Love: Flower of Emptiness
These are the two attitudes open to man: the attitude of a warrior and the attitude of a lover. It is your choice — you can choose. But remember… certain 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.
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 — emptiness is the situation.
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.
Either you create emptiness, like a Buddha, Tilopa, Sekkyo, and others; 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 emptinesses will follow you.
This is how it should be because there are two types of human mind: the feminine and the male. The feminine mind can love easily but to be empty is difficult. And when I say feminine mind, I don’t mean females, because many females have male minds, and many males have feminines minds. So they are not equivalent.
When I say feminine mind, I don’t mean the feminine body — you may have a feminine body but not a feminine mind. The feminine mind is the mind that feels love easier, that’s all. That is my definition of the feminine mind: it is one who feels love easily, naturally, who can flow into love without any effort. The male mind in one for whom love is an effort — he can love but he will have to do it. Love cannot be his whole being
— it is just one thing of many other things, not even the most important. He can sacrifice his love for science, he can sacrifice his love for the country, he can sacrifice his love for any trivial affair, for business, for money, for politics. Love is not such a deep thing with him, a male mind. It is not as effortless as it is for a feminine mind. Meditation is easier. He can become empty easily.
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 easier, meditation will be difficult. If love is difficult, meditation will be easier. So just feel yourself. And this is not concerned with your body, not with your physical structure, your hormones. No. It is a quality of your inner being. Once you find it, things become very, very easy, because then you won’t try on the wrong path. You can try on the wrong path for may lives but you will not attain anything. And if you try on the right path, even the first step can become the last, because you simply, naturally, flow into it. Nothing like effort exists — effortlessly you flow.
Zen is for the male mind. Soon I will balance it by talking about Sufism, because Sufism is for the feminine mind. These are the two extremes — Zen and Sufism. Sufis are lovers, great lovers. In fact, in the whole history of human consciousness, more daring lovers than Sufis have never existed, because they are the only ones who have turned God into their beloved. The God is the woman and they are the lovers.
Soon I will balance. Zen insists on emptiness, that’s why in Buddhism there is no concept of God, it is not needed. People in the West cannot understand how a religion exists without the concept of a God. Buddhism has no concept of any God — there is no need, because Buddhism insists on simply being empty, then everything follows. But who bothers? Once you are empty, things will take their own course. A religion exists without God. This is simply a miracle.
In the West, people who write about religion and the philosophy of religion, are always in trouble about how to define religion. They can define Hinduism, Mohammedanism, Christianity, easily, but Buddhism creates trouble. The can define God as being the center of all religion, but then Buddhism becomes a problem. They can define prayer as the essence of religion, but again Buddhism creates trouble, because there is no God and no prayer, no mantra, nothing. You have only to be empty. The concept of God will not allow you to be empty; prayer will be a disturbance; canting will not allow you to be empty. Simply being empty, everything happens. Emptiness is the secret key of Buddhism. You be in such a way that you are not.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
The Grass Grows By Itself
Chapter title: Emptiness and the Monk’s Nose
23 February 1975 am in Buddha Hall
Osho has spoken on ‘love, meditation, emptiness, zen’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- Beyond Enlightenment
- The Book of Wisdom
- From Death to Deathlessness
- The Messiah, Vol 1, 2
- The Razor’s Edge
- Sermons in Stones
- Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Vol 1, 2
- Zarathustra: A God That Can Dance
- And The Flowers Showered
- Zen: The Path of Paradox, Vol 3
- Walking in Zen, Sitting in Zen
- Tao: The Three Treasures, Vol 1
- Returning to the Source