Freedom And Love: The Centre And The Circumferences

Relatedness works but not relationship, and you have to understand the difference between the two. Love, the moment it becomes a relationship, becomes a bondage. And when you are in bondage it is impossible for you to be festive, to be joyous. You can fulfill the duty, but duty is an ugly, four-letter word. Duty means now you are caught and you have to do it. Love is not something that you do, it is something that happens; duty is something that you have to do. It is a drag! You become a martyr. You start carrying your cross on your own shoulders, and you may think that you are becoming a Christ.

Look at all the husbands carrying crosses. Look at the wives. Nobody seems to be happy. They are continuously quarreling, continuously fighting, continuously destroying each other, reducing each other to commodities, to means. The wife is using the husband, the husband is using the wife. It may be for different purposes – the wife uses the husband for economic purposes and the husband uses the wife for sexual purposes – but both are using each other. And how can one be happy when one is being used?

So the moment the husband says, “What about it tonight?” the wife immediately says, “I am suffering from a headache,” or she goes into a tantrum or starts a quarrel. So when the husband wants to make love to the wife he has to bring ice cream and a bouquet and a sari, or something economic; then it is business, then it is simple give and take.

This is not working – you cannot say that the relationship is working. Yes, if love becomes conscious, then there is a tremendous joy – it works.

Love ordinarily is unconscious and animal. If you make it conscious – that means love plus meditation – then there is a totally different quality to it, a different beauty, a different flavor; then it works. But it works because of consciousness, not because of love. And consciousness changes love from relationship into a relatedness; it changes it more into a friendliness. It is no longer a bondage, it gives freedom.

The moment you become meditative you stop reducing the other to a thing. Then you are no longer a husband and the wife is no longer a wife, you are just two friends. There is no legal bond. You live together out of freedom, out of joy. You want to share, that’s why you live together. And if that sharing stops you simply say good-bye to each other with great respect, gratitude, because whatsoever the other has done one has to be grateful for; there is no sourness about it.

Consciousness works both ways: if you live together it is a friendship, and friendship gives you freedom. You can be friendly with many people; there is no possessiveness in it. When love becomes friendliness there is no possessiveness in it, there is no exclusiveness in it, there is no jealousy in it. And when there is no jealousy, no possessiveness, there is freedom.

Freedom works, friendliness works. And the moment love starts giving freedom to the other, then there comes a tremendous fulfillment out of it, because the greatest desire of man is freedom, not love. If one has to choose between love and freedom, then the conscious person will choose freedom and the unconscious one will choose love.

Excerpted From Zen: Zest Zip Zap And Zing CH: 5

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