Written by Prem Shunyo
I waited for one month in London after Osho’s departure to India. It then seemed safe to try and enter the country again. Vivek had left two weeks before and she told me that when the date came for my arrival in India, she told Osho that nothing had been heard from me, so she was worried whether I had arrived or not. Osho just chuckled. I had arrived alright. Osho was living in the house of Suraj Prakash, a sannyasin of many years who had also been in Rajneeshpuram. Osho’s Indian disciples who had been through Rajneeshpuram with him, had matured in a way that set them apart from other Indians. They seemed to be the perfect blend of East and West, the new man that Osho had been talking about.
For the first few weeks in Bombay I lived with Milarepa in a room which was to double as my laundry room. Osho was giving discourses in the evenings to a group of about a hundred people, but this was to grow as sannyasins from the West arrived, most of them having not seen Osho since he left America. The discourses were titled “Beyond Enlightenment.” As I hadn’t yet understood what enlightenment was, it was mind blowing to conceive of anything beyond it! I was still at the beginning of my journey, or so it felt. My relationship with Milarepa was more on my mind than enlightenment at this time, and so I will wander off The Path and gaze into the valley of “Relationships,” to show how Osho has helped me understand what it is that drives men and women crazy over each other. Osho talked to us in hundreds of darshans and discourses about our relationship problems. It seems to be the main stumbling block for Western disciples and the area where our energy gets diverted and we go around and around in the same circle. In the early Poona years in darshan every night couples sat in front of Osho and told him of problems they had. He listened with infinite patience and tried in so many ways to explain to us to not take things too seriously, and to grow in loveand understanding. He sometimes gave meditation techniques for couples to do together.I was having my first affair with meditation in these early years and I did not understand how it was possible that people could be so easily diverted. In meditation I felt so fulfilled and content with myself that I had no need for “the other.” There is a fine balance to find though, because I had also heard Osho say that he did not want us to live like nuns and celibate priests. And then of course there is the natural pull of biology and that cannot be fought with a mind concept such as “I am a meditator – I do not need to be with anyone.” If a period of celibacy and aloneness comes naturally, then that is something else. Whatever comes naturally has to be allowed. Periods of aloneness that have lasted a year or two have come to me naturally and then I have swung into relationships again My definition of a relationship is when two people are together after the flower of love has withered and they stay together out of neediness, attachment and hope that the love will become aflame again, so meanwhile they struggle with each other. This becomes a power game, a continual swing between who is the most domineering of the two. It takes incredible awareness and courage to see when the love affair is becoming a relationship and to part from each other as friends The most important thing for me is to live fully, to explore my own inner depths and express myself creatively. If being with someone in a love affair enhances me in these ways then I go with it. I do not want to even try to give solutions for how two people can stay together. I give no value at all to a marriage that is “made in heaven” and lasts for ever, because I think it is an impossibility There may be exceptions in the world, but I have not met these people.
The monks and seekers of truth in the past, and even today in monasteries, have renounced love and sex. They have cut themselves off from the opposite sex and I can understand why – when I fall in love with somebody it can cause a great disturbance. All the emotions, like anger, jealousy and desires that I had thought were finished, rear their ugly heads.
To be with Osho and allow all the colors of life is a great challenge. Nothing is denied, only one thing is added – awareness. Osho shares his wisdom with us and then he stands back and gives us total freedom to understand, or not. He trusts that if we do not understand now then through our own experience, our intelligence will sharpen and one day we will get it. He does nothing to interfere in this process at all.
At the heights from where Osho was looking it must have seemed simply ridiculous that we were caught again and again in the misery-go-round of relationships. The way I heard him speaking to us it seemed so easy. Why can’t we live our love lives simply, why do we always have to suffer? My understanding is that one reason is dependency, and dependency comes when I am using the other as a means to avoid looking at my aloneness. It has always been difficult for me to swallow what Osho says about relationships because it goes against my deepest conditioning. All the songs I ever heard sung were about “MY man,” “MY woman,” and to think that two people are absolutely free and no one belongs to anyone has taken me a few years to digest.
“Freedom is such a joyful experience. Your lover is enjoying freedom, you are enjoying freedom. In freedom you meet; in freedom you depart. And perhaps life may bring you together again. And most probably…. All the researches about love relationships indicate a certain phenomenon which has not been accepted by any society up to now. And even today, when I say these things, I’m condemned all over the world. When your man becomes interested in another woman, it does not mean that he no longer loves you; it simply means just a change of taste.
“In the new world, to which I have dedicated my whole life, there should be no marriage – only lovers. And as long as they are pleased to be together, they can be together; and the moment they feel that they have been together too long, a little change will be good. There is no question of sadness, no question of anger – just a deep acceptance of nature…” (The Golden Future)
In the East arranged marriages are common, although they are now going out of fashion. It was one way to manage the uncertainty of love – by creating the institution of marriage. I have heard Osho say:”The old marriage failed. The new marriage is failing because the new marriage is simply a reaction to the old marriage. It is not out of understanding, but out of reaction, revolt – ‘love marriage.’
“You don’t know what love is. You simply see some beautiful face, you see some beautiful body, and you think ‘My god, I am in love!’ This love is not going to last, because after two days, seeing the same face for twenty-four hours a day, you will get bored. The same body…you have explored the whole topography; now there is nothing to explore. Exploring the same geography again and again, you feel like an idiot. What is the point?
“This love affair, this love marriage is failing, it has already failed. The reason is that you don’t know how to wait so that love can happen.
“You have to learn a meditative state of waiting. Then love is not a passion, it is not a desire. Then love is not sexual; then love is a feeling of two hearts beating in the same rhythm. It is not a question of beautiful faces or beautiful bodies. It is something very deep, a question of harmony.
“If love arises out of harmony, then only will we know a successful life, a life of fulfillment in which love goes on deepening because it does not depend on anything outer; it depends on something inner. It does not depend on the nose and the length of the nose; it depends on an inner feeling of two hearts beating in the same rhythm. That rhythm can go on growing, can have new depths, newer spaces. Sex can be a part of it, but it is not sexual. Sex may come into it, may disappear in it. It is far greater than sex.
“So whether the person you love is young or old does not matter.” (Beyond Enlightenment)
In a Darshan I had in 1978 I asked Osho what my chief characteristic was. I had heard Osho say that according to Gurdjieff the journey to self-discovery could only begin once the chief characteristic of a person was known to them, and being unable to discover it on my own I asked for help. Osho’s answer was:
“You have a good characteristic: it is love, mm? So remember it, because love can create great trouble and can create great joy also. One has to be very
very alert, because love is our basic chemistry. If one is alert about one’s love energy, then everything goes right. The characteristic is very good, but one has to be very alert about love. Always love something higher than yourself and you will never be in trouble; always love something bigger than yourself. People tend to love something lower than themselves, something smaller than themselves. You can control the smaller, you can dominate the smaller and you can feel very good with the inferior because you look superior – then the ego is fulfilled. And once you start creating ego out of your love, then you are bound for hell.
“Love something higher, something bigger, something in which you will be lost and which you cannot control; you can only be possessed by it but you cannot possess it. Then the ego disappears, and when love is without the ego, it is prayer.”
I found this answer very mysterious and understood it to mean that I should cast my awareness towards love itself, the energy that is without the pull of biology. To love love itself because the energy is much vaster than I am, and I could not touch love, could not manipulate or control it – it had to possess me. It was an answer that was for me at that time, above my head, I had yet to grow into it.
I have spent many years with Osho very happily without a boyfriend and thinking that it all seemed to be finished. These were peaceful easy years but layer upon layer has continued to fall away exposing the depth to which the roots of desire go.
The first week we arrived in Rajneeshpuram I was standing by the old barn when a pick-up truck pulled up and about a dozen men jumped off the back and made their way to our eating area. They were all dressed in cowboy hats, jeans and boots, and yet one of them stood out. I could only see his back, but the way he walked…I fell in love. His name was Milarepa, and that day, after we had had lunch we went for a walk through the hills and I didn’t get back to my laundry room until way after tea time. It was the beginning of seven years of impossible dreams.
Milarepa had a sense of freedom that I longed for in myself. But, clouded by my own biology, I didn’t look within. I was forever trying to capture and contain what was outside of me, and he led me a merry dance! He had a great love for women – many women – and I found myself totally focused and lost in him. I knew I was caught in obsession, but there was nothing I could do about it. Sometimes while walking through the old mountains to his house, climbing up the muddy and snowy slopes to where he lived I would say to myself, “Don’t do this, don’t go to visit him,” but I moved as if in a trance, towards one disastrous situation after another.
Osho learned of my affair through Vivek and one day in discourse he said: “…Chetana has a boyfriend, Milarepa – Milarepa the Great. Milarepa is just a lady-killer, continually killing ladies here, there, and everywhere. And I can’t even recognize him!”
He went on to joke about how he was always looking for Milarepa during drive-by – such a lady-killer – Osho wanted to see how he looked, but he kept missing him. “Who is this Milarepa?” he asked. “He is certainly a personality like Lord Byron in that even though he goes with so many ladies, no lady feels offended. They all accept that he is such a person that you cannot possess him.” (The Rajneesh Bible)
The result of this playfulness on the commune was to make my greatest fear (of losing Milarepa to another woman) magnified. All the women in the commune were now interested in who this man was! Even years later women would approach Milarepa and say “Aah! So you are Milarepa, I always wanted to meet you.”
Each time I saw Osho privately to take him tea or to accompany him on the car ride he would ask me how Milarepa was. He would chuckle at me as I told him of Milarepa’s new affairs and my distress. Many times I asked Osho: “Should I finish with him?” but he would always say no. Once when I asked and he said no, because I would miss him, I answered that I wouldn’t miss him for long. But then Osho said: “But he will miss you….” What could I do?
In my own stubborn way I wanted to “go through” everything with one man. I didn’t see the point in changing partners, having a honeymoon and then facing the same problems again. I had heard Osho say that the problem has to be tackled from within.
That by changing the lover the problems will not change.
“It is just like changing the screen when the projector and the screen are the same. So you can change the screen – maybe a better screen, a bigger screen, a wider screen, but it is not going to make any substantial difference, because the projector is the same and the film is the same.
“You are the projector and you are the film, so again you will project the same things on a different screen. The screen is almost irrelevant. Once you understand this then you can see the whole life as maya, as a magic show. Then everything is inside; the problem is not outside. Nothing has to be done there. So first one has to realize that it is oneself; then the whole problem shifts and comes to the right place from where it can be tackled and solved. Otherwise you can go on looking in wrong directions, there is no possibility for any change.”
I do not think that this means a person should drag himself around in an unhappy relationship though. My stubbornness made me unhappy and now I see that there is no time to be miserable. My life is moving so fast into the unknown and anything can happen. This is so obvious and yet difficult to remember each moment. If I don’t remember it moment to moment life slips out of my hands, I look back and say, “If only I had remembered that ‘this too shall pass’….”
Vivek was very upset on one occasion about a broken love affair and I said to Osho, “She will get over it in time.” he said: “Time is not needed – time is needed only when you are living in the past. If you are living in the present, then you can drop your miseries right now.”
One evening Milarepa and I were walking through the mountains together, the moon was full, snow was gathering in the clouds, the ground was frosty; it was the most perfect time and I had never felt so relaxed and close to him – and then he said that he wanted to be alone that night. I was always torn between admiring the courage he had to go for what he really wanted and at the same time furious with him that it wasn’t what I wanted.
We had been together for six months and decided to go on holiday. We spent a beautiful month together in California, where my parents came over from England and spent some days with us. During this visit I saw just how far I had moved away from the “norms” of society, and how there were no connecting bridges. Except love of course, but that can only be expressed silently. My father asked me about having children and I told him that there would be no children. He said, “But one’s whole life is for having children, the whole joy in life is the children.” I said, “No, I have first to give birth to myself. I do not have the time to devote to bringing up a child.” I told him that the world is overpopulated already and at least you will see among Osho’s sannyasins that a few thousand people in the world are not adding to the overpopulation, and instead are trying to improve the quality of life and not increase the quantity. It is very rare to meet a sannyasin with a child. You will see that all religions in the world try to increase their numbers by making birth control a sin. They are not interested in the quality of life, they only want to increase the numbers of their flock.
Nobody could have been more surprised than myself at the change my maternal instincts took when I began meditating. When I was twenty I had a child, but being unmarried and not capable of taking care of the baby financially at the standard I would have liked – I thought he was a King – I gave the child up for adoption. I was disturbed and depressed for a long time after the adoption and I had received “help” from a Christian unmarried mothers counselor, such as, “Well I hope this will teach you a lesson!”
My maternal instincts were so strong (Sun in Cancer on the mid-heaven for those of you who understand astrology!) I decided that as soon as I was financially able then I would have five children – with or without a husband. Being pregnant and giving birth had been the most beautiful experience I had ever had. I had felt one with the earth and totally at ease. I thought abortion was murder and the right of a child to live should come before the mother’s. After doing Dynamic Meditation for a few weeks my maternal instinct disappeared so completely that it left no trace, no afterthought, nothing. Since that day I have been focused on giving birth to my own being and found that meditation brings that same feeling of at-oneness as pregnancy does.
Being in a love affair in a commune is more challenging and more alive than being in a relationship within the boundaries of society and family. For one thing the circle of friends is bigger and more varied so two people are not forced to be together all the time just out of necessity. Surrounded by so many friends who are all seeking to be more loving and understanding it is easier to drop misery and have a good laugh with each other as we discover we are all suffering the same jealousies and possessiveness. If a love affair ends, then in a few weeks at the most the healing process is over, whereas in a city or society where you feel a stranger, years of suffering can happen. Also, the function of the commune is to make a person aware of his absolute aloneness. I know this sounds contradictory, but it is not. Living in a commune, I feel I have space to be myself, I don’t have to conform to social etiquette. I feel that I am supported in every way to express my spontaneity and uniqueness. If I feel like being in silence and ignoring everyone, then that is also perfectly acceptable.
When Rajneeshpuram was destroyed, Milarepa and I were separated and we missed each other. He joined us in Uruguay and we travelled together to Portugal, England and then to India. Osho got a lot of mileage out of our relationship.
When Milarepa arrived in Uruguay Osho said:
“When Milarepa came I asked Vivek, “Has he brought his guitar? And what else does he do?”
“She said ‘He does nothing else – just plays on his guitar and chases women.’
“I said, ‘Enquire if he has got his guitar. Then he should start playing guitar; otherwise chasing women the whole time will not be good for his health. So once in a while, just to get some rest, he can play guitar.’
“But he has not brought his guitar. I think you should provide him with a guitar, because he has lost everything. Now he has nothing to be worried about losing; he can go on chasing….” (Beyond Psychology)
And he did chase – Milarepa was attracted to Vivek and they wanted to spend a night together. When Osho asked me why I looked upset and I told him, he said to me that if we can’t allow our lovers freedom to enjoy other people even around him, then we were behaving exactly like the rest of the people in the world. “If it can’t happen here, then where can it happen?” He asked. The truth of this simple statement hit me and I turned around and understood, or rather I saw things in their proper perspective. When Osho can be so loving and patient with us then surely I can at least relax and not create a fuss if my two friends want to spend some time together.
I have reminded myself many times that I am not with Osho to get married, or create a perfect relationship with someone. If I had wanted that then I could have stayed at home in Cornwall and settled down with a nice farmer or fisherman.
During our six months in Bombay I noticed that Milarepa and Vivek were both starting to get “edgy.” They hadn’t shown any interest in each other since being in Uruguay and Vivek was happy with Rafia. But Rafia was away and I noticed that something was being repressed between the two of them and the atmosphere was tense. They were unhappy and so one night I just took off, went to stay in a friend’s flat and didn’t come home. They were both so happy the next day and it changed the whole atmosphere among everyone. I never told them that I had gone away to get out of the way, and they didn’t say anything to me either, but just to see two good friends happy over such a small thing was a breakthrough for me.
I have heard Osho say that his people are related to each other through him. It is my lover’s love of Osho that inspires me and enhances our love. We are, after all, two seekers on the path. That we meet along the way is a bonus, a little show of extravagance on the part of existence. When two people share a love for a man like Osho, who is overflowing with love, then their relationship already takes on new dimensions. Whenever Osho answered a poem or question from Milarepa I would be touched far deeper than had I written it myself.
Although Milarepa and I had been together almost seven years we had not lived together continuously. We had always had our own places and because of that our love affair had lasted, but when we arrived back in India we were living together and it was more difficult. We were both in the position of not wanting to separate and yet not really happy together.
I think no couple should live together for more than a few days’ holiday. The more space is felt between two people the more alive the love is. It is good that each have their own place to live and there is no certainty that you will meet each day. There is an ancient story I like very much:
Two lovers were very much in love and the woman wanted to marry. The man said he would marry her on one condition – that they live in separate houses, one on each side of a large lake. “If we meet by chance – maybe we will meet out boating on the lake, or maybe we will meet while taking a walk one day – then that will be beautiful.”
Osho has told this story many times and whenever I heard it, it always gave me the horrors. Now I understand it – though it takes time.
I heard that one day in Rajneeshpuram Osho had said with exasperation, “None of you have understood what I have been trying to tell you about love.”
The first year we were back in Poona Osho was once again answering our relationship questions in discourses:
“…As far as I am concerned, I am not interested in your personal relationships; that is absolutely your own nightmare. You have chosen to suffer – suffer. But when you bring a question to me, then remember that I am simply going to say the truth of someone who can observe without being a party to anybody. This is not ordinarily the case in the world. Whenever you go to someone with a question about your personal relationship and the suffering it brings, the worldly way is to console you.
“Although men and women have suffered together, creating all kinds of troubles for each other, there has not been in ten thousand years any revolution, any change in their relationships.
“I want to help you to see clearly how you are creating your own world. To me, you are your own world, and you are your world’s creator… Be strong; have some stamina, and make an effort to change.
“I would like you to be more individual, more free, more alert, more conscious, more meditative. And these situations can be great opportunities for meditation. But if you get angry, freak out, start defending yourself, then please don’t ask such questions. I have no interest at all. Your relationship is your business.
“My simple concern here is meditation. And this is very strange: rarely do you ask questions about meditation. That does not seem to be your main concern, and to you it seems not a priority – it is not the first item on your mind. Perhaps it may be the last thing on your laundry list, but certainly it is not the first; the first things are stupid things, trivia. You waste your time, you waste my time.” (The Hidden Splendor)
“Without meditation every love affair is doomed to failure.” …Osho
On hearing Osho say one night in discourse that couples fought because they were repressing their sexuality, I thought I had a revelation. I thought I was sexually repressed, so with my heart in my writing hand, I wrote a question to Osho saying just this. He answered my “very serious” question with joke after joke about English ladies and women approaching middle age, and finally joked that my misunderstanding was all because Milarepa was playing around again! “You have been with me so many years – how can you say you are sexually repressed? you will ruin my reputation!” Osho said as he tried to make light of my situation.
I was furious. The next morning, while answering someone else’s question Osho said: “All the tangles of life, of love, of relationship are created by our unconsciousness. We don’t know what we are doing, and by the time we become aware it is too late. What has been done cannot be undone…
“Just last night I answered Chetana’s question very lightly and very lovingly and very joyously. I joked about it, but she was pissed off – I could see her face. Milarepa was angry.
“You don’t know what you are doing. What you are doing is almost beyond your hands; you are reacting. If Chetana had heard what I was saying…I was simply saying, ‘Don’t take it seriously!’ I was laughing about it, but she could not laugh. You all laughed because it was not your problem. The more you laughed the more you made her serious….
“In each person’s life the time of change comes. And one of the greatest things to remember is that when you change a certain pattern of life, you have to change naturally. It is not in your hands. Biology makes you capable of sex at the age of thirteen or fourteen; it is not your doing.
“At a certain age, as you are coming closer to forty or forty-two, the biology’s purpose is finished. All those hormones that have been propelling you are disappearing. To accept this change is very difficult. You suddenly start thinking as if you are no longer beautiful, that you need a face lift.
“The West is continuously imposing on nature, demanding how things should be. Nobody wants to become old, so when the time of transition from one stage of life comes, a very strange phenomenon happens – and that is what is happening to Chetana. It is going to happen whether I say anything about it or not, just as a candle comes to the very end, has only a few seconds more, and before it will be gone, at the last moment the candle suddenly becomes bigger with all the power. Nobody wants to go.”
He then explained how a dying person can suddenly become completely healthy, as though the disease has disappeared. The family and friends are happy, but really it only signifies death. It is the last spurt of life. The same happens with sex – a last effort – and so my mind was becoming overwhelmed with sex.
“…When you are no longer young and the hormones in you are going to disappear, and the interest in sex is going to die – before dying it will explode with its full force.
“If you go to a psychoanalyst, he will say that you are sexually repressed. I cannot say that, because I know that this sudden overwhelming sexuality will be gone by itself, you don’t have to do anything. It is the signal that life is passing through a change. Now, life will be more calm and more quiet. You are really entering into a better state.
“Sex is a little childish. As you become more and more mature, sex loses the grip over you – and it is a good sign. It is something to be happy about; it is not a problem to be solved. It is something to celebrate.
“In the East no woman ever feels the trouble of the transition from youth to old age. In fact, she feels immensely happy that now that
old demon is gone and life can be more peaceful. But the West has been living under many illusions. One is the illusion that there is only one life. That creates immense trouble. If there is only one life and sex is disappearing, so you are finished. Now, there is no more opportunity; there will not be any more excitement in life. Nobody is going to say, ‘You are beautiful and I love you and will love you forever.’
“So first, the illusion of one life creates a problem. Second, the psychoanalysts and other therapists have created another illusion that sex is almost synonymous to life. The more sexual you are, the more alive you are. So when sex starts disappearing one starts feeling like a used cartridge; now there is no point in living; life ends with sex ending. Then people try all kinds of bizarre things: face lift, plastic surgery, false breasts. It is stupid, simply stupid.
“It is a great need of man, and particularly women, to have attention – attention is nourishment, a woman suffers immensely when nobody pays attention to her. She has nothing else to attract people by: she has only her body. Man has not allowed her to have other dimensions where she can become a famous painter, dancer, or a singer, a learned professor. Man has cut all other dimensions from the woman’s life where she can be attractive and people will pay respect even while she becomes old. Woman is left only the body by man, so she is so much concerned with the body that it creates clinging, possessiveness, fear that the person who loves her, if he leaves, perhaps will find another person. And without attention she starts feeling almost dead: What is the use of life if nobody is paying attention to you? She does not have an intrinsic life of her own.
“But here with me you have to learn something. The first thing is a deep acceptability of all the changes that nature brings to you. Youth has its own beauty; old age has its own beauty too. It may not be sexual, but if a man has lived silently, peacefully, meditatively, then old age will have a grandeur of its own.
“Love happens only when you are beyond biological slavery; then love has a beauty. Not only is it to be accepted when life is going through a biological change, but it has to be rejoiced that you have passed over all that stupidity, that now you are free from biological bondage. It is only a question of conditioning. One has to accept life. But your unconsciousness does not allow you to accept life as it is. You wanted something else.
“It is perfectly good when sex disappears. You will be more capable of being alone. You will be more capable of being blissful, without any misery, because the whole game of sex is nothing but a long misery – fighting, hate, jealousy, envy. It is not a peaceful life.
“It is peace, silence, blissfulness, aloneness, freedom, which give you the real taste of what life is.
“Life is for the first time self-oriented; you don’t have to beg from others for anything. Nobody can give you blissfulness; nobody can give you ecstasy. Nobody can give you the sense of immortality and the dance that comes with it. Nobody can give you the silence which becomes a song in your heart.” (The Invitation)
This discourse had a tremendous impact on all the women in the ashram, both young and old. There was not a woman who could not identify with the problems Osho was talking about. It seemed he answered all women and not just me, as is always the case when he speaks.
I had not seen what had been happening to me over the four or five months that Milarepa and I had been living together. He was attracted to very young people and I lost my own integrity, my own worth, by comparing myself and feeling, of course, that I fell short. I did not have the bubbling personality of a teenager, and so I was feeling lacking. I became confused about whether I had any personality at all. I became unaware of myself and focused my attention on everyone around me.
I began to use self-hypnosis on myself to discover the roots of the pattern that my mind had regarding relationships. With a few exceptions I had always fallen in love with men who were basically not interested in having a girlfriend. Men who above all else valued their freedom and the way I related to them threatened that. For an hour every day for more than a week I lay down on my bed and hypnotized myself. I went into my unconscious with the question, from where comes this pattern? It slowly entered my consciousness and I understood that the pattern was in fact my mother’s. Her lover deserted her when I was in her womb, and while a child is in the womb it not only inherits the physiology but also the psychology. Even while in the womb, the mother’s moods and emotions affect the child. I was born and brought up for my first few years with the idea that a man whom one loves is someone who leaves you. When I was a small child and then later in adolescence I was continually having crushes on boys who did not want to be with me. It came naturally to me to want the man I couldn’t be with.
Discovering that the source of my mind’s patterns were not even mine but my mother’s, gave me a great freedom. I no longer had to be a slave to thoughts that, after all, were not mine. Sure, this did not instantly mean that no thoughts came, but I had some distance from them now. I still loved Milarepa, but I began to value my own freedom now and not try to take his. I saw that without my own freedom I was a beggar, and would always be looking to someone else for help.
The thing I had dreaded most, happened – Milarepa and I became very good friends. The madness and the desire fell away in our relationship and what I had feared was in fact the most beautiful thing that could have happened. Now I look at him and I feel great love. He is still as intriguing as ever, but I don’t want anything from him. And from his eyes I see love without fear, love that melts me.
“Everything changes – and love is not an exception.
“Now perhaps I am the first person who wants to make it understood by everyone that love changes: it begins, it comes of age, it becomes old, it dies. And I think it is good the way it is. It gives you many more chances of loving other people, to make life richer – because each person has something special to contribute to you. The more you love, the more rich you are, the more loving you become.
“And if the false idea of permanence is dropped, jealousy will drop automatically; then jealousy is meaningless. Just as you fall in love and you cannot do anything about it, one day you fall out of love and you cannot do anything about it. A breeze came into your life and passed. It was good and beautiful and fragrant and cool, and you would have liked it to remain always there. You tried hard to close all the windows and all the doors, to keep the breeze fragrant, fresh. But by closing the windows and the doors, you killed the breeze, its freshness, its fragrance; it became stale.” (Beyond Psychology)
When my relationship with Milarepa ended, before it started anew as friendship it was a painful but fertile time for looking at myself. To find myself without someone, my aloneness showed stark white against a blackboard. This is one of the great things about being on the spiritual path – everything is used as an inner exploration. The more painful the experience is, the more incentive there is to look in and not relax in daydreams. Thinking becomes dangerous in these situations and I found myself on the razor’s edge of awareness.
A year of aloneness passed and when I was once again feeling settled in my life, the great mystery that I call love happened again. Only this time it is different. I have broken my pattern of the one-way ticket love, and I find my love affair a great sharpening in awareness. Each moment we are together feels like the only moment we have. I no longer have the illusion of time stretching into eternity with this person, because my life has taught me that things change all the time. This creates both a lightness and depth.
I still feel jealous sometimes, but I no longer torture myself with it – I don’t chew it around in my mind like a piece of cud. A jealous thought comes, and I can say, “Hello, this is jealousy.” I ask myself if I want to be miserable, or do I want to drop it? How can I be miserable when I only have This moment to spend with my lover? He will be gone tomorrow – and so I decide to enjoy today. It is a matter of choice – choice above habit. And the only way is to be in the moment.
I have my own idea that the spiritual path moves in an upward spiral, rather like a high mountain path. Because of this I experience the same “trips,” emotions, etc., repeating themselves and yet…each time a little different, a little higher, with a little more consciousness. Before becoming a sannyasin I avoided jealous situations by never committing myself to one man. The only exception was Lawrence and he loved me in a way that I felt secure in his love. We were living together and yet, he was moving with other women. The occasional one, that he liked very much, he would bring home for me to meet. My friends said to me that I couldn’t possibly love him because I wasn’t jealous. I was puzzled!
I have recently understood Osho to say that if there is jealousy there is no love – that jealousy is connected with sex not love. I have needed to explore all dimensions of relationships possible, and live out all passions and unconscious desires. This may not be true for all seekers on the path. I don’t know.Over the years I have seen my dragons and demons unfurl and rear their ugly heads. Once I am aware of them, then with a conscious effort I can see them as habit patterns that are interfering in my freedom.
I am more able to watch my woman’s neediness now and it is amazing, but when I become aware of it a distance is created and it doesn’t color me – it just passes. For instance, saying goodbye to my lover, he might be saying: “See ya later,” and without me even speaking – there’s still a smile on my face, and everything’s fine – but my eyes feel like empty begging bowls and the voice inside says:
“Later? See me later? but where? when? what time?” But I catch it. It’s just a glimmer, but I’ve caught it. I see it for a moment – this “Where, what time, will we ever meet again?” It is there. And then I realize that this is it, and it goes back to prehistoric times, when women were wholly dependent on the man to bring back meat to their cave for them and the children. But it’s out of date! I mean, hell, I don’t even eat meat!
To be with a person in a light and playful way, and for the friendship to be simply a day-to-day communion with each other, is, I think, what Osho has been moving us all towards.But the last thing Osho said to me about love affairs was: “Every love affair is a disaster!!!”
It is important for me to emphasize that in using Osho’s words and quotes from his discourses, I use them in my context and with my understanding. It is possible to apply Osho’s words to suit any situation. Osho cannot be said in words, but I use his words as I understand them, because my understanding is all I have to offer.
The love I feel for Osho has always been spiritual, my relationship with him has been that of meditation. It is the same for both male disciples and female, there is no question of biological attraction. If I can experience this love with Osho then one day I hope I can experience it with everybody and every living thing on the planet.
Osho: “The Master is an absence. Whenever you become an absence two zeros dissolve into each other. Two zeros cannot remain separate. Two zeros are not two zeros: two zeros become one zero.
“Just a few days ago I said that from my side there is no relationship, the relationship between a master and a disciple is a one-way traffic. Chetana wrote me a beautiful letter saying, ‘You told it very nicely, it was a sugar-coated pill, but it has stuck in my throat.’
“Chetana, drink a little more of me, so that it can go down the throat. Drink a little more of one who is not. I can understand, it hurts. It is a bitter pill, even though sugar-coated. It hurts to feel that the relationship is only from your side and not from the master’s side. You would like it that the master also needs you. You would like me to tell you, ‘I need you, I love you very much.’
“I can understand your need, but that will not be true. I can only say ‘I don’t need you, I love you.’
“Need exists only with the ego. I cannot relate with you, because I am not. You can relate with me because you are still there. Because you are there you can go on relating with me, but that relationship will remain only so-so, lukewarm.
“If you also disappear the way I have disappeared, then there will be a meeting – no relationship, but a merging. And relationship cannot satisfy. You have known so many relationships; what has happened through them? You have loved, you have been friendly, you have loved your mother and father, your brother and sister, you have loved your woman, your husband, your wife. You have loved so many times, you have created relationships so many times. And you know, each relationship leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. It does not make you contented. It may satisfy for a moment, but again there is dissatisfaction. It may console you, but again you are left in the coldness of loneliness.
“Relationship is not the true thing. The true thing is communion, the true thing is merger. When you relate you are separate, and in separation there is bound to remain the ugly, mischievous and agony-creating ego. It disappears only in the merger.
“So Chetana, drink a little more of my absence, drink a little more of my love which does not need you. And then the pill will go down the throat and you will be able to digest it. And one day will arise, the great day, when you will also love me and will not need me. “When two persons love and both have no need for each other, love takes wings. It is no more ordinary, it is no more of this world, it belongs to the beyond. It is transcendental.”
(Unio Mystica, Volume I)