What is Sex?

sexsymbolsWell, and this isn’t rocket science, since I’m sure every adult  knows ~ up to this point in our evolution anyway ~ that there would be no human journey without intimate relationships between men and women: No babies; no journey, and we would soon become extinct as a species. 

So that incredible life-force, the tenacity of which never ceases to amaze me, ~ trees growing on bare rock ~ provides countless ways to ensure its survival in whatever entity it chooses to manifest in. And I don’t know how many zillion sperm cells men produce or how many eggs a woman will carry to ensure the survival of our species, but I am sure they both far exceed what anyone might call a reasonable number.

In that connection, every time I left my apartment recently, I would step around literally hundreds of acorns lying on the ground that will never become oak trees. And every year, as they fall from the trees, I collect, what as kids we called conkers  which we then put on a string and had conker fights, from below the Chestnut trees: Bright and shiny with a beautiful colour, which fades all to quickly.

So we humans, more than any other species seem to have been gifted with the ability to turn this reproductive urge into something very beautiful providing we do it in a loving and respectful way. Sadly, and given the over-riding power of the patriarchy, which has yet to be broken, there is still far too much sexual abuse of all kinds.

And sadly, I also witness that at Gabrielle Roth’s 5Rhythms dance workshops where alone older men come, not to Sweat Their Prayers, which is the purpose of the practice, but to touch as many young female dancers’ bodies as possible.  And again, such is the dominance of the patriarchy, that the women, in my experience choose not to complain about unasked for touching, and that some teachers choose not to see the obvious, or to even act upon it, when brought to their attention. ‘Twas ever thus.

Anyway … what got me going on this topic was my own lack of interest in sex and wondering if there was something the matter with me ~ but we all do that over some things don’t we? But what added to my concern was that I have a good friend who regularly posts on the Internet the most graphic details of her intimate love-making which, I gather, then get something like three thousand hits, or in the language of the net, go “viral.”  And, of course, “sex sells”.

And then, and this aspect of my life continues to amaze me, I am lying in bed a couple of nights ago (January 22nd 2013) reading, of all things,  Osho’s discourses on Buddha’s The Diamond Sutra (Watkins Publishing, London, 2010) and found some answers that made good sense to my concerns. (As an aside, I really wonder if there was ever any question asked of Osho to which he didn’t have a clear and perceptive answer. Put another way, in ten years of working with his teachings I have yet to find one).

Here, from Chapter 6 that began with his talking about “nonsense”, is what I found:

Ordinarily we use the word “nonsense” for that which is below the mind. But there is something beyond mind too – that too is nonsense. The mind cannot make any sense out of it…. 

You know desire you know passion, you know sex, you know love. Try to explain it to a child in whom the sexual desire has not taken form, and he will say it is all nonsense. Just try to explain to a four-year old child that you have fallen in love – and he will look at you with unbelieving eyes. What are you talking about?…. And all your romance and all your poetry and all that is throbbing in your heart is impossible to relate to a child. He has not tasted of that experience yet … the desire has not arisen in him…. 

The same energy that is involved in desire, in sex, in love, one day is freed of desire. One day desire drops. Just as one day it arises, one day it drops too. Anything that is born will die, anything that begins will end. And if life goes very naturally and spontaneously then there can be a certain stage which can be demarked. (E.g. sexual maturity begins around the age of fourteen).

But then he said this, which I think many of us might have a little difficulty with in terms of its preciseness. But what then follows is the key insight for me:

If life moves spontaneously, naturally, exactly 14 years before your death the desire will disappear …. Sex will become irrelevant…. And there is silence, utter silence. But your energy was involved in the desire, where will the energy go? …. The old path is no longer available; it cannot move into the direction of sexuality. Where will it move? Buddha has another word for it. He calls it karuna, compassion. 

When sex disappears, desire disappears, future disappears. When you are suddenly herenow and you have that great energy in you and you cannot contain it, it starts flowing, it starts overflowing your cup, for no reason at all. 

All of which is to say that that creative sexual energy that enabled my wife and I to have three children is now being transformed into the creative writing energy that is giving birth to this web-site, which will be my gift to the world.

Next, from Chapter 2, here is a piece of what I would call classic Osho teaching. The question that is posed to him is this: Osho: what is the Zen approach to sex. The Zen people seem to have a neuter gender, or asexual aura about them. 

He replies, Zen has no attitude 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 the wheels on 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 is the beauty of it — Zen is utterly natural. Do you have an attitude about drinking water? Do you have any attitudes about taking food? Do you have any attitude about going to sleep in the night? No attitudes. 

Lastly, Osho ends every one of his Chapters with three words, which I’m going to borrow since I have a very bad cold, and would be better off in bed, which is where I shall now go.

Enough for today