Chapter 4: A Pure Flame of Love
The first question:
What does devotion mean?
Devotion means that you are beginning to experience the divine in matter, that you are beginning to perceive the unmanifest in the manifest, that the formless has begun to be glimpsed shimmering in form.
Devotion means that whatever is visible to you, a shadow of the invisible has also begun to appear within it. If you stop at what is visible, devotion will never be born in you. You must listen for the sound of the invisible approaching, you must hear the footsteps of that which cannot be heard. Your senses have to become ecstatic, they have to be thrilled with the joy of that which is beyond all your senses. You begin to perceive the invisible through some hitherto unfamiliar medium - and the name of this medium is devotion. That which cannot be seen directly, which cannot be perceived by the eyes - that too can be seen, the invisible can become visible. The miracle of making the invisible visible is called devotion. Devotion is a kind of alchemy, a kind of science.
Perhaps you have never even thought about what happens when you fall in love. When you fall in love, do you see only the bones, the flesh and the marrow of your lover? If that is all you see, then one day you might just as well fall in love with a corpse. No, you have had a glimpse of something else too. Your eyes have begun to enter deep within that person; the inner image of that person has begun to surface. This is what it means whenever you fall in love - whether you understand it or not. The divine has called you from some window.
So the first glimpse of the divine always comes through your lover. And one who has never loved can never know devotion, because devotion is love in full flood. Love is like a light shower of rain, devotion is a flood - but the basic natures of both love and devotion are the same. Love has limits, devotion has no limits. Love ends: it is here today, maybe not tomorrow; it comes for a moment and is then lost. It is ephemeral. The world is like the last morning star. Once devotion comes, it stays. Then there is no way to get out of it. Once you have entered it, you have entered it forever. It is not possible to turn back. In love it is possible to turn back, because love is always a little hazy, a little superficial. Devotion goes very deep.
So you must understand devotion through love. Love is the first lesson in devotion. You are a husband: you love your wife. You are a father: you love your son. You are a wife: you love your husband. You love your friends.. Wheresoever there is love, use it to search further.