Love is a great value, but not higher than freedom…
Love is very essential. You have to lose yourself to gain yourself. Love is the only possibility of losing yourself totally. When you are lost totally, then you will be able to remember what you have done.
It is like a fish which has always lived in the ocean. It will never become aware of the ocean and the benediction of it. It has to be caught in a net, a fisherman has to come to take it out, throw it on the shore. Only on the shore, in the hot sun, will it remember for the first time. Although it lived for years in the ocean, it was oblivious, completely oblivious, of the ocean. Now the thirst, the heat, makes it mindful of the ocean. A great longing arises to go back to the ocean. It makes every effort to jump back into the ocean.
That is the state of a seeker: thirsty to be back at the original source. And if this fish can enter the ocean again… can’t you imagine the celebration! And the fish has lived in the ocean forever but there was no celebration. Now there is the possibility of celebration. Now it will feel so delighted, so blessed.
Love is a must for spiritual growth. And, moreover, love functions as a mirror. It is very difficult to know yourself unless you have looked at your face in the eyes of someone who loves you. Just as you have to look into the mirror to see your physical face, you have to look in the mirror of love to see your spiritual face. Love is a spiritual mirror. It nourishes you, it integrates you, it makes you ready for the inner journey, it reminds you of your original face.
In moments of deep love there are glimpses of the original face, although those glimpses are coming as reflections. Just as on a full moon night you see the moon reflected in the lake, in the silent lake, so love functions as a lake. The moon reflected in the lake is the beginning of the search for the real moon. If you have never seen the moon reflected in the lake you may never search for the real moon. You will go again and again into the lake to search for the moon because in the beginning you will think, ‘This is where the real moon is, somewhere deep down at the bottom of the lake.’ You will dive again and again and you will come up empty-handed; you will not find the moon there.
Then one day it will dawn on you that maybe this moon is just a reflection. That is a great insight. Then you can look upwards. Then where is the moon if this is a reflection? If it is a reflection you have to look in the opposite direction. The reflection was there, deep in the lake — the real must be somewhere above the lake. For the first time you look upwards and the journey has started.
Love gives you glimpses of meditation, reflections of the moon in the lake — although they are reflections, not true. So love can never satisfy you. In fact, love will make you more and more dissatisfied, discontented. Love will make you more and more aware of what is possible, but it will not deliver the goods. It will frustrate you; and only in deep frustration — the possibility of turning back to your own being. Only lovers know the joy of meditation. Those who have never loved and have never been frustrated in love, those who have never dived into the lake of love in search of the moon and are never frustrated, will never look up to the real moon in the sky; they will never become aware of it.
The person who loves is bound to become religious sooner or later. But the person who does not love — the politician, for example, who cannot love any person, he loves only power — will never become religious. Or the person who is obsessed with money, who loves only money, who knows only one love — love of money, will never become religious. It will be very difficult for him for so many reasons. Money can be possessed; you can have money and you can possess it. It is easy to possess money, it is difficult to possess a beloved — impossible, in fact. You will try to possess, but how can you possess a living person? The living person will resist in every way, will fight to the last. Nobody wants to lose their freedom.
Love is not as valuable as freedom is. Love is a great value, but not higher than freedom. So one would like to be loving, but one would not like to be imprisoned by love. Hence, sooner or later you become frustrated. You try to possess, and the more you try to possess, the more impossible love becomes and the more the other starts going away from you. The less you possess, the closer you feel to the other. If you don’t possess at all, if there is freedom flowing between the lovers, there is great love.
Firstly, the effort to possess a person is bound to fail: in that frustration you will be thrown back on yourself. Secondly, if you have learned not to possess the person, if you have learned that freedom is a higher value than love, a far more superior value than love, then sooner or later you will see: freedom will bring you to yourself, freedom will become your awareness, meditation.
Freedom is another aspect of meditation. Either start with freedom and you will become aware, or start with awareness and you will become free. They go together. Love is a kind of subtle bondage — they go together — but it is an essential experience, very essential for maturity.