February 24, 2014

Mistaking Attachment for Love


There is something called "love," and there is something called "attachment." What people call "love" is just a way of binding themselves to somebody, getting identified with somebody, but this is not love -- this is attachment. We always mistake attachment for love, but attachment has nothing to do with love. In fact, hate has something to do with love. Look at whom you hate. Do you hate the person who is just walking by on the street? No... you loved someone and one day the coin fell the other way and suddenly became hate. So, if the coin falls one way, it is love; if it turns around and falls the other way, it becomes hate.

Love and hate have something to do with each other, but love and attachment have nothing to do with each other. If we use an analogy, love is like a flower. Once a flower enters your life, it is a lot of trouble because it needs to be cared for, it needs to be nurtured, and it needs constant attention. If you hold a flower, you must be very conscious about how you move your hands. If you have flowers in your house, you have to look after them 10 times a day. They are a lot of trouble, but they are life. Attachment is like a plastic flower. Suppose you have plastic flowers in your home, if you do not look after them for months, there is no problem. They are guaranteed for years. You can even make plastic flowers more beautiful than real flowers, you can spray them with fragrances, you can use them in many different ways, and above all, there is a guarantee they will last.

Love is not like that; there is no guarantee. Tomorrow morning it may just disappear like mist. There is no usefulness to love; it is not even convenient. It is a lot of trouble, but it is life. That is the choice one has to make -- do you choose life or something that looks like life? Right now, most people are choosing what looks like life because they are not going through life, they are just going through thoughts -- 90 percent of the time, people are only thinking about life. Thought may be about life, but it is never life. Life is something that you can perceive and experience; thought is just your own stuff.

So attachment is like a plastic flower; it is very convenient, but once attachment enters your life, anxiety comes. If anxiety comes, the next step is fear. If fear comes, the next step is madness. For example, let us say your child went to school and was supposed to come home at 5 p.m. At 6 p.m., he has not returned, so there is anxiety. At 7 p.m., he has not arrived, now there is fear. If he does not arrive by 8:00, madness will overtake you. You do not suddenly go mad, but the situation has accelerated the process because the moment you step into attachment, you are on the way to madness. It becomes a natural progression of life that you will invariably get there. And this madness will cause enormous suffering.

Love is not a suffering. If you have love for someone or something, when they are with you, you can enjoy their presence, and when they are not with you, you can enjoy their absence. What you are doing in the name of love is just longing to become one with somebody. This longing is not just to become one with one person; you want to become one with the whole existence. You want to become unbounded. Can you become physically one with someone? It looks like oneness for a moment, but the next moment you fall apart. So if you want oneness you must seek something beyond the physical.

That is the idea of meditation: to break the boundaries of the physical. When you break the bondages and the boundaries of the physical, the body may vibrate, tears may come. The ecstasy of union is transforming and fulfilling beyond anything one may know.

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Light Within 

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