LIKE other human problems, the problem of our passions and sexual urges is
a complex and difficult one, and if the educator himself has not deeply probed
into it and seen its many implications, how can he help those he is educating? If
the parent or the teacher is himself caught up in the turmoils of sex, how can he
guide the child? Can we help the children if we ourselves do not understand the
significance of this whole problem? The manner in which the educator imparts an
understanding of sex depends on the state of his own mind; it depends on
whether he is gently dispassionate, or consumed by his own desires.
Now, why is sex to most of us a problem, full of confusion and conflict? Why
has it become a dominant factor in our lives? One of the main reasons is that we
are not creative; and we are not creative because our whole social and moral
culture, as well as our educational methods, are based on development of the
intellect. The solution to this problem of sex lies in understanding that creation
does not occur through the functioning of the intellect. On the contrary, there is
creation only when the intellect is still.
The intellect, the mind as such, can only repeat, recollect, it is constantly
spinning new words and rearranging old ones; and as most of us feel and
experience only through the brain, we live exclusively on words and mechanical
repetitions. This is obviously not creation; and since we are uncreative, the only
means of creativeness left to us is sex. Sex is of the mind, and that which is of
the mind must fulfil itself or there is frustration.
Our thoughts, our lives are bright, arid, hollow, empty; emotionally we are
starved, religiously and intellectually we are repetitive, dull; socially, politically and
economically we are regimented, controlled. We are not happy people, we are
not vital, joyous; at home, in business, at church, at school, we never experience
a creative state of being, there is no deep release in our daily thought and action.
Caught and held from all sides, naturally sex becomes our only outlet, an
experience to be sought again and again because it momentarily offers that state
of happiness which comes when there is absence of self. It is not sex that
constitutes a problem, but the desire to recapture the state of happiness, to gain
and maintain pleasure, whether sexual or any other.
What we are really searching for is this intense passion of self-forgetfulness,
this identification with something in which we can lose ourselves completely.
Because the self is small, petty and a source of pain, consciously or
unconsciously we want to lose ourselves in individual or collective excitement, in
lofty thoughts, or in some gross form of sensation.
When we seek to escape from the self, the means of escape are very
important, and then they also become painful problems to us. Unless we
investigate and understand the hindrances that prevent creative living, which is
freedom from self, we shall not understand the problem of sex.
One of the hindrances to creative living is fear, and respectability is a
manifestation of that fear. The respectable, the morally bound, are not aware of
the full and deep significance of life. They are enclosed between the walls of their
own righteousness and cannot see beyond them. Their stained-glass morality,
based on ideals and religious beliefs, has nothing to do with reality; and when
they take shelter behind it, they are living in the world of their own illusions. In
spite of their self-imposed and gratifying morality, the respectable also are in
confusion, misery and conflict.
Fear, which is the result of our desire to be secure, makes us conform, imitate
and submit to domination, and therefore it prevents creative living. To live
creatively is to live in freedom, which is to be without fear; and there can be a
state of creativeness only when the mind is not caught up in desire and the
gratification of desire. It is only by watching our own hearts and minds with
delicate attention that we can unravel the hidden ways of our desire. The more
thoughtful and affectionate we are, the less desire dominates the mind. It is only
when there is no love that sensation becomes a consuming problem.
To understand this problem of sensation, we shall have to approach it, not
from any one direction, but from every side, the educational, the religious, the
social and the moral. Sensations have become almost exclusively important to us
because we lay such overwhelming emphasis on sensate values.
Through books, through advertisements, through the cinema, and in many
other ways, various aspects of sensation are constantly being stressed. The
political and religious pageants, the theatre and other forms of amusement, all
encourage us to seek stimulation at different levels of our being; and we delight in
this encouragement. Sensuality is being developed in every possible way, and at
the same time, the ideal of chastity is upheld. A contradiction is thus built up
within us; and strangely enough, this very contradiction is stimulating.
It is only when we understand the pursuit of sensation, which is one of the
major activities of the mind, that pleasure, excitement and violence cease to be a
dominant feature in our lives. It is because we do not love, that sex, the pursuit of
sensation, has become a consuming problem. When there is love, there is
chastity; but he who tries to be chaste, is not. Virtue comes with freedom, it
comes when there is an understanding of what is.
When we are young, we have strong sexual urges, and most of us try to deal
with these desires by controlling and disciplining them, because we think that
without some kind of restraint we shall become consumingly lustful. Organized
religions are much concerned about our sexual morality; but they allow us to
perpetrate violence and murder in the name of patriotism, to indulge in envy and
crafty ruthlessness, and to pursue power and success. Why should they be so
concerned with this particular type of morality, and not attack exploitation, greed
and war? Is it not because organized religions, being part of the environment
which we have created, depend for their very existence on our fears and hopes,
on our envy and separatism? So, in the religious field as in every other, the mind
is held in the projections of its own desires.
As long as there is no deep understanding of the whole process of desire, the
institution of marriage as it now exists, whether in the East or in the West, cannot
provide the answer to the sexual problem. Love is not induced by the signing of a
contract, nor is it based on an exchange of gratification, nor on mutual security
and comfort. All these things are of the mind, and that is why love occupies so
small a place in our lives. Love is not of the mind, it is wholly independent of
thought with its cunning calculations, its self-protective demands and reactions.
When there is love, sex is never a problem - it is the lack of love that creates the
The hindrances and escapes of the mind constitute the problem, and not sex
or any other specific issue; and that is why it is important to understand the
mind's process, its attractions and repulsions, its responses to beauty, to
ugliness. We should observe ourselves, become aware of how we regard people,
how we look at men and women. We should see that the family becomes a
centre of separatism and of antisocial activities when it is used as a means of
self-perpetuation, for the sake of one's self-importance. Family and property,
when centred on the self with its ever-narrowing desires and pursuits, become
the instruments of power and domination, a source of conflict between the
individual and society.
The difficulty in all these human questions is that we ourselves, the parents
and teachers, have become so utterly weary and hopeless, altogether confused
and without peace; life weighs heavily upon us, and we want to be comforted, we
want to be loved. Being poor and insufficient within ourselves, how can we hope
to give the right kind of education to the child?
That is why the major problem is not the pupil, but the educator; our own
hearts and minds must be cleansed if we are to be capable of educating others. If
the educator himself is confused, crooked, lost in a maze of his own desires, how
can he impart wisdom or help to make straight the way of another? But we are
not machines to be understood and repaired by experts; we are the result of a
long series of influences and accidents, and each one has to unravel and
understand for himself the confusion of his own nature.