I have heard: a great surgeon – one of the most famous of his country – was retiring at the age of seventy-five. People retired at the age of sixty, but the surgeon was so valuable, and even at the age of seventy-five his expertise was so accurate…he had never failed in any operation. He was a brain surgeon. An exception was made, and he was allowed to work for as long as he wanted. At seventy-five, he himself said, “It is now enough.”
All his students – and there were hundreds of students who learned surgery from him – and all his colleagues gathered and they were celebrating the evening to say good-bye to him. They were dancing and drinking and singing, and suddenly somebody became aware that the surgeon was not there. This was strange. Somebody went out to look for him. The surgeon was sitting in the garden, under a tree, in darkness. They were old friends. He asked, “What is the matter with you? We have all gathered to celebrate and you have left us, you are sitting here in darkness.” He was one of the best attorneys in the country, and was also the attorney for the surgeon.
The surgeon said, “It is because of you that I am sitting here. You may have perhaps forgotten that fifty years ago, when I was only twenty-five and I had married just two years before…it was a love marriage, but within two years the love turned into hate. You were my attorney. I had come to you to ask, ‘If I kill my wife what will be the consequence?’ And you said, ‘Don’t do such a thing. You will spend at least fifty years in jail.’
“And I am sitting here thinking that if I had not listened to your advice, you idiot, today I would have been free. Just because of fifty years in jail, I thought it was better to somehow carry on as everybody else is doing – perhaps out of the same fear. The woman is doing it out of the same fear, the man is doing it out of the same fear. And I am feeling so angry with you that it feels like I should shoot you! You are responsible for spoiling my whole life, and you think you are a great law expert – all bullshit!”
Why does love turn into hate? Why does friendship turn into enmity? What goes wrong? It has nothing to do with individuals; it has something to do with the very fabric of relationship. Relationship depends on expectations. And man is not capable, he is helpless…neither is any woman capable of fulfilling anybody else’s expectations. And when those expectations are not fulfilled, frustration sets in; things start going wrong.
It is just because of the poverty of language that we have to use the word relationship for the strange experience that transpires between master and disciple. But it is not a relationship, not the relationship that you know, it is a category in itself. And you have understood it perfectly well – it is a moment-to-moment experience, with no demands, no expectations.
The master is available, the disciple is receptive, and between this availability and this receptivity some miracle transpires; something happens for which no word exists. And because it is not a relationship it never grows old – it is always fresh, it is always young. Each time you come to the master the experience is not a repetition.