The demand to be safe in a relationship inevitably breeds sorrow and fear. The seeking for security invites insecurity. Have you ever found security in any of your relationships? Have you? Most of us want the security of loving and being loved, but there is love when each one of us is seeking his own security, his own particular path? We are not loved because we don’t know how to love.
Is love an idea? If it is, it can be cultivated, nourished, cherished, pushed around, and twisted in any way you like. When you say you love God what does it mean? It means that you love a projection of your own imagination, a projection of yourself clothed in certain forms of respectability according to what you think is noble and holy; so to say, ‘I love God’, is absolute nonsense. When you worship God, you worship yourself, and that is not love.
In what we call human love, there is pleasure, competition, jealousy, the desire to possess, to hold, to control and to interfere with another’s thinking. Men of God, knowing all this complexity, say there must be another kind of love, divine, beautiful, untouched, uncorrupted. But they deny sexuality, and put out their eyes and cut out their tongues for they deny the whole beauty of the earth. They starve their hearts and minds; they are dehydrated human beings; they have banished beauty. To divide anything into what should be and what is is a deceptive way of dealing with life.
In relationships, too often what we say is,‘As long as you belong to me I love you, but the moment you don’t I begin to hate you. As long as I can rely on you to satisfy my demands, sexual and otherwise, I love you. But the moment you cease to supply what I want, I don’t like you.’ If you depend on another for all your pleasure, you are a slave to that person. So when one loves, there must be freedom, not only from another, but from oneself.
This belonging to another, being psychologically nourished by another, depending on another- in all this there must always be anxiety, fear, guilt, and jealousy, and so long as there is fear there can be no love; a mind ridden with sorrow will never know what love is; sentimentality and emotionalism have nothing whatsoever to do with love. And so love is not to do with pleasure and desire. Love is not the product of thought which is the past. Thought cannot possibly cultivate love. Love is always active present. If you know love, you will not follow anybody. Love does not obey. When you love there is neither respect nor disrespect. Don’t you know what it means to love somebody- to love without hate, jealousy, fear, anger, or wanting to interfere with what one is doing or thinking, without condemning or comparing?
Does love have responsibility and duty, and will it use these words? When you do something out of duty is there any love in it?In duty there is no love. The structure of duty in which we are all caught eventually destroys us. So long as you are compelled to do something because it is your duty you don’t love what you are doing. When there is love, there is no duty and no responsibility.
Have you ever cried for another? If you cry out of self pity, your tears have no meaning because you are only concerned about yourself. If you cry because you are bereft of someone in whom you have invested a great deal of affection, it was not really affection. Sorrow is self-created, sorrow is created by thought, sorrow is the outcome of time.
You can see all this happening inside yourself if you really watch it. You can see it fully, completely, in one glance, not to take analytical time over it. You can see in a moment the whole structure and nature of this shoddy little thing called ‘me’. My tears, my family, my nation, my belief, my religion- all that ugliness, it’s all inside you. When you see it with your heart, not with your mind, when you see it from the very bottom of your heart, then you have the key that will end sorrow.
Sorrow and love cannot go together, but in the Christian world they have idealised suffering, put it on a cross and worshipped it, implying that you can never escape from suffering except through that one particular door, and this is the whole structure of an exploiting religious society.
If you still want to find out, you will see that fear is not love, dependence is not love, jealousy is not love, possessiveness and domination are not love, responsibility and duty are not love, self-pity is not love, the agony of not being loved is not love, love is not the opposite of hate any more than humility is the opposite of vanity. If you can eliminate all these, not by forcing them but by washing them away as the rain washes the dust of many days from a leaf, then perhaps you will come upon this strange flower which man always hungers after.
If you have not got love, not just in little drops but in abundance, if you are not filled with it, the world will go to disaster. You know intellectually that the unity of mankind is essential and that love is the only way, but who is going to teach you how to love? When you exercise discipline and the will to love, love goes out the window. By practising some method or system of loving you may become extraordinarily clever or more kindly or get into a state of non-violence, but that has nothing whatsoever to do with love.
In this torn desert world there is no love because pleasure and desire play the greatest roles, yet without love your daily life has no meaning. And you cannot have love if there is no beauty. There is beauty only when your heart and mind know what love is. Without love in that sense of beauty there is no virtue, and you know very well that, do what you will, improve society, feed the poor, you will only be creating more mischief, for without love there is only ugliness and poverty in your own heart and minds. But when there is love and beauty, whatever you do is right, whatever you do is in order. If you know how to love, then you can do what you love, then you can do what you like because it will solve all other problems.
So we reach the point: can the mind come upon love without discipline, without thought, without enforcement, without any book, any teacher or leader- come upon it as one comes upon a lovely sunset? It seems to me that one thing is absolutely necessary and that is passion without motive- passion that is not the result of some commitment or attachment, passion that is not lust. A man who does not know what passion is will never know love because love can come into being only when there is total self abandonment.
A mind that is seeking is not a passionate mind and to come upon love without seeking it is the only way to find it- to come upon it knowingly and not as the result of any effort or experience. Such a love, you will find, is not of time; such a love is both personal and impersonal, is both the one and the many. Like a flower that has perfume you can smell it or pass it by. That flower is for everybody and for the one who takes the trouble to breathe it deeply and look at it with delight. Whether one is very near in the garden or very far away, it is the same to the flower because it is full of that perfume and therefor it is sharing with everybody.
Love is something that is new, fresh, alive. It has no yesterday and no tomorrow. It is beyond the turmoil of thought. It is only the innocent mind which knows what love is, and the innocent mind can live in a world which is not innocent. To find this extraordinary thing which man has sought endlessly through sacrifice, through worship, through relationship, through sex, through every form of pleasure and pain, is only possible when thought comes to understand itself and comes naturally to an end. Then love has no opposite. Then love has no conflict. If you don’t know what to do, you do nothing. Absolutely nothing. Then inwardly you are completely silent. Do you understand what that means? It means that you are not seeking, not wanting, not pursuing; there is no centre at all. Then there is love.
The first episode in our brand new podcast series!
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