Even when you understand that things are not the way you had imagined them to be, you dump the whole responsibility on the other person. A woman who was beautiful turns out to be a bitch. A man you had thought to be a hero turns out to be just a henpecked husband. You are not going to laugh at yourselves. You will throw the whole responsibility on the other person: that he deceived you, that he pretended to be something that he was not, that she was not so beautiful as she was pretending – with all the make-up she deceived him. But no make-up is needed. Your illusions, your hallucinations, your lust is enough – the greatest make-up in the world.
So whatever you want, whatever you desire, you project, and when that projection proves wrong, there are two possibilities. One is to dump the whole responsibility on the other person, who is simply innocent of what you were seeing in her.
In fact, when you say to a woman, “You are beautiful…” and this and that, she wonders, because she also looks in the mirror and she does not find anything that you are talking about. But why disturb yourself unnecessarily? Why not enjoy? It fulfills her ego. Even the ugliest woman will not object, say that you are wrong. She will smile and accept all your compliments. And standing before a mirror she may think that perhaps she is wrong. How can that man be wrong? Why should he be wrong?
In each love affair both the persons are innocent, as far as they are concerned. But both are responsible for projecting upon the other something which the other is not.
A Sufi story tells that Mulla Nasruddin had a beautiful house in the hills and once in a while he used to go there. And sometimes he would say it would take three weeks for him to rest or two weeks, or four weeks, but he never managed to keep the date that he had given for his return; he would always come sooner. If he had gone for three weeks, within two weeks he would be back.
His friends started asking, “You plan for three weeks, then you come back in two weeks, sometimes even in one week. What is the matter?”
He said, “You don’t know. I have an old woman servant.”
They said, “What has that to do with your remaining in the hills and relaxing?”
He said, “First listen to the whole thing. She is so ugly. That’s why I have chosen her – she is my criterion. When she starts looking beautiful to me, then I escape, then I know: ‘Now, Mulla, this is not a safe place, and you have lost your mind.’ So I go for three weeks, but what can I do? In three days she starts looking beautiful. And if I stay one day more I may propose. And she is really ugly. It is difficult to tolerate her, but I have kept her specially for this purpose, so that when I start losing my mind I will know it is the exact time to leave and come back home into the world.”
You project; the projection fails. If you could laugh at yourself…that is the message of this story.