People try to avoid sex, to repress sex, so that they can forget all about death. And then at the moment of death priests have invented rituals – they go on repeating mantras and sacred scriptures into the ears of the dying man so he is still kept engaged, so that he does not become aware of his sexuality. But these are just foolish inventions of man which don’t work, which can’t work.
You must have heard about William Randolph Hearst, the great newspaper tycoon. He is an example. He tried through power and wealth to build a wall between himself and the human condition. A fairyland world was constructed on his orders where the mention of death was prohibited, and everything was arranged to create the illusion that life would never end. Hearst, in his later years, showed himself to be a weakling and a fool – naturally, because he avoided life to avoid death. He remained stupid.
You will remain stupid if you avoid the real human situation. Whatsoever it contains, whatsoever is implied in it, has to be encountered, has to be lived through. That is the only way to go beyond it.
Given the human reality, the only alternative to courage is a flight from reality. That’s how escapism arises. Millions of people have been escaping to the monasteries, to the Himalayas, to the caves. Why? – to avoid life so that they can avoid death. Millions of people have been searching for immortality, hoping that there must be some way to become immortals.
And I am not saying that the soul is not immortal. It is, but you don’t know anything about the soul. And your efforts to be immortal simply show that you are not yet aware of your soul, because the soul need not become immortal: it is! But it is not a question of believing in immortality. It is a question of exploring, and exploration goes through real life situations. And these two are the greatest life situations: sex and death.
It is through sex that life arises, it is through death that life disappears. Sex is the door from where life enters, and death is the door from where life disappears. These two doors have to be explored in their totality. And those who have looked into it have found that these two doors are not two; it is one door. From one side it is entrance, from the other side it is exit.
The so-called monk, the so-called old idea of sannyas are all escapisms, cowardly, utterly cowardly.
Running away, however, is never a solution. It is rather a form of weakness and cowardice. Minor forms of this weakness are called neuroses, and the acute forms of this weakness are called psychoses.
And your so-called religions have been teaching you only these two things: neurosis and psychosis. Neurosis is a mild form, a mild dose of cowardliness, of not facing life as it is, and psychosis is the acute. The fully grown neurosis becomes psychosis; then you start escaping to the monastery, then you drop out of life – but this is not the way to go beyond. The way beyond goes through life, and life is utterly beautiful. Sex and death, both are beautiful.
You ask me, “Why am I so much afraid of two groups here, the Tantra and the Encounter?”