Chapter 9: Here Now
The first is very momentary, very superficial; the second is very deep, but needs great sensitivity. It is not available to everybody. The first is available to everybody: it is available even to animals, birds, trees, so there is nothing special in it as far as man is concerned. A man who has known love only as sex has remained below human dignity.
Humanity begins with the second. Only a few poets, a few musicians, dancers, a few sculptors have sensed it. In the whole of history, very few people around the world have lived it because it needs tremendous courage to dissolve yourself with somebody else - a moment when the other is no longer the other, a moment when you can feel a tremendous at-one-ment.
It happened in Ramakrishna’s life: he was a man of immense sensitivity. They were crossing the river Ganges in a boat, and just in the middle of the river he started shouting, “Don’t beat me! Don’t beat me!” The people who were around him were all his disciples, and nobody was beating him.
Tears were flowing from his eyes and they asked, “What are you saying? Nobody is beating you.”
But he was in a convulsion, as if somebody was hitting him hard. The disciples could not understand it. He fell down almost unconscious in the boat. They reached the other shore, and there they saw a man who had been beaten to unconsciousness. A crowd had gathered. The most significant thing was that as the man’s clothes were torn - his back had blood marks - they uncovered Ramakrishna’s back and found the same marks, and in the same way blood was flowing.
That is the height of the second quality of love, where you can feel such oneness that if the other is dying, you will feel like dying. Everybody hankers for the second quality, but it needs a certain training in sensitivity. For example, a person who is violent in his life - full of anger, jealousy, possessiveness - will not be able to experience the second quality. And he will remain frustrated his whole life because he could not get what he wanted. But nobody else is responsible for it; he never prepared to receive something higher, you have to deserve it.
In the first love there is no question of deserving: it is biological. You are already gifted because nature wants to continue reproducing; it has not left it to you. Nature has not left many things to man. For example, breathing has not been left to you. You may forget, you may get involved in some work and forget to breathe - in sleep you are bound to forget, then there is going to be no morning for you. So nature has kept the breathing under its own control.