Interview with Veeresh
Are men interested in personal growth as much as women?
I find that, often, if there is a sexuality workshop weekend, a lot more men come than women. It’s been very rare when it’s the opposite. The topic of the workshop influences whether men or women will come. I always want to set up the leadership to be both man and woman, so that everybody can identify. I always try to get a balance, by providing a mother and a father figure.
Generally there have always been more women here. Women are more devoted – men find it very hard to surrender. Women know how to be disciples, to be disciplined, and constant. They are able to be patient and involved in something consistently for long periods of time. The guys all want it now; they run right off into the sunset and do their thing…
I’m always challenging the authority issue with men because I know that I represent that with them. It’s very easy to push their button. You say, ‘All right, who is the biggest man in the block?’ that kind of thing.
What are the biggest difficulties that men face in therapy?
The idea of humiliation; it’s a concept of failing, being weak, not living up to the expectations of everyone around you. For the guys to show that they need help is very difficult because it goes against the concept of being a man. As a man you’re supposed to be self-reliant. You don’t need any help. You’re always strong, like the US Marines… When I was growing up I knew that you can join the Army, you can join the Air Force, you can join the Navy, but the Marines… you better watch it, they were the big guys, then you would be really a man.
Men are not supposed to cry. They are expected to be angry. When women are angry, they are considered lesbians. Women are more the acceptors; they are trained to say a lot of, ‘Yes, yes, yes’, and underneath there is a lot of ‘No’s’. The guys play a lot of ‘No’, but deep down they’re saying, ‘Please, yes!’
Che Guevara has a famous statement: ‘Hay que endurecerse, pero sin perder la ternura jamás’ (One has to grow hard, but without losing the tenderness ever). Very often having personal power gets mixed up with ‘being tough’. What is authentic personal power?
Knowing that in the end love is the answer. That’s what real personal power is. You don’t have to rely on a gun to force an issue, or physical power to make something happen. That’s not personal power for me. To force physically someone into submission, into surrender is not the issue at all. The person just does it because they have no choice in that situation. But if you know about friendship, about love, that that’s what life is about, that’s personal power, you transfer that to other people. You don’t need to defend yourself, you don’t need to attack anybody, just your way of being is personal power. It is based on love.
What were your role models in being a man?
My grandfather, General Sanchez was the greatest role model that was imprinted in my brain when I grew up. He is famous in the Dominican Republic. And then I had an uncle who was a boxer, he was champion in the Dominican and he was famous for that. Dominican boxers look like gorillas with gloves on, beating the life out of each other… Then I had another uncle who was a musician and a surgeon. So, a boxer, a general and a musician, they were all role models. My mother wanted me to be a priest…
I liked Che Guevara. He said, ‘Every true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love.’ I liked that. I thought this guy knows what he is doing; he is not just getting out there and beating up people. I understood that, I was in London doing my own project, leading a therapeutic community with Sudha, it was quite a challenge and he was very inspiring.
I had role models while growing up from whom I would get a sense of identity as a man, like what it meant to be male. I grew up knowing that boys are stronger than girls, and boys don’t cry and girls cry… I remember all the boys together running around in the park, standing on a hill and then peeing as far as you can. The one who peed the further was the winner. That was kind of a test.
The next big one was: all the guys wanted to have sex. Sex was very important. If you hadn’t had sex yet, you weren’t a man because all the big guys seemed to have done it, except you and they would talk about it. That was the next big thing around 16-17.
Then graduating and either going to the Army or Military Service, or going to College.
Those are moments I remember big changes on being a man. Growing up being a man is quite a job, quite an experience…
What about Osho? Was he a role model of a man?
I think Osho was multisexual. Once I was in a Darshan and a girl asked him if he had sex. Everybody was shocked, and I was curious to what he would say. That’s when he still had black hair and a black beard. He came up with a big laughter and pointed to his genitals and said, ‘It’s unemployed!’ I thought, ‘That’s good, at least it hasn’t dropped off. To be enlightened, to be Brahmacharya means it’s unemployed. Maybe it goes to work in the future.’ There was hope…
At some point in my life I thought I was through with sex. I went to see Shyam Singha. I said, ‘I am wondering if my sex energy is changing…’ I think I was 38… He started to stick pins on my body, starting from the top head and going all the way down. I was shocked. All my energy went ‘Rrrrrrrrr’, all these pins were moving, and suddenly everything was working. Shyam said, ‘I think your energy is all right.’ I thought I had overcome the level of having desires and I should go into Brahmacharya.
Are men monogamous?
No. I think in the beginning they buy the concept that they should be that way. I think that, if you follow a man’s mind throughout the day, you will find that he gets turned on by everything, all the time.
The concept of marriage keeps stability, creates security, making the kids grow up together – it is safe. Marriage comes out of a need for security, for reinsurance, stability. That’s what a relationship is: your partner is there for you.
Are men jealous?
Yes, because I am jealous. I think jealousy is a very important aspect of relationships. It shouldn’t be denied or rationalized away. If you are jealous, feel it and tell your partner or tell your friends. This jealous energy is the same energy that creates Romeo and Juliet movies, and everybody in the world can identify with it…
Don’t transcend your jealousy. Experience it; enjoy it, and, if the occasion is right, tell your partner about it. And don’t just stop with the reaction of jealousy. You have to go further and say, ‘I’m jealous, and what I want is this.’ Then you come forward with what you need rather then just reacting to your partner’s behavior. ‘What I want is that you reassure me that you love me.’ That’s what jealousy is: it is the insecurity that maybe your partner is going to love another person more than you. You want your partner to be there for you all the time. It’s like, ‘Mama, mama, mama, only me!’
What is it like to be a father? Is it something you think all men should do?
Part of developing your manhood is to be a father. To feel the responsibility of bringing up a child is part of man’s need. Not just evolutionary psychology – just keep the sperm moving to create new generations… I understand that bit, but, men need to create a family and be part of it. Maybe he needs to create again his own trip with his parents, maybe he does something different. But it is a need, a social need. Isolation is not the answer, it is a reaction.
Is there any message you want to give to the men in the world?
In my development as a man, I have become a protector. There is a protector inside of me. Maybe from the need to be protected or so, but I feel I can take care of people. A man should take care for his family, for his friends, for his planet. To make sure that future generations can say, ‘Yippee! They did it really well. What a beautiful world we came into!’
There was a plan, the family had a plan. In the beginning the families where called et. And the plan et was a family plan. And the plan et was to create paradise here, now. And that’s where the word planet comes from.
Anything else you like to add?
The image and the concept of men and women seem to disappear when I close my eyes and I look inside and I just relax. What I find is a warm loving space. There is no image there, it is just a good feeling. There is just my energy, rather then concepts like men and women…
So I like being multisexual…