It is said that one day, walking through a cemetery, Mulla Nasruddin found a grave, the grave of the philosopher of the town who had died just a few days before. On the grave it was written: “I am sleeping, I am not dead.”
Mulla laughed loudly and said, “You are deceiving yourself and nobody else!”
But a philosopher deceives himself continuously. Instead of knowing he depends on information. Knowledge, when it is attained existentially, is authentic. For example: you can collect much knowledge about love without ever falling in love. Libraries are filled with much knowledge; you can go and collect all that has been said about love but about love is not love, about God is not God. About love means you go round and round, round and round, never penetrating the center. To love is totally different.
You can theorize about what love is, you can conclude about the nature of love, but if you have not fallen in love, what use is this knowledge? What do you gain out of it? What will you find through it? A deception is possible. Knowing about love, you may start believing that you know love, and if this happens then you have closed the door to falling in love. To fall in love is dangerous. To know about love is clever and cunning. To fall in love means to change yourself; to fall in love means to encounter millions of difficulties, because to interact with a living person is to move into the unknown. Nobody knows what is going to happen the next moment. You are thrown out of your enclosure, you are under the open sky, and every moment there will be new problems to be solved, new anxieties to be got over. It has to be so, because problems and anxieties are the steps. If you take those steps, you grow; if you become afraid and escape, you remain juvenile.
Love is an opportunity to grow, but growth is always painful because something has to be destroyed before you can create something. The past has to be destroyed before a new future is born. Every growth is like the pain a mother goes through when she gives birth to a child. Every growth means you are continuously giving birth to yourself; every moment the child is born. And it is a continuous process, never ending; there comes no stop to it. You can rest for a while, but the journey is endless. Continuously you have to give birth to yourself, and every moment there will be pain. But if you can see that out of pain comes a new life, if you accept it, not only accept but welcome it, it is beautiful because it is through it that one grows. There is no other way to grow.
Love will give you pain, love will make you suffer, because through love one grows. There has never been any growth without suffering. That is the meaning of the cross: Jesus suffers, and suffers totally. When he suffers totally he is reborn totally, resurrected. Then he is a man no more, he becomes a god. He loved humanity so deeply that the love towards humanity became the cross.