Only Unconditional Love
Osho on Saint Augustine
Born on 13th November, 354, Saint Augustine was a theologian and philosopher of Berber origin and the bishop of Hippo Regius in Numidia, Roman North Africa. His writings influenced the development of Western philosophy and Western Christianity, and he is viewed as one of the most important Church Fathers of the Latin Church in the Patristic Period. His many important works include The City of God, On Christian Doctrine, and Confessions. According to his contemporary, Jerome, Augustine “established anew the ancient Faith”. In his youth he was drawn to the major Persian religion, Manichaeism, and later to Neo-Platonism. After his conversion to Christianity and baptism in 386, Augustine developed his own approach to philosophy and theology, accommodating a variety of methods and perspectives.
His numerous written works, the most important of which are Confessions (c. 400) and The City of God (c. 413–426), shaped the practice of biblical exegesis and helped lay the foundation for much of medieval and modern Christian thought. In Roman Catholicism he is formally recognized as a doctor of the church. Augustine is remarkable for what he did and extraordinary for what he wrote. If none of his written works had survived, he would still have been a figure to be reckoned with, but his stature would have been more nearly that of some of his contemporaries. However, more than five million words of his writings survive, virtually all displaying the strength and sharpness of his mind (and some limitations of range and learning) and some possessing the rare power to attract and hold the attention of readers in both his day and ours. His distinctive theological style shaped Latin Christianity in a way surpassed only by Scripture itself. His work continues to hold contemporary relevance, in part because of his membership in a religious group that was dominant in the West in his time and remains so today.
Osho, when he talks about Saint Augustine, says, “Somebody asked Saint Augustine, “Define God. What do you mean when you use the word god?” And Augustine said, “It is just like time. I can talk about it, but if you insist on the definition, I am at a loss.” You keep asking people, “What is the time?” And they will look at their watches and reply. But if you really ask, “What is time?” If you ask for the definition, then watches won’t help. Can you define time? Nobody has ever seen it, there is no way of seeing it. If you look, it is gone; if you think, it is not there. When you don’t think, when you don’t look, when you simply are, it is there. You live it. And Saint Augustine is right: God can be lived, but cannot be seen. Time also can be lived, but cannot be seen. Time is not a philosophical problem, it is existential. God is also not philosophical, he is existential. People have lived him, but if you insist on a definition they will remain silent, they cannot answer. And if you can be in this moment, the doors of all the mysteries are open.”
JESUS SAID: NOW IS THE SON OF MAN GLORIFIED, AND GOD IS GLORIFIED IN HIM. A NEW COMMANDMENT I GIVE UNTO YOU, THAT YE LOVE ONE ANOTHER; AS I HAVE LOVED YOU, THAT YE ALSO LOVE ONE ANOTHER. BY THIS SHALL ALL MEN KNOW THAT YE ARE MY DISCIPLES, IF YE HAVE LOVE ONE TO ANOTHER.
Love is the essential message of Jesus, but it has been lost — lost in arguments, debates, discussions, conflicting philosophies, wars.
I would like to tell you one anecdote:
One day a little boy asked his parents,’How do wars break out? How are they declared?’
He was reading a book on history, and a book on history is nothing but wars, ugly wars. That is all your history is.
The boy became worried, anxious.’Why do wars start? How do they start?’ he asked his parents.
So the father, who was very learned in political and economic affairs, started talking about the economic causes of u wars.
But the mother thought that the little boy was too small to understand such complicated things and she said,’Let me explain it.’
The mother began to explain and the father became very angry. He grew very angry and hostile, because he was going to teach the child and the mother jumped in. A great argument developed.
The little boy was very frightened indeed, and held up his hands and cried loudly, ‘Stop, stop! Now I know how wars start.’
Once you create a philosophy, an opinion, you are already on the warpath. If there is ideology, there is going to be fight. This is the predicament: there are people who want the world to be without wars, but they have ideologies and their ideologies create wars.
There are communists who go on arranging peace conferences, and they have a particular ideology of how the world should be and how the society should be. There are Catholics who go on talking about peace, but they have an ideology; and there are Hindus who go on talking about peace, but they have an ideology. There are even Jains who talk of non-violence, peace, no war, but they have an ideology — and if you have an ideology you are the cause of war.
A world without wars will be a world without ideologies. A world without wars can be based only on a nonideological love. Love is not an ideology, it is not a theology, it is not a philosophy. ‘This,’ Jesus says, ‘is my new commandment.’
A NEW COMMANDMENT I GIVE UNTO YOU, THAT YE LOVE ONE ANOTHER; AS I HAVE LOVED YOU, THAT YE ALSO LOVE ONE ANOTHER. BY THIS SHALL ALL MEN KNOW THAT YE ARE MY DISCIPLES, IF YE HAVE LOVE ONE TO ANOTHER.
Verily, verily, I also say unto you, that only those who love are Christians. Catholics cannot be Christians; they are against Protestants. Protestants cannot be Christians; they are against Catholics. Christians cannot be Christians; they are against Hindus. Hindus cannot be Christians; they are against Mohammedans and Christians.
To follow Christ, one has to follow love. This is his new commandment: follow love and forget everything. Everything is irrelevant; only love has relevance because only love leads you to the divine, only love leads you to the temple of God.
Make love your only, and the ONLY commandment. There is nothing else. If you follow love, everything will be set right of its own accord.
One man went to St. Augustine and asked, ‘Just in short, give me the very essence of religion. I am not a learned man; don’t make it very complicated and don’t give me many commandments, because I will get confused. You simply say one thing to me, just a key word.’
St. Augustine said, ‘Then that word is ‘love’. You love and don’t be bothered by anything else.’
If you love, everything falls in step of its own accord. Let love be your God; let love be your only commandment; let love be your religion. Please remember — don’t make an ideology of it. Act in a loving way, be in a loving way. Don’t create a philosophy around love because that will create wars. A peaceful world is possible if love starts throbbing in the heart of man. Man has been so inhuman to man in the past that even animals look like angels in comparison. Because up to now we have only talked about love; we have not loved. Now let us love, and forget all talk about love. Lovers are needed.
And remember one thing which Jesus says, because you may not have listened to it: ‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another’ — and now comes the most important clause in the sentence — ‘as I have loved you.’ How does a Jesus love? His love is unconditional. He loves; he loves you without any expectations. He loves you just because you are beautiful. It is not that he has some expectations of you; it is not that you have to be in a certain way, then he will love. He simply loves you because you are, because you are God.
You ARE gods; you are already worthy. Whatsoever you are, you have a worth of tremendous value, otherwise God wouldn’t allow you to exist. So Jesus ”as I have loved you’ means: be in the attitude of unconditional love. And
remember, only unconditional love is love.
Love conditioned is love corrupted; love unconditioned is the vast sky of being.
It is another word for God.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse Series: Come Follow To You, Vol 4
Chapter title: As I Have Loved You
23 December 1975 am in Buddha Hall
Osho has spoken on many Western Mystics like Jesus, Gurdjieff, Magdalen, Rumi, Socrates, Theresa, Zarathustra, St. Francis, Dionysius, Boehme, Eckhart, St. Augustine, Baal Shem and many more in His discourses. Some of these can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- Sermons in Stones
- Come Come Yet Again Come
- Come Follow To You
- Socrates Poisoned Again After 25 Centuries
- The New Dawn
- The Sword and The Lotus
- Beyond Psychology
- The Empty Boat
- I Celebrate Myself: God Is No Where, Life Is Now Here
- Zarathustra: A God That Can Dance
- The Perfect Master
- Sufis: The People of the Path
- The Diamond Sutra