Emptiness and love: two sides of a coin

Create one and the other follows, because they cannot live separately, says Osho

Girl raising arms towards beautiful glowing sunshine / emptiness and love

Man is too full of himself and that is his undoing. Man should be like a hollow bamboo, so that existence can pass through him. Man should be like a porous sponge—not hard—so that the doors and the windows of his being are open, and existence can pass from one end to another without any hindrance; in fact, finding no one inside. The winds blow—they come in from one window and they go out from another window of his being. This emptiness is the highest bliss possible. But you are like a hard, un-porous rock, or like a hard steel rod. Nothing passes through you. You resist everything. You don’t allow. You go on fighting on all sides and in all directions as if you are in a great war with existence.

There is no war going on, you are simply befooled by yourself. Nobody is there to destroy you. The whole supports you; the whole is the very earth on which you are standing, the very sky in which you breathe, you live. In fact, you are not—only the whole is. When one understands this, by and by one drops the inner hardness; there is no need for it. There is no enmity; the whole is friendly towards you. The whole cherishes you, loves you. Otherwise, why are you here? The whole brings you forth, like a tree is brought forth by the earth. The whole would like to participate in all your blessings, in all the celebrations that are possible.

Float, don’t fight

When you flower, the whole will flower through you; when you sing, the whole will sing through you; when you dance, the whole will dance with you. You are not separate. The feeling of separateness creates fear, and fear makes you un-porous. The feeling of insecurity, as if the whole is going to destroy you, the feeling that you are a stranger here, an outsider, and that you have to fight your way inch by inch towards your destiny, makes you a hard steel rod. Of course, then many things simply disappear from your life. You live in anguish, you live in anxiety, you live in intense pain, but you live this of your own accord. Be porous. Be floating. Fight is not needed at all. Rather, a merger is needed.

These are the two attitudes open to man: the attitude of a warrior and the attitude of a lover. It is your choice. But remember… consequences will follow. If you choose the path of the warrior and you become a fighter with everything that surrounds you, you will always be in misery. This is creating a hell around you; in the very attitude of fighting the hell is created. Or you become a lover, a participant, then this whole is your home; you are not a stranger. You are at home. There is no fight. You simply flow with the river. Then, ecstasy will be yours; then each moment will become ecstatic, a flowering.

There is no hell except you and there is no heaven except you. It is your attitude, how you look at the whole. Religion is the way of the lover: science is the way of the fighter. Science is the way of the will, as if you are here to conquer, to conquer nature, to conquer nature’s secrets; as if you are here to enforce your will and domination on existence. This is not only foolish, it is futile also. Foolish because it will create a hell around you, and futile because finally you will become more and more dead, less and less alive; you will lose all possibilities of being blissful. And, in the end, you will have to come back from it, because you can go for a while on the path of the will, but only frustration and more frustration will happen through it. You will be defeated more and more. You will feel more and more impotent, and more and more enmity will be around you. You will have to come back from it—grudgingly, resistant, but you will have to come back from it. Finally, nobody can rest with a fighting attitude, because with a fighting attitude no rest is possible, you cannot relax.

Nobody to conquer

The path of religion is the path of love. From the very beginning you are not fighting anybody. The whole exists for you, and you exist for the whole, and there is an inner harmony. Nobody is here to conquer anybody else. It is not possible. Because how can one part conquer another part? And how can a part conquer the whole? These are absurd notions which only create nightmares for you, nothing else. See the whole situation… you come out of the whole and you dissolve into it, and, in between, you are every moment part of it. You breathe it, you live it, and it breathes through you, it lives through you. Your life and its life are not two things—you are just like a wave in the ocean.

Once you understand this, meditation becomes possible. Once you understand this, you relax. You throw off all the armour that you have created around you as a security. You are no longer afraid. Fear disappears and love arises. In this state of love, emptiness happens. Or, if you can allow emptiness to happen, love will flower in it. Love is a flower of emptiness, total emptiness. It can work both ways. So there are two types of religion. One which creates emptiness in you and around you so that a flowering becomes possible; you have created the situation, now the flower bubbles up automatically. Finding no resistance, the seed suddenly blooms into a flower. There is a jump in your being, an explosion. Buddhism and Zen follow this path—they create emptiness in and around you.

There is another path also, a second type of religion, which creates love in you, which creates devotion in you. Meera and Chaitanya love, and they love the total so deeply that they find their beloved everywhere; on every leaf, on every stone, is the signature of the beloved. He is everywhere. They dance because there is nothing else to do but celebrate. And everything is ready—only the celebration has to start on your part. Nothing else is lacking. A bhakta, a lover, simply celebrates, enjoys. And in that enjoyment of love and celebration, the ego disappears and emptiness follows.

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Emptiness and love

Either you create emptiness—like a Buddha, Tilopa, Sekkyo, or you create love—like Meera, Chaitanya, Jesus. Create one and the other follows, because they cannot live separately, they don’t have any separate existence. Love is one face of emptiness; emptiness is nothing but love in another aspect, they come together. If you bring one, you invite one, the other follows automatically as a shadow of it. It depends on you.

If you want to follow the path of meditation, become empty. Don’t bother about love—it will come of its own accord. Or, if you find it very difficult to meditate, then love, then become a lover, and meditations and emptiness’s will follow you.

So this is my definition: if you find being empty easy, then do that. If you find it is very difficult, then don’t be unhappy and don’t feel hopeless. You will always find love easier. I have not come across a man who finds both difficult. So, there is hope for everybody. If meditation is difficult, love will be easier, it has to be. If love is difficult, meditation will be easier. So just feel yourself.

Excerpted from The Grass Grows By Itself | Courtesy: Osho International Foundation • Osho.com

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