The Very alphabet of Love
I LOVE YOU, AND I HAVE BEEN IN LOVE BEFORE AND BEEN HURT. I AM AFRAID. WILL YOU HELP ME?
Mimi Levinson, love never hurts anybody. It is something else pretending to be love which feels hurt. Unless you see this you will go on moving in the same circle again and again. Love can hide many unloving things in you. Man has been very clever, cunning, in deceiving others and in deceiving himself too. He puts beautiful labels on ugly things, he covers wounds with flowers. This is the first thing you have to go into.
Love ordinarily is not love, it is lust. And lust is bound to feel hurt, because to desire somebody as an object is to offend. It is an insult, it is violent. When you move with lust towards somebody, how long can you pretend it is love? Something which is superficial will look like love, but scratch a little bit and hidden behind it is sheer lust. Lust is animalistic. To look at anybody with lust is to insult, humiliate, is to reduce the other person to a thing, to a commodity. No person ever likes to be used; that's the most ugly thing you can do to anybody. No person is a commodity, no person is a means towards any end.
This is the difference between lust and love. Lust uses the other person to fulfill some of your desires. The other is only used, and when the use is complete you can throw the other person away. It has no more use to you; its function is fulfilled. This is the greatest immoral act in existence: using the other as a means.
Love is just the opposite of it: respecting the other as an end unto himself or herself. Had you loved anybody, Mimi, as an end unto himself, then there would have been no feeling of hurt; you would have become more enriched through it. Love makes everybody rich.
Secondly, love can only be true if there is no ego hiding behind it; otherwise love becomes only an ego trip. It is a subtle way to dominate. And one has to be very conscious because this desire to dominate is very deep rooted. It never comes naked; it always comes hidden behind beautiful garments, ornaments.
Parents never say that their children are their possessions, they never say that they want to dominate the children, but that's actually what they do. They say they want to help, they say they want them to be intelligent, to be healthy, to be blissful, but -- and that "but" is a great but -- it has to be according to their ideas. Even their happiness has to be decided by their ideas; they have to be happy according to their expectations. They have to be intelligent, but at the same time obedient too. This is asking for the impossible.
The intelligent person cannot be obedient; the obedient person has to lose some of his intelligence. Intelligence can say yes only when it feels deep agreement with you. It cannot say yes just because you are bigger, more powerful, authoritative -- a father, a mother, a priest, a politician. It cannot say yes just because of the authority that you carry with you. Intelligence is rebellious, and no parents would like their children to be rebellious. Rebellion will be against their hidden desire to dominate.
Husbands say they love their wives, but it is just domination. They are so jealous, so possessive, how can they be loving? Wives go on saying they love their husbands, but twenty-four hours they are creating hell; in every possible way they are reducing the husband to something ugly.
The henpecked husband is an ugly phenomenon. And the problem is that first the wife reduces the husband to a henpecked husband and then she loses interest in him, because who can remain interested in a henpecked husband? He seems to be worthless; he does not seem to be man enough.
First the husband tries to make the wife just his possession, and once she is a possession he loses interest. There is some hidden logic in it: his whole interest was to possess; now that is finished, and he would like to try some other women so he can again go on another trip of possession.
Beware of these ego numbers. Then you will feel hurt, because the person you are trying to possess is bound to revolt in some way or other, is bound to sabotage your tricks, strategies, because nobody loves anything more than freedom. Even love is secondary to freedom; freedom is the highest value. Love can be sacrificed for freedom, but freedom cannot be sacrificed for love. And that's what we have been doing for centuries:
sacrificing freedom for love. Then there is antagonism, conflict, and every opportunity is used to hurt each other.
Mimi, you say to me, "I love you, and I have been in love before and been hurt...." If you love me in the same way as you have loved before, you will be very hurt. In fact, all your past hurts will be nothing compared to this hurt; this will be the greatest wound in your life. Then you will never think of love again, because with me there can be no relationship of lust, no relationship of ego, no relationship of any subtle kind of domination. With me the only possibility is of the purest love, of a love that is almost a prayer. And then there is no question of your being hurt.
Love in its purest form is a sharing of joy. It asks nothing in return, it expects nothing; hence how can you feel hurt? When you don't expect, there is no possibility of being hurt.
Then whatsoever comes is good; if nothing comes, that too is good. Your joy was to give, not to get. Then one can love from thousands of miles away; there is no need to be physically present even.
Love is a spiritual phenomenon; lust is physical.
Ego is psychological; love is spiritual.
Mimi, you don't know what love is. You will have to learn the very alphabet of love. You will have to start from the very beginning, from scratch; otherwise you will be hurt again and again. And remember, except you nobody else is responsible. Now even in this question you are trying to lay your trip on me! You are asking: "I am afraid. Will you help me?"
Only you can help yourself. How can I help you? I cannot destroy your ego. If you cling to it, nobody can destroy it; if you have invested in it, nobody can destroy it. I can only share my understanding with you. The buddhas can only show the way; then YOU have to go, then you have to follow the way. I cannot lead you holding your hand in my hand.
That's what you would like: you would like to play the game of being dependent on me.
And remember, the person who plays the game of being dependent will take revenge.
Soon he would like in some way for the other to be dependent on him or on her.
If the wife is dependent on the husband for money, then the wife makes the husband dependent on her for other things. It is a mutual arrangement. They both become crippled, they both become paralyzed; they cannot exist without each other. Even the idea that the husband was happy without the wife hurts the wife, that he was laughing with the boys in the club hurts her. She is not interested in his happiness; in fact she cannot believe: "How did he dare to be happy without me? He has to depend on me!"
The husband does not feel good that the wife was laughing with somebody, was enjoying, was cheerful. He wants all her cheerfulness to be totally possessed; it is HIS property.
The dependent person will make you dependent also.
My sannyasins are not dependent on me; I am not dependent on them. This is a relationship of total freedom. They are here because of themselves; I am here because of myself. It is beautiful that somehow we have coincided to be here in this place -- but nobody is dependent on anybody else.
There are a few sannyasins who think that they are dependent on me. And how do I know they think that? I have come to know from their questions and their letters. They write angry letters to me, angry questions to me. Then I know that in some way they must be feeling dependent on me -- this is their revenge. Otherwise there is no need to be angry with me. I do not possess you -- you can leave at any moment. Not even for a single moment will you be prevented from leaving. It is absolutely up to you to be here or not to be here, to be a sannyasin or not to be a sannyasin. I am not obliging you to be a sannyasin, I am not obliging you by initiating you into sannyas. It is my joy.
Remember, it is my joy to share my vision with you and it is your joy to commune with me. Otherwise there is no dependence at all.
Even in your question, Mimi, you are repeating your old pattern: "I am afraid...."
Fear is never love, and love is never afraid. There is nothing to lose for love. Why should love be afraid? Love only gives. It is not business, so there is no question of loss or profit.
Love enjoys giving, just as flowers enjoy releasing their fragrance. Why should they be afraid? Why should you be afraid? Remember, fear and love never exist together; they cannot. No coexistence is possible. Fear is just the opposite of love.
People ordinarily think hate is the opposite of love. That is wrong, absolutely wrong. Fear is the exact opposite of love. Hate is love standing on its head; it is a SHIRSHASAN, a headstand, but it is not opposite to love. The person who hates simply shows he still loves. Love has gone sour, but love is still there. Fear is the real opposite. Fear means that now the whole love energy has disappeared.
Love is outgoing, fearlessly reaching to the other, tremendously trusting itself that it will be received -- and it is always received. Fear is shrinking within yourself, closing yourself, closing all the doors, all the windows so no sun, no wind, no rain can reach you -- you are so afraid. You are entering into your grave alive.
Fear is a grave, love is a temple.
In love life comes to its ultimate peak.
In fear life falls to the level of death.
Fear stinks, love is fragrant.
Why should you be afraid? Be afraid of your ego, be afraid of your lust, be afraid of your greed, be afraid of your possessiveness; be afraid of your jealousy -- but there is no question of being afraid of love.
Love is divine!
Love is like light.
When there is light, darkness cannot exist.
When there is love, fear cannot exist.
Hence I am against all words like "God-fearing," because the person who is God-fearing is not religious at all, although in all the languages of the world such words exist or such phrases exist; the religious person is known as God-fearing. That is the most stupid idea one can imagine. The religious person is God-LOVING, not God-fearing. The God- fearing person will be angry at God.
Friedrich Nietzsche is God-FEARING, that's why in his outburst of anger he says, "God is dead." You have heard this statement, but it is only half of the statement. The full statement is worth consideration, because unless you know the full statement you will not understand the meaning of the first half. The full statement is: God is dead, and now man is free. The second part shows reality: he is so afraid of God that even his presence seems to be anti-freedom.
And not only Nietzsche is convinced of this fact, that God's presence means fear; there have been other thinkers who have simply denied God. The Charvakas in India, the Epicureans in Greece -- they all denied God for the simple reason that if God exists, man cannot be free. If God has made you, he can destroy you at any moment. You are just a puppet, and what right has the puppet? The strings are in God's hands: you are dancing his dance, it is nothing to do with you. He pulls this way and that way, and you start dancing. You are just manipulated. This will create fear, and unless God is dead, man cannot be free of this fear. Nietzsche seems to be the really religious person according to the traditional idea of God-fearing.
God-loving is a totally different phenomenon. Jesus says, "God is love." If God is love, how can you be afraid of God?
Omar Khayyam, one of the Sufi mystics, says in his RUBAIYAT: "Don't be worried about your small sins. They are so small that God, out of his love, cannot even count them. And God is compassionate, he will forgive you." Omar Khayyam says, "I guarantee that you will be forgiven, don't be worried. What you are doing are just small things, and God cannot take note of these small things. He cannot be so nasty, so small minded, so pigheaded!"
Omar Khayyam is right. God means love, God means forgiveness; there is no question of fear. But people are afraid of God also for the simple reason that their God is again a projection of ambition.
The day Jesus was going to be crucified, he gave a farewell party for his disciples -- The Last Supper. He was going to die the next day, and do you know what the disciples were asking? They were asking, "Lord, tell us one thing, because now this is the last time we will be able to ask you. You will be raised to divine glory, you will sit by the side of God on the golden throne, on the right hand of course. What will our positions be?"
These twelve apostles, these twelve who had been so long with Jesus, remained utterly deaf, blind; they did not understood a single word. They may have heard him, but they had not listened. They were asking, "What will our positions be? Who will be next to you?" Jealousy, politics, ambition, ego! Now they were worried about who was going to be next to him -- who would be chosen as the most beloved disciple of Jesus.
It is the same politics! It does not matter that it will be in paradise; the mind is the same.
Then there will be the fear -- who is Jesus going to choose? All twelve cannot sit next to him; one person will be next to him. Who is this person?
Jesus must have wept -- the question was so stupid! And these are the apostles who created Christianity. These are the people who are the pillars of Christianity.
And this is so in every religion, everywhere; small people gather around the enlightened masters. The enlightened master talks about his peak, the sunlit peak, and the disciples listen from their dark holes, and everything becomes distorted.
Mimi, you ask me, "I am afraid. Will you help me?" That is a strategy. I never help anybody -- you have to help yourself. I am available like a river is available, but if you are thirsty you have to help yourself. You have to come down to the river, you have to make a cup out of your hands, you have to take the water up to your mouth, you have to drink it.
The river is available -- I am available.
You can drink out of me as much as you want -- there will be no condition from my side - - but I cannot help you. In that very desire you are creating your old gestalt, your old pattern: "Will you help me?" And then immediately you will start complaining that help has not arrived, or it is not according to your needs, your expectations, or it is not enough, as much as is needed. You will start complaining, you will become grumpy. That's how you must have destroyed all your love experiences before. Please don't destroy it again.
Here, be loving. I am available. Drink as much as you can, take as much as you can.
Remove all the hindrances -- and that is all your responsibility. I am doing my work; about my own work I am absolutely open and available, but that's all I can do. I am like a light: I can show you the path, but you have to walk.
My feeling is, Mimi, that you have not yet taken any mature step in your life; you have remained immature, UNgrown up, you are still behaving like a child. You would like a father figure -- I am not. Then you can go to the Polack pope! The word "pope" means father; in Italian it sounds even better, PAPA. It is exactly the same as "papa" in English; it means father. These are all childish desires: calling God, "the Father"; then calling his representative in the Vatican, "Father"; then calling his representative in your local church, "Father." These are just substitutes. You want some father figure to take care of you; you don't want to take responsibility.
This is my first requirement: the people who are around me have to be absolutely responsible for themselves. Nobody else is responsible. There is no church here, no father figure here, no creed, no dogma. Everybody is here out of his own personal love, out of his own individual understanding.
To be totally responsible is the beginning of freedom, and freedom is the highest phenomenon. Out of the peaks of freedom flows the Ganges of love. Attain to freedom, and love will surround you naturally, spontaneously. And then love has never hurt anybody -- how can it hurt you?
Something else is masquerading -- uncover it. At least be naked in front of yourself, and then by and by be naked, totally naked, to your friends, to your lovers. And you will be surprised: to be true is such a joy, to be authentic is such a blessing; there is nothing compared to it.
Love can make a great celebration out of your life -- but only love, not lust, not ego, not possessiveness, not jealousy, not dependence.
The second question:
I AM CONVINCED THAT THE RICH EXPLOIT THE MASSES. NOW YOU ARE TELLING ME THAT CAPITALISM IS THE BEST SYSTEM FOR FREEDOM. I HAVE NEVER SUPPORTED RUSSIAN TOTALITARIANISM, BUT I THOUGHT THAT MAO ZEDONG IMPROVED LIFE FOR THE MAJORITY IN CHINA.
YOUR STATEMENT ABOUT ANTI-CAPITALISTS BEING JEALOUS RINGS TRUE, BUT DON'T SOME RICH CAPITALISTS USE THEIR POWER TO EXPLOIT OTHERS THROUGH SUCH MEANS AS MONOPOLIES, SELLING AT A LOSS FOR SHORT PERIODS OF TIME IN ORDER TO RUIN SMALLER BUSINESSMEN, ACQUIRING MORE LAND THAN THEY NEED, AND THUS DENYING POOR PEOPLE THE ABILITY TO OWN AND USE LAND, ET CETERA?
ALTHOUGH THE SOVIET-BLOC COUNTRIES RESTRICT FREEDOM, ARE NOT THE SOCIALIST AND COMMUNIST PARTIES IN THE WEST DEDICATED TO MORE PERSONAL FREEDOM -- THAT IS, FREEDOM FROM THE POWERFUL, MANIPULATIVE, RICH CAPITALIST?
Dhyan John, it is true that the rich exploit the masses, but the powerful in Russia exploit the masses in the same way, and the powerful in China also exploit the masses. Only the name has changed. Now the capitalist is not called a capitalist in Russia or China; now the Communist Party functions instead. The people who belong to the Communist Party, the power elite, they exploit.
So the question is not who exploits, the question is: unless we produce so much that the need for exploitation disappears, exploitation will continue. Names will change; structures will be different.
Before capitalism arrived on the scene there was feudalism, and then the kings and the queens and their prime ministers were exploiting. Capitalism started a different pattern of exploitation. Feudalism disappeared, but the exploitation continued. Communism has changed the structure again, but the exploitation continues.
It is time to understand that two things are needed, and the most important is that the earth should be provided with more richness than it needs. Only then will exploitation disappear; otherwise not. The educated will exploit the uneducated; how can you prevent it? In India the exploitation is there. The educated will exploit the uneducated; the brahmin will exploit the sudra, the untouchable; the politician will destroy and exploit the non-political masses.
If water is available nobody accumulates water, but if water is scarce then people will start accumulating. And of course those who are powerful -- and there will be some who will always be more powerful than others -- they will accumulate water for the times when water will become so scarce that people will be dying without water.
Right now, in poor countries the air is not polluted -- nobody bothers about it. But sooner or later in cities like New York, Los Angeles, the rich people will start finding ways to have more oxygen for themselves. The poor will suffer from the pollution, not the rich.
And by "rich" I don't mean only the rich who have more wealth, I mean the rich in any way -- the educated who have more education, the politician who has more power. In any way, whosoever is powerful will have the first right.
In the feudal days the king would have the first right about everything. If a beautiful girl was born she would first go to the king's palace; if he rejected her, then somebody else could have her. The first fruits would go to the king, the first flowers would go to the king.
Everything is bound to go to the hands of the powerful. For example, if the earth becomes too polluted then the rich and the powerful will be the first who will start moving to the moon or to Mars. Of course everybody cannot go there; it will be too costly to live there.
Only the few will be able to afford it, and they will dominate the earth from there.
The question is two-sided. One is the extrovert side, that the earth has to be provided with more facilities than are available. And it can be done by science today; there is no problem about it. Science can produce as much wealth as we need or even more, so that is not a big problem. It is not really a political problem; it is changing more towards being a scientific problem: more technology, more industry, more science, and in tune with ecology. Then the earth need not in any way suffer through exploitation.
This is the outside of the problem, and the inside of the problem is to change the greed to have more than others, because even if the earth has enough there will be mad people -- the braggarts, the egoists -- who would like to say that they have more than you have.
Krishna is said to have had sixteen thousand wives. That was the time when a person's wealth and power was measured by wives, how many wives he had. The more wives you could afford, the richer you were. And obviously, how could a poor man afford sixteen thousand wives? Even to afford one is very difficult!
And I don't think that this is just a story; it must have been true -- because even in the beginning of this century, the twentieth century, the Nizam of Hyderabad had five hundred wives. So if in the twentieth century a person can have five hundred wives, what is wrong in having thirty-two times more? And that was five thousand years ago, so it doesn't seem to be improbable or impossible. It was traditional in the Nizam's family to have at least five hundred wives so that you could say that you were not an ordinary man.
So from the inside, the greed has to disappear. On the outside, more science is needed.
On the inside, more meditativeness is needed -- or you can call it science AND religion, it is the same. Science will help to produce more, and religion will help to make you less greedy. This is the solution that is going to help, not communism, not socialism.
And to me, capitalism is the only state where we can experiment with all these things; in a communist society it is impossible. There are nearabout fifty sannyasins in Russia, but they cannot wear orange, they cannot wear the mala -- they cannot show that they are sannyasins. They meditate but they have to meditate underground in some friend's basement; they cannot make it public. They cannot publish a book of mine -- and they want to publish books there. They have translated at least five books into Russian -- handwritten, typed, cyclostyled. They are mixing with thousands of people, but underground. If even a single copy is seized they will be in trouble.
Now, in such a society, how can you think of tackling the problems to change them?
There is no freedom to think at all. And the same is true about Mao Zedong's China. Just as Russians insulted Joseph Stalin after his death...when he was alive they could not say anything because he was too powerful. To say anything against him only meant one thing: death. You would disappear the next day and you would never be heard of again.
Now the same is happening to Mao Zedong. Now his portraits are being removed, his statues are being removed, his name is being brought down. Soon you will see that Mao Zedong has become an ugly name in China, just as Stalin has become an ugly name in Russia. In China Mao Zedong's name is going to become just the same. Why? Why this revenge? If Mao Zedong has done such great work and helped the masses, why should the masses behave with such enmity? It was not really a help, it was just an imposition.
Forcing people violently to do something is not going to help. Any society that creates slavery is not going to help humanity.
And you say to me: "Your statement about anti-capitalists being jealous rings true, but don't some rich capitalists use their power to exploit others through such means as monopolies...?" Yes, they do, but somebody else will be doing the same -- the communists will do it.
And you ask, "Are not the socialist and communist parties in the West dedicated to more personal freedom...?" Until they achieve power, everybody is dedicated to more freedom.
The Russian Communist Party was also dedicated to absolute freedom, and what came to exist was absolute slavery. The Russian Communist Party was dedicated to absolute freedom, but the moment you get the power you are the same type of people. Your communists and your socialists are not meditators, they are not buddhas.
Only a buddha will not change; whether he gets the power or not he will remain the same.
But your so-called socialists and communists, once they get the power will behave in the same way; it is absolutely predictable. When you don't have power then it is different.
It happened in India....
The followers of Mahatma Gandhi were great servants of the people. They lived in poverty, praised poverty, and even started calling the poor, DHARIDRA NARAYAN -- the real people of God, God's people. And when they came to power, all that changed.
Immediately all that changed; all their service disappeared. They became masters and rulers, and they started exploiting more than anybody else. Even the Britishers have not exploited this country so much as the Gandhians have done. This country has never been in such a dark space as it is today. The whole responsibility goes to Gandhian followers, and they were all good people when they were not in power.
Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
The people who are communists and socialists -- who are they? They are by-products of the same society, with the same ambitions, with the same desires.
Once Diogenes saw a man being led to the gallows by the magistrates and officers of justice. The criminal had stolen a silver cup from the public treasury. A bystander asked him what was going on.
"Nothing unusual," the philosopher replied. "It is merely the big thieves bringing the little thief to justice."
Whosoever is in power becomes the big thief and starts torturing the small thieves.
We have to change the outer world by more science, and the inner world by more religion. Then only can there be a real revolution, not otherwise.
Enough for today.
Come, Come, Yet Again Come