Why Love Hurts

Love is painful because it creates the way for bliss. Love is painful because it transforms. Love is mutation. Each transformation is going to be painful because the old has to be left for the new. The old is familiar, secure, safe, the new is absolutely unknown. You will be moving in an uncharted ocean. You cannot use your mind with the new’ with the old, the mind is skillful. The mind can function only with the old’ with the new, the mind is utterly useless.

Hence, fear arises, and leaving the old, comfortable, safe world, the world of convenience, pain arises. It is the same pain that the child feels when he comes out of the womb of the mother. It is the same pain that the bird feels when he comes out of the egg. It is the same pain that the bird will feel when he will try for the first time to be on the wing.

The fear of the unknown, and the security of the known, the insecurity of the unknown, the unpredictability of the unknown, makes one very much frightened.

And because the transformation is going to be from the self towards a state of no-self, agony is very deep. But you Cannot have ecstasy without going through agony. If the gold wants to be purified, it has to pass through fire.

Love is fire.

It is because of the pain of love, millions of people live a loveless life. They too suffer, and their suffering is futile. To suffer in love is not to suffer in vain. To suffer in love is creative’ it takes you to higher levels of consciousness. To suffer without love is utterly a waste’ it leads you nowhere, it keeps you moving in the same vicious circle.

The man who is without love is narcissistic, he is closed. He knows only himself. And how much can he know himself if he has not known the other, because only the other can function as a mirror? You will never know yourself without knowing the other. Love is very fundamental for self-knowledge too. The person who has not known the other in deep love, in intense passion, in utter ecstasy, will not be able to know who he is, because he will not have the mirror to see his own reflection.

Relationship is a mirror, and the purer the love is, the higher the love is, the better the mirror, the cleaner the mirror. But the higher love needs that you should be open. The higher love needs you to be vulnerable. You have to drop your armor’ that is painful. You have not to be constantly on guard. You have to drop the calculating mind. You have to risk. You have to live dangerously. The other can hurt you’ that is the fear in being vulnerable. The other can reject you’ that is the fear in being in love.

The reflection that you will find in the other of your own self may be ugly’ that is the anxiety. Avoid the mirror. But by avoiding the mirror you are not going to become beautiful. By avoiding the situation you are not going to grow either. The challenge has to be taken.

One has to go into love. That is the first step towards God, and it cannot be bypassed. Those who try to bypass the step of love will never reach God. That is absolutely necessary because you become aware of your totality only when you are provoked by the presence of the other, when your presence is enhanced by the presence of the other, when you are brought out of your narcissistic, closed world under the open sky.

Love is an open sky. To be in love is to be on the wing. But certainly, the unbounded sky creates fear.

And to drop the ego is very painful because we have been taught to cultivate the ego. We think the ego is our only treasure. We have been protecting it, we have been decorating it, we have been continuously polishing it, and when love knocks on the door, all that is needed to fall in love is to put aside the ego’ certainly it is painful. It is your whole life’s work, it is all that you have created — this ugly ego, this idea that “I am separate from existence. ”

This idea is ugly because it is untrue. This idea is illusory, but our society exists, is based on this idea that each person is a person, not a presence.

The truth is that there is no person at all in the world’ there is only presence. You are not — not as an ego, separate from the whole. You are part of the whole. The whole penetrates you, the whole breathes in you, pulsates in you, the whole is your life.

Love gives you the first experience of being in tune with something that is not your ego. Love gives you the first lesson that you can fall into harmony with someone who has never been part of your ego. If you can be in harmony with a woman, if you can be in harmony with a friend, with a man, if you can be in harmony with your child or with your mother, why can’t you be in harmony with all human beings? And if to be in harmony with a single person gives such joy, what will be the outcome if you are in harmony with all human beings? And if you can be in harmony with all human beings, why can’t you be in harmony with animals and birds and trees? Then one step leads to another.

Love is a ladder. It starts with one person, it ends with the totality. Love is the beginning, God is the end. To be afraid of love, to be afraid of the growing pains of love, is to remain enclosed in a dark cell.

Modern man is living in a dark cell’ it is narcissistic. Narcissism is the greatest obsession of the modern mind.

And then there are problems, problems which are meaningless. There are problems which are creative because they lead you to higher awareness. There are problems which lead you nowhere’ they simply keep you tethered, they simply keep you in your old mess.

Love creates problems. You can avoid those problems by avoiding love. But those are very essential problems! They have to be faced, encountered’ they have to be lived and gone through and gone beyond. And to go beyond, the way is through. Love is the only real thing worth doing. All else is secondary. If it helps love, it is good. All else is just a means, love is the end. So whatsoever the pain, go into love.

If you don’t go into love, as many people have decided, then you are stuck with yourself. Then your life is not a pilgrimage, then your life is not a river going to the ocean’ your life is a stagnant pool, dirty, and soon there will be nothing but dirt and mud. To keep clean, one needs to keep flowing. A river remains clean because it goes on flowing. Flow is the process of remaining continuously virgin.

A lover remains a virgin. All lovers are virgin. The people who don’t love cannot remain virgin’ they become dormant, stagnant’ they start stinking sooner or later — and sooner than later — because they have nowhere to go. Their life is dead.

That’s where modern man finds himself, and because of this, all kinds of neuroses, all kinds of madnesses, have become rampant. Psychological illness has taken epidemic proportions. It is no more that a few individuals are psychologically ill’ the reality is the whole earth has become a madhouse. The whole of humanity is suffering from a kind of neurosis.

And that neurosis is coming from your narcissistic stagnancy. Everyone is stuck with one’s own illusion of having a separate self’ then people go mad. And this madness is meaningless, unproductive, uncreative. Or people start committing suicide. Those suicides are also unproductive, uncreative.

You may not commit suicide by taking poison or jumping from a cliff or by shooting yourself, but you can commit a suicide which is a very slow process, and that’s what happens. Very few people commit suicide suddenly. Others have decided for a slow suicide’ gradually, slowly, slowly they die. But almost, the tendency to be suicidal has become universal.

This is no way to live, and the reason, the fundamental reason, is we have forgotten the language of love. We are no more courageous enough to go into that adventure called love.

Hence people are interested in sex, because sex is not risky. It is momentary, you don’t get involved. Love is involvement’ it is commitment. It is not momentary. Once it takes roots, it can be forever. It can be a lifelong involvement. Love needs intimacy, and only when you are intimate does the other become a mirror. When you meet sexually with a woman or a man, you have not met at all’ in fact, you avoided the soul of the other person. You just used the body and escaped, and the other used your body and escaped. You never became intimate enough to reveal each other’s original faces.

It is painful, but don’t avoid it. If you avoid it you have avoided the greatest opportunity to grow. Go into it, suffer love, because through the suffering comes great ecstasy. Yes, there is agony, but out of the agony, ecstasy is born. Yes, you will have to die as an ego, but if you can die as an ego, you will be born as God, as a Buddha. And love will give you the first tongue-tip-taste of Tao, of Sufism, of Zen. Love will give you the first proof that God is, that life is not meaningless.

The people who say life is meaningless are the people who have not known love. All that they are saying is that their life has missed love.

Let there be pain, let there be suffering. Go through the dark night, and you will reach to a beautiful sunrise. It is only in the womb of the dark night that the sun evolves. It is only through the dark night that the morning comes.

My whole approach here is that of love. I teach only love and only love and nothing else. You can forget about God’ that is just an empty word. You can forget about prayers because they are only rituals imposed by others on you. Love is the natural prayer, not imposed by anybody. You are born with it. Love is the true God — not the God of theologians, but the God of Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, the God of the Sufis. Love is a tariqa, a method, to kill you as a separate individual and to help you become the infinite. Disappear as a dewdrop and become the ocean, but you will have to pass through the door of love.

And certainly when one starts disappearing like a dewdrop, and one has lived long as a dewdrop, it hurts, because one has been thinking, “I am this, and now this is going. I am dying. ” You are not dying, but only an illusion is dying. You have become identified with the illusion, true, but the illusion is still an illusion. And only when the illusion is gone will you be able to see who you are. And that revelation brings you to the ultimate peak of joy, bliss, celebration.

OSHO – The Secret, #2

Copyright © 2010 Osho International Foundation

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35 responses to “Why Love Hurts

  1. LOVE…..heals & REVEALS the INNATE qualities OF selflessness:CARE & livin FOR ur LOVE…..
    amor EST vita…..LOVE z LIFE…..

    • I GET SICK AND TIRED OF THIS KIND OF LITERATURE, REFERRING TO LOVE AND NOTHING , NOT KNOWING(THE AUTHOR) ABOUT LOVE OR JUSTICE AT ALL. THIS MAN (OSHO) HAS A LOTS OF CARS AND A PRIVATE JET(JUST LIKE JESUSCRIST OR GANDHI OR MADRE TERESA DE CALCUTA?) JAJAJA! BECAUSE OF DUMB PEOPLE THAT PREFER NOT TO GO TO A THERAPIST OR JUST BELIEVE IN GOD.THE SICK SEEKERS THAT THINKS HAPPINESS IS OUT THERE PRINTED IN BOOKS AND OCCURS THAT SOMEONE LIKE OSHO WHO PROCLAIMED “NOTHING” IT WAS FULL OF LUXURY AROUND…IRONIC ….LOVE IS NOT PAINFULL, TRANSFORMATION IT IS, BUT ONE DOES NOT HAVE TO DO WITH THE OTHER.WHEN LOVE IS PAINFULL IT IS NOT RIGHT AND WE HAVE TO LET IT GO ..AND IF YOU CANT OR JUST DONT KNOW HOW, PLEASE VISIT A THERAPIST.DONT LOOSE YOUR TIME READING THINGS FROM A PERSON THAT NEVER LIVED LIKE YOU, THAT NEVER MET POVERTY OR WAS IN NEED.HOW CAN YOU FEEL SO MUCH LOVE AND HAVE SO MANY CARS OR PRIVATE JET WHEN THERE ARE SO MANY PEOPLE THAT JUST CANT EAT???? AND NOT JUST IN AFRICA..RIGHT BESIDE YOU…OUT IN THE STREETS…JUST TAKE A RIDE…

      • Ignorant… Osho has died many years ago… poisoned. And he lived in a very simple way.

      • Osho always admitted that he was a “rich man’s guru” becos he said people in somalia dont need spirituality, they need food….and u cant figght poverty with poverty….war against war is still a war.

      • Obviously some one has has hurt you,
        Who hurt you … ?

  2. “If the gold wants to be purified, it has to pass through fire.
    Love is fire. ” –Osho

    brilliant!!

  3. good and so true; but many people will never experience it because they are so materialistic and sexoholic!
    they do not know that love is higher then simple sex!

  4. Now I can’t go back. I cannot unbecome. I know that what I have sensed isn’t merely illusion. I am not some crazy, obsessive, addicted person. You have written down on this page what I was coming to know, that love is freeing me. That my beloved is the doorway to my self-which-is-all. “Yes,” you have said, “I see it too.” Thank you.

  5. Very true! but sadly most people are incapable of going beyond love and beyond this utilitarian world…..

  6. I totally agree in an ultimate reality sense but down in the world, many times humans come with their own IDEAS (maybe models from parents or other ideals) of what love is – many stick to those beliefs as ultimate truths and tend to impose them (knowingly or unknowingly) on their “loved ones”, trying to mold the other at all cost into their own vision of what love is. How does one open up/trust completely into love when there is a presence of ego already (ignorance, control, domination, manipulation)? I only see change if BOTH people are aware or actually want to see their own illusions about love in order to let go an live a truer/purer love.

  7. These words and this explanation opened up that door thst i closed a while back…these words reflect my desire to not live in dogma and fear. Thank you for your thoughts.
    LL

  8. Shanti Premanjali

    Brilliant and right on, as usual. It is the song of your soul waiting to be sung. Love is the parts unsung awaiting your voice. It is that which touches you from within sending waves of bliss through our body and harmonizing each one who sees and feels it. It is the song and sound of the Gods.

  9. True love isn’t painful. If love is painful then it isn’t love.

  10. love always hurts nobody can love you the way you do and we have a conflict love gives us joy but hurts and if there is no balance it could be very sore therapists dont help they give pills pills are to solve mental illness love is not that illness it is reall you cant treat reall problems with pills you have to solve them or let them go or surrer

  11. i mean suffer

  12. Natalia: it is known that in order to recognize success you must first experience failure…it is the same with love, without experiencing pain you will not be able to recognize love. Love and pain go hand in hand. Nothing that is worth living for comes without pain. When a woman gives birth to a child it is painful, does this mean the woman should not give birth? This is the problem with society, as soon as something becomes painful or difficult we give up, this is why divorce is so common. This is why people suffer over and over again for the good of nothing, for material gain that only increases ones pain without reason. Natalia, a therapist will not heal pain, a therapist will only point out what it is you need to recognize, YOU will still have to deal with the pain yourself, you will have to walk through it, and guess what, it is usually easier to walk through any kind of pain with a loving partner. Remember that the strongest relationships are built from the bottom up, similar to building any structure, it starts with the foundation and continues all the way up to the last shingle….this process can be very painful one and can take a lifetime to complete, but in the end, you have a strong and reliable shelter to keep you warm and to protect you from the elements…that is love

    • beautiful response Srumi…

      • Thank you for taking the time to read my response Lori

        There is a lot of truth in all of these comments. I believe Osho’s goal is being accomplished; some truth is discovered through discussion and debate, as long as we can be open minded and accepting to new or different ideas and beliesf. I personally do not believe in any one ultimate and absolute truth, but I do believe that understanding and recognizing real Love may be the closest a human being will ever come to absolute truth

  13. thank u for this poetry i find truly beautiful. thank u for the reminder ~ we r love. i am here to luv. all we r is love essentially. and thanx for the encouragement and acknowledgment that loving is expected to be painful, do it anyway because there is no way around it if u r to come fully alive and fully realize Goddess.

  14. Thanks for such kind of nicest artical…….this is a great secret…….simple to mention but very very difficult to carry……..those who can successful in this arena are really so fortunates…….by god grace one can attain this stage n thereafter he stays within god while being in this world. Thanks again.

  15. Thank you for this writing! I enjoyed reading this information.
    God is love, and love is of God!

  16. namedafterasaint

    respect the sentiment and have dealt with it as well. What if the pain destroys you in the process?

  17. Pingback: Why Love Hurts (via OSHO Times) « Namedafterasaint's Blog

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  19. There were parts of this piece that I loved and parts of it that just didnt ring true (for me) which is why I loved it so much. We don’t always have to agree to see the beauty in a person’s point of view! And it brings out what feels true for ourselves! So thank you for this beautiful piece.

    Many times we stay in relationships based on old programs or beliefs that attracted us to our partner in the first place. If we learn to love ourselves (where we feel deserving and worthy of love) and our partner stays stagnate…how can we love someone who doesn’t love themselves?

    I have truly loved only one man my entire life (I am 38) and have decided after 13 years that I had to leave him. I loved (and still) love him with all my heart however he cannot accept me for who I am today. I grew and he grew in other ways and our mirrors stopped matching.

    We can shower our partner with love and affection however it will never be enough for them if they don’t have love for themselves. If their “hammers “are banging away in their minds, no kind words or actions from others (even their loved ones) can help unless they are aware of those hammers and learn to identify when they come out and gently put them down when they are triggered. . Otherwise it’ll always be the other person’s fault and they will never be “enough”.

    Do we regress and fake it to stay in the relationship? It is my humble opinion that it truly takes two to make it work and if one doesn’t have love for themselves first (or is at least working on it) then loving another becomes way more difficult. .

    It is my belief (and maybe it is my naivety) that love can be harmonious and not painful when both partners are in alignment and love themselves first. I am not talking “ego kind of narcissism” but the love that comes from one feeling deserving of being loved in the first place. Can it happen when you are with your partner; YES! However if the person you are with is triggering all your old “programs” and is not sensitive to them after you have explained them to him or her (because they just don’t get it) sometimes true love is knowing when to walk away. Is it love when being in the relationship isn’t serving you and you aren’t serving them ?

    I had to make the very painful (agonizing) decision to walk away from a passionate beautiful man (inside and out) because I knew we were not a good fit. As I have lain in my bed many nights unable to sleep my mind knows that I made the right decision but my heart aches. And truthfully some of my old non-worthiness beliefs coem out to spook me telling me things like…how can you let him go? Who will ever love you? and so on…yet I know they are just old programs of when I was abused as a child.

    I know deep down that I had to be the one to end it as it looked like it was destined to have gone for another painful 13 years. Maybe, just maybe, we learn from our past loves what we needed from each other and our journey is to continue without the other so that we may continue to grow.

    We are all deserving of a kind of love that is peaceful and kind and full of joy.

  20. thank you nadia it happened to me and i am still asking myself if i did right it will always be with me that question but i couldnt carry on and on though i love him as never in my life take care

    • Tatiana, I so understand you my sister. The good news for us is that we know how to love; and once we have loved once, we can love again!

      Time heals all things as the saying goes and I believe in my hearts of hearts that this will be for us as well.

      What brings me some peace in my heart is the gratitude I have to God and the Universe that I met and loved him and he loved me the best way we knew how. He will always be a part of my life. Just not the way that I originally thought. And I am a better person (and hopefully he is able to see it too) because of what I learned by being with him.

      Take care Tatiana. Sending you lots of love your way!

  21. Thank you, Master! Starting the New Year with this message makes my heart weep of joy!

  22. Great article! love it, gets right at the heart of the matter. Fabulous!

  23. Yes, love is beyond physical limitations, love is ultimate, love heals and wins.

  24. i am in love ❤ <3<3

  25. LOVE IS PAINFUL AND LOVE IS POWERFUL. GO THOUGH IT. CRY AND HAVE JOY AND LOVE HIM OR HER THE BEST WAY YOU CAN. AND LOVE YOURSELF FOR GIVING LOVE.

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