Question – Why are people so afraid of being loved?
Osho – Krishna Gopa has asked it. People ARE afraid of being loved. Because love brings misery, love brings lies. Love brings imprisonment, love brings slavery, love destroys freedom. That’s why people are afraid.
And people cannot remain without love, because love is a necessary nourishment too. So they hanker for love, they desire to be loved and to love. They cannot remain alone. But the moment they meet the person, the other — the woman, the man — they become frightened too. Because they know now they are getting into a cage.
Because love is not yet unconditional, that’s why people are afraid of love. And because love brings so many compromises. They have to compromise so much that they almost lose their original face. That’s why people are afraid. And they cannot remain without it either, because it is a necessary nourishment for the soul. In fact because it is a necessary nourishment of the soul, that’s why people have learned to exploit it. If it was not such a necessity then there would have been no exploitation. Love is such a necessity that you can exploit it, you can make conditions. You can say ‘I will love you only if you do this. I will love you only if you will love only me and nobody else, never. And I will love you only if you accept my conditions.’
These are the conditions. And a hungry man is bound to accept the conditions. He starts lying, he starts playing games, he starts being phony. He starts doing things which he never wanted to do, and he stops doing things which he always wanted to do. And then sooner or later he thinks it is too much a price for love, it is better not to be in love, it is better to be alone. So people go on moving from aloneness to love, from love to aloneness. When they are alone the hunger is felt. When they are together, the ugliness of it.
I have heard: The weary old priest arriving in Heaven before Saint Peter: ‘No more service. Rest at last.’
Saint Peter: ‘Just choose yourself the softest cloud, and sleep. You’ve earned your rest.’
With a deep sigh the priest sinks himself in a woolly Heavenly cloud and dozes off. But then there is no real rest. Every now and then, little bells ring and wake him up. After some hours, in a state of total neurosis, he gets up out of his cloud, runs up to Saint Peter and complains: ‘What do you mean by I can rest? This is a hell. Hear those penetrating bells, ringing every time I’m just falling asleep!’
‘Oh, I’m so sorry, but I can’t do a thing about it. You’ll get used to it. They are only part of the system of registering whenever a serious lie is being told down on Earth. Now that you know, they won’t bother you any more. Sleep well.’
And sure as hell, Peter’s words came true. After retiring to his cloud the priest falls into a deep sleep. But then in the middle of the night he jumps with a scream, grabs his head, goes mad in a second. Thousands of bells ringing all around with thunderous noise. ‘Peter, Peter, save me. What’s happening?’ Peter is there already and covers the ears of the poor priest with his loving hands. ‘Poor man, this is the hour when lovers meet and say beautiful things to each other.’
Love brings a thousand and one lies in life. It is humiliating. One feels caged, imprisoned, compromised. One feels paralyzed, crippled. One feels chained in a thousand and one ways. That’s why, Gopa, people are afraid of love.
One of my basic messages to you is: Never exploit love. That will be a great religious revolution in your life. Never exploit love. If somebody loves you, don’t bring any conditions to it. If you love somebody, don’t make him a cripple. Let your love become spacious. Give more space to the person than he had when he was alone. Give him nourishment. But don’t poison his nourishment, don’t possess him. Let him be free. More free than he ever was. And then love grows into deep intimacy.
When love brings freedom then love goes deepest. When love makes the other feel respected, not humiliated, not destroyed but enhanced. When love feels nourishing, liberating, then love goes deepest. Then love becomes prayer. It becomes the utmost, the ultimate experience of life. Don’t exploit love. Whenever you are in love, remember. And you will have to remember hard, because for thousands of years man has exploited love, and that has become habitual.
Source – Osho Book “This Very Body the Buddha”