Soul mates or cell mates?

Osho shatters the many illusions we have about love and marriage

Nobody is made for anybody else. Everybody is different from everybody else. You may love a person without knowing that you love the person only because there is so much difference between you, so much distance. The distance is a challenge, the distance is an adventure; the distance makes the woman or the man worth getting hold of, but things as they appear from a distance are not the same when they come close.

Hell is created because you expect heaven. I am telling you to accept this: the other person is going to be different. You are not the master, neither is the other the master; both are simply partners who have decided, in spite of all differences, to be together. And in fact, differences add spice to your love. If you can find a person who is just like you, you will not find much attraction. The other person has to be different, distant, a mystery that invites you to explore.

Don’t insist on agreement

With two mysteries meeting together, once they drop the idea that they have to agree on everything, there is no question of any fight. The fight arises because you want agreement.

If you are living just like two friends, she has her own ideas, you have your own ideas, she respects your ideas, you respect her ideas; she has her way, you have your own way and nobody is trying to impose on and indoctrinate the other. Then there is no question of a fight. And then there is no question that things are not fitting. Why should they be fitting? Why should there be any feeling that something is missing?

Nothing is missing

Nothing is missing; it is just that your idea of harmony is not there. Harmony is not something very great, it is boring. Once in a while, even if you fight, once in a while even if you get really angry, that does not mean that love disappears; that simply means love is capable of absorbing disagreements, fights and overcoming all these hindrances. But the old ideology gets in the way of your understanding.

There is no need for more than friendship. Love has to be a friendly affair in which nobody is superior, in which nobody is going to decide about things, in which both are fully aware that they are different, that their approach towards life is different, that they think differently, and still, with all these differences, they love each other. Then you will not find any problems. Problems are created by us.

Don’t be superhuman

Don’t try to create something superhuman. Be human, accept the other person’s humanity with all the frailty humanity is prone to. Your partner will commit mistakes just as you commit mistakes, and you have to learn. To be together is a great learning: of forgiving, forgetting, understanding that the other is as human as you are.

There is an old proverb: “To err is human and to forgive is divine.” I don’t agree. To err is human and to forgive is also human. To forgive is divine?—then you are raising it too high, beyond human reach. Bring it within human reach and learn to forgive. Learn to enjoy forgiveness, learn to offer an apology; you don’t lose anything when you can say to your partner, “I’m sorry, I was wrong.”

Give up your righteousness

But nobody wants to say, “I was wrong.” You want to be always right. The man tries to prove through arguments that he is right, and the woman tries through emotions to prove that she is right—screaming, crying, weeping, tears. And most often she wins! The man becomes afraid of neighbours, and just to cool her down—because the children may wake up—he says, “Calm down, perhaps you are right.” But deep down he still believes he is right.

To be understanding means that you can be wrong, the woman may be right. It is not a guarantee that just by being a man you have the power and authority to be right; neither has the woman. If we were just a little more human and a little more friendly, and we could say to each other, “I am sorry.” And what are the things you are fighting for? So small, so trivial that if somebody asks you to tell them about it, you will feel embarrassed.

Explore each other

Just drop the idea that everything has to fit, drop the idea that there is going to be total harmony because those are not good ideas. If everything fits you will get bored with each other; if everything is harmonious you will lose the whole juice of the relationship. It is good that things don’t fit. It is good that there is a gap so there is always something to explore, something to cross over, some bridge to be made. The whole life can be a tremendous exploration of each other if we accept the differences, a basic uniqueness of each individual, and we make love not a kind of slavery but a friendship. Try friendship, try friendliness; and remember always, there is nothing that is going to disturb you.

Excerpted from The Empty Boat. Courtesy: Osho International Foundation www.osho.com.

This was first published in the May 2014 issue of Complete Wellbeing.

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