What is Love? – Osho

 

What is love? 

It depends. There are as many loves as there are people. Love is a hierarchy, from the lowest rung to the highest, from sex to superconsciousness. There are many, many layers, many planes of love. It all depends on you. If you are existing on the lowest rung, you will have a totally different idea of love than the person who is existing on the highest rung.

Adolf Hitler will have one idea of love, Gautam Buddha another; and they will be diametrically opposite, because they are at two extremes.

At the lowest, love is a kind of politics, power politics. Wherever love is contaminated by the idea of domination, it is politics. Whether you call it politics or not is not the question, it is political. And millions of people never know anything about love except this politics – the politics that exists between husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends. It is politics, the whole thing is political: you want to dominate the other, you enjoy domination.

And love is nothing but politics sugar-coated, a bitter pill sugar-coated. You talk about love but the deep desire is to exploit the other. And I am not saying that you are doing it deliberately or consciously – you are not that conscious yet. You cannot do it deliberately; it is an unconscious mechanism.

Hence so much possessiveness and so much jealousy become a part, an intrinsic part, of your love. That’s why love creates more misery than joy. Ninety-nine percent of it is bitter; there is only that one percent of sugar that you have coated on top of it. And sooner or later that sugar disappears.

When you are in the beginning of a love affair, those honeymoon days, you taste something sweet. Soon that sugar wears off, and the realities start appearing in stark nakedness and the whole thing becomes ugly.

Millions of people have decided not to love human beings any more. It is better to love a dog, a cat, a parrot; it is better to love a car – because you can dominate them well, and the other never tires to dominate you. It is simple; it is not as complex as it is going to be with human beings.

At a cocktail party the hostess couldn’t help overhearing the conversation of a suave gentleman.

“Oh, I adore her. I worship her,” declared the gentleman.

“I would too if she were mine,” agreed his friend.

“The way she walks and swishes. Her beautiful big brown eyes, her head so proud and erect…”

“You’re very fortunate,” commented his friend.

“I would too if she were mine,” agreed his friend.

“The way she walks and swishes. Her beautiful big brown eyes, her head so proud and erect…”

“You’re very fortunate,” commented his friend.

“And do you know what really thrills me? The way she nibbles my ear.”

“Sir,” the hostess interjected. “I couldn’t help listening to those affectionate words. In this day of numerous divorces I admire a man who so passionately loves his wife.”

“My wife?” said the gentleman, surprised. “No – my champion race horse!”

People are falling in love with horses, dogs, animals, machines, things. Why? Because to be in love with human beings has become an utter hell, a continuous conflict – nagging, always at each other’s throats.

This is the lowest form of love. Nothing is wrong with it if you can use it as a stepping-stone, if you can use it as a meditation. If you can watch it, if you try to understand it, in that very understanding you will reach another rung, you will start moving upwards.

Only at the highest peak, when love is not a relationship any more, when love becomes a state of your being, the lotus opens totally and great perfume is released – but only at the highest peak. At its lowest, love is just a political relationship. At its highest, love is a religious state of consciousness.

I love you too, Buddha loves, Jesus loves, but their love demands nothing in return. Their love is given for the sheer joy of giving it; it is not a bargain. Hence the radiant beauty of it, hence the transcendental beauty of it. It surpasses all the joys that you have known.

When I talk about love, I am talking about love as a state. It is unaddressed: you don’t love this person or that person, you simply love. You are love. Rather than saying that you love somebody, it will be better to say you are love. So whosoever is capable of partaking, can partake. Whosoever is capable of drinking out of your infinite sources of being, you are available – you are available unconditionally.

That is possible only if love becomes more and more meditative.

‘Medicine’ and ‘meditation’ come from the same root. Love as you know it is a kind of disease: it needs the medicine of meditation. If it passes through meditation, it is purified. And the more purified it is, the more ecstatic.

Nancy was having coffee with Helen.

Nancy asked, “How do you know your husband loves you?”

“He takes out the garbage every morning.”

“That’s not love. That’s good housekeeping.”

“My husband gives me all the spending money I need.”

“That’s not love. That’s generosity.”

“My husband never looks at other women.”

“That’s not love. That’s poor vision.”

“John always opens the door for me.”

“That’s not love. That’s good manners.”

“John kisses me even when I’ve eaten garlic and I have curlers in my hair.”

“Now, that’s love.”

Everybody has their own idea of love. And only when you come to the state where all ideas about love have disappeared, where love is no more an idea but simply your being, then only will you know its freedom. Then love is God. Then love is the ultimate truth.

Let your love move through the process of meditation. Watch it: watch the cunning ways of your mind, watch your power-politics. And nothing else except continuous watching and observing is going to help. When you say something to your woman or your man, look at it: what is the unconscious motive? Why are you saying it? Is there some motive? Then what is it? Be conscious of that motive, bring it to consciousness – because this is one of the secret keys for transforming your life: anything that becomes conscious disappears.

Your motives remain unconscious, that’s why you remain in their grip. Make them conscious, bring them to light, and they will disappear. It is as if you pull up a tree and bring the roots to the sunlight: they will die, they can exist only in the darkness of the soil. Your motives also exist only in the darkness of your unconsciousness. So the only way to transform your love is to bring all the motivations from the unconscious into the conscious. Slowly, slowly, those motives will die.

And when love is unmotivated, then love is the greatest thing that can ever happen to anybody. Then love is something of the ultimate, of the beyond.

That is the meaning when Jesus says, “God is love.” I say to you: Love is God. God can be forgotten, but don’t forget love – because it is the purification of love that will bring you to God. If you forget about God completely, nothing is lost. But don’t forget love, because love is the bridge. Love is the process of alchemical change in your consciousness.

-OSHO

From Unio Mystica, V.2, Chapter Four

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com, or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

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