"What is the basic drive of the average man?

'God? No.
The soul? No.
Truth? No."

"What is at the core of man? What is the basic urge in the depths of the common man – in the life of the average man, of the man who never meditates, never searches his soul, never undertakes any religious pilgrimages?'

"Devotion? No.
Prayer? No.
Liberation? No.
Nirvana? Absolutely not."

"If we look for the basic urge in the common man, if we search for the force behind this life, we will find neither devotion nor God, neither prayer nor the thirst for knowledge. We will find something different there – something that is being pushed into the darkness, that is never faced consciously, that is never evaluated. And what is that something? What will you find if you dissect and analyze the core of the average man?

"Leave man aside for the moment. If we look at the animal or vegetable kingdom, what will we find at the core of anything? If we observe the activity of a plant, what do we find? Where is its growth leading? Its whole energy is directed toward producing a new seed. Its entire being is occupied with forming a new seed. What is a bird doing? What is an animal doing? If we closely observe the activities of nature, we will find that there is only one process, only one wholehearted process going on. And that process is one of continuous creation, of procreation, of creating new and different self-forms. Flowers have seeds; fruits have seeds. And what is the seed's destiny? The seed is destined to grow into a new plant, into a new flower, into a new fruit, into a new seed – and so the cycle repeats itself. The process of procreation is eternal. Life is a force that is continuously regenerating itself. Life is a creativity, a process of self-creation."

"The same is true of man. And we have christened the process "passion," "sex." We have also termed it "lust." This labeling amounts to name-calling; it is a kind of abuse. And this very disparagement itself has polluted the atmosphere."


"Then, what is lust? What is passion? What is the force called "sex"?And what was this world of rocks, mountains, rivers and oceans restless about? It was striving to produce plants. And gradually, ever so gradually, plants came into existence. The life-force had manifested itself in a new form. Then the earth was covered with vegetation. It continued to bring forth life; it continued to procreate: flowers bloomed and fruit grew."

"But the plants were also restless. They were not satisfied with themselves either; their inner urge was also for something higher; they were eager to produce animals and birds. Then animals and birds came into being and occupied this planet for ages. But man was nowhere in sight. And yet man was always there, inherent in the animals, striving to break through the barrier, striving to be born. Then, in due course, man entered existence."

"Now, how about man? Man is ceaselessly endeavoring to create new life. And we have named this tendency "sex"; we have called it "passion," "lust." But what is the meaning of this lust? We have deliberately condemned the urge to procreate for thousands of years. Instead of accepting it, we have abused it. We have relegated it to the lowest possible place. We have concealed it and pretended it is not there, as if there were no place for it in life, no room for it in the scheme of things. The truth is that there is nothing more vital than this urge. And it should be given its rightful place. Man has not freed himself from it by covering it up and by trampling it; on the contrary, he has entangled himself in it even more. This repression has yielded the opposite result from the one expected."

"Today we are afraid to discuss sex. Why are we so mortally afraid of this subject? It is because of a presupposition that man may become sexual just by talking about sex. This view is totally wrong. There is, after all, a vast difference between sex and sexuality. Our society will only be free of the ghost of sex when we develop the courage to talk about sex in a rational and healthy manner. It is only by understanding sex in all its aspects that we will be able to transcend sex. You cannot free yourself from a problem by shutting your eyes to it. Only a madman thinks his enemy will vanish if he closes his eyes. The ostrich in the desert thinks in this way. The ostrich thrusts his head into the sand and, since he cannot see his enemy, he thinks his enemy is not there. This kind of logic is pardonable in the case of the ostrich, but in man it is unforgivable."

"As far as sex is concerned, man behaves no better than the ostrich. He thinks that by shutting his eyes, by ignoring it, sex will vanish. If such miracles could occur, life would be very easy indeed. But alas, nothing disappears just by pulling down the blinds. On the contrary, this is proof that we are scared of sex, that its attraction is more powerful than our resistance. Because we feel we cannot conquer sex, we shut our eyes to it."

"Shutting one's eyes is a sign of weakness, and the whole of humanity is guilty of it. Not only has man blatantly shut his eyes to sex, he has also entered into innumerable inner conflicts with it. The devastating results of this war with sex are too well known to be enumerated here. Ninety-eight per cent of mental illness, of neurosis, is because of the suppression of sex. Ninety-nine per cent of the women suffering from hysteria and related illnesses suffer from sexual disorders. The major cause of fear, of doubt, of anxiety, of the stress and strain on contemporary man, is the pressure of passion.

"Man has turned his back on an inherent and powerful urge. Without attempting to understand sex, we have shut our eyes to it out of fear. And the results have been catastrophic indeed. To see the truth of this, man need only scan his literature, the mirror of his mind. If a man from the moon or from Mars were to come here and go through our literature, were to read our books and our poetry, were to see our paintings, he would be surprised. He would wonder why all our art and literature is centered around sex."

"Why are all man's poems, novels, magazines and stories saturated with sex? Why is there a halfnaked woman on every magazine cover? Why is every movie concerned with lust?" he would ask."


"Man's death-oriented religion has made man sex-minded. And it has perverted him from another angle as well. It shows him the golden pinnacle of celibacy, of brahmacharya, but gives him no guidance in getting a foothold on the first rung, in understanding the base, in understanding sex."

"First of all, we have to recognize sex and understand it; we have to comprehend this elemental urge. Only then can we strive to transcend it, to sublimate it, so we can reach the stage of celibacy. Without understanding this basic life-force in all its forms and facets, all man's efforts to restrain and suppress it will only help him degenerate into a sick and incoherent lunatic. But we do not concentrate on the basic illness, we spout the high ideal of celibacy. Man has never been so sick, so neurotic, so wretched or so unhappy. Man is completely perverted. He is poisoned at the root."


"The sex inside man, his libido, is even more vital than electricity. A minute atom of matter annihilated an entire hundred thousand people in the city of Hiroshima, but an atom of man's energy can create a new life, a new person! Sex is more powerful than an atom bomb. Have you ever thought about the infinite possibilities of this force, about how we can transform it to better mankind? An embryo can become a Gandhi, a Mahavir, a Buddha, a Christ. An Einstein can evolve from it; a Newton can be manifest in it. An infinitely small atom of sex energy has a towering person like Gandhi manifest in it! But we are not inclined to even try to understand sex."

"My point is that those who forbid talk about sex are the same people who have pushed humanity into an abyss of sex. Those who are frightened of sex, and have therefore convinced themselves they are innocent of sex, are lunatics. They have conspired to make the whole world a gigantic asylum."

"Religion is concerned with the transformation of man's energy. Religion aims to integrate the inner being of man – both his chaste aspirations and his basic urges. It is also true that religion should guide man from the lower to the higher, from darkness to light; to the real from the unreal, to the eternal from the ephemeral."

"But to reach somewhere, one has to know the starting point. We have to start from where we are; it is imperative we know this place first. And this is more important at the moment than the place we want to reach. In this context, sex is the fact, the reality; sex is the starting point. But God? God is far from here. We can reach the truth of God only by understanding the starting point of the journey; otherwise we cannot move an inch. We will be lost. We will be on a merry-go-round, going nowhere."


"What is this sex energy? Why is it such a powerful disturbance in our lives? Why does it pervade our entire beings? Why do our lives revolve around it, even to the end? What is the source of this urge?"

"Sages and seers have degraded sex for thousands of years, but man is still not convinced. For ages they have preached that we should defy sex, that we should banish all thoughts of it and all desires for it in order to be free from maya, from the illusory world – yet man has not been able to break his shackles. You cannot be rid of sex like this; the approach is wrong."

"Whenever I meet prostitutes, they never speak of sex. They inquire about the soul, and about God. I also meet many ascetics and monks, and whenever we are alone they ask about nothing but sex. I was surprised to learn that ascetics, who are always preaching against sex, seem to be captivated by it. They are curious about it and disturbed by it; they have this mental complex about it, yet they sermonize about religion and about the animal instincts in man. And sex is so natural."


"Fundamentally, what we feel as the attraction for sex is not the attraction for sex at all. After every act of orgasm, a man feels drained, empty, depressed. He is sorry, with a pinch of heartburn. He thinks of avoiding this practice in the future. So, what is the source of this state of mind? It is because the desire is for something else, and not just for physical gratification. Man cannot ordinarily reach the depths of his being that he reaches in the consummation of the sexual act. In the ordinary course of his life, in his daily routine, a man has a variety of experiences – he shops, does business, earns his living – but intercourse reveals the deepest of experiences to him. And this experience has profound religious dimensions: there, man reaches beyond himself; there, he transcends himself."

"Two things happen to him in those depths:

"First, in copulation the ego vanishes. Egolessness is created. For an instant, there is no "I"; for an instant, one does not remember oneself. Did you know that the "I" also dissolves completely in the experience of religion, that in religion the ego also dissolves into nothingness? In the sexual act the ego fades away. Orgasm is a state of self-effacement."

"The second thing about the experience of sex is that time is undone for an instant. Timelessness is created. As Jesus Christ has said of samadhi, "There shall be time no longer." In orgasm, the sense of time is non-existent. There is no past, no future; there is only the present moment. The present is not a part of time; the present is eternity."

"This is the second reason man is so eager for sex. The craving is not for the body of a woman by a man or vice versa, the passion is for something else: for egolessness, for timelessness. This sexual climax only lasts a moment, but for this brief moment a man loses a considerable amount of energy and vitality and later laments his loss. In some species of animals, males die after one act of intercourse alone. A particular insect in Africa can perform the act only once; its energy ebbs and it passes away in the act itself. It is not that man is unaware that intercourse diminishes his power, lessens his energy and brings death that much nearer. After each experience he regrets his indulgence, but in a short while he feels passionate again. Surely there is much deeper meaning to this pattern of behavior than meets the eye."

"There is a subtler level to the sexual experience than the mere physical routine. It is a level that is religious in essence. To understand this experience you must pay careful attention. If you cannot grasp the meaning of this experience, you will live and die in sex alone."

"Lightning shines in the darkness of the night, but the darkness is not part of the lightning. The only relation between the two is that lightning only stands out at night, only in the darkness. And the same is true of sex. There is a realization, an exhilaration, a light that shines in sex, but that phenomenon is not from sex itself. Although it is associated with it, it is just a by-product. The light that shines in orgasm transcends sex; it comes from beyond. If we can comprehend this experience of the beyond we can rise above sex. Otherwise, we will never be able to."

"Those who oppose sex blindly will never be able to appreciate the phenomenon in its proper perspective. They will never be able to analyze the cause of this insatiable desire for sex, of this deep craving for sex. What I wish to emphasize is that this strong and recurring pull toward sex is for the momentary realization of samadhi."

"You can liberate yourself from sex if you can learn to attain to samadhi without sex. If a man who wants an article costing one thousand rupees is shown where one can be had for free, he would not be in his right senses if he were to go to the market to buy it so expensively. If a man can be shown how he can attain the same ecstasy he derives from sex by some other means and in much greater measure, his mind will automatically cease its rush towards sex; his mind will start racing in the other direction."

"Man had his first realization of samadhi in the experience of sex. But sex is a costly affair, a very costly affair indeed. And it does not last for more than a moment; after a momentary climax, we return again to our original position. For a second, we reach towards a different plane of existence; for a second, we climb towards a peak of immense satisfaction. The momentum is towards the pinnacle, but we have hardly taken a step when we fall back to first base. A wave aspires to reach the sky, but it has hardly risen noticeably when it already starts to fall. We are the same. It is for that ecstasy, for that joy, for that realization, that we accumulate energy from time to time and again start the ascent. We almost touch that subtler plane, that higher realm, but again we fall back to our original position, minus a considerable amount of power and energy."

So long as man's mind remains immersed in this river of sex he will repeatedly rise and fall again. "Life is a continuous push towards egolessness, towards timelessness – whether conscious or unconscious. The intense desire of the being is to know its real self, to know the truth, to know the original, eternal, timeless source – to unite with that which is beyond time, to attain pure egolessness. It is to satisfy this unconscious inner desire of the soul that the world rotates around the axis of sex."

"But how can we understand or develop any kind of rapport with this realization if we continue to deny the existence of this natural, inner and all-encompassing phenomenon. When we oppose sex as vehemently as we do, sex becomes the center of our consciousness: we cannot free ourselves from it; we become chained to it. The Law of Reverse-Effect comes into play and we become bound to it. We try to run away from sex, but the more we try to rid ourselves of it, the more we become entangled in it."

NOTE: Osho International Foundation has the copyrights of all above Osho's quotations.