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 because 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 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.
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?
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.
Source: The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 4, by Osho
Photo courtesy of aussiegall