Love is not identification; it is not thought about the loved. You do not think about love when it is there; you think about it only when it is absent, when there is distance between you and the object of your love. When there is direct communion, there is no thought, no image, no revival of memory; it is when the communion breaks, at any level, that the process of thought, of imagination, begins.
Love is not to be cultivated. Love cannot be divided into divine and physical; it is only love—not that you love many or the one. That again is an absurd question to ask: “Do you love all?” You know, a flower that has perfume is not concerned who comes to smell it, or who turns his back upon it. So is love. Love is not a memory. Love is not a thing of the mind or the intellect. But it comes into being naturally as compassion, when this whole problem of existence—as fear, greed, envy, despair, hope—has been understood and resolved.
As long as we possess, we shall never love. We know love as sensation, do we not? When we say we love, we know jealousy, we know fear, we know anxiety. When you say you love someone, all that is implied: envy, the desire to possess, the desire to own, to dominate, the fear of loss, and so on. All this we call love, and we do not know love without fear, without envy, without possession; we merely verbalize that state of love which is without fear, we call it impersonal, pure, divine, or God knows what else; but the fact is that we are jealous, we are dominating, possessive.
Love is different from emotion and feeling. Love cannot be brought into the field of thought; whereas feeling and emotion can be brought. Love is a flame without smoke, ever fresh, creative, joyous. Such love is dangerous to society, to relationship.
Love is a state of being, and in that state, the ‘me’, with its identifications, anxieties, and possessions, is absent. Love cannot be, as long as the activities of the self, of the ‘me’, whether conscious or unconscious, continue to exist. That is why it is important to understand the process of the self, the center of recognition which is the ‘me’.
When there is love, there is no duty. When you love your wife, you share everything with her—your property, your trouble, your anxiety, your joy. You do not dominate. You are not the man and she the woman to be used and thrown aside, a sort of breeding machine to carry on your name. When there is love, the word duty disappears.
Love implies great freedom—not to do what you like. But love comes only when the mind is very quiet, disinterested, not self-centered. These are not ideals. If you have no love, do what you will—go after all the gods on earth, do all the social activities, try to reform the poor, the politics, write books, write poems—you are a dead human being. And without love your problems will increase, multiply endlessly. And with love, do what you will, there is no risk; there is no conflict. Then love is the essence of virtue. And a mind that is not in a state of love is not a religious mind at all. And it is only the religious mind that is freed from problems, and that knows the beauty of love and truth.
Love cannot be thought about, love cannot be cultivated, love cannot be practiced. The practice of love, the practice of brotherhood, is still within the field of the mind, therefore it is not love. When all this has stopped, then love comes into being, then you will know what it is to love. Then love is not quantitative but qualitative.
Love is not of the mind, it is not in the net of thought, it cannot be sought out, cultivated, cherished; it is there when the mind is silent and the heart is empty of the things of the mind.