Sex and Death

There have been only two taboos in the world: sex and death. It is very strange why sex and death have been the two taboos not to be talked about, to be avoided. They are deeply connected. Sex represents life because all life arises out of sex, and death represents the end. And both have been taboo – don’t talk about sex and don’t talk about death.

~ Rajneesh


I was having dinner with friends a couple weeks ago. A visitor from Canada was discussing human excrement with my Belize-based partner when the toilet called to me. Perhaps it was the power of suggestion? When I returned to the table a couple minutes after I’d left it, the ladies had moved on to a radically explicit conversation about sex in Central America. All this, no less, during dinner. And all within a few minutes.

Essentially nobody in contemporary, “civilized” society has these conversations. Death and dying, grief and grieving, sex and bodily functions are taboo. And once a person is willing to discuss the subject of near-term human extinction, the floodgates open to any number of topics. One of the beautiful aspects of my primary message — we don’t have long, as individuals or a species — is the attendant liberation from ludicrous cultural taboos.

And why not? Why allow ourselves to be trapped by taboos that no longer have meaning (and perhaps never did)? We might just as well be bound by a straitjacket we created in a prison cell we constructed. It’s the consummate do-it-yourself project of intellectual enslavement. Constraining conversation means limiting ideas to only those we agree are comfortable.

Who are “we”? How do we define “comfortable”? Who decides?

The free flow of ideas is fundamental to a free society. I’ve long pointed out the lack of freedom within this culture. And I’ve long sought ways to expand freedom within and beyond this culture. The conversation of which few are willing to partake is one example.