You have deceived yourself like this many times. Even now you are behaving in the same way; even now you are hoping what you feel may be true love and not a deception. You have only had dreams of love, you have not experienced real love itself. You have made love in sleep, not in awareness. Only one who is wide awake is willing to face extinction.
The ego is the only impediment. And to drop the ego is a worse death than death itself. In death one only leaves the body. One soon takes another body – and there is not much time involved in this transfer – while you, your mind, remains intact, untouched. “You” are not scratched at all. Your mind, your ego, remains whole. Only the clay vessel is broken. And that is not a very costly affair; you simply get a new jar to replace the old one. It will be fresh and strong and will last a long time. You simply leave your dilapidated old house and occupy a new one instead. “You” lose nothing. When you die, your mind, your ego, your desires all go with you, but “you” remain whole. Death does not take anything away from “you” at all.
But dying to love will take your mind away; dying to love will take your ego away. The feeling of “I am” will vanish and a kind of emptiness will spread throughout you. A deep, complete stillness will engulf you, and you will not be able to find yourself even if you try. Of course, the Beloved will be seen, but you will be lost. You will experience the meeting with the Beloved, but you will cease to be. The Beloved will be there, but you will not. That is why Kabir has said:
When I was, the lord was not.
Now he is; I am not.
Even in the life of an ordinary sort of man the ability to make love is only there when he is able to lose himself. Even in your daily lives you are unable to make love, unable to show love – so what can be said about divine love? Divine love is very far away. As Kabir says, The abode of love is very far away. You cannot even make the kind of love that is so close to you, the day-to-day love between individuals, between husband and wife, between friends. This ordinary, day-to-day kind of love is very close to you – this house of love is in your neighborhood – and yet you are unable to enter it. Your ego is your handicap.
You ask, “How can I surrender? How can I yield?” But I ask, “How can you fill your jar without bending?” You may be thirsty, and you may be standing on the bank of a river or you may be standing in the middle, but even though the water is flowing, the river will not jump up to reach your lips. It is you who are thirsty, not the river. But you stand there – erect, in your ego. How will you quench your thirst if you do not stoop and fill your cupped hands with water? You will have to bend. You will have to stoop down to the level of the river, to the surface of the water.