Osho On Tantra
Excerpts taken from Osho, "Tantra: The Supreme Understanding"
Tantra trusts in your body. Tantra trusts in your senses. Tantra trusts in your energy. Tantra trusts in you. Tantra does not deny anything but transforms everything.
How to attain to this Tantra vision? This is the map to turn you on, and turn you in, and turn you beyond.
The first thing is the body. The body is your base, it is your ground, it is where you are grounded. To make you antagonistic towards the body is to destroy you, is to make you schizophrenic, is to make you miserable, is to create hell. You are the body. Of course you are more than the body, but that 'more' will follow later. First, you are the body. The body is your basic truth, so never be against the body. Whenever you are against the body, you are going against God. Whenever you are disrespectful to your body you are losing contact with reality, because your body is your contact, your body is your bridge. Your body is your temple.
Tantra teaches reverence for the body, love, respect for the body, gratitude for the body. The body is marvelous, it is the grandest of mysteries.
But you have been taught to be against the body. So sometimes you are over-mystified by the tree, by the green tree; sometimes mystified by the moon and sun, sometimes mystified by the flower - but you are never mystified by your own body. And your body is the most complex phenomenon in existence. No flower, no tree has such a beautiful body as you have, no moon, no sun, no star has such evolved mechanism as you have.
You have been taught to appreciate the flower, which is a simple thing. You have been taught to appreciate a tree, which is a simple thing. You have been taught to appreciate the stones, rocks, mountains, rivers, but you have never been taught to appreciate your own body, to be mystified by it. Yes, it is very close, so it is very easy to forget about. It is very obvious so it is easy to neglect. But this is the most beautiful phenomenon.
If you look at a flower people will say, 'How aesthetic!' And if you look at a woman's beautiful face or a man's beautiful face, people will say, 'This is lust!' If you go to the tree and stand there, and look in a dazed state at the flower, - your eyes wide open, your senses wide open to allow the beauty of the flower to enter you - people will think you are a poet a painter or a mystic. But if you go to a woman or a man and just stand there with great reverence and respect, and look at the woman with your eyes wide open and with your senses drinking in the beauty of the woman, the police will catch hold of you. Nobody will say you are a mystic or a poet; nobody will appreciate what you are doing.
Tantra teaches you to reclaim respect for the body, love for the body. Tantra teaches you to look at the body as the grandest creation of God. Tantra is the religion of the body. Of course it goes higher, but it never leaves the body, it is grounded there. It is the only religion which is really grounded in the earth: it has roots. Other religions are uprooted trees - dead, dull, dying; the juice does not flow in them. Tantra is really juicy, very alive.
The first thing is to learn respect for the body, to unlearn all the nonsense that has ever been taught to you about the body. Otherwise you will never turn on, and you will never turn in, and you will never turn beyond.
Start from the beginning. The body is your beginning. The body has to be purified of many repressions. A great catharsis is needed for the body, a great rechana. The body has become poisoned because you have been against it, you have repressed it in many ways. Your body is existing at the minimum, that’s why you are miserable.
Tantra says: Bliss is possible only when you exist at the optimum, never before it. Bliss is possible only when you live intensely. How can you live intensely if you are against the body? You are always lukewarm, the fire has cooled down. Down the centuries, the fire has been destroyed. The fire has to be rekindled.
Tantra says: First purify the body - purify it of all repressions. Allow the body energy to flow, remove the blocks. It is very difficult to come across a person who has no blocks, it is very difficult to come across a person whose body is not tight. Loosen the tightness; this tension is blocking your energy, the flow cannot be possible with this tension. Why is everybody so uptight? Why can’t you relax?
From the very childhood you have been programmed to be tight. You don’t breathe, out of fear. Out of fear of sexuality people don’t breathe, because when you breathe deeply, your breath goes exactly to the sex center and hits it, massages it from the inside, excites it. Because you have been taught that sex is dangerous, each child starts breathing in a shallow way, hung up just in the chest. He never goes beyond that because if he goes beyond it, suddenly there is excitement; sexuality is aroused and fear arises. The moment you breathe deeply, sex energy is released. Sex energy has to be released, it has to flow all over your being. Then your body will become orgasmic. But afraid to breathe, so afraid that almost half the lungs are full of carbon dioxide…
There are many, many thousands of holes in the lungs and ordinarily fifty percent are never cleaned, they always remain full of carbon dioxide. That’s why you are dull, that’s why you don’t look alert, that’s why awareness is difficult. It is not accidental that Yoga and Tantra both teach deep breathing, pranayama, to upload your lungs of the carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide is not for you; it has to be thrown out continuously. You have to breathe in new, fresh air; you have to breathe more oxygen. Oxygen will create your inner fire, oxygen will make you aflame. But oxygen will also inflame your sexuality.
Only Tantra allows you total being and total flow. Tantra gives you unconditional freedom; whatsoever you are and whatsoever you can be, Tantra puts no boundaries on you. It does not define you, it simply gives you total freedom. The understanding is that when you are totally free, then much is possible.
This has been my observation, that people who are sexually repressed become unintelligent. Only very, very sexually alive people are intelligent people. Now the idea that sex is sin must have damaged intelligence, must have damaged it very badly. When you are really flowing and your sexuality has no right and conflict with you, when you cooperate with it, your mind will function at its optimum. You will be intelligent, alert, alive.
The body has to be befriended, says Tantra.
Tantra teaches the first thing: Be loving towards your body, befriend your body, revere your body, respect you body, take care of your body. It is God’s gift; treat it well and it will reveal great mysteries to you. All growth depends on how you are related to your body.
And then the second thing Tantra speaks about is the senses: Again, the religions are against the senses; they try to dull the senses and sensitivity. And the senses are your doors of perception, the senses are the windows into reality. What is your eye? What are your ears? What is your nose? Windows into reality, windows into God. If you see rightly you will see God everywhere. So eyes have not to be closed, eyes have to be opened rightly; eyes have not to be destroyed. Ears have not to be destroyed, because all theses sounds are divine.
So Tantra teaches that the senses are the doors of perception. They have been dulled, you have to drop that dullness; your senses have to be cleansed. Your senses are like a mirror which as become dull because so much dust has gathered upon it; the dust has to be cleansed.
- Osho, "Tantra: The Supreme Understanding"