Love: The Biggest Death

Love and Death, move through the world, like closest friends indeed, never far separate, and together dominating it in a kind of triumphant superiority; and yet like bitterest enemies, dogging each other’s footsteps, undoing each other’s work, fighting for the bodies and souls of mankind.
 Edward Carpenter
Is pain always painful? I heard a story about a tree who loved a boy very much. Boy used to come and play in the shades of tree, climb up, swing from the branches and eat its fruits. The tree was happy. Time went by. The child became adolescent and found happiness in other things and abandoned playing around the tree. The tree was left alone to live. One day, the adolescent boy was passing beside the tree with a sad face. The tree felt the sadness inside the boy and shouted “Come Boy, climb up my trunk, swing from my branches, eat my fruits and play in my shade and be happy.” “I am too big to climb and play. Don’t mess. I’m in trouble” said the adolescent boy. The tree asked “What happened? What is the cost of your happiness?” The adolescent boy replied “I want to buy things and have fun. I want some money.” The tree said “Don’t worry my boy. Take my fruits, sell them in the market, earn money, have fun and be happy.” The adolescent boy climbed up the tree, plucked fruits and left the tree alone again. But the tree was happy for the boy. After a long time tree again saw the boy, felt alive with joy and shouted “Come Boy, climb up my trunk, swing from my branches and be happy.” The boy replied in hard voice “I am too busy to climb trees. I need to expand my business far off the sea. I need a boat. I don’t know what to do?” The tree said “Calm down Boy. Cut off my branches, build a boat and be happy.” The boy, now a young man, did the same and again left the tree alone. But the tree was happy for the boy. After travelling and wandering place to place. The man returned with his wife and son and wanted to settle down. The man introduced his son to the tree and shared the stories how he used to play around the tree and how tree helped him time to time. Now tree is itself old and hardly speak but whispered “You look sad what’s the matter.” The man replied “Now I’m a married man having wife and kid. I want to settle down. I need a house.” The tree replied “Cut down my trunk, make a house and be happy.” The man and his son together cut down the trunk and made a house for themselves. The tree was once again left alone. But the tree was happy for the boy. Many years passed. This time the man was also alone. The man’s child became young and became busy in his carrier opportunities. In meanwhile, the man’s wife also died. He was sad. Now, he realized that the tree was his real lover. He went to the tree. The tree greeted him properly and said “I am sorry Boy; I have nothing left to give you. My apples are gone. My branches are gone. My trunk is gone. I wish that I could give you something but I have nothing left. I am just an old stump.” “I don’t need very much now,” said the boy, “just a quiet place to sit and rest. I am very tired.” “Well,” said the tree, straightening as much as it could, “an old stump is good for sitting and resting. Come Boy, sit down. Sit down and rest.” And the man did. The tree was happy for the boy. The emotions of the tree could be expressed better in the words of Mother Teresa who said “I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”
I heard once a lover knocked on the door of his beloved. A sound heard from inside “who are you?” Lover replied “It’s me.” Another sound heard from inside “go back there is no room for I in love.” Lover wandered and wandered for the meaning of love. After a long time he again knocked the same door. Again same voice “who are you?” Lover replied “It’s you” Beloved said “go back when there is you there is I” Lover realized his mistake and again knocked the door and again the question “who are who?” This time lover replied “its love” and the door opened.

Love breaks the wall of “I.” Love could not be confined within any wall. Love is infinite sky. If one see the sky from a window and think what is visible is sky then it would be a wrong assessment. Love is not only that reflects through the window of relationship but is the whole sky. The energy of love passes into instincts, into the power of ideas, into creative force on different planes of life, into images of art, into songs, sounds, music, poetry. And we can easily imagine the same energy passing into intuition of a higher order, into higher consciousness which will open up for us a mysterious and miraculous world. Rumi said “This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.”

It is the fear of demolition of the wall of ego inside individual, the abolishment of “I-ness,” death of individuality that causes pain in love. The death of ego is the biggest death and source of happiness. It is the feeling of I-ness that is the cause of misery in human life. Barbara de Angelis said “Love is a force more formidable than any other. It is invisible – it cannot be seen or measured, yet it is powerful enough to transform you in a moment, and offer you more joy than any material possession could.”
A candle burns to give light. Burning is the necessary condition for obtaining light from a candle. Burning and light are two faces of same phenomenon. The same is true with light of love and burning of ego and, that is why; Sufism believes in love as “divine and a way of salvation”, Buddhism’s  “Karuna” is egolessness, Benedict XVI wrote his first encyclical on “God is love.” One can start his journey from either side. In fact, in Hindu mythology love and death are the two faces of one deity. Shiva, the god of the reproductive force in nature, is at the same time the god of violent death, murder and destruction. His wife Parvati is the goddess of beauty, love and happiness, and she is also Kali or Durga – the goddess of evil, misfortune, sickness and death. And Shiva and Kali together are gods of wisdom.
Socrates once said “By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you’ll transcend through love; if you get a bad one, you’ll transcend through suffering.” It is a well-known psychological fact that at moments of very intense experience, great joy or great suffering, everything happening around seems to a man unreal, a dream. This is the beginning of the awakening of the soul. When a man begins to be aware, in a dream, that he is asleep and that what he sees is a dream, he awakes. In the same way a soul, when it begins to realize that all visible life is but a dream, approaches awakening.
Whoever is capable of seeing beyond ‘facts’ begins to see many new things precisely in love and through love.
-P.D. Ouspensky