Sex is horizontal; love is vertical. It takes you upwards to higher realms of being, and the higher you are in your love, the closer you are to the ultimate truth. The day your love has reached to its climax, you will experience what I have been defining as satyam shivam sundaram – the truth, the godliness and the beauty. And these experiences are not momentary glimpses any more. They become part of you; you become part of them. They become just like the heartbeat – they are with you for eternity.
But I can understand your problem: up to now you have known only one joy and that was sex. You are absolutely unaware that there are skies beyond skies and you are just creeping on the earth. You are not aware that you have wings and you can fly just like an eagle across the sun into the faraway sky. The whole sky becomes your kingdom.
Because of this fact, a misunderstanding arose. Down the ages mystics have experienced it, and because they experienced that sex is functioning as a blinding force, as something imprisoning you, they started condemning sex. And the misunderstanding was that people started thinking that if sex can be repressed, they will also become part of the mystical world and its experiences. Nobody has had the courage to say that this is not a true understanding of the fact.
Celibacy is not something to be practiced, it is not something to be rehearsed, it is not something to be imposed on you by any method, any effort, any doing. Celibacy comes when sex disappears of its own accord. Certainly the word celibacy has tremendous meaning in my sense. But the misunderstanding was that seeing the mystical people rejoicing and dancing and singing, and their eyes and their faces and their charismatic pull, people started repressing sex – thinking that it is sex that is preventing them from knowing higher realms of being. And there lies a great misunderstanding.
My effort has been to destroy this misunderstanding. It has brought me condemnation from all over the world from all the religions, because they are all living in this misunderstanding. I am not for sex, but I am not against sex either. It has a time, its season, its climate – and that time should be given to it. It is absolutely a natural phenomenon, but it should not spread beyond its limits.
Just as at the age of fourteen it appears, if you live it totally, intensely, without any guilt created by religions, you will be out of the imprisonment by the age of nearabout forty-two. This is an average: those who are more intelligent may get out of it sooner. Those who are a little dull-witted will take a little more time.
But misunderstandings are everywhere….
Just before the operation, the high-powered surgeon was explaining all the new recovery techniques to his patient. “Now, you should begin walking as soon as possible,” explained the doctor. “On the first day, you must walk around for five minutes; on the second day ten minutes, and on the third day you walk for at least an hour. Do you understand?”
“Yes, doctor,” answered the apprehensive patient, “but is it all right if I lie down during the operation?”