Life is relationship, living is relationship, yet very little attention is given to the question. What is your relationship with another? Have you any relationship at all; or is you relationship with the past? The past with its images, experience, knowledge, brings about what you call relationship. But knowledge in relationship causes disorder. If you have hurt me, I remember that; you hurt me yesterday, or a week ago, that remains in my mind, that's the knowledge I have about you. That knowledge prevents relationship; that knowledge in relationship breeds disorder. So the question is: When you hurt me, flatter me, when you scandalize me, can the mind wipe it away at the very moment without recording it?
So one asks: Can you see that sunset, or the beautiful face, or your sexual experience, or whatever it be, see it and finish it, not carry it over – whether that thing was great beauty or great sorrow or great physical or psychological pain? Can you see the beauty of it and be finished, completely finished, not take it over and store it up for the next day, next month, the future? If you store it up, then thought plays with it. Thought is the storing up of that incident of that pain or that suffering or that thing that gave delight.
I want to see the sunset, I want to look at the trees, full of the beauty of the earth. I don't want to reduce it, and thought will reduce it. Is not the mind an instrument of comparison? You say this is better than that; you compare yourself with somebody who is more beautiful, who is more clever. There is comparison when you say, 'I remember that particular river that I saw a year ago, and it was still more beautiful'. You compare yourself with somebody, with an example, with the ultimate ideal. You see the sunset, and you immediately compare that sunset with the previous sunset. You see a mountain and you see how beautiful it is. Then you say, 'I saw a still more beautiful mountain two years ago'. When you are comparing, you are really not looking at the sunset which is there, but you are looking at it in order to compare it with something else. So comparison prevents you from looking fully.
What is actually taking place in our relationships? Are not our relationships a self-isolation? Is not every activity of the mind a process of safeguarding, of seeking security, isolation? We have so many securities; we have built walls around ourselves with which we are satisfied, and occasionally there is a whisper beyond the wall; occasionally there is an earthquake, a revolution, a disturbance which we soon smother. So most of us really do not want to go beyond the self-enclosing process; all we are seeking is a substitution, the same thing in a different form. We are actually seeking, not to go beyond isolation, but to strengthen isolation so that it will be permanent and undisturbed.
Most of us are aware of this inner poverty, this inner insufficiency. You say it is empty, you give it a name, and you think you have understood it. Is not the very naming of the thing a hindrance to the understanding of it? It is not an abortive reaction, it is a fact, and by calling it some name, we cannot dissolve it – it is there. Do you know something by giving it a name? Do you know me by calling me a name? You can know me only when you observe me, when you have communion with me, but calling me by a name saying I am this or that, obviously puts an end to communion with me.
It is only when the mind is quiet that it shall know love, and that state of quietness is not a thing to be cultivated. Cultivation is still the action of the mind; discipline is still a product of the mind, and a mind that is disciplined, controlled, subjugated, a mind that is resisting, explaining, cannot know love. You may read, you may listen to what is being said about love, but that is not love. Only when you put away the things of the mind, only when your heart is empty of the things of the mind, is there love. Then you will know what it is to love without separation, without distance, without time, without fear – and that is not reserved to the few.
Excerpt from On Love and Loneliness