Osho – Love is the only quality, a natural quality, that has something of eternity in it. Hence love is the first experience of god, the beginning of the experience of god. God is much more than that, but love opens the door. God is inconceivable, but love is not inconceivable. Love is natural, so love functions as a bridge between man and god. If the bridge is not there you cannot reach god; god remains simply an empty word. But with love immediately you start understanding god in a new way. It is no more an empty word; it starts having great content in it, great meaning in it, great significance in it.
Knowing love is the first lesson in knowing god. That is the beginning of the alphabet, the ABC. Of course god is far more, because the alphabet will have to go to XYZ, but if you have begun rightly with ABC, XYZ is not far away. A good beginning is almost half the journey, a right beginning is half the journey.
Begin with love so one day you can know god. And never begin with god because you cannot begin there. That’s where all the religions have failed: they begin with god, which is not possible. You are stuck on this bank and you start your journey on the other bank, where you are not. So your journey remains just a fantasy, a journey of dreams — beautiful dreams, but dreams are dream, beautiful or ugly. When you wake up you will see that all that time has been wasted. Even if they were nice dreams they have not given you anything.
So there are worldly people who dream of worldly things, and there are so-called religious people who dream of religious things, but both are dreamers — both are stuck on this bank. And god is the farther shore. A bridge is needed or a boat is needed if a bridge is not possible. Love can function both ways. Either it can become a bridge or it can become a boat, but it can take you to the other shore.
The so-called religions teach you to begin with god, and of course then you have only to believe in god. You don’t know, you have to believe. This is the beginning of superstitution, and all kinds of stupidities will be born out of it — Christian stupidities and Hindu stupidities and Mohammedan and Jewish, and there are thousands of forms. Stupidity comes in every size and shape, in all colours; whatever you choose it is available. The market is full of stupidity and you have infinite variety; you can choose. You can go on changing from one stupidity to another.
But unless you know, you don’t know. Belief is not knowing. Belief is a deception, deceiving others and deceiving yourself. And I am not worried about others — if you deceive others it is okay — but don’t deceive yourself because that will destroy your whole life. And my understanding is that the person who deceives himself is the person who will deceive others. The person who cannot deceive himself cannot deceive others either; it becomes impossible for him to deceive. And belief is the greatest deception.
The only way to begin is with love, because that is a natural phenomenon. Everybody is born with a loving quality. You have to purify it, you have to make it more and more refined, cultured, so it loses all animality and lust, and slowly slowly starts rising higher than lust. Drop jealousies because those are poisons, heavy weights that keep your love low; it cannot rise high. Possessiveness, ego trips, domination — go on dropping all these, and slowly slowly your love will become weightless. A moment comes when there is no jealousy, no possessiveness, no lust, and love is pure.
You have wings, you can fly. Now you have something in you which can take you to the ultimate source of life, to god. Hence I say love is the first glimpse of eternity, and the last glimpse is god. Love is the beginning of god and god is the end of love. Love is the first step towards god and god is the ultimate goal of love.
Source – Osho Book “Just the Tip of the Iceberg”