Love Cannot Deliver The Goods
Then what to do? Let your sadness in love become a pilgrimage into prayer. Let this experience of sadness become a great meditation in depth. First you have to dissolve the ego in your own inner being; you cannot dissolve it in anybody else, it will come back. Only for a moment can you create a state of forgetfulness.
So sex functions like alcohol, a natural alcohol. It is provided in the chemistry of the body, but it is an intoxicant, it is a drug. It depends on chemistry. It is as chemical as LSD, marijuana – the difference is only that it is bio-chemical, it is already provided by nature in the body. But it is a chemical phenomenon. Through chemistry you attain a glimpse. That’s what happens when you take LSD – through chemistry you attain a glimpse. That’s what happens through all kinds of intoxicants – for a moment you forget yourself. Even that momentary forgetfulness opens a window.
But forgetfulness is not a dissolution. You are not dissolved. You are there, waiting. Once the drug has worn off the ego will grab you again. The ego has to be dissolved, not forgotten. That’s the sadness of love: the ego is only forgotten, and that too for a moment. Then it comes back, and comes back with vengeance. Hence you will find lovers fighting continuously. The ego becomes even more solid, crystallized.
That’s why you find lovers always thinking in terms of the other cheating them. Nobody is cheating. But you desired, you hoped, you fantasized a state of unity, and you were thinking that great ecstasy was going to happen and it didn’t happen – somebody has cheated you. Of course, naturally, the other becomes the object. And the other also thinks in the same way – that you have cheated him or her. Nobody is cheating; love has cheated you both, chemistry has cheated you both. Unconsciousness has cheated you both. Ego has cheated you both. If you understand you will not fight with each other.
This revelation of sadness through love will become a revolution, a radical change in your life. You will start moving towards a new direction where the ego can be dissolved.
That’s all that Sufism is about – how to dissolve the ego.
And love gives great insight, hence I am all for love. But remember well, you have to go beyond it. I am all for it only so that you can go beyond it. It has to become a stepping stone. I am not against it, because people who are against it will remain below it, they will never go beyond it. People who have not known the ecstatic moment of love will not know the sadness of it – how can they know?
A monk living in a Catholic monastery or a Jaina muni living the life of an ascetic – how are they going to know the sadness of love? They have renounced love. In that very renunciation they have renounced sadness also.
Without knowing the sadness of love you cannot take off into the world of prayer or meditation. That experience is a must.
Excerpted From Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol. 1 CH: 4