Chapter 10: The Eternal in the Herenow
Love is fragile, like a roseflower. Marriage is a plastic flower; it stays. It is artificial, legal, social. Love is unreliable. It is there, and when it is there it is tremendously beautiful. You fly in the high skies - you are turned on; everything looks full of delight, joy. The whole existence becomes a feast, a celebration, a dance. From every nook and corner God starts looking at you, and then suddenly it is gone - as suddenly as it had come one day, suddenly it is gone. The magic disappears, the charm is no more, the poetry fades; only ashes are left, dead, stale.
Afraid of this fragile reality, man has created his permanent reality against it - to be secure, to be certain. You cannot rely on a girlfriend, you cannot rely on a boyfriend; you can rely on a husband or a wife. A wife and a husband are plastic. A girlfriend is a wind; nobody knows whether she will be lingering around you the next moment or will be gone and will have chosen another part of the world or another tree to have an affair with. Nobody knows. Out of nowhere, one moment it is and another moment it is gone. It may not go, it may go, but nothing is certain about it. Afraid of this uncertainty - out of greed, out of fear - man has created marriage. Marriage is an ugly thing. Love is beautiful.
Can’t you see the ugliness of a plastic flower? And why is a plastic flower ugly? In the first place, to be permanent it has to be dead because life implies death. Only dead things never die. If you are alive you are prone to dying. The more alive you are, the more prone to death. The more vibrant with life, the closer is death. In every dance of life you will find death present, deeply present.
That’s why it happens when you are deeply in love with somebody, suddenly you start thinking about death. Have you watched it? Lovers start thinking about death. Money changers never think of death. A poet in a deep moment of communion with nature starts thinking of death. A dancer at the peak, when everything is exploding, becomes afraid: death is there. When you are at a crescendo of any experience, you will always find death present. Why? Because whenever life is there death is there.
People have decided not to live at the maximum, never to go to the optimum. Live at the minimum - at the minimum you can avoid death, because at the minimum you are almost dead. The contrast is not there. When you are very, very alive, death comes very close by; the contrast becomes very clear. People are afraid of death; that’s why they live at the minimum. People are afraid of change; they start loving things which don’t change. A house is more unchanging. A country, a creed, a temple, a god of the theologians, seems to be more permanent. People avoid looking at the momentary - and reality is momentary, it is flux, it is a process. Everything is moving dynamically. It is riverlike.
You tell me, “When I came here I was tense. People looked unfriendly, not open. Now all that has changed.” Nothing has changed, only you have changed. The people are the same - you can ask them. They were tense because you were tense, they were unfriendly because you were not friendly. Nothing has changed. People have not changed; they have not suddenly become friendly. You have changed, you have opened, you have relaxed. You are no longer asking that they should be friendly; rather, you have started to be friendly yourself. And suddenly you see they are friendly.