Tantra is based on life; Tantra is the art of life, of love. Tantra is the method to encounter your sexuality, your sensuousness, your sensate being. And you are afraid of it because you have been taught that there is something wrong in your sensuousness. You are afraid to encounter your sensate being, your physical being. You are afraid to encounter your body and others’ bodies, and you are afraid, deep down, that if sex reaches to a climax, then you will have to face the ultimate terror of death. It is better to avoid the peaks and walk on level ground – no peaks, no valleys. Live a mediocre life of no peaks and no valleys. Live an unintelligent life, stupid, boring, dull, drab, placid. But one thing is good about it – that you will not encounter two things: the ecstasies of the peaks and the agonies of the valleys. But you will not grow either.
Growth happens only when one moves from peaks to valleys and valleys to peaks. Growth happens only in that constant pilgrimage between darkness and light and from light to darkness. When one rises on the waves of the ocean and falls back, and again rises and falls back and slowly, slowly attains a certain balance, in that balance one transcends peaks and valleys both, becomes a witness. That witnessing is meditation.
So not only are you afraid of Tantra, people are afraid.
And Encounter is facing your fears – and all fears are based in death – facing your anger, facing your violence, facing the possibility that death is there, that death cannot be denied. So Encounter and Tantra are frightening because they bring you against two taboos which have been cultivated for centuries: sex and death.
Just the other day I was talking to you about Geet Govind from Esalen. When he came here, I had given him only two groups, Encounter and Tantra, because that was my first insight into his being, that he was afraid of two things – sex and death. Although he had been a disciple and a colleague of Fritz Perls, he had not learned anything. Although he is the founder of Esalen, he must have been avoiding his own deep problems. I had given him these two groups. If he had passed through these two groups he would have attained to a great insight – a satori was possible – but he escaped, he ran away.
In the Encounter group, after just twenty-four hours, he wrote a letter to me: “I don’t want to participate in it. There is too much violence. I cannot cope with it.” I gave him a message, “Then if you cannot cope, drop out of it.”
Receiving my message he must have become aware that dropping out of it was cowardice, so just to keep face, he tried to continue in it; but he remained only on the periphery, he didn’t get involved in it. He was there more as a spectator than as a participant. He did not expose his own hidden fears and violences. He did not expose that he is afraid of death. He did not encounter the possibility of his own death.
Rather than encountering the possibility of his own death, he started being angry at the Encounter group that is being run here. That is a “transference”; it is a well-known phenomenon to psychoanalysts. If the psychoanalyst brings the patient to a certain point that the patient wants to avoid, if the psychoanalyst pushes a button that the patient has been avoiding his whole life, the patient immediately becomes angry at the psychoanalyst. Rather than seeing the truth of his wound, when his wound is touched he thinks he has been offended, he has been hurt. He immediately becomes angry with the therapist – and that’s what happened to Geet Govind.