IMAGE OF THE WEEK
We are grateful to Rupali Bhuva for offering this hand-made painting for this reading.
Fear is not love, dependence is not love, jealousy is not love, possessiveness and domination are not love, responsibility and duty are not love, self-pity is not love, the agony of not being loved is not love, love is not the opposite of hate any more than humility is the opposite of vanity. If you can eliminate all these, not by forcing them but by washing them away as the rain washes the dust of many days from a leaf, then perhaps you will come upon this strange flower which man always hungers after.
If you have not got love, not just in little drops but in abundance, if you are not filled with it, the world will go to disaster. You know intellectually that the unity of mankind is essential and that love is the only way, but who is going to teach you how to love? When you exercise discipline and the will to love, love goes out the window. By practicing some method or system of loving you may become extraordinarily clever or more kindly or get into a state of non-violence, but that has nothing whatsoever to do with love.
In this torn desert world there is no love because pleasure and desire play the greatest roles, yet without love your daily life has no meaning. And you cannot have love if there is no beauty. There is beauty only when your heart and mind know what love is. Without love in that sense of beauty there is no virtue, and you know very well that, do what you will, improve society, feed the poor, you will only be creating more mischief, for without love there is only ugliness and poverty in your own heart and minds. But when there is love and beauty, whatever you do is right, whatever you do is in order. If you know how to love, then you can do what you love, then you can do what you like because it will solve all other problems.
So we reach the point: can the mind come upon love without discipline, without thought, without enforcement, without any book, any teacher or leader- come upon it as one comes upon a lovely sunset? It seems to me that one thing is absolutely necessary and that is passion without motive- passion that is not the result of some commitment or attachment, passion that is not lust. A man who does not know what passion is will never know love because love can come into being only when there is total self abandonment.
A mind that is seeking is not a passionate mind and to come upon love without seeking it is the only way to find it- to come upon it knowingly and not as the result of any effort or experience. Such a love, you will find, is not of time; such a love is both personal and impersonal, is both the one and the many. Like a flower that has perfume you can smell it or pass it by. That flower is for everybody and for the one who takes the trouble to breathe it deeply and look at it with delight. Whether one is very near in the garden or very far away, it is the same to the flower because it is full of that perfume and therefore it is sharing with everybody.
Love is something that is new, fresh, alive. It has no yesterday and no tomorrow. It is beyond the turmoil of thought. It is only the innocent mind which knows what love is, and the innocent mind can live in a world which is not innocent. To find this extraordinary thing which man has sought endlessly through sacrifice, through worship, through relationship [...], through every form of pleasure and pain, is only possible when thought comes to understand itself and comes naturally to an end. Then love has no opposite. Then love has no conflict. If you don’t know what to do, you do nothing. Absolutely nothing. Then inwardly you are completely silent. Do you understand what that means? It means that you are not seeking, not wanting, not pursuing; there is no center at all. Then there is love.
Excerpted from here.
SEED QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How do you relate to the notion that finding love is only possible when thought comes to understand itself and comes naturally to an end? Can you share a personal story of a time you were not seeking, wanting or pursuing, and experienced love? What helps you go beyond the turmoil of thought and root in love?