Love is non-possessive because love’s very essence is freedom. If you love a person you would like the person to be absolutely free. And if you love somebody you can love only if you have loved yourself before it. That is a precondition. You cannot love others if you are not in deep love with yourself. The first, the foremost love is love for oneself. When this flame starts burning in you – love for oneself…
It has not been told to you for centuries, in fact just the opposite has been taught: “Don’t love yourself, it is selfish,” they say. “Love others!” Even Christians who think they are following Christ have misinterpreted his tremendously significant statement. He says: “Love your enemies like yourself.” They have taken only half of it; they say, “Love your enemies,” but they have forgotten the basic condition. Jesus says, “Love your enemies like yourself,” but if you don’t love yourself, in what way are you going to love your enemies? What will be the criterion? First you have to love yourself, then you can even love your enemies – what to say about friends? What to say about lovers?
The first love has to happen within yourself; it is something inner. It happens only when you become silent, aware, meditative, when you get out of the mind. Mind is possessive, mind is dictatorial, mind is a despot. It wants to dominate, because the center of the mind is the ego and the ego can ride on anything – any horse will do. Money will do, power will do, knowledge will do, asceticism will do, virtue will do, love will do – even love! Even the love will be converted into a horse and the ego can ride on it.
Love is non-possessive only when it is not of the mind, but Kahlil Gibran knows nothing of the no-mind. Meditation means the state of no-mind. Love should arise in a state of no-mind. You have to prepare the state of no-mind for love to happen. It does not come from the outside, it does not come from somewhere else. When you are silent it springs within you, it blooms within yourself.
Meditation functions like spring, and the flowers that have been waiting for the spring suddenly open up. Your inner being becomes so full of perfume, it is so fragrant, you are so overflowing with fragrance, you have to share it. It is so much that you cannot be miserly about it.
An ancient Tibetan story:
A master denied his whole life to accept any disciple. The more he denied, the more he became famous. More and more people were coming and asking to be initiated, but he will refuse. His conditions were such that nobody was able to fulfill them.
He had only a young man to look after him; he was also not a disciple, because he never initiated anybody. The master was getting old so he had allowed this young man…the young man wanted to serve the master. He said, “If you are not going to initiate me, okay, don’t initiate me, but let me be here to serve you, to look after your physical needs. You are getting old.” And he allowed the young man.
The day he was dying he called the young man and told him, “Run to the village and tell to people, whosoever wants to be initiated can come immediately.”