Chapter 20: Ordinary Love and the Love of a Buddha
The first question:
It seems very difficult to love someone for twenty-four hours a day. Why does it happen so? Should love be a continuous process? And at which stage does love become devotion?
Love is not an act; it is not something that you do. If you do it, it is not love. No doing is involved in love; it is a state of being, not an act. No one can do anything continuously for twenty-four hours. If you are doing love, then of course you cannot do it for twenty-four hours. With any act you will get tired; with any act you get bored. And then, after any act, you have to relax. So if you are doing love, you will have to relax into hate, because you can relax only into the opposite.
That is why our love is always mixed with hatred. You love this moment, and the next moment you hate the same person. The same person becomes the object of both love and hate; that is the conflict of lovers. Because your love is an act, that is why there is this misery.
So the first thing to be understood is that love is not an act; you cannot do it. You can be in love, but you cannot “do” love. Doing is absurd. But other things are also implied. It is not an effort because if it were an effort you would get tired. It is a state of mind.
And do not think in terms of relationship, think in terms of states of mind. If you are in love, this is a state of mind. This state of mind may be focused on one person or it may be unfocused - on the whole. When it is focused on one person, it is known as love. When it becomes unfocused, it becomes prayer. Then you are just in love - not with someone, but just in love, as you are breathing.
If breathing were an effort you would get tired of it, and you would have to relax and then you would die. If it were an effort, then at some time you might forget to do it and then you would die. Love is just like breathing: it is a higher plane of breathing. If you do not breathe, your body will die. If you are not in love, your spirit cannot be born.
So take love as a breathing of the soul. When you are in love your soul becomes vital, alive, just like it is breathing. But think in this way. If I say to you, “Only breathe when you are near me and do not breathe anywhere else,” then you will die. And the next time you will be near me you will be just dead and you will not even be able to breathe near me.