There are as many loves as there are people. Love is a hierarchy, from the lowest rung to the highest, from sex to superconsciousness. There are many many layers, many planes of love. It all depends on you. If you are existing on the lowest rung, you will have a totally different idea of love than the person who is existing on the highest rung. Adolf Hitler will have one idea of love, Gautam Buddha another; and they will be diametrically opposite, because they are at two extremes.
At the lowest, love is a kind of politics, power politics. Wherever love is contaminated by the idea of domination, it is politics. Whether you call it politics or not is not the question, it is political. And millions of people never know anything about love except this politics — the politics that exists between husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends. It is politics, the whole thing is political: you want to dominate the other, you enjoy domination. And love is nothing but politics sugar-coated, a bitter pill sugar-coated.
You talk about love but the deep desire is to exploit the other. And I am not saying that you are doing it deliberately or consciously. People are falling in love with horses, dogs, animals, machines, things. Why? Because to be in love with human beings has become an utter hell, a continuous conflict — nagging, always at each other’s throats. This is the lowest form of love. Nothing is wrong with it if you can use it as a steppingstone , if you can use it as a meditation.
If you can watch it, if you try to understand it, in that very understanding you will reach another rung, you will start moving upwards. Only at the highest peak, when love is not a relationship any more, when love becomes a state of your being, the lotus opens totally and great perfume is released — but only at the highest peak. At its lowest, love is just a political relationship. At its highest, love is a religious state of consciousness. I love you too, Buddha loves, Jesus loves, but their love demands nothing in return.
Their love is given for the sheer joy of giving it; it is not a bargain. Hence the radiant beauty of it, hence the transcendental beauty of it. It surpasses all the joys that you have known. When I talk about love, I am talking about love as a state. It is unaddressed: you don’t love this person or that person, you simply love. You are love. Rather than saying that you love somebody, it will be better to say you are love. So whosoever is capable of partaking, can partake.
Whosoever is capable of drinking out of your infinite sources of being, you are available — you are available unconditionally. That is possible only if love becomes more and more meditative. `Medicine’ and `meditation’ come from the same root. Love as you know it is a kind of disease: it needs the medicine of meditation. If it passes through meditation, it is purified. And the more purified it is, the more ecstatic.
Nancy was having coffee with Helen.
Nancy asked, “How do you know your husband loves you?”
“He takes out the garbage every morning.”
“That’s not love. That’s good housekeeping.”
“My husband gives me all the spending money I need.”
“That’s not love. That’s generosity.”
“My husband never looks at other women.”
“That’s not love. That’s poor vision.”
“John always opens the door for me.”
“That’s not love. That’s good manners.”
“John kisses me even when I’ve eaten garlic and I have curlers in my hair.”
“Now, that’s love.”