Chapter 23: Love: Not a Relationship but a State of Being
I heard you say the other day that you want no part of any relationship we might imagine we have with you - certainly not our hate, but not even our love. And I can’t say I blame you. Nevertheless, when you stand before us, dancing, I feel like a fountain that leaps into life at the sight of you, and tumbles to your feet as if it knows that is where it belongs. I know my love is riddled with all sorts of undesirable things; but it rushes towards you without even stopping to ask my permission. Osho, please excuse the mess, but I can’t help it.
Maneesha, the word love can have two absolutely different meanings - not only different, but diametrically opposite. One meaning is love as relationship; the other meaning is love as a state of being.
When I said I don’t want any relationship - at least from my side, because I cannot interfere with you, so I cannot say anything from your side; that you have to understand yourself - I was denying love as relationship.
The moment love becomes a relationship, it becomes a bondage, because there are expectations and there are demands and there are frustrations, and an effort from both sides to dominate. It becomes a struggle for power.
Relationship is not the right thing, at least for my people. But love as a state of being is a totally different word. It means you are simply loving; you are not creating a relationship out of it. Your love is just like the fragrance of a flower. It does not create a relationship; it does not ask you to be a certain way, to behave in a certain way, to act in a certain way. It demands nothing. It simply shares. And in sharing also there is no desire for any reward. The sharing itself is the reward.
When love becomes like a fragrance to you, then it has tremendous beauty. And something that is far above the so-called humanity - it has something of the divine.
You are saying, “I cannot help..” Neither can I. When love is a state, you cannot do anything about it. It will radiate, but it will not create any imprisonments for anybody, nor will it allow you to be imprisoned by anybody else.
Your question is significant. I will go into it point by point. You say, “I heard you say..” This is to be remembered: whenever you state anything that I have said, never say, “You said it.” Say it exactly the way Maneesha is doing. She has learned in many years’ time that it is not necessarily the same, what I say and what you hear.
You hear according to your own prejudices, according to your own mind. You interpret and then you project that meaning, as if I have said it. The right way is, “I heard you say..” All the Buddhist scriptures start with the same sentence: “I have heard Gautam Buddha say..”
I asked one very respected Buddhist monk - world famous because of his writings about Gautam Buddha - why every scripture begins with, “I have heard Gautam Buddha say..”
He said, “You bring strange questions. I have been translating these scriptures my whole life but I never thought about it. Do you think it has any meaning?”