Sometimes it has happened that a thief has entered somebody’s house and has been caught, and caught because of an old habit. The phone was ringing and he could not resist it. He had to answer: a phone has to be answered! So he took the phone in his hand and he was caught. And when he was asked, “Why did you bother?” he said, “I completely forgot that I was a thief in the house. And when the phone rings, one has to answer.”
A man was doing some research work on this phenomenon. He called twenty public phones and somebody or the other answered. Then he inquired of a man: “Why did you answer? It was not for you.”
He said, “I was just passing.”
"Then why did you answer?”
He said, “But the phone was ringing!”
It has a certain power. When the phone rings you have to answer. It is a certain quality: something like hypnosis. It is not your concern, and it is certain that it is not ringing for you. It is a public phone: you are passing by the way, you are going to your office. It is certainly not ringing for you – so why?
When the reality is far away it is very easy to answer. When the reality comes nearer it becomes more and more difficult. The greatest difficulties of life are concerned with the people who are very real to you and very near to you: your wife, your children, your husband – very close. They are real. There is the trouble.
You may have liked Zorba. Even Kazantzakis liked the man – when he was not with him! But when they lived together it was really difficult, because sometimes he will come drunk and will start dancing and will dance the whole night. And he was a powerful man, very strong. When you live with such a man it will be difficult unless you yourself are such a man.
Don’t create substitutes. That’s a trick of the mind to deceive you. Love the real, don’t love the phony. It is better to love than to write poetry on love because love will transform you, love will give you insight. Love will give you insight into the human heart: into your own and the other’s. Through love there will be many unhappy moments, anguish, but there will be peaks of joy also. And that’s how one grows: through the night of anguish, then through the day of joy. One moves through the duality. It is a dialectical process.
Just reading poetry about love is so convenient, but don’t think that you really love. It is very easy because nothing is at stake.
Leo Tolstoy has written in one of his memoirs that when he was a small child his mother used to go to the theater. They were very rich people: they belonged to the royal family. In Moscow the snow would be falling – a winter’s night – and the mother and her child would be in the theater. And Tolstoy remembers that whenever there was a tragedy his mother would weep and cry and sob, and tears would flow down.