This is empathy. Now Ramakrishna will suffer more than you, because now it is not only his suffering; in a subtle way now the whole world’s suffering has become his own. Now wherever suffering is, Ramakrishna will suffer. But this will give depth to Ramakrishna. Suffering itself is depth. So knowledge gives suffering, knowledge gives depth, it gives richness to life.
Socrates is reported to have said, “Even if a pig is absolutely happy, I would still prefer to be a Socrates and unhappy than to be a pig and happy.”
Why? If a pig is happy, then be a pig! Why be a Socrates and unhappy? The reason is depth. A pig is just without any depth. Socrates has suffering – more than anyone else – but still he chooses to be a Socrates with his suffering. His suffering, too, has a richness. A pig is just poor.
It is like this: someone is in a coma, unconscious – he has no suffering. Would you like to be in a coma, unconscious? Then you will be without suffering. If that is the choice, then you will choose yourself, whatsoever the suffering may be. Then you will say, “I will remain conscious and suffer rather than be in a coma and not suffer, because that not-suffering is just like death.” Suffering is there, but still a richness – the richness of feeling, the richness of mind, the richness of living.
Tennyson has said somewhere, “‘Tis better to have loved and lost than not to have loved at all.” Love has its own suffering. Really, a life without love has less suffering, so if you can avoid love you can avoid much suffering. If you are vulnerable to love, you will suffer more. But love gives depth, richness, so if you have not suffered love you have not really lived. Love is a deeper knowledge.
One knowledge, which we call knowledge, is just acquaintance – knowing someone, something, from the outside. When you love someone, you begin to know him from the inside. Now it is not acquaintance; now you have gone deeper into someone and now you will suffer more, but love will give you a new dimension of life.
So a person who has not loved has not really lived on the human plane. And because love brings so much suffering, we avoid it. Everyone is avoiding love. We have invented many tricks to avoid love because love brings suffering. But then, if you are successful in avoiding love, you have succeeded in avoiding a certain depth that only love can bring to your life.
Grow in knowledge, you will grow in suffering. Grow in love, you will grow more in suffering, because love is a deeper knowledge. Richness will be there, but this is the paradox, and to be understood deeply: whenever you become more rich, you become aware of more poverty. Whenever you feel richness, you will also feel yourself more poor. Really, a poor man, a really poor man, never feels himself to be poor. Only a rich man begins to feel a deeper poverty. If you look at a beggar, he is happy with his small coins, very happy. You cannot even conceive how he is happy. He gathers a few coins in the whole day, but he is so happy.