Chapter 11: Of the Friend
When you say, “I love someone,” do you really understand what you are saying? Do you know exactly what love is? More is the possibility that it is only lust which you are calling love. If you tell somebody, “I am lusting for you.” it will be true, but the woman will report immediately to the police station. But when you say, “I love you,” then the woman walks, but her feet do not touch the earth; and it is the same! Just a beautiful word covering an ugly reality.
And often with our love we only want to leap over envy. And often we attack and make an enemy in order to conceal that we are vulnerable to attack.
It is a very strange coincidence that neither Machiavelli nor Friedrich Nietzsche could ever have imagined that their grandchildren were going to be my sannyasins. Friedrich Nietzsche’s granddaughter is here, Machiavelli’s great-granddaughter is my sannyasin - she has been here. Both will agree with Zarathustra.
Machiavelli’s statement will make it clear to you. He says the best defense is to attack. Don’t wait until somebody else attacks you - then you are already too late. If you feel vulnerable to being attacked, then it is better to attack first. Never be on the defensive side. To be on the defensive side is to be almost half defeated.
The same is the understanding of Friedrich Nietzsche, from another viewpoint: The people who attack are the people who are afraid of being attacked. It is out of fear that they attack, because they are suspicious, they know their weakness, they know their vulnerability, they know they can be attacked. It is out of this fear, out of this weakness that they attack. Such are the strange ways of human psychology.
You ordinarily think, when somebody attacks, that he must be very powerful, that it is out of power that he is attacking. That is not true: it is out of weakness, out of inferiority, that he does not want to give you a chance.. And attacking first certainly makes him stronger, because the attacked thinks, “Perhaps he is stronger, more powerful; otherwise he would not have attacked.”
And often we attack and make an enemy in order to conceal that we are vulnerable to attack.
“At least be my enemy!” - thus speaks the true reverence, that does not venture to ask for friendship.
Have you ever asked anybody, “At least be my enemy?” I don’t think anybody asks anybody to be his enemy. You certainly ask people, “Be my friend.” But from where do enemies come? Nobody wants them, nobody asks for them, still there are more enemies than there are friends.
Perhaps when you ask somebody, “Be my friend,” it is just out of fear, that if you don’t ask him to be your friend he can turn into your enemy. But what kind of friendship will this be? And friends go on turning into enemies every day. In fact to make a friend is the beginning of creating an enemy.