No I, No thou

Osho on Love


The existence is made of the stuff called love. Physics says matter consists of electricity. If you ask Kabir he will say: Matter, existence, consists of warmth, not electricity — the warmth of love. Existence is possible only because of love, because God cares, because he loves. God is not indifferent. God is a lover. It would be better to say, “God is love.” We can forget the word `god’, but we should not forget the word `love’. Love is far more valuable than the word `god’, because love is the very spirit of God. God may be just the body, love is the very soul. And this whole existence is in love: these trees are moving tremendously in love; these stars, these rivers rushing towards the ocean, are rushing towards a love-affair where they can meet and merge. Watch, and you will find everywhere the shadow of love, the thrill, the excitement, the ecstasy of love. Whatsoever the form, if you look deeply, you will always find something throbbing at the center which cannot be anything other than love.




When love renounces all limits….There are many limits, and our love is confined in limits. That’s why even if we love, we are never happy with it. The unhappiness that comes through love is not because of love, but because of the limitations that surround it. Let it be absolutely clear to you, because many people, finding that love gives misery — yes, it can give, if there are limitations — become antagonistic towards love. They become enemies of love. Then they start escaping from all possibilities of love. There are a few monasteries yet in existence in Europe. One monastery exists; it has existed for almost twelve hundred, thirteen hundred years. Once the monk enters the monastery he never comes out of it; it is a commitment for the whole life. And, in the monastery, no woman is ever allowed; for thirteen hundred years not a single woman has entered. The monastery is only for males, for men. And there are monasteries where only women are allowed, no man has ever entered. All possibility of love is dropped.

People escape to the Himalayas: they are escaping from love, not from the world. They are afraid of love, and their fear has some reason behind it. Whenever you are in love, you are in a turmoil. Whenever there is love there is difficulty; whenever there is love there is conflict; whenever there is love there is hell. Says Jean-Paul Sartre, “The other is hell.” So whenever there is love the other enters your life, and suddenly there is conflict, collision, struggle to dominate each other, to possess each other, to master each other. And the misery arises. Lovers are rarely happy. I am not saying that non-lovers are happy; non-lovers may not be happy, but they are never so unhappy as the lovers. And lovers are more unhappy because love had promised so much in the beginning — great expectation had arisen, great hope was there — and then everything is shattered on the rocks. A non-lover had not any expectation; he was settled, he was not hoping for heaven. You cannot throw a man into hell if he is not hoping for heaven. You can throw a man into hell only when he hopes for heaven. Otherwise there is no possibility…

When you expect, love becomes contaminated, polluted. Then love is not really love; it now has a limitation — because of expectation.  When you love a person, you start possessing the person; you are afraid your woman may move to somebody else. You become so much afraid that you cannot even tolerate her looking at somebody. You cannot tolerate the idea that she was laughing with somebody else. That she can laugh without you?! It is impossible, it hurts. You start creating a prison for her — a beautiful cage, of course, that you call home — but you create a cage. Certainly, when you start creating a cage, she has to create a cage for you too — because nobody can become the jailer unless he becomes a prisoner too. When you possess somebody you are possessed. When you force somebody to be a slave, you have become a slave in the process itself. A Master is one who has never tried for anybody, who has never forced anybody to be a slave. If you try to enslave people, you will be enslaved by them. That’s a simple process. Possess something and the thing will possess you. Become attached to something and you will feel that now you are in a great bondage. Because of the limitations of love, love becomes condemned, and people feel it is because of love that they are suffering. Try to understand what limitations are possible.

Kabir says: When love renounces all limits, it reaches truth. The limits have to be understood.

Martin Buber, one of the greatest thinkers of this age, has divided love in two ways. The first he calls I-it: you love your car, you love your house; this is I-it love. You love your child, you love your woman; this is I-thou love. “These are two types of love,” Buber says: “I-it and I-thou.”

Now, watch carefully. The I-it love-affair is very limited — because the other is just a thing, and a thing can never give you freedom. And in fact, when you become attached too much to a thing you also start becoming a thing yourself… because your love determines your being.

A person who loves his car cannot be more of a person: loving a car, you show what type of person you are. A person who loves money becomes more and more like the money: just dirty currency notes. He also becomes like them. You can see it in the eyes: if a man is too much of a miser, you can see it in the eyes — currency notes, dirty notes, floating. He loses his soul; he is reduced to something that he loves.

Beware: never love a thing below yourself, otherwise you will be falling. Because your love object becomes your goal, you start falling towards it. Whomsoever you love, you start falling towards him. Never love a thing, otherwise your soul will be reduced to a thing. This is the greatest limitation, I-it. And the problem is more complicated, because if you love your car, you understand this is a car. But there are people who love their wives also in the same way — I-it. The wife is not thought to be a person. In the East they call the wife “your wealth”. Wife? — your wealth? That’s how it has been thought of down the ages. In the East the relationship between the husband and the wife is an I-it relationship. In many countries, if you kill your wife there will be no problem. It is not a problem for the law to worry about: she was YOUR wife, you are entitled to kill her. If you beat your wife, nobody is going to say anything to you; it’s your affair, you can beat your wife. This is how things have existed…

Drop this boundary. Move a little higher, move to a little bigger concept. And that concept Buber calls I-thou. Let your woman be a thou, not an it; let your man be a thou, not an it; let your child be a thou — respect the other. The other is a soul of immense value. The other is God. Call him “thou”, and not only call him, but behave in such a way that you never think of the other as a thing. Never try to use anybody; share, but never use. Respect the dignity of the other, never interfere, and then love has a bigger space, less limited. But still, it will be limited.

Buber talks only about two: I-it and I-thou. I would like to talk about two more possibilities. The third possibility, higher than I-thou, is “not I-thou” — when you say, “I am not, only you are.” That’s where prayer arises: when you say, “I am not, you are. I am totally one with you. I have no separate entity.” When you can say that to your lover, the relationship has gone beyond the human. I-it is below human, I-thou is human, No I-thou is superhuman, the state of prayer.

I-it is sexual, I-thou is what is ordinarily called love, no I-thou is prayer. That’s why the devotee says to God, “I am not. Not my, but thy will be done.” The devotee surrenders his I; a man in prayer surrenders his I, bows down his head and says, “Only you are. I am just a part in you, just a part, a mere part, nothing to brag about. There is no need to make any fuss about me. I am not.”

This is the third: you have a still vaster sky available to you. And the fourth I call: no I, no thou; that is the state of meditation. When you say, “I am not, you are,” a subtle feeling of “I” will persist — because even to call the other thou, I is needed. Without the I, thou cannot exist — maybe not consciously now, maybe not so gross, maybe refined — but there will remain a shadow. Otherwise, who will say “thou”? To call God “thou” or your lover “thou”, you have to be there. The fourth state is: no I, no thou. Now there is even no prayer. Even that much duality has been dropped. There is silence, meditative silence, ZAZEN. One is simply sitting, doing nothing. There is nothing to say, there is nobody to say it, there is nobody for it to be said to. The addressor has disappeared, and so has the addressed disappeared. That’s why I say Buddhism reaches to the highest: no I, no thou…

This is what Kabir calls:



And then the fragrance that you have been carrying for lives together, that you have been carrying like a seed, spreads from your being. Now it has become a lotus flower: now it is open to the sky, to the wind, to the sun, the rains, and the fragrance spreads and goes on spreading to the very corners of existence. Your love-affair has spread all over existence. Now you are in an orgasmic state with existence itself. This is ecstasy. This is the ultimate bliss, benediction. In this ultimate state of love, this ultimate flowering of your being, love is no more a relationship: it becomes a state. I-it is a relationship, very much confined by the “it”. I-thou is still a relationship — a little freed, more freed: your rope is bigger to roam around — but “thou” is still a limiting concept. Still it is a relationship. Not I-thou… things are melting. You are in the melting-pot, but you have not yet disappeared totally, utterly. Certainly the relationship has become very big, but still it is a relationship. In the fourth it is no more a relationship, because for the relationship to exist two are needed. It is a state of being.

Up to the third you can say love exists as a dialogue. Beyond the third the dialogue has disappeared. Now it is not that you love; now you ARE love. Now love is all that is there: the lover has disappeared, the beloved has disappeared, only love has remained. In all our life situations, this trinity has to be remembered: the knower, the known, and the knowledge; the lover, the loved, and love; the observer, the observed, and the observation. This is the trinity. by-and-by, we have to dissolve. When the knower is no more and the known is no more, then knowledge is freed of all limitations. Then knowledge is immense, as immense as existence itself. And so is love when the lover and the loved have disappeared.



It becomes truth itself.


Listen to complete discourse at mentioned below link.

Discourse Series: The Path of Love Chapter #9

Chapter title: Heaven Is All The Way To Heaven

29 December 1976 am in Buddha Hall


Osho has spoken on ‘love, prayer, meditation, silence, relationship’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:

  1. The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 3, 6, 8
  2. From Unconciousness to Consciousness
  3. From the False to the Truth
  4. The Hidden Splendor
  5. Om Shantih Shantih Shantih
  6. Theologia Mystica
  7. The Book of Wisdom
  8. Walking in Zen, Sitting in Zen
  9. The Razor’s Edge
  10. Sermons in Stones
  11. My Way: The Way of the White Clouds
  12. The Beloved, Vol 1, 2
  13. The Secret of Secrets, Vol 2
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