TANTRA – Healing Adolescence (Osho Times, Italy, 2006)
Writing to a diary, as Melissa Panarello does in her best seller “A Hundred Strokes of the Brush before Bed” (Cento Colpi di Spazzola primal di andare a dormire) is actually a great idea. It’s definitely better than writing to God. At least your diary can represent your wiser self, the one you can confide to unconditionally. God always has his own opinion about everything, it seems. Mostly it’s rooted in laws and rules that are as aged as the old humanity itself. Apart from that, there is this godly habit, specially around Catholicism, to look through the keyhole at what we are doing, so even if we confide in him, he might know already better.
Specially when it comes to sex. It’s interesting to ask ourselves how much we feel continuously watched and judged. Unconsciously. We are never alone in the bed, it seems. It reminds us of an American movie that we once saw, in which this couple is sitting in their bed and they start to misunderstand each other seriously. Soon they are fighting. Then the scene zooms out, and next to them, on their sides, you seethe parents sitting, loudly commenting and criticizing their children and their spouses. If it is not God the Father, then at least there are God the Parents who share our bed, who are there to dictate and control everything.
We have so much to tell to our diary. Things that we usually don’t tell so easily to others. Our secrets and desires can fill up many a page, specially those that have to do with sensuality, sex and intimacy. Our capacity to imagine and fantasise is endless. We are all children with a magic world where things can happen that, we already learnt, in daily life don’t happen any more. Our imagination is curtailed a lot, by the way we get brought up, and by the reality that is surrounding us. Otherwise, as children we love to play out many images and many roles, learning in this way that identity is not something fixed and static, but alive and always changing. In our child plays of playing “doctor”, or playing “parents”, we explore how we like to be, and we can be curious and inventive without limit…
Later, when we enter adolescence, we wake up to our hormones and the sudden explosion of erotic feelings that comes with it. If we are well prepared, by not having been punished or repressed when we were children, we can tap into our intrinsic talent of imagination and fantasy.
There is a whole world of feelings to be explored. Specially those which have to do with our own body and sexuality. There’s a whole secret world to be discovered, colourful, playful, full of sensations.
That’s when God starts looking through the keyhole again. Our whole exploration has to be done in secrecy, serious and humourless. It’s no fun to find out about one’s own feelings and likings, when we are being watched and controlled at the same time. Deep under the blankets, there is a hot and steamy world, but above it, it’s virginal, clean and clear.
We don’t realize how much we miss our world of fantasy and discovery. Anyway, the world offers to us a reasonable alternative: pornography. It’s like being forbidden to eat the first fresh strawberries of the year, to go to the supermarket to buy a chemical substitute as a compensation. It looks like it, it makes you feel like it, but it is not it. Pornography doesn’t need fantasy or imagination. It’s God’s eye looking through the keyhole, this time turned on and horny. It doesn’t need you to participate, it takes care of itself. Yet, it is attractive. After having been starved with the real thing, we are ready to take the alternatives we can get.
Now imagine you come to a Tantra group. You have already done a Primal group, because it is a prerequisite. You have explored deeply what got robbed from your soul in childhood, and how it got substituted with a false personality. You want to find back the love for yourself that you once had. The exploration turns towards the area of masturbation. Maybe it is the first time you are invited to talk about it.
You find yourself laughing about situations that once looked life serious. Something starts to open up and relax. You’ve got red cheeks, and you are starting to enjoy it. When the challenge comes to share your erotic fantasies, and you are asked to do it as colourful, sexy, exotic and playful as you can, you might feel scared or excited.
But there’s energy that is being released…maybe energy that stopped flowing long ago, and became stagnant or secret. Energy that feels good, that gives juice and colour to your life. You are not isolated at that moment. On the contrary, it feels like you are part of a large sensuous world, with a great potential. It’s the beginning of a new flow. Energy that can become delight.
Loving yourself includes loving the body aspect of yourself. The body is sacred, not sacred like a cold temple, but juicy like a summer day.
In the old way of exploring ourselves sexually, we do it mostly quick and hurried. Release and forget. As a meditation, it takes on a whole new meaning. Slowly slowly, you explore every inch of yourself, you sensitize yourself finding all your erotic spots, you find out how you like to be touched, or you like to touch. Loving yourself, your smell, your taste, the feel of your skin, the genitals, everything included, no taboo areas that one has to carefully avoid, all is right, expanding, enjoying, letting go….sacred like a meditation, being focused in this moment….
How can we ever fully speak and intensely live the language of love, if we are never allowed to learn about it? Osho says in the Tantra Vision 2, number 4:
People are kept in separate boxes with great walls around them. Everybody is classified, and there a thousand and one barriers. Yes, one day, after twenty-five years of all this training, you are allowed to make love to your wife. But now the training has gone too deep into you, and suddenly you don’t know what to do. How to love? You have not learned the language.
It is as if a person has not been allowed to speak for twenty-five years. Just listen: for twenty-five years he has not been allowed to speak a single word and then suddenly you put him on a stage and tell him ‘Give us a great lecture.’ What will happen? He will fall there, then and there. He may faint, he may die… twenty-five years of silence, and now suddenly he is expected to deliver a great lecture. It is not possible.
This is what is happening: twenty-five years of anti-love, of fear, and then suddenly you are legally allowed — a license is issued, and ‘Now you can love this woman. This is your wife, you are her husband, and you are allowed to love.’ But where are those twenty-five years of wrong training going to go’? They will be there.
Yes, you will ‘love’… you will make a gesture. It is not going to be explosive, it is not going to be orgasmic: it will be very tiny.
The world expects us to be sexual, and yet it wants us not to be sexual at all. Ok, performance is allowed. Watch any TV program in Italy and there is sex being performed in one disguise or the other.
But it doesn’t have much realness, sensitivity, curiosity in it. It’s pre-described, the whole act is already laid out, you just need o copy. But copying never gives authentic satisfaction. As long as you are not you, something essential is missing.
How to find that “you”? After having been told for many years that you are not good enough, inadequate, too demanding, or wrong? You’ll have to start educating yourself. In Tantra, the healing of adolescence, you are taken step by step, safely, with awareness, through the landscape of sexual exploration.
It’s done with respect, but not in a holy way, done with sensitivity, but not with fear, done with sensuality, but not with indulgence. It’s a path. It’s juicy, colourful, non serious, transformative and challenging. It allows you also to explore the negated parts of yourself, those that have grown in the darkness of our unconscious, in the cellar of our being. The sides of ourselves that we hide but are attracted to all the time. Let’s bring them out of the cellar, the inner world of Fellinesque characters, or Pasolinian theatrical world.
As long as they remain hidden, they occupy a large part of our life energy. Let them come to the surface. In Tantra, all the sides of ourselves, light and dark, are invited to participate. Together they create a great potential of transformation. Once the opposite energies Of darkness and light transcend each other, they bring in more awareness, more freedom, more love.
If they are kept divided, this just adds to an already split humanity. And what goes in the cellar of our being, doesn’t disappear. It just finds its own way to come out. The danger of sexually transmitted diseases has to do with keeping sexuality, sensuality, and love in the dark. Used unconsciously, with little or no awareness, that what potentially is nectar becomes poison. The same act of love, of passion, of union, becomes a life dangerous act, with the possibility even to kill.
But the answer cannot lie in suppressing everything again. This time humanity is challenged to find whole new answers with a whole new consciousness.
In her book, Melissa Panarello describes the unguided exploration of sex by herself at sixteen years old. It has become an international best seller. People have enough of being controlled by God, parents and society. The amoral style of the book, challenges all the old beliefs of should and should not. It’s a girl writing the book, and an adolescent. She manages to provoke the status quo of sex, repressive or indulgent.
It’s a good sign. When more and more people explore the authentic power and freedom of adolescence, and Discover new ways to feel and heal the wounds that have been created there, there will grow a new adulthood, a new humanity, what Osho describes in his Tantra Vision volume 2, number 7.
This Tantra vision is one of the greatest visions ever dreamt by man: a religion without the priest, a religion without the temple, a religion without the organisation, a religion which does not destroy the individual but respects individuality tremendously, a religion which trusts in the ordinary man and woman.