Then said Almitra, Speak to us of Love.
And he raised his head and looked upon the people, and there fell a stillness upon them. And with a great voice he said:
When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.
For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.
Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to the sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.
All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart.
But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.
The people who have realized the meaning of life have only spoken to those who can understand love, because love is the meaning of life. Very few people have realized that love is your very flame. It is not food that keeps you alive, it is love – which keeps you not only alive, but gives you a life of beauty, truth, silence, and millions of other priceless things.
The world can be divided in two parts: the world where everything has a price and the world where price is meaningless. Where prices are no longer relevant, values arise. Prices are for things, for dead things.
Life does not recognize that which is dead. But man goes on missing such a simple truth. He even tries to purchase love; otherwise there would not have been prostitutes. And it is not only a question of prostitutes. What are your marriages? – a permanent institution of prostitution.
Remember, unless you enter into the world of values where no money, no power, no respectability is of any help, you cannot enter into authentic life. And the flavor of that life is love.
Because man is so much accustomed to purchasing everything, he forgets that the very effort to purchase something that cannot be purchased is a murder. A husband demands love from his wife because he has purchased her, and the same is true about the wife. But they are unaware that they are assassinating each other. They do not know the moment price enters into love, love dies.
Love is very delicate, very sacred. In all of our relationships we are trying to reduce the other person to a thing. A “wife” is a thing. If you have any intelligence, let her remain just a woman. A “husband” is no longer alive. Allow him to remain in freedom because only in freedom can love flower.
But man, in his utter stupidity, has destroyed everything that is valuable. You even try to purchase God. How deep is your blindness? People who can afford it – remember the word afford – have temples in their houses. Statues can be purchased, but whatever you do with those statues is sheer nonsense; a purchased statue can never become a living god. And not only do they purchase the statue, they also purchase a priest to do the worship.
I have seen priests running from one house to another house because they have to worship in at least ten or twelve temples; only then can they feed themselves. And the people who are purchasing even prayer, worship, think they are doing great virtuous acts. These are the sinners!
Your life will not have any flowers if it does not have something which is priceless. Do you have something in your life which is priceless?