Sex: Sacred or Sinful?
Sadhguru: Why are all the desirable things in life either immoral, illegal or fattening? Young people often ask the question, or think about it. Let us look at the first word: “immoral”. Much of the time, people are alluding to sex when they use the word. Sex is a subject on which people spend an incredible amount of thought in a lifetime. A simple biological need has turned into a lifelong obsession for many. Let us understand this: Sex is a simple drive within us, a chemical change that happens with adolescence. It is a pleasurable experience because it is nature’s way to impel us towards reproduction. With time, we have made the reproductive aspect optional, but the pleasure remains. There is nothing right or wrong about it. It is important to accept one’s sexuality as an essential part of physical existence. It is only because two people felt the sexual urge that you and I exist. This is a fact.
The biggest problem is that religions and moral teachers have told us that our biology is a sin. This has created untold guilt and misery down the ages. The more you deny something, it assumes disproportionate importance in the mind. This suppression mode has wrought untold havoc on the human psyche.
At the same time, are we just puppets of our chemistry? Surely not. The role of sex in human life is fine, but essentially limited. Those more focused on the mind find that the drive is less insistent. Once you find pleasures deeper than the mind, sexuality recedes in significance.
Allowing Sexuality to Find its Place
Reacting against traditional religious horror of sex, the West has, in recent times, veered towards an excessive identification with the body. It would be unfortunate to mimic this. Our basic biology is not to be trashed. But it does not need to be glorified either. If you observe your development from childhood to adolescence, it should intrigue you, not rule you. A natural intelligence makes us all aware that we are more than the play of our hormones. Unlike animals, human beings are not at the mercy of their chemistry. The human need for emotional and intellectual companionship is far stronger than the physical need.
Unfortunately, those who allow the hormonal process to dominate their intelligence lose their inner equilibrium. It is a pity that so many young people subjugate their intelligence to what they read and encounter online or at the movies. The result is a standardized response to sexuality, rather than one based on inner awareness and balance. People will continue to speak for and against sexuality. Neither is required. All we need to cultivate is a certain inner equanimity in body and mind, so sexuality naturally finds its place. It is important to acknowledge the sexual impulse, but also to conduct it responsibly.
Some simple yoga can be hugely beneficial if one starts practicing it young, because it harmonizes the body and mind more effectively than any teaching can.
Editor's Note: Whether you're struggling with a controversial query, feeling puzzled about a taboo topic, or just burning with a question that no one else is willing to answer, now is your chance to ask! Ask Sadhguru your questions at UnplugWithSadhguru.org.
A version of this article was originally published in Speaking Tree.