Osho on Relationships and Living Partners
Question: Would you talk to us about our living partners -- our Wives, husbands and lovers. When should we persevere with a partner, and when Should we abandon a relationship as hopeless -- or even Destructive?
Osho : Relationship is one of the mysteries. And because it exists between two persons, it depends on both. Whenever two persons meet, a new world is created. Just by their meeting, a new phenomenon comes into existence -- which was not before, which never existed before. And through that new phenomenon, both persons are changed and transformed. Unrelated, you are one thing; related, immediately you become something else. A new thing has happened. A woman when she becomes a lover is no longer the same woman.
A man when he becomes a father is no longer the same man. A child is born, but we miss one point completely; the moment the child is born, the mother is also born. This never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother never. And a mother is something absolutely new. Relationship is created by you, but then, in its turn, relationship creates you. Two persons meet, that means two worlds meet. It is not a simple thing but very complex, the most complex.
Each person is a world unto himself or herself, a complex mystery with a long past and an eternal future. In the beginning only peripheries meet. But if the relationship grows intimate, becomes closer, becomes deeper, then by and by centers start meeting. When centers meet, it is called love. When peripheries meet, it is acquaintance. You touch the person from the without, just from the boundary, then it is acquaintance. Many times you start calling your acquaintance your love. Then you are in a fallacy. Acquaintance is not love.
Love is very rare. To meet a person at his center is to pass through a revolution yourself, 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 that 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 may 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 acquaintance. You can allow somebody to enter to your center only when you are not afraid, when you are not fearful. So I say to you that 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 is the religious person. 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 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 Iam going to purchase the cake.
It was difficult to find the cake, because now it had gone out of fashion, 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.
And 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 the cake. 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. Millions and millions of people live in the false attitude that they are lovers. They believe that they love, but that is their belief only. Love is a rare flowering. Sometimes it happens. It is rare because it can happen only when there is no fear, never before. That means love can happen only to a very deeply spiritual, religious person. Sex is possible for all. Acquaintance is possible for all. Not love. When you are not afraid, then there is nothing to hide, then you can be open, then you can withdraw all boundaries. And then you can invite the other to penetrate you to the very core.
And remember, if you allow somebody to penetrate you deeply, the other will allow you to penetrate into himself or herself, because when you allow somebody to penetrate you, trust is created. When you are not afraid, the other becomes fearless. In your love, fear is always there. The husband is afraid of the wife, the wife is afraid of the husband. Lovers are always afraid. Then it is not love. Then it is just an arrangement of two fearful persons depending on each other, fighting, exploiting, manipulating, controlling, dominating, possessing -- but it is not love.
If you can allow love to happen, there is no need for prayer, there is no need for meditation, there is no need for any church, any temple. You can completely forget God if you can love -- because through love, everything will have happened to you: meditation, prayer, God. EVERYTHING will have happened to you. That's what Jesus means when he says: Love is God. But love is difficult. Fear has to be dropped. And this is the strange thing, that you are so afraid and you have nothing to lose.
Kabir has said somewhere: I look into people. They are so much afraid, but I can't see why -- because they have nothing to lose. Says Kabir: They are like a person who is naked, but never goes to take a bath in the river because he is afraid -- where will he dry his clothes? This is the situation you are in -- naked, with no clothes, but always afraid about the clothes. What have you got to lose? Nothing. This body will be taken by death. Before it is taken by death, give it to love. Whatsoever you have will be taken away.
Before it is taken away, why not share it? That is the Only way of possessing it. If you can share and give, you are the master. It is going to be taken away. There is nothing which you can retain forever. Death will destroy everything. So, if you follow me rightly, the struggle is between death and love. If you can give, there will be no death. Before anything can be taken away from you, you will have already given it, you will have made it a gift. There can be no death. For a lover there is no death.
For a non-lover, every moment is a death, because every moment something is being snatched away from him. The body is disappearing, he is losing every moment. And then there will be death, and everything will be annihilated. What is the fear? Why are you so afraid? Even if everything is known about you and you are an open book, why fear? How can it harm you? Just false conceptions, just conditionings given by the society, that you have to hide, that you have to protect yourself, that you have to be constantly in a fighting mood, that everybody is an enemy, that everybody is against you.
Nobody is against you! Even if you feel somebody is against you, he too is not against you -- because everybody is concerned with himself, not with you. There is nothing to fear. This has to be realized before a real relationship can happen. There is nothing to fear. Meditate on it. And then allow the other to enter you, invite the other to enter you. Don't create any barrier anywhere, become a passage always open, no locks, no doors on you, no closed doors on you. Then love is possible.
When two centers meet, there is love. And love is an alchemical phenomenon -- just like hydrogen and oxygen meet and a new thing, water, is created. You can have hydrogen, you can have oxygen, but if you are thirsty, they will be useless. You can have as much oxygen as you want, as much hydrogen as you like, but the thirst will not go. When two centers meet a new thing is created. That new thing is love. And it is just like water, the thirst of many, many lives is satisfied. Suddenly you become content. That is the visible sign of love; you become content, as if you have achieved everything. There is nothing to achieve now; You have reached the goal.
There is no further goal, destiny is fulfilled. The seed has become a flower, has come to its total flowering. Deep contentment is the visible sign of love. Whenever a person is in love, he is in deep contentment. Love cannot be seen, but contentment, the deep satisfaction around him...his every breath, his every movement, his very being -- content. You may be surprised when I say to you that love makes you desireless, but desire is with discontent. You desire because you don't have. You desire because you think if you have something it will give you contentment.
Desire is out of discontent. When there is love and two centers have met and dissolved and merged, and a new alchemical quality is born, contentment is there. It is as if the whole existence has stopped -- no movement. Then the present moment is the only moment. And then you can say: Ah, this cake is delicious. Even death doesn't mean anything to a man who is in love. So I say to you, love will make you desireless. Be fearless, drop fears, be open. Allow some center to meet the center within you. you will be reborn through it, a new quality of being will be created.
This quality of being says: This is god. God is not an argument, it is a fulfillment, a feeling of fulfillment. You may have observed that whenever you are discontent, you want to deny God. Whenever you are dissatisfied, your whole being wants to say: There is no God. Atheism is not out of logic, it is out of discontent. You may rationalize it -- that's another thing. You may not say you are an atheist because you are discontent. You may say: There is no God and I have got proofs. But that is not the true thing.
If you are satisfied, suddenly your whole being says: THERE is god. Suddenly you feel it! The whole existence becomes divine. If love is there you will be really for the first time in the feeling that existence is divine and everything is a blessing. But much has to be done before this can happen. Much has to be destroyed before this can happen. You have to destroy all that creates barriers in you.
Make love a SADHANA, an inner discipline. Don't allow it just to be a frivolous thing. Don't allow it just to be an occupation of the mind. Don't allow it just to be a bodily satisfaction. Make it an inner search, and take the other as a help, as a friend. If you have heard anything about Tantra, you will know that Tantra says: If you can find a consort, a friend, a woman or a man, who is ready to move with you towards the inner center, who is ready to move with you to the highest peak of relationship, then this relationship will become meditative.
Then through this relationship you will achieve the ultimate relationship. Then the other becomes just a door. Let me explain it: if you love a person, by and by first the periphery of the person disappears, the form of the person disappears. You come more and more in contact with the formless, the inner. The form becomes, by and by, vague and disappears. And if you go deeper, then even this formless individual starts disappearing and melting. Then the beyond opens. Then that particular individual was just a door, an opening.
And through your lover, you find the divine. Because we cannot love, we need so many religious rituals. They are substitutes, and very poor substitutes. A Meera needs no temple to go to. The whole existence is her temple. She can dance before a tree and the tree becomes Krishna. She can sing before a bird and the bird becomes Krishna. She creates her Krishna around her everywhere. Her love is such that wherever she looks the door opens and the Krishna is revealed, the beloved is revealed.
But the first glimpse will always come through an individual. It is difficult to be in contact with the universal. It is so big, so vast, so beginningless, endless. From where to start? From where to move into it? The individual is the door. Fall in love. And don't make it a struggle. Make it a deep allowance for the other, just an invitation. And allow the other to penetrate you without any conditions. And suddenly the other disappears and God is there. If your lover or beloved cannot become divine, then nothing in this world can become divine. Then all your religious talk is just nonsense. This can happen with a child. This can happen with an animal, your dog.
If you can be in deep relationship with a dog, it can happen -- the dog becomes divine! So it is not a question of man and woman only. That is one of the deepest sources of the divine and it reaches you naturally, but it can happen from anywhere. The basic key is this: you should allow the other to penetrate you to your very deepest core, to the very ground of your being. But we go on deceiving ourselves. We think we love. And if you think that you love, then there is no possibility for love to happen -- because if this is love, then everything is closed.
Make fresh efforts. Try to find in the other the real being that is hidden. Don't take anybody for granted. Every individual is such a mystery that if you go on and on into him it is endless. But we get bored with the other -- because just the periphery, and always the periphery. I was reading a story: A man was very ill and he tried all types of "pathies," but nothing would help. Then he went to a hypnotist and the hypnotist gave him a mantra, to repeat continuously: I am not ill.
For at least fifteen minutes in the morning and fifteen minutes at night: I am not ill, I am healthy. And the whole day, whenever you remember, repeat it. Within a few days he started getting better. And within weeks he was absolutely okay. Then he told his wife: This has been a miracle! Should I go to this hypnotist for another miracle also? Because lately I am feeling no sexual appetite and the sexual relationship has almost stopped. There is no desire.
The wife was happy. She said: You go -- because she was feeling very frustrated. The man went to the hypnotist. He came back, his wife asked: What mantra, what suggestion now has he given? The man wouldn't tell her. But within weeks his sexual appetite started returning. He started feeling desire again. So the wife was very much puzzled.
She continuously persisted in asking, but the man would laugh and would not say anything. So one day she tried, when he was in the bathroom in the morning doing his meditation, that fifteen-minute mantra, she tried to hear what he was saying. And he was saying: She is not my wife. She is not my wife. She is not my wife.
We take persons for granted. Somebody is your wife -- relationship is finished. Somebody is your husband -- relationship is finished. Now there is no adventure, the other has become a thing, a commodity. The other is not now a mystery to be searched the other is no longer new.
Remember, everything goes dead with age. The periphery is always old, and the center is always new. The periphery cannot remain new, because every moment it is getting old, stale. The center is always fresh and young. Your soul is neither a child, nor a young man, nor an old man. Your soul is simply eternally fresh. It has no age. You can experiment with it: you may be young, you may be old, just close your eyes and find out. Try to feel how your center is -- old? young? You will feel that the center is neither.
It is always new, it never gets old. Why? Because the center doesn't belong to time. In the process of time, everything becomes old. A man is born -- the body has started becoming old already! When we say that a child is one week old, it means one week of oldness has penetrated into the child. The child has already passed seven days towards death, he has completed seven days of dying. He is moving towards death -- sooner or later he will be dead. Whatsoever comes in time becomes old. The moment it enters time, it is already becoming old.
Your body is old, your periphery is old. You cannot be eternally in love with it. But your center is always fresh, it is eternally young. Once you are in contact with it, love is an every-moment discovery. And then the honeymoon never ends. If it ends it was not a honeymoon at all -- it was just an acquaintance. And the last thing to remember is: in the relationship of love you always blame the other if something goes wrong. If something is not happening as it should, the other is responsible. This will destroy the whole possibility of future growth.
Remember: you are always responsible, and change yourself. Drop those qualities which create trouble. Make love a self-transformation. As they say in salesmen's courses: The customer is always right. I would like to say to you: In the world of relationship and love, you are always in the wrong, the other is always right. And this is how lovers always feel. If there is love, they always feel: Something is wrong with me if things are not happening as they should. And both feel the same way! Then things grow, then centers open, then boundaries merge.
But if you think that the other is wrong, you are closing yourself and the other. And the other also thinks that you are wrong. Thoughts are infectious. If you think the other is wrong even if you have not said it, even if you are smiling and showing that you don't think the other is wrong -- the other has got the point -- through your eyes, through your gestures, through your face. Even if you are an actor, a great actor, and you can just arrange your face, your gestures as you like, then too the unconscious is continuously sending signals: You are wrong.
And when you say that the other is wrong, the other starts feeling that you are wrong. Relationship is destroyed on this rock, and then people become closed. If you say somebody is wrong, somebody starts protecting, safeguarding. Then closure happens.
Remember always: in love, you are always wrong. And then the possibility will open and the other will also feel the same. We create the feeling in the other. When lovers are close, immediately thoughts go jumping from one to the other. Even if they are not saying anything, they are silent, they communicate. Language is for non-lovers, those who are not in love. For lovers, silence is enough language. Without saying anything, they go on speaking. If you take love as sadhana, then don't say the other is wrong.
Just try to find out: somewhere, something must be wrong in you, and drop that wrongness. It is going to be difficult because it is going to be against the ego. It is going to be difficult because it will hurt your pride. It is going to be difficult because this will not be dominating, possessing. You will not be more powerful through possessing the other. This will destroy your ego -- that's why it is going to be difficult.
But destruction of the ego is the point, the goal. From wherever you like to approach the inner world -- from love, from meditation, from yoga, from prayer -- whatsoever the path you choose, the goal is the same: the destruction of the ego, throwing the ego away. Through love it can be done very easily. And it is so natural! Love is the natural religion.