Chapter 9: The Very Alphabet of Love
The first question:
I love you, and I have been in love before and been hurt. I am afraid. Will you help me?
Love never hurts anybody. It is something else pretending to be love which feels hurt. Unless you see this you will go on moving in the same circle again and again. Love can hide many unloving things in you. Man has been very clever, cunning, in deceiving others and in deceiving himself too. He puts beautiful labels on ugly things, he covers wounds with flowers. This is the first thing you have to go into.
Love ordinarily is not love, it is lust. And lust is bound to feel hurt, because to desire somebody as an object is to offend. It is an insult, it is violent. When you move with lust towards somebody, how long can you pretend it is love? Something which is superficial will look like love, but scratch a little bit and hidden behind it is sheer lust. Lust is animalistic. To look at anybody with lust is to insult, humiliate, is to reduce the other person to a thing, to a commodity. No person ever likes to be used; that’s the most ugly thing you can do to anybody. No person is a commodity, no person is a means towards any end.
This is the difference between lust and love. Lust uses the other person to fulfill some of your desires. The other is only used, and when the use is complete you can throw the other person away. It has no more use to you; its function is fulfilled. This is the greatest immoral act in existence: using the other as a means.
Love is just the opposite of it: respecting the other as an end unto himself or herself. Had you loved anybody, Mimi, as an end unto himself, then there would have been no feeling of hurt; you would have become more enriched through it. Love makes everybody rich.
Secondly, love can only be true if there is no ego hiding behind it; otherwise love becomes only an ego trip. It is a subtle way to dominate. And one has to be very conscious because this desire to dominate is very deep rooted. It never comes naked; it always comes hidden behind beautiful garments, ornaments.
Parents never say that their children are their possessions, they never say that they want to dominate the children, but that’s actually what they do. They say they want to help, they say they want them to be intelligent, to be healthy, to be blissful, but - and that “but” is a great but - it has to be according to their ideas. Even their happiness has to be decided by their ideas; they have to be happy according to their expectations. They have to be intelligent, but at the same time obedient too. This is asking for the impossible.