Osho on hell of living with a woman and the hell of living without a woman
Question: My love-life drama now reflects an old saying of Humphrey Bogart's: Women -- they're hell to live with, and hell to live Without. What to do?
Osho : One has to pass through this hell. One has to experience both the hell of living with a woman and the hell of living without a woman. And it is not only true about women, it is exactly true about men too. So don't be a male chauvinist pig! It is applicable both ways, it is a double-edged sword. Women are also tired of living with men and they are also frustrated when they have to live alone. It is one of the most fundamental of human dilemmas; it has to be understood. You cannot live without a woman because you don't know how to live with yourself.
You are not meditative enough. Meditation is the art of living with yourself. It is nothing else than that, simply that: the art of being joyously alone. A meditator can sit joyously alone for months, for years. He does not hanker for the other, because his own inner ecstasy is so much, is so overpowering, that who bothers about the other? If the other comes into his life it is not a need, it is a luxury. And I am all for luxury, because luxury means you can enjoy it if it is there and you can enjoy it when it is not there. A need is a difficult phenomenon.
For example, bread and butter are needs, but the flowers in the garden are a luxury. You can live without the flowers, you will not die, but you cannot live without bread and butter. For the man who cannot live with himself, the other is a need, an absolute need, because whenever he is alone he is bored with himself -- so bored that he wants some occupation with somebody else. Because it is a need it becomes a dependence, you have to depend on the other. And because it becomes a dependence you hate, you rebel, you resist, because it is a slavery.
Dependence is a kind of slavery, and nobody wants to be a slave. You meet a woman – you are not able to live alone. The woman is also not able to live alone, that's why she is meeting you ; otherwise there is no need. Both are bored with themselves and both are thinking that the other will help to get rid of the boredom. Yes, in the beginning it looks like that, but only in the beginning. As they settle together, soon they see that the boredom is not destroyed -- it is not only doubled but multiplied.
Now, first they were bored with themselves, now they are bored with the other too -- because the closer you come to the other, the more you know the other, the more the other becomes almost a part of you. That's why if you see a bored couple walking by you can be certain they are married. If they are not bored you can be certain they are not married. The man must be walking with somebody else's wife, that's why there is so much joy.
When you are in love -- when you have not yet persuaded the woman and the woman has not yet persuaded you to be together forever -- you both pretend great joy. And something of it is true, too, because of the hope that "Who knows, I may come out of my boredom, my anguish, my anxiety, my aloneness. This woman may help me." And the woman is also hoping. But once you are together the hopes soon disappear, despair sets in again. Now you are bored and the problem has become multiplied. Now, how to get rid of this woman?
Because you are not meditative you need others to keep you occupied. And because you are not meditative you are not able to love either, because love is an overflowing joy. You are bored with yourself. What have you got to share with the other? Hence, being with the other also becomes hell. In that sense Jean-Paul Sartre is right that the other is hell. The other is not hell really; it only appears so. The hell exists in you, in your nonmeditativeness, in your incapacity to be alone and ecstatic. And both are unable to be alone and ecstatic.
Now both are at each mother's throats, continuously trying to snatch some happiness from each other. Both are doing that and both are beggars.
I have heard: One psychoanalyst met another psychoanalyst on the street. The first said to the other, "You look fine. How am I?" Nobody knows about himself, nobody is acquainted with himself. We only see others' faces. A woman looks beautiful, a man looks beautiful, smiling, all smiles. We don't know his anguish. Maybe all those smiles are just a facade to deceive others and to deceive himself. Maybe behind those smiles there are great tears. Maybe he is afraid if he does not smile he may start weeping and crying.
But when you see the other you simply see the surface, you fall in love with the surface. But when you come closer, you soon know that the inner depths of the other person are as dark as your own. He is a beggar just as you are. Now... two beggars begging from each other. Then it becomes hell.
Yes, you are right: "Women -- they're hell to live with, and hell to live without."
It is not a question of women at all, nor a question of men; it is a question of meditation and love. Meditation is the source from which joy wells up within you and starts overflowing. If you have joy enough to share, then only will your love be a contentment. If you don't have joy enough to share, your love is going to be tiring, exhausting, boring. So whenever you are with a woman you are bored and you want to get rid of her, and whenever you are alone you are bored with yourself and you want to get rid of your loneliness, and you seek and search for a woman. This is a vicious circle! You can go on moving like a pendulum from one extreme to the other your whole life. See the real problem! The real problem has nothing to do with man and woman.
The real problem has something to do with meditation and the flowering of meditation in love, in joy, in blissfulness. First meditate, be blissful, then much love will happen of its own accord. Then being with others is beautiful and being alone is also beautiful. Then it is simple, too. You don't depend on others and you don't make others dependent on you. Then it is always a friendship, a friendliness. It never becomes a relationship, it is always a relatedness. You relate, but you don't create a marriage. Marriage is out of fear, relatedness is out of love.
You relate; as long as things are moving beautifully, you share. And if you see that the moment has come to depart, because your paths separate at this crossroad, you say goodbye with great gratitude for all that the other has been to you, for all the joys and all the pleasures and all the beautiful moments that you have shared with the other. With no misery, with no pain, you simply separate. Nobody can guarantee that two persons will be happy together always, because people change. When you meet a woman she is one person, you are one person.
After ten years you will be another person, she will be another person. It is like a river: the water is continuously flowing. The people who had fallen in love are no more there, both are no more there. Now you can go on clinging to a certain promise given by somebody else -- but you have not given it. A real man of understanding never promises for tomorrow, he can only say, "For the moment." A really sincere man cannot promise at all. How can he promise? Who knows about tomorrow?
Tomorrow may come, may not come. Tomorrow may come: "I will not be the same, you will not be the same." Tomorrow may come: "You may find somebody with whom you fit more deeply, I may find somebody whom I go with more harmoniously." The world is vast. Why exhaust it today? Keep doors open, keep alternatives open. I am against marriage. It is marriage that creates problems. It is marriage that has become very ugly. The most ugly institution in the world is marriage, because it forces people to be phony: they have changed, but they go on pretending that they are the same.
One old man, eighty years old, was celebrating his fiftieth wedding anniversary with his wife who was seventy-five. They went to the same hotel, to the same hill-station where they had gone on their honeymoon.
The nostalgia! Now he is eighty, she is seventy-five. They booked into the same hotel and took the same room. They were trying to live those beautiful days of fifty years ago again. And when they were going to sleep, the woman said, "Have you forgotten? Are you not going to kiss me the way you kissed me on our honeymoon night?"
The old man said, "Okay." So he got up.
The woman asked, "Where are you going?"
He said, "I am going to get my teeth from the bathroom."
Everything has changed. Now this kiss without teeth or with false teeth is not going to be the same kiss. But the man says, "Okay." The journey must have been tiring, and for an eighty year- old.... But people go on behaving as if they were the same.
One old woman and one old man got married. It must have happened in America, where else! In America nobody seems to be getting old, everybody is pretending to be young.
So they went on their honeymoon. The old man took the wife's hand in his hand and pressed it for two, three minutes -- that was all they could do as far as lovemaking was concerned -- then they went to sleep.
Next day he again pressed the old woman's hand -- but this time only for one minute -- three minutes may have been too long. And the third day, just as he was going to press the woman's hand, she said, turning to the other side, "Today I have a headache."
Very few people really grow up; even if they become aged, they don't grow up. Growing old is not growing up. Real maturity comes through meditation. Learn to be silent, peaceful, still. Learn to be a no-mind. That has to be the beginning for all Sannyasins. Nothing can be done before that and everything becomes easier after that. When
you find yourself utterly happy and blissful, then even if the third world war happens and the whole world disappears leaving you alone, it won't affect you. You will be still sitting under your tree doing vipassana.
The day that moment comes in your life you can share your joy -- now you are able to give love. Before that it is going to be misery, hopes and frustrations, desires and failures, dreams... and then dust in your hand and in your mouth. Beware, don't waste time. The earlier you become attuned to no-mind, the better it is. Then many things can flower in you: love, creativity, spontaneity, joy, prayer, gratitude, God.