To have friends in need is sweet
and to share happiness.
He emphasized friendship very much. To translate his word for friendship – maitri – is a little difficult because it has the quality of friendliness more than friendship. Friendship becomes a relationship, fixed; friendliness is more flowing, more fluid. Friendship is a relationship, friendliness is a state of your being. You are simply friendly; to whom, that is not the point. If you are standing by the side of a tree you are friendly to the tree, or if you are sitting on the rock, you are friendly to the rock. To human beings, to animals, to birds, you are simply friendly. It is not something static; it is a flow, changing moment to moment.
He says: To have friends in need is sweet.
Friendliness is one of the most significant qualities for the seeker to develop; it is really sweet. It makes your whole life full of sweet music, full of sweet harmony. In Buddha’s vision it is higher than so-called love. Your so-called love is tethered to your biology; friendliness is freedom from biology. The ordinary so-called love is the same in human beings as it is in animals, as it is in the trees. It is sex-oriented. It is only a sugarcoating around the bitter pill of sex. In fact, if love is taken away from your sex, sex will look very ridiculous. It is because of the sugarcoating that you can swallow the pill.
Watch animals having sexual intercourse and one thing you are bound to observe; it is impossible not to observe it, it is so emphatically there: they don’t seem to be joyous. They seem to be in a hurry and their faces look sad, as if they are being forced by some unknown energy into certain acts in which they are not interested. Hence animals have their sexual seasons when their biology takes a grip on them, forces them to do something which they are not really interested in at all. They have to do it almost like slaves. And once they are finished with their sexual intercourse they move away from each other – not even a thank-you! They don’t look at each other.
Scientists say love has grown in man for the simple reason that man is the only animal in the world who makes sexual intercourse face-to-face. You have to say something, you have to smile, you have to say good-bye, you have to say so long. Otherwise it will look so awkward to finish suddenly and escape! Because you are facing each other you have to be a little polite, a little cultured, a little polished. You have to behave in a certain manner; you can’t be rude.
Animals are not facing each other while making love so they don’t encounter, they don’t look into each other’s eyes. It is a simple biological process and they are almost forced by their biology, by their hormones, to go through it. They go through it, they are dragged through it like slaves. And the same is the situation with you; only the sugarcoating is different.