Question – Beloved Osho, Is Jealousy yet another form of Cowardice?
Osho – Jealousy is very complicated. It has many ingredients in it. Cowardice also is one of them; egoistic attitudes is another; monopolistic desire — not an experience of love but only of possessiveness; a tendency to be competitive; a deep-rooted fear of being inferior…. So many things are involved in jealousy.
You love a person — at least you think you love a person…. If you really love, then jealousy is impossible. If you find the person loving somebody else, you will be happy: you love the person, and he is happy with somebody else; and all that you want is to make him happy. You will not feel jealous; on the contrary you will feel grateful to the person who has made your lover happy. You will feel a great friendliness.
But this is about true love, which is a rare variety. What exists in the name of love is just an idea. You “love” a person means you possess a person. You “love” a person means he cannot love anybody else. If he loves anybody else he is insulting you; he is proving that you are inferior, that there are better people, more lovable people than you are. It hurts the ego, it hurts your possessiveness, it hurts your monopolistic idea.
And basically it is cowardice, because you are not trying to face the facts about your love in a straightforward manner. It is not a question of your lover loving somebody else; the question is, do you love the person? And you are not brave enough to face that question. And that is the real question to be asked.
If I love the person then nothing matters.
Love allows freedom.
Love allows that whatever he feels like doing, he can do.
Whatever he feels to be blissful, it is his choice.
If you love the person, then you don’t interfere in his privacy. You leave that person’s privacy uninterfered with. You don’t try to trespass his inner being. You don’t want that he should say where he has been, why he is late in the night. That is not right at all.
It is his life: where he goes, and whether he comes late or not…. You have loved the person as he is — and this is the way he is. And you never try to interfere in his privacy. You don’t open his letters; you don’t look into his pockets, into his diary and note the phone numbers. You don’t try to find out some clue. That is all ugly.
You have to face it yourself.
If you don’t face it, that is cowardice.
And to hide it, you make so much of a tantrum of jealousy that you completely forget that it is only your cowardice. What was needed was to be very clear whether it is an idea that you love the man, or it is a reality. Reality has no problems; only ideas bring trouble because they are just superficial. Underneath there is so much rubbish that those ideas cannot help you. Any small thing and immediately trouble starts.
I cannot conceive that if two persons really love each other they will ever have any fight for any reason, that they will try to impose any idea on the other for any reason, that they will try to inhibit the other person from any action.
Love’s basic requirement is: “I accept the other person as he is.” And love never tries to change the person according to one’s own idea of them. You do not try to cut the person here and there and bring him to size — which is being done everywhere all over the world.
People who think they are lovers — they are continually harassing each other, trying to create the image that they want. They want the other person just as a puppet — and the strings should be in their hands. And the same is being done by the other person: he wants you to be a puppet, and the strings have to be in his hands. Now there is going to be continual conflict, misery, pain.
And one starts feeling a great wonder: why have poets been writing so many beautiful things about love? — because nothing seems to happen! It is only in the poetries. The reality is that most of the poets have never loved. They are in love with the idea of love, so they make beautiful poems, beautiful novels. Or perhaps they have loved, but failed so utterly that just to console themselves they create the polar opposite in their poetry.
For example, Leo Tolstoy was tortured by his wife for his whole life, even to the very end. The last day, she harassed him so much that he left the house at night and went to the station and died there on a bench. He was a count, and he had immense property and immense land and everything — but he lived like a poor man. The wife had control of everything.
She would not allow him even to have a friend, a male friend. She was so jealous that she would not allow him to read or write in front of her. He had to go out in the garden or in the fields to write; all his writing was done outside. Her jealousy was such that…, “When I am present you are more interested in your novel. This is an insult to me!”
And this man has written such beautiful books and such beautiful things about love, that if you didn’t know his life, you could not believe how it is possible. It is a compensation. In life he is missing it; he is putting it in the novels: in the novels he is creating the fantasy he would have liked his life to be, just to forget his life, its ugliness.
So either the poets have never loved and known, have never known the agony of it; or, if they have loved, they have known the agony of it and they wanted to know the ecstasy. So in their poetry you will find the ecstasy of love. But the truth is that the whole world is tortured unnecessarily.
Yes, it is cowardice that keeps you in torture. Just face the facts, whether you love a man or not. If you love, then there are no conditions to be put. If you don’t love, then who are you to put conditions?
Either way it is clear. If you love then there is no question of conditions: you love him as he is. If you don’t love, then too there is no problem: he is nobody to you; there is no question of putting conditions. He can do whatsoever he wants to do.
But one has to face one’s feelings in a very sincere and honest way. And that straightforward encounter of one’s feelings immediately shows you the path. Life is not difficult — we are making it so because we are cowards: we don’t see a thing which we know is there.
I had a friend; we were traveling together and the ticket checker came. I gave him my ticket, and my friend was looking in this pocket and that pocket, and was getting in great trouble.
I asked him, “Why don’t you look in this pocket — on the right side?”
He said, “That is my only hope! If it is not there, then the ticket is lost! So I am afraid to look in that pocket — first I look everywhere else. That will be the last.”
And that is the situation in life: we are not looking because we know that perhaps to face it will be a difficult task. But I know that it’s not difficult. It is always simple to face reality. And it makes you innocent; and unnecessary complexities don’t arise. Otherwise one goes on living in imagination, that one loves, that one can die for the other person.
You cannot even see the other person being happy with someone for a minute — and you think you can die for the other person! Just try to see what actually is in you for the other person — and jealousy will disappear. In most of the cases with jealousy, your love will also disappear. But it is good, because what is the point of having a love which is full of jealousy, which is not love?
If jealousy disappears and love still remains, then you have something solid in your life which is worth having.
Source – from Osho Book “Light on the Path”