Rabiya said, “But what can I do? Love has happened to me. Now, even if Satan stands before me, I can do nothing but love. No hate is left in me, there is no darkness in any corner of my being. Even if I want to hate I cannot; I am utterly helpless. I have to cut this line, this statement. It is no longer relevant to me; it cannot exist, at least in my copy of the Koran.”
When you are in love with yourself you bloom. Love nourishes you, you respect yourself. You feel the grace of existence, you feel grateful that you have been created, you feel uniquely benefited, you feel blessed. And then the overflowing; then the fragrance starts spreading to the winds.
I don’t teach you to love your neighbor, because for two thousand years Christians have been teaching that, and nothing has happened. On the contrary, Christians have killed their neighbors more than anybody else. And the basic thing that has been missed is love for thyself.
Jesus is perfectly right. He takes it for granted that you love yourself. He has not taken note of the priests who are going to follow him, who will interpret what he says; he had no idea of the Vatican and the pope. He has taken it for granted that you love yourself – and that is not so. It would have been so if there had not been any pollution, the pollution that the priest has created, down the ages. Man loves himself no more.
You can watch yourself. Do you have any respect for yourself? How can you respect yourself if you are a sinner? If you are condemned, how can you respect yourself? You feel unworthy.
The whole strategy of the so-called religions consists of making you feel unworthy. Once you are unworthy, shaken, you lose confidence, you lose power in yourself, you become weak. And when you are weak you surrender, you submit to the priest, the priesthood. And all kinds of exploiters are around you.
In fear you start clinging to the churches, to the mosques, to the temples; in fear you start praying. But a prayer that comes out of fear is false. Prayer is true only when it is a fragrance of love.
“Jesus taught his followers to love thy neighbor as thyself.”
But the first thing cannot be taken for granted. The first thing is missing, the seed is missing. So you can go on waiting for the flowers to come, but they will never come. No tree is going to be born.
First the seed, and then what else is needed? You put the seed in the soil, you water it, and it grows – you need not pull it up. One day the spring has come and the tree has blossomed. Just like that it happens. But the seed has to be a love for yourself.
I teach you self-love. And because I teach you self-love, you have to be very alert. Self-love does not mean selfishness. Self-love is possible only if you drop the idea of the self – that is the paradox – if you unself yourself.