moves, walks.

Once you have known the satori that is possible by witnessing the sex act, your whole life will be transformed, you will start behaving like a god. What are the characteristics of the behavior of a god? How does the divine behave?

One thing: he is not dependent, he is absolutely independent. He gives his love to you, but this is not a need. He gives out of his abundance, he has too much. You simply unburden him if you take it, but this is not a need. And the god is a creator. Whenever sex has become a transformed force, your life becomes creative. Sex is creative force. Right now it moves into biology; it creates new beings, it gives birth. When there is no sex and the energy is transforming, it moves into a new world of creativity. Then many new dimensions of creativity become open to you.

It is not that you will start painting, or making poetry, or doing something else — not that. It may happen, it may not happen, but whatsoever you do will become a creative act, whatsoever you do will become artistic. Even Buddha sitting under his bodhi tree, not doing anything, is creative. The WAY he is sitting, the very way he is sitting there, he is creating a force, an energy, vibrations all around him.

Much research has been done recently on Egyptian pyramids, and they have come to know many mysterious facts. One of the facts is that the shape of the pyramid, the very shape, is mysterious. Suddenly scientists became aware that if you put a dead body in a pyramid it will be preserved without any chemicals; just the shape helps preservation.

Then one scientist in Germany thought: If the shape can do so much that the body is preserved automatically — just by the shape, just the pressure of the shape…. So he tried it on his razor blade. He made a small pyramid, a cardboard pyramid, and tried it with his used razor blade. Within hours the razor blade was again ready to be used. The shape, had given sharpness again to the blade. Then he patented it.

One razor blade can be used for your whole life: you just put it in the pyramid. Nothing is to be done; just the shape gives sharpness again, again and again. Now scientists say that every shape creates a particular milieu.

A Buddha is sitting under a bodhi tree: the way he sits, the posture, the gesture, the very phenomenon of his being there without any ego, is creating millions of vibrations around. They will go on spreading. Even when this Buddha has disappeared from this tree, those vibrations will go on and on and on — they will touch other planets and other stars. Wherever a buddha vibration touches it is creative, it gives you a thrill, it gives you a new breeze.

When sex energy is transformed, your whole life becomes creative — independent, free, creative. Whatsoever you do, you create through it. Even if you do not do anything, non-doing becomes creative. Just your very being creates much that is beautiful, that is true, that is good.

Now the story. The old monk who says to the younger: This is against the rules, you should not have touched the girl, is not only saying so because of the rules. Many things are implied. He is rationalizing; he is feeling jealous. And this is how the human mind works — you cannot say directly that you are feeling jealous.

The girl, a beautiful girl, was standing near the river. The sun was setting, down and down, and the girl was afraid. Then came this old monk who was going to his monastery. He looked at the girl, because it is very difficult for a monk to miss a girl and not to look at her. Very difficult for a monk, he is so obsessed with women! He is fighting hard. He is constantly aware that the enemy is there in the woman.

You can miss a friend but you cannot miss an enemy — you have to see him. If you pass down the street and the enemy is there, it is impossible not to see him. Friends can be passed without even becoming aware that they are there. But enemies, no — because with the enemy is fear. And a beautiful girl, standing lonely, nobody else! The girl wanted somebody to help her — the river was unknown and she was afraid to cross it.

This old man must have tried to close his eyes, must have tried to close his heart, must have tried to close his sex centre, because that is the only protection against the enemy. He must have hurried, he must have avoided looking back. But when you avoid, you look; when you try NOT to look, you are looking. His whole mind was filled with the girl. His whole being was around the girl. He was passing the river, but he was not aware of the river now — he could not be. He was going to the monastery, but he was not interested in the monastery now; the whole interest was left behind.

Then suddenly he remembers that his colleague, another young monk, is coming — they had been on a begging tour. He looks back, and not only is the young monk there, but the young monk is carrying the girl on his shoulders!

This must have created a deep jealousy in the old man. This is what he would like to have done. Because of the rules he couldn’t do it. But he must take revenge! They walked in silence for miles, and at the monastery gate the old man suddenly said: This was not good — this is against the rules. That silence was false. For all those miles the old man was thinking how to take revenge, how to condemn this young man.

He was continuously obsessed; otherwise nothing happens so suddenly, mind is a continuity. For these two or three miles he was continuously thinking what to do, and only now he speaks. It is not sudden. Inside there has been a current, a running current. And he says: This is not good, it is against the rules, and I will have to report it to the abbot, to the chief of the monastery, to the master. You have broken a rule, a very basic rule, that no monk should touch a woman. You have not only touched her, you have carried her on your shoulders.

The young monk must have felt amazed. So sudden…because there was no girl now, no river, nobody carrying her. The whole thing has happened in the past. For three miles they have been completely silent. And the young monk said: I left that girl on the bank of the river but you are still carrying her.

This is a deep insight. You can carry things which you are not carrying; you may be burdened by things which are not there; you may be crushed by things which don’t exist.

The old monk is on the path of repression. The young monk is a symbol of an effort towards transformation — because transformation accepts the woman, the man, the other. Because transformation has to happen through the other, the other will participate in it. Suppression, repression, rejects the other, is against the other. The other has to be destroyed.

This story is beautiful. The new monk is the way. Don’t become the old monks, become the new. Accept life as it is and try to be alert. This young monk must have remained alert while carrying the girl on his shoulders. And if you are alert, what can the girl do?

There is a small anecdote: One monk is leaving Buddha. He is going on a tour to spread the message. So he asks Buddha: What should I do about women? That is always the problem with monks. Buddha says: Don’t look at them. This is the simplest way: just close yourself. Don’t look at them means just close yourself, forget that they are. Alas, the problem is not so easy. Had it been so easy then all those who know how to close themselves would have been transformed.

One of Buddha’s disciples, Ananda, who knows the problem is not so easy…. For Buddha it may look easy. This is a problem: you come with a problem to me; it may be easy for me, but that is not going to help. Ananda knows Buddha has replied casually: Don’t look at them. So easy for Buddha! Ananda says: But it is not so easy. And, Bhagwan, he asks, if there is a situation where we have to look, if we cannot avoid looking, then what is to be done?

Buddha says: Don’t touch. A look is also a touch — through the eyes. You reach through the eyes and touch. That’s why if you stare at a woman for more than three seconds, she will become uneasy. Three seconds is the maximum limit allowed. It is allowed because in life we have to look at each other. But more than three seconds and the woman will become uneasy because you are touching her. Now you are using your eyes as hands.

So Buddha says: Don’t touch. But Ananda is persistent. Ananda has done such great work for the whole of humanity because he would always persist. He said: Sometimes there are even situations when we have to touch. What do you say then? If the woman is ill or the woman has fallen in the street and there is nobody else to help and we have to touch. If the situation is such, then what should we do? Buddha laughs and he says: Then be alert!

The last thing Buddha says is the first. Closing the eyes won’t help, non-touching won’t help — because you can touch in imagination, you can see in imagination. A real woman is not needed, a real man is not needed. Just close your eyes…and you can have an imaginary world of women and men. And you can touch and you can see. Finally, only one thing can help; be alert.

This old monk cannot have heard the whole story, all Buddha’s three answers. He remained with the first two. The young monk has understood the thing — be alert. He must have come near the girl…desire arises…be alert that the desire has arisen.
The problem is not the girl, because how can the girl be your problem? She is her problem, not your problem. The desire arises in you, the desire for woman — that is the problem. The girl is not at all the question. Any girl, any woman would do the same. She is just a point of reference. Seeing the girl, the desire has arisen. To be alert means to be alert to this desire, that the desire has come to me.

Now, a man who is on the path of repression will suppress this desire, close his eyes towards the object and run away. That is a run-away method. But where can you run, because you are running from yourself? You can run from the woman who is standing on the riverbank, but you cannot run from the desire that is arising within you. Wherever you go, the desire will be there. Be alert that the desire has arisen.

Don’t really do anything with the woman. If she asks: Help me! — help her. If she says: I am afraid and I cannot cross this river, carry me on your shoulders — carry her! She is giving you a golden opportunity to be alert. And be thankful towards her. Just be alert, feel what is arising in you. What is happening in you? You are carrying the girl, what is happening in you?
If you are alert, then there is no woman — only a little weight on your shoulders, that’s all. If you are not alert, then there is a woman. If you are alert, then it is just bones, pressing, weight. If you are not alert, then it is all that desire can create, the fantasy, the maya, the illusion.

Carrying a girl on your shoulders, both are possible. If you lose alertness for a single moment, suddenly the maya is sitting on your shoulders. If you are alert, just a little weight, that’s all…carrying a weight.

This young man crossing the river was passing through a great discipline. Not avoiding the situation that is life — not avoiding life; passing through it with an alert mind. Many times he may have missed. Many times he may have completely forgotten. Then the whole illusion and the maya was there. Many times he may have recaptured his alertness again when suddenly there is light and darkness disappears. But it must have been beautiful to experience this alertness.

Then he dropped the girl on the other bank and started walking towards his monastery, still alert — because it is not a question of whether the woman is there or not: the memory can follow. He may not have enjoyed the woman, her touch, while crossing the river — but he may enjoy it now in the memory.

He must have remained alert. He was silent, his silence was true. True silence always comes through alertness. That’s why he says: I have left the girl there, back at the river. I am not carrying her at all. You are still carrying her. In the old monk’s mind things are continuing. And he has not done anything, he has not even touched the girl.

So doing is not the question; it is mind, how your mind is functioning. Be alert, and by and by energies are transformed. The old dies and the new is born.
Enough for today.

Source- from Osho Book “My Way: The way of the white clouds”

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