Being in Love

lions in love

The capacity to be alone is the capacity to love. It may look paradoxical to you, but it is not. It is an existential truth: only those people who are capable of being alone are capable of love, of sharing, of going into the deepest core of the other person – without possessing the other, without becoming dependent on the other, without reducing the other to a thing, and without becoming addicted to the other. They allow the other absolute freedom, because they know that if the other leaves, they will be as happy as they are now. Their happiness cannot be taken by the other, because it is not given by the other.

— Osho, Being In Love

Thanks RetaCatherine Orsten for this quote!

15 thoughts on “Being in Love

  1. I like this very much, except in the extreme it seems unrealistic to not feel any sadness from the loss if the other leaves. Obviously the happiness of one is not dependent on others, but is happiness truly the only valuable emotion? I wonder if this is properly translated and perhaps the word should be something like peace, or wholeness, rather than happiness. The other cannot take it, but is it not heartless and inhuman not to feel some loss?

    • I love your response, David. I agree, to not feel some loss would be heartless and cold. I believe that Osho is making the point here that it is important to not fall into the trap of “neediness”. When I feel that something is missing in my life I am usually quite occupied with finding a way to get that which I feel is missing. This effort generally involves thinking about what it is that I once had but have no more (so thinking about the past) and then projecting into the future how I can manipulate events, things or people in order to get the desired object (or person). All of this takes my awareness away from what is right in front of me now and so I miss the fullness of life that is always part of my life. So this view of things wants to suggest a state of mind that is aware of the present moment as a moment that is unique and full of all I need if I am able to let go of my preconceptions, regrets etc.

      You are right, the word “happiness” can be felt to be too limited to express what is meant here. For me the Sanskrit word “ananda” (which is usually translated as bliss) is more appropriate as it actually includes all the ups and downs and the full spectrum of human emotions, but on the background of the intensity of awareness of the present moment. In that awareness even so-called tragic, or painful events take on a different quality altogether and become part of the amazing fabric of this mysterious existence we are all in together. Then we welcome all the different facets of life and wouldn’t want any to be missing. Thus the deep sense of loss when someone dies or leaves us is not avoided and so there is no pulling on someone when they move away from us for whatever reason and we are able to accept that sometimes our paths move in different directions and there need be no blame or recriminations.

      In any case I am quite sure you would very much enjoy the Dalai Lama’s book called “The Art of Happiness” as it puts happiness into a much broader perspective.

      Cheers! tomas ☼

      • Yes, that fits. I dated someone once who went on to be something of a yogi. His statement was “wholeness is more than happiness.” I think that captures what you are saying. And yes, the huge mistake that we make is to try to find the other to “complete us,” which to me implies that when we give ourselves to someone in a relationship we must be giving only half a person. How much better to be whole and at peace and “happy” on our own, so that we can give not half a person but our whole self in union, and not be lost if the union, through death or other ways, is lost. I enjoy your posts. Sorry I don’t stop to comment more.

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