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Chapter 2: Aloneness Is the Last Achievement

Relationship is a fire; it burns. It is difficult. It is almost impossible to live with someone. It is a constant struggle. Many have escaped, but they are cowards. They are not grown-ups; their effort is childish. Yes, they will live a more convenient life, that’s true. When the other is not there, of course, everything goes easily. You live alone - with whom to get angry? - with whom to get jealous? - with whom to fight? But your life will lose all taste. You will become tasteless; you will not have any salt.

Many escape from life just because life is too much, and they don’t find themselves capable of coping with it. I will not suggest that; I am not an escapist. I will tell you to fight your way through life, because that is the only way to become more aware and alert; to become so balanced that nobody can unbalance you; to become so tranquil that the presence of the other never becomes a distraction. The other can insult you but you are not irritated. The other can create a situation in which, ordinarily, you would have gone mad, but you don’t. You use the situation as a stepping-stone for a higher consciousness.

Life has to be used as a situation, as an opportunity to become more conscious, more crystallized, more centered and rooted. If you escape, it will be as if a seed escapes from the soil and hides in a cave where there is no soil, only stones. The seed will be safe. In soil, the seed has to die, disappear. When the seed disappears, the plant sprouts. Then dangers start. For the seed there was no danger: no animal would have eaten it, and no child would have broken it. Now the beautiful green sprout, and the whole world seems to be against it: the winds come and they try to uproot it, clouds come, and thunders come, and the small seed is fighting alone against the whole world. There are children and there are animals and there are gardeners, and millions of problems to be faced. The seed was living comfortably, there was no problem: no wind, no soil, no animals - nothing was a problem. It was closed completely into itself; the seed was protected, secure.

So you can go to a cave in the Himalayas: you will become a seed. You won’t sprout. Those winds are not against you; they give you an opportunity, they give you challenge, they give you an opportunity to get deeply rooted. They tell you to stand your ground and give a good fight. That makes you strong.

You see, one eucalyptus tree is here. Just to protect it, Mukta placed a bamboo by the side when the tree was small. Now it has become so long, but it cannot stand on its own. The bamboos are still there and now it seems impossible. Once you remove the bamboos, the whole tree will fall down. The protection will have proved to be dangerous. Now the tree has become accustomed to protection. It has not grown in strength, it has remained childish.

Challenges are growth opportunities, and there is no greater challenge in life than love. If you love someone, you are in a tremendous turmoil. Love is not all roses as your poets say; they are all fools. They may have dreamed about love but they have never known it. It is not all roses. It is more thorny than you can imagine. Roses are rare, here and there; thorns are millions. But when out of a million thorns a rose arises, it has a beauty of its own. Love is the greatest danger in life. That’s why I insist that if you really want to grow, accept the greatest danger and move into it.

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