Question — Everyone wants to Love and to be Loved. Why? “First sight of love, last sight of wisdom”, is it true?
Answer – Love is prayer groping towards God. Love is poetry born out of the sheer joy of being. Love is song, dance, celebration: a song of gratitude, a dance of thankfulness, celebration for no reason at all… for this tremendous gift that goes on showering on us, for this whole universe, from the dust to the divine. Love is not what you understand it to be, hence the question.
You ask, “Everyone wants to love and to be loved. Why?” Because love is religion at its highest; love is the supreme most religion. Love is the search for God — of course, an unconscious search in the beginning, stumbling, groping in the dark. The direction may not be right, but the intention is absolutely right.
Love is not the ordinary thing that you understand by it; it is not just a biological attraction between a man and a woman. It is that too, but that is only the beginning, just the first step. Even there, if you look deep down, it is not really an attraction between man and woman, it is an attraction between masculine energy and feminine energy. It is not an attraction between A and B; far deeper mysteries are involved even in ordinary love affairs.
Hence nobody can define love. Thousands of definitions have been tried — all have failed. Love remains indefinable, very elusive, very mercurial. The more you want to grasp of it, the more difficult it becomes, the farther away it goes. You cannot catch hold of it, you cannot manage to know what exactly it is, you cannot control it. Love remains unknowable. Man wants to know, because knowledge gives power. You would like to be powerful over love, but that is impossible; love is far bigger than you. You cannot possess it, you can only be possessed by it. Hence those people who want to possess love never come to know anything of it.
Only those who are courageous enough, only those who are gamblers, who can risk their very life and be possessed by some unknown energy, are able to know what love is. Love is the first step towards God — hence it appears mad to those who are hung up in their heads. And people don’t understand the whole mystery of love, because they try to understand it through the mind…. It can be understood only through the heart. Remember: all that is great is available to the heart. The heart is the door to all great values of life, to all ultimate values, and the head is only a useful mechanism, a gadget — good in the marketplace but utterly useless in a temple. And love is a temple, it is not a marketplace. If you drive love into the marketplace it is reduced into ugly sexuality.
That’s what people have done: rather than raising love to God, they have reduced love into ugly, animalistic sexuality. And the strange thing is, the same people — the priests, the politicians, the puritans — the same people who have reduced love into an ugly phenomenon, are against sex, are enemies of sex. And they are the people who have destroyed a tremendously potential power!
Love is a lotus hidden in the mud. The lotus is born out of mud, but you don’t condemn the lotus because it is born out of mud; you don’t call the lotus muddy, you don’t call the lotus dirty. Love is born out of sex, and then prayer is born out of love, and then God is born out of prayer. Higher and higher and higher one goes on soaring.
But the priests and the puritans have reduced the whole phenomenon into sexuality. And once love becomes sex it becomes ugly, one starts feeling guilty about it. And it is because of that guilt that this saying, this proverb: First sight of love, last sight of wisdom…. If you ask me, I will change it a little bit. I will say: First sight of love, first sight of wisdom.
But it depends on how you look at it. If you look at the potential of it, at the highest possibility that it can reach, then love becomes a ladder. If you look only at the mud and you are utterly blind to the future of the mud, then certainly love becomes something ugly and great antagonism arises in you. But to be antagonistic to love is to be antagonistic to God.
On returning from his honeymoon, Michael phoned his father at the office.
“Good to hear from you, son. Tell me, how is married life?”
“Dad, I am really upset. I think I married a nun.”
“A nun?” asked the startled father. “What do you mean?”
“Ah, you know, Dad, none in the morning and none at night.”
“Oh, that!” groaned the older man. “Come for dinner on Saturday and I will introduce you to the mother superior.”
Once love is reduced to sexuality only, of course then the first sight of love is the last sight of wisdom. But it depends on you: why reduce it to sexuality? Why not change the baser metal into gold? Why not learn the alchemy of love? That’s what I am teaching here. And the priests, who don’t know anything about love — because they have never loved, they have renounced the world of love — they go on making great systems of thought against it.
The priest stood before a hushed crowd of attentive villagers and spoke to them, “You must not use-a the pill.”
A lovely senorina stepped forward and said, “Look, you no play-a the game, you no make-a the rules!”
These are the people who don’t play the game but they make the rules. For centuries the priests have been making rules. It is the priesthood all over the world that has condemned a great potential source, in fact the only source, of energy. Once it is condemned, you are condemned; your whole life will become meaningless. Once sex energy is not allowed to grow to its natural heights you are going to live a miserable life.
Love is the greatest gift of God. Learn the art of it. Learn the song of it, the celebration of it. It is an absolute need: just as the body cannot survive without food, the soul cannot survive without love. Love is the nourishment of the soul, it is the beginning of all that is great, it is the door of the divine.
Quote Source – “The Dhammapada,