Excerpt from: Courage: The Joy of Living Dangerously, THE COURAGE OF LOVE – "This Cake is Delicious!"
"Love is very rare. To meet a person at his center is to pass through a revolution, because if you want to meet a person at his center you will have to allow that person to reach to your center also. You will have to become vulnerable, absolutely vulnerable, open.
"It is risky. To allow somebody to reach your center is risky, dangerous, because you never know what that person will do to you. And once all your secrets are known, once your hiddenness has become unhidden, once you are exposed completely, what that other person will do, you never know. The fear is there. That’s why we never open.
"Just acquaintance, and we think love has happened. Peripheries meet, and we think we have met. You are not your periphery. Really, the periphery is the boundary where you end, just the fencing around you. It is not you! The periphery is the place where you end and the world begins.
"Even husbands and wives who might have lived together for many years, may be just acquaintances. They may not have known each other. And the more you live with someone the more you forget completely that the centers have remained unknown.
"So the first thing to be understood is, don’t take acquaintance as love. You may be making love, you may be sexually related, but sex is also peripheral. Unless centers meet, sex is just a meeting of two bodies. And a meeting of two bodies is not your meeting. Sex also remains acquaintance – physical, bodily, but still just an acquaintance. You can allow somebody to enter to your center only when you are not afraid, when you are not fearful.
"There are two types of living: one fear-oriented, one love-oriented. Fear-oriented living can never lead you into deep relationship. You remain afraid, and the other cannot be allowed, cannot be allowed to penetrate you to your very core. To an extent you allow the other and then the wall comes and everything stops.
"The love-oriented person means one who is not afraid of the future, one who is not afraid of the result and the consequence, who lives here and now. Don’t be bothered about the result; that is the fear-oriented mind. Don’t think about what will happen out of it. Just be here, and act totally. Don’t calculate. A fear-oriented man is always calculating, planning, arranging, safeguarding. His whole life is lost in this way.
"I have heard about an old Zen monk: He was on his deathbed. The last day had come, and he declared that on that evening he would be no more. So followers, disciples, friends started coming. He had many lovers, they all started coming; from far and wide people gathered.One of his old disciples, when he heard that the master was going to die, ran to the market. Somebody asked, ‘The Master is dying in his hut, why are you going to the market’The old disciple said, ‘I know that my master loves a particular type of cake, so I am going to purchase the cake’It was difficult to find the cake, but by the evening somehow he managed. He came running with the cake.
"And everybody was worried – it was as if the Master was waiting for someone. He would open his eyes and look, and close his eyes again. When this disciple came, he said, ‘Okay, so you have come. Where is the cake’ The disciple produced the cake – and he was very happy that the Master asked about it. Dying, the Master took the cake in his hand… but his hand was not trembling. He was very old, but his hand was not trembling. So somebody asked, ‘You are so old and just on the verge of dying. The last breath is soon to leave you, but your hand is not trembling’
"The Master said, ‘I never tremble, because there is no fear. My body has become old but I am still young, and I will remain young even when the body is gone’ Then he took a bite, started munching the cake. And then somebody asked, ‘What is your last message, Master? You will be leaving us soon. What do you want us to remember’ The Master smiled and said, ‘Ah, this cake is delicious’ This is a man who lives in the here and now: This cake is delicious. Even death is irrelevant. The next moment is meaningless. This moment, this cake is delicious. If you can be in this moment, this present moment, this presentness, the plenitude, then only can you love.
"Love is a rare flowering. It happens only sometimes." Osho
"Were enough Americans to heed the brilliantly provocative words in this book, we might actually become ’the land of the free and the home of the brave.’ Imagine that!" Tom Robbins