You can’t make a man — or a woman — into a slave without first cutting him off from his life-force (sexual) energy, says one of my favorite gurus, Osho. The following excerpts are from Osho’s talk “The Fundamental Slavery” — the talk that has fueled my quest for sexual freedom and awakening over the last three years:
“Sex is the most powerful instinct in man. The politician and the priest have understood from the very beginning that sex is the most driving energy in man. It has to be curtailed, it has to be cut. If man is allowed total freedom in sex, then there will be no possibility to dominate him. To make a slave out of him will be impossible.
… When you want a bull to be yoked to a cart, what do you do? You castrate him, you destroy his sex energy. And have you seen the difference between a bull and an ox? … An ox is a poor phenomenon, a slave. A bull is … a great splendor. See a bull walking … like an emperor! And see an ox pulling a cart.
The same has been done to man. The sex instinct has been curtailed, cut, crippled. Man does not exist as the bull now, he exists like the ox, and each man is pulling a thousand and one carts …
Why can’t you yoke a bull? The bull is too powerful. If he sees a cow passing by, he will throw both you and the cart, and he will move to the cow! … It will be impossible to control the bull. Sex energy is life energy; it is uncontrollable.
… The politician and the priest are not interested in you, they are interested in channeling your energy into other directions. So there is a certain mechanism behind it—it has to be understood.
Sex repression, tabooing sex, is the very foundation of human slavery. Man cannot be free unless sex is free … unless his sex energy is allowed natural growth.
The Five “Tricks” Politicians and Priests Use to Make us Slaves:
1. Keep us weak (by depriving us of sexual love). Osho believes sexual (erotic) love – or “life-force energy” – is what charges us up and enables us to experience unconditional, universal (agape) love.
“Psychologists have discovered if a child is not given love, he shrivels up and becomes weak. You can give him milk, you can give him medicine, you can give him everything else, but just don’t give love. Don’t hug him, don’t kiss him, don’t hold him close to the warmth of your body, and the child will become weaker and weaker …
Just hugging, kissing, giving warmth, and somehow the child feels nourished, accepted, loved, needed, worthy …
Now, from childhood we starve them; we don’t give love as much as is needed.
Then we try to force the young men and young women not to fall in love unless they get married. By age 14 they become sexually mature. But their education takes more time … until they are 24, 25 years old they will be getting their M.A.s or Ph.D.s …
Sexual energy comes to its climax near the age of 18. Never again will a man be so potent, and never again will a woman be able to have a greater orgasm … But we force them not to make love—girls and boys are kept separate, and just between them stands the whole mechanism of police, magistrates, vice-chancellors, principals, headmasters … Why? They are trying to kill the bull and create an ox.
… By the time you get married at 25, 26, 27 — and the age goes up and up. The more cultured a country, the longer you wait — by the time you get married you are almost declining in your powers. Then you love, but the love never becomes really hot; it never comes to the point where people evaporate, it remains lukewarm.
And when you have not been able to love totally, you cannot love your children because you don’t know how. When you have not been able to know the peaks of it, how can you teach your children?
2. Keep us ignorant.
Without love a man’s intelligence falls low … When you fall in love, suddenly all your capacities are at their peak … you perform at your maximum.
The most intelligent people are the most sexual people. This has to be understood — love energy is basically intelligence. If you cannot love you are somehow closed, cold; you cannot flow. While in love one flows … one feels so confident that one can touch the stars …
When people are sexually repressed … they start hankering for the other life. They think about heaven, paradise … When you are in love, paradise is here now. Then who goes to the priest?
… But when your love energy is repressed, you start thinking, “Here is nothing, now is empty … Sex has been repressed so that you can become interested in the other life. And when people are interested in the other life, naturally they are not interested in this life.
This life is the only life. The “other” life is hidden in this life! It is not against it, it is not away from it … Go into it and you will find the other too … God is hidden here, now. If you love, you will be able to feel it.
3. Keep us as frightened as possible. Love destroys fear … When you are in love you are not afraid … When you are in love you feel infinitely capable of anything. But when you are not in love, you are afraid of small things.
When you are not in love you become more interested in security, in safety. When you are in love you are more interested in adventure, in exploration.
4. Keep us miserable. A miserable man has no self-worth … A miserable man is always ready to be commanded, ordered, disciplined, because he knows: “On my own I am simply miserable. Maybe somebody else can discipline my life.”
5. Keep us alienated. Keep people separate from each other. Don’t allow them too much intimacy. When people are separate, lonely, alienated from each other, they cannot band together for some purpose of which the priest and the politician may not approve.
For example, if you are a man [holding hands with a man], walking down the road, singing, you will feel guilty because people will start looking at you. Are you gay, homosexual or something? Two men are not allowed to be happy together.
You shake hands in such a hurry … You just touch each other’s hand and shake and you are finished. You don’t hold hands, you don’t hug each other; you are afraid. Do you remember your father hugging you, ever? Do you remember your mother hugging you after you became sexually mature? Why not? Fear has been created. A young man and his mother hugging?—maybe some sex will arise between them, some idea, some fantasy.
This is what is happening! 25 years of anti-love, of fear, and then suddenly you are legally allowed—a license is issued and now you can love this woman … But where are those 25 years of wrong training going to go? They will be there.
Yes, you will “love” … you will make a gesture, but is not going to be explosive, it is not going to be orgasmic; it will be very tiny. That’s why ninety-nine percent of people are frustrated after making love, more frustrated than they have ever been before …
First, the priest and the politician have managed that you should not be able to love, and then they come and preach that there is nothing significant in [sexual] love. And their preaching looks exactly in tune with your experience … This is the greatest trick that has ever been played upon man …
Love is the rarest thing in the world; it should not be denied. If a man can love five persons, he should love five. If a man can love fifty, he should love fifty. If a man can love five hundred, he should love five hundred.
But … you are forced into a narrow corner. You can love only your wife, you can love only your husband, you can love only this, you can love only that—the conditions are too much.
It is as if there were a law that you can breathe only when you are with your wife, you can breathe only when you are with your husband. Then breathing will become impossible! Then you will die … You have to breathe twenty-four hours a day.
You can’t have “higher” love without “lower” love
Then there is another trick. They talk about “higher love” and destroy the lower. They say the lower has to be denied; bodily love is bad, spiritual love is good.
Have you ever seen a spirit without a body? Have you ever seen a house without a foundation? The lower is the foundation of the higher … The lower and the higher are not separate, they are one—rungs of the same ladder. The lower has not to be denied, the lower has to be transformed into the higher. The lower is good—if you are stuck with the lower the fault is with you, not with the lower …
Move. Sex is not wrong. You are wrong if you are stuck there. Move higher. The higher is not against the lower; the lower makes it possible for the higher to exist.
Control by guilt
And these tricks have created many other problems. Each time you are in love somehow you feel guilty … When there is guilt you cannot move totally into love … Even while making love to your wife or your husband, there is guilt … So you cannot move totally even when you are allowed, superficially, to love your wife. The priest is hidden behind you in your guilt … pulling your strings.
When guilt arises … you lose self-worth, you lose self-respect.
When there is guilt you start pretending. Mothers and fathers don’t allow their children to know that they make love … They pretend sex does not exist … When the children come to know about the pretension, they lose all trust …
And fathers and mothers say that their children don’t respect them— how can they respect you? You have been deceiving them in every way … You were telling them not to fall in love —”Beware!” — and you were making love all the time.
First, guilt creates pretension. Then pretension creates alienation from people. Even your own child will not feel in tune with you … One day he will come to know that you are just pretending and so are others. When everybody is pretending, how can you relate?
… Now it is very easy to make these people slaves—to turn them into clerks, stationmasters, schoolmasters, deputy collectors, ministers, governors, presidents. Now it is very easy to distract them. You have distracted them from their roots.
In conclusion, I’ll add a related quote by Ethical Slut author Dossie Easton:
“Wilhelm Reich, the grandfather of bodywork, speaking to the young communists in Berlin in 1936 … said that without the suppression of sexuality — and particularly the conspiracy of silence to prevent children from learning about sexuality — you could not have an authoritarian or totalitarian state.
He claimed that the authoritarian state was based on everybody feeling guilty about something. So if you tell them masturbation is bad for them, then you don’t have anybody left who doesn’t feel guilty, right?
I think it’s very true. I think sexual suppression is a tool of the authoritarian state in the sense that they make us all feel bad. They make us feel bad about our desires. They tell us every fantasy we have, every desire we have, every explorative idea we have is a pathology of some sort or another and that means we are discredited as humans. So what they do is they take everybody who’s got any energy and any sense of exploration and any creativity and say ‘oh, you’re no good, you’re not okay,” and squash all of us.
I believe that Eros is the life force, the animating force of the cosmos, the Tao, the divine. I believe it flows through all of us all of the time. We can’t pay attention to it all the time or we wouldn’t figure out how to eat dinner – we wouldn’t be in bodies anymore. But to me that free flowing sexuality is essential to my spirituality, to my sense of awareness, to my sense of my own values, to my sense of moving in the world, and I can’t even figure out how you’d make a religion out of that that could be used to control populations…”