Chapter 20: Friendliness Is Enough
Is the concept of soul mates more useful than marriage?
One of the most significant things in man’s life has been the love affair. Birth is not in your hands, death is not in your hands; and these are the only three great things in life: birth, love, and death. Only love is in your hands, only love gives you the freedom and dignity of being a human being; otherwise, birth and death happen just like any other animal, or any tree. Love should be kept as pure and unpolluted as possible.
You are asking, “Is the concept of soul mates more useful than marriage?” Concepts don’t matter. What matters is your understanding. You can change the word marriage to the word soul mates, but you are the same. You will make the same hell out of soul mates as you have been making out of marriage - nothing has changed, only the word, the label. Don’t believe in labels too much.
Why has marriage failed? In the first place, we raised it to unnatural standards. We tried to make it something permanent, something sacred, without knowing even the abc of sacredness, without knowing anything about the eternal. Our intentions were good but our understanding was very small, almost negligible. So instead of marriage becoming something of a heaven, it has become a hell. Instead of becoming sacred, it has fallen even below profanity.
And this has been man’s stupidity - a very ancient one: whenever he gets into difficulty, he changes the word. Change the word marriage into soul mates, but don’t change yourself. And you are the problem, not the word; any word will do. A rose is a rose is a rose.you can call it by any name. You are asking to change the concept, you are not asking to change yourself.
Marriage has failed because you could not rise to the standard that you were expecting of marriage, of the concept of marriage. You were brutal, you were barbarous, you were full of jealousies, you were full of lust; you had never known really what love is. In the name of love, you tried everything which is just the opposite of love: possessiveness, domination, power.
Marriage has become a battlefield where two persons are fighting for supremacy. Of course, the man has his own way: rough and more primitive. The woman has her own way: feminine, softer, a little more civilized, more subdued. But the situation is the same. Now psychologists are talking about marriage as an intimate enmity. And that’s what it has proved to be. Two enemies are living together pretending to be in love, expecting the other to give love; and the same is being expected by the other. Nobody is ready to give - nobody has it. How can you give love if you don’t have it?