Man has three layers: the body, the mind and the soul. So whatsoever you do, you can do in three ways. Either it can be just from the body, or it can be from the mind, or it can be from the soul. Whatsoever you do, any act of yours, can have three qualities. Sex is love through the body; romantic love is sex through the mind; compassion is through the soul. But the energy is the same. Moving in a deeper way, its quality changes, but the energy is the same.

If you live your love life only through the body, you live a very poor love life, because you live very superficially. Sex, just of the body, is not even sex — it becomes sexuality. It becomes pornographic, it becomes a little obscene, it becomes a little brutal, ugly, because it has no depth in it. Then it is just a physical release of the energy. Maybe it helps you to become a little less tense, but just to become a little more relaxed you are losing tremendous energy, tremendously valuable energy.

If it can become love you will not be losing it. In the same act you will be gaining also. On the physical level there is only loss — sex is simply a loss of energy. Sex is a safety valve in the body: when the energy is too much and you don’t know what to do with it, you throw it out. You feel relaxed because you are emptied of energy. A sort of rest comes, because the restless energy is thrown out — but you are poorer than before, you are emptier than before.

And again and again this will happen. Then your whole life will become just a routine of collecting energy by food, by breathing, by exercise, and then throwing it away. This looks absurd. First eat, breathe, exercise, create energy, and then you are worried what to do with it — then throw it. This is meaningless, absurd.

So sex becomes very soon meaningless. And a person who has known only sex of the body, and has not known the deeper dimension of love, becomes mechanical. His sex is just a repetition of the same act again and again and again.


It is good that you recognize that you know what sex without love is. There are many people, millions of them, who will not recognize that, who will not even accept this — they go on thinking and believing that they love. This is good — this awareness is good; then possibilities open. Because once you recognize that you have touched only one layer of your being, then the second layer can be opened, penetrated.
If you say that no, you know whatsoever there is to love, then it is very difficult to help you. So, good, the questioner is aware…. I KNOW WHAT SEX WITHOUT LOVE IS. It is miserable. It simply gives you a mechanical release. You can become addicted to it: you don’t enjoy it then, but you will miss it. If you don’t go into it you will feel restless, if you go into it there is nothing in it.

That is what is happening in the West. People are going beyond sex — not towards love, not towards compassion — because that beyond is within; people are going beyond sex in a negative way — sex is becoming absurd. They are finished with it. They are searching something else. That’s why drugs have become so important. Sex is finished — that was the oldest drug, the natural LSD. Now it is finished, and people don’t know what to do now. The natural drug is no more appealing, they have had enough of it. So chemicals, LSD, marijuana, psilocybin and other things are becoming more important.

In the West it is impossible now to prevent people from drugs. Unless sex starts becoming deeper and is transformed into love, there is no way: people will have to go towards drugs, helplessly. Even if they are reluctant they will have to go, because the old drug of sex is finished. It is not finished because it was futile, it is finished because people lived only on the superficial level. They never penetrated into the mystery of it.

At the most people know something about what they call romantic love — that too is not love; that is repressed sex. When you don’t have the possibility of making a sexual contact, that repressed energy becomes romance. Then that repressed energy starts becoming cerebral, it starts moving into the head.

When sex moves from the genital organs towards the head, it becomes romance. Romantic love is not really love, it is pseudo, it is a false coin. It is again the same sex but the opportunity was not there.

In the past ages people lived very much in the romantic love because sex was not so easy. It was very difficult, the society created so many obstacles. Sex was so difficult that people had to repress it. That repressed energy would start moving into their heads — would become poetry, painting and romance, and they would have dreams, beautiful dreams.

Now that has disappeared, particularly in the West. In the East it is still there. In the West it has disappeared because sex has become available. Thanks to Freud there has been a great revolution in the West. The revolution has dropped all those barriers and inhibitions and repression upon sex energy. Now sex is easily available, there is no problem about it.

It is so much available, more than you need — that has created a problem. Romantic love has disappeared. Now in the West no romantic poetry is being written. Who will write romantic poetry? Sex is so easily available in the market, who will think about it? There is no need to think about it.

Romantic love is the other side of the physical sex, the repressed side. It is not love. Both are ill. What you call sex, sexuality, and romantic love — both are ill states of affairs. When body and mind meet, there is love. Love is healthy. In sexuality only body is there, in romantic love only head is there. Both are partial.

In love, body and mind meet: you become a unity, more of a unity. You love the person and sex comes just as a shadow to it. It is not vice versa. You love the person so much, your energies meet with the person so deeply, you feel so good by the other’s presence, the other’s presence is so fulfilling — it completes you. Love comes as a shadow to it.

Sex is not the center, love is the center; sex becomes the periphery. Yes, sometimes you would like to meet on the physical plane also, but there is no hankering for it. It is not an obsession, it is just a sharing of energy. The basic thing is deep. The periphery is good. With the center, the periphery is good; without the center, it becomes sexuality. Without the periphery, if it is only in the center, it becomes romantic love. When the periphery and the center are both together, there is a togetherness of body and mind. It is not only that you desire the other’s body, but you desire the other’s being — then there is love. Love is healthy.

Sexuality and romantic love are ill, unhealthy. They are a sort of neurosis, because they create a split in you. Love is a harmony. It is not only the body of the other, but his very being, his very presence that is loved. You don’t use the other person as a means for release. You love the person. He is not, or she is not, a means, but an end unto herself or unto himself. Love is healthy.

And there is another depth still left, which I call compassion. When body, mind and soul meet, then you have become a great unity. You have become a trinity. You have become trimurti. Then all that is in you, from the most superficial to the deepest depth, is in a meeting. Your soul also is part of your love. Of course, compassion is possible only through deep meditation.

Sexuality is possible without any understanding, without any meditation. Love is possible only with understanding. Compassion is possible only with understanding and meditation, understanding and awareness. Not only do you understand and respect the other person, but you have come to your deepest core of being. Seeing your own deepest core, you have become capable of seeing the deepest core in the other also. Now the other does not exist as a body or a mind; the other exists as a soul. And souls are not separate. Your soul and my soul are one.

When two bodies meet, they are separate. When two body-minds meet, their boundaries are overlapping. When two souls meet, they are one. Compassion is the highest form of love. It is possible only for a Buddha, or a Christ, or a Krishna to have compassion.

But love is possible for many. A little more understanding of life, a little more watchfulness about life, will help many to become lovers. But if you are completely unconscious then you have to live the rotten life of sex. In compassion, the energy is purest; love completely has become of the depth. In fact in compassion love is no more a relationship, it has become a state.

When you are in sexuality you don’t bother much to whom you are making love — any body will do. You just need a woman or a man, any body will do. You just need the other’s body. In love, any body won’t do, anybody’s body won’t do. You need a person who is in deep love with you, who has a certain affinity and harmony with you, in whose presence your heart starts singing, a deep bell starts ringing… in whose presence you feel a blessing. Then only is it possible for you to make love to the other person. To make love is possible only if the meeting — the inner meeting — has happened. Otherwise it is simply impossible to think, even to imagine that you are making love to a person you don’t love.

In the state of compassion, sex completely disappears. In the state of love, sex remains but becomes secondary. In the state of sexuality, sex is the only thing and the primary thing. In the second state — of love — sex is secondary, follows like a shadow. The flame is there and sex follows like smoke. In the first stage of sex, there is only smoke, there is no flame; the fuel is too wet for flame. There is only smoke and smoke and smoke. In the second state there is flame but still smoke is there, surrounding the flame. The flame is clouded by the smoke. In the third state of compassion there is only flame, no smoke — it is a smokeless flame. Purity has attained absolutely.

You can make sex to as many people as you want because there is no discrimination. It is animalistic. In the state of love you discriminate. Love is very individualistic, it is very choosey. In the state of compassion all individuality has disappeared; there is universality. You are simply compassion, you are simply love. Love goes on falling, overflowing. Whosoever comes close to you is fulfilled. Whosoever dares to come close to you is inflamed, carries a new glow.

In compassion it is not a question between you and the other. You are not there, neither is the other — only one energy, one tremendous energy of existence, dancing. It is NATARAJ, the dancing Shiva. The energy is in love with itself. It is tremendously ecstatic and happy. It is elated for no reason at all, it is extravagant. It has so much that it goes on pouring. It is a play.

Sex is like work; you are too much worried about it. You want to do it, you want to finish it somehow. It is like a burden on you. Love is not like a burden, it is enjoyment. You cherish it, you taste it — as a connoisseur tastes the wine. There is no hurry. There is no hurry to finish it, you would like to linger in it. You are slow, unhurried, patient.

Sex is momentary, love has a longer period for it — it lingers slowly. Compassion is eternal, it is timeless. Whether somebody is there or not is not the question then. A man of compassion has compassion. Buddha sitting under his bodhi tree is as loving as when he is surrounded by his sannyasins. When he is moving in the crowd he is as loving as when he is alone. Now love is a state.

If you want to change from sex towards love, try to understand your sexuality. Watch it, watch the mechanicalness of it. See the futility, see the whole absurdity of it — it is not leading you anywhere. Become a little more refined, become a little more subtle. Look not for the body, but somebody’s being. Watch, explore. Sooner or later you will find somebody who fits with you.

It can happen in the first sight even, because when energies fit, they fit. If they don’t fit, they don’t fit. You can struggle your whole life — they will not fit. If they fit they fit immediately. Marriage has made love disappear badly, marriage has made love disappear from the earth. Because for other considerations marriage is arranged — money, finance, family, prestige, astrology — all absurd. They have nothing to do with the heart of the two persons who are going to be married.

So marriage is almost always a failure; only in rare accidents it is not so — but they are accidents, exceptions. They cannot be counted. Marriage is always on the rocks, because it is for wrong reasons. Only love can become the foundation of a real marriage, there is no other way. Because there is no other way to find that your wave length is exactly the same as the other’s, that you vibrate in the same way as the other. There is no other way to find it out.

Astrology is not helpful, neither somebody’s prestige, family. No, nothing is important. Only one thing is important — that two persons together vibrate in such a way that their vibrations become a pattern, a harmonious pattern. Only vibe can decide.

In a better world people will be allowed to move and mingle and meet as many people as possible so they can find really somebody who gets into them and they get into him, or into her — somebody who has the same quality which fits and makes you complete and fulfills you.

Love is possible. If the society is a little more healthy and less perverted, love is possible. In a good healthy society, love should be natural. In a perverted society — the society in which we live and the whole world lives — love has become impossible; only sex has remained possible. But compassion will become possible only if you make all efforts to become meditative, otherwise not.

The last stage of compassion I call holy. The first stage I call unhealthy, ill; the second stage I call healthy, normal — society can attain to the second stage. Only when society hinders with the individual life and tries to manipulate the individual and dominate it, the first stage happens.
The third stage I call holy because it consists of the whole. That is possible only if you make individual efforts. Meditation will lead you to compassion. Buddha has said: If you meditate, compassion will arise automatically.


from : The Discipline of Transcendence Vol. 2 ch. 10