Question: Why is it that love and marriage often create the maximum conflict between people?
Sadhguru: ‘Man’ and ‘woman’ are physically, kind of opposite. Nature has made us this way so that the process of reproduction happens and the next generation becomes a possibility. If that was not necessary–if storks were dropping babies from the skies–we would not need a man and a woman to work for the future generations to come. And if there wasn’t a deep sense of compulsion about the reproductive process, people would not go for it. Every cell in your body, including your brain cells, are taken over by hormones and compel and propel you in that direction. It takes enormous intelligence for a person to rise beyond that. Otherwise it looks like this is life–it makes you feel like that. Till you were 10 or 11 years old, you did not even think about it. Whatever the other people were doing looked funny. But suddenly, this new chemical took over the body and now it is all an absolute reality.
You have been drugged and chemically sabotaged by nature to fulfil its own purpose of reproduction, continuation, and perpetuation of the species. Once this happened, now somehow, man and woman are compelled to come together. Or in other words, once this compulsion comes, naturally the mind begins to work in that way as to how to get the best out of it.
The give and take calculation
Fundamentally, a relationship is unfortunately happening with an intention to somehow make use of each other. It is a give-and-take relationship. When you are giving and taking on a daily basis, always one person will feel, “I am giving more, the other person is giving less.”
Societies have always taught you that to be smart is to give less and take more. Whether it is a marketplace or a marriage, it is the same calculation. This is why there is so much talk about love, so that you transcend this calculation. When you are emotionally overwhelmed by someone, you transcend the calculation. It becomes, “What I take is not important, what I give is important.” The relationship runs beautifully when it is at that level of emotional intensity. Once that emotional intensity drops, it just becomes give-and-take. You do give-and-take in your business, with your neighbour, with so many people, but those transactions are limited–but the give-and-take in a marriage is constant, and you are caged with this particular person constantly. So, naturally, you feel that in some way, you are being used by someone else. Once this comes in, there is conflict, conflict, and conflict.
Only in those moments of love, can a man and woman really be together. Once that is not there, it is very difficult. The physicality and emotionality of it and other aspects of sharing and living become a struggle. Especially because the physical body is involved, one can very easily feel that they are being used by someone. If it was just money, if it was just a house, there is some settlement, “Okay, you use that part of the house, I will use this part of the house.” “You cook, I will earn.” But because the body is involved, very easily one will feel used, so there is conflict.
If you do not identify yourself too much with your womanhood or manhood and if you just walk as a piece of life, you will see that it is such a minor part of your life.
Question: So what is the solution?
Sadhguru: You should stop being a man or woman all the time. You don’t have to carry your manhood or womanhood 24 hours of the day. There are certain situations in certain aspects of life where you need to be a man or a woman. The rest of the time, you do not have to be either. But societies have trained you to be like this all the time. From the very clothes that you wear and the way you do everything–you have been trained in a certain way, to serve a certain purpose. Once you become like this–24 hours man or 24 hours woman–you are troubled. But if you know how to simply be a piece of life, you will be fine and when there is a requirement that you have to be a man or woman, you can play your role pretty well. So please save it. Don’t just go on spreading it around in the street. Just walk and live as a piece of life. If you are like this, there will be no conflict. It will be just fine. Two human beings can live together.
‘Man and woman’ are two compulsions. Two compulsions can never live together. The more identified you are with your sexuality, the more compulsive you will become. When you are compulsive, naturally you will step over many people. Once you start stepping on each other, there will be trouble. If you do not identify yourself too much with your womanhood or manhood and if you just walk as a piece of life, you will see that it is such a minor part of your life. You do not have to structure your life around it.
So much of your potential would find expression if you just do not get too identified with your sexuality. People would become so much more creative and so much more capable of various things that they have not imagined.
Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic and founder of Isha Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to addressing all aspects of human wellbeing through yoga programmes, and social and environmental initiatives.