It all depends on you what love is going to mean. Love is a ladder with many rungs. At the lowest it is physiology, biology, chemistry. It is nothing but a play of hormones. A man is attracted towards a woman, a woman is attracted towards a man. They think they are falling in love, but if hormones could laugh they must be laughing inside you; you are befooled. What you are calling love is nothing but attraction between male and female hormones. It is pure chemistry; at the lowest point it is not more than that. It is animal, it is lust.
And millions of people know love only at its lowest. Because of these people there has arisen a great tradition of renouncing love. The people who think that lust is love have created great religions in which love has to be renounced. Both are wrong, because both have accepted the lowest rung as if it is all. It is not so.
If you go a little higher, a man’s love for music is not chemistry, it is not hormonal, it is not physiology; it is psychological. A man’s love for flowers cannot be reduced to sexuality nor can a man’s love for painting. There have been painters who have sacrificed their whole lives just to paint.
Vincent van Gogh, one of the greatest painters, sacrificed himself totally just to paint: painting was far more important than life itself. Because of the painting he could not work; he was continuously painting so there was no time to work. His brother used to give him just enough money to live on, because nobody was interested in his being a painter. And he was a strange painter too, a very great genius. Whenever there is a genius it takes hundreds of years for him to be recognized. Van Gogh was not a traditional painter. He was bringing to painting something new, a new vision.
So nobody was able to appreciate his paintings, they were not selling. You will be surprised to know that not even a single painting was sold while Van Gogh was alive; now each of his paintings is worth millions of dollars. Only a few paintings have survived, two hundred at the most, and he painted thousands. All are lost, because nobody cared to preserve them.
He used to give his paintings to friends for free, because nobody was interested in his paintings; not only were they not interested, they were not even courageous enough to put his paintings in their sitting rooms because people would laugh at them. His approach towards life and nature was so new. His brother used to give him money weekly; just enough to live on. He would eat for only three days in the week; four days he would save money to paint. Now how long can you live in this way?
By the time he was thirty-seven, only thirty-seven, he committed suicide. And the note that he left is of tremendous significance. He has written “I am not committing suicide against anybody – I have no complaint against anybody or life – life has been a great fulfillment to me. I am committing suicide because all that I wanted to paint I have painted; now there is no point in living. I have done what I had come to do; my work is finished.”