Question – Beloved Master, What is Platonic Love?
Osho – Krishna Deva, love is simply love. It can’t be Platonic or Hegelian or Kantian — love is simply love! Platonic love is another name for homosexuality. Plato seems to be the first person who believed in homosexuality. Many must have practiced it before him, but he is the first proponent of it.
The Greek idea of beauty was not that of feminine beauty — but male beauty. You must have seen in the museums Greek painting, sculpture, and you must have observed: you never come across the paintings of a nude woman or statues of nude women. No, it is always man.
Platonic love is just a good name for homosexuality. It is better to call it what it actually is rather than giving it a beautiful label. But love is neither homosexual nor heterosexual. Love is simply love! In fact, love has nothing to do with the object. Love is a state of your consciousness when you are joyous, when there is a dance in your being. Something starts vibrating, radiating, from your center; something starts pulsating around you. It starts reaching people: it can reach women, it can reach men, it can reach rocks and trees and stars.
When I am talking about love, I am talking about THIS love: a love that is not a relationship but a state of being. Always remember: whenever I use the word ‘love’ I use it as a state of being, not as a relationship. Relationship is only a very minor aspect of it. But your idea of love is basically that of relationship, as if that is all.
Relationship is needed only because you can’t be alone, because you are not yet capable of meditation. Hence, meditation is a MUST before you can really love. One should be capable of being alone, utterly alone, and yet tremendously blissful. Then you can love. Then your love is no more a need but a sharing, no more a necessity. You will not become dependent on the people you love. You will share — and sharing is beautiful.
But what ordinarily happens in the world is: you don’t have love, the person you think you love has no love in his being either, and both are asking for love from each other. Two beggars begging each other! Hence, the fight, the conflict, the continuous quarrel between the lovers — on trivia, on immaterial things, on stupid things! — but they go on quarreling.
The basic quarrel is that the husband thinks he is not getting what is his right to get, the wife thinks she is not getting what is her right to get. The wife thinks she has been deceived and the husband also thinks that he has been deceived. Where is the love? Nobody bothers to give, everybody wants to get. And when everybody is after getting, nobody gets it. And everybody feels at a loss, empty, tense.
The basic foundation is missing, and you have started making the temple without the foundation. It is going to fall and collapse any moment. And you know how many times your love has collapsed, and still you go on doing the same thing again and again.
You live in such unawareness! You don’t see what you have been doing to your life and to others’ lives. You go on mechanically, robotlike, repeating the old pattern, knowing perfectly well you have done this before. And you know what has always been the outcome, and deep down you are also alert that it is going to happen the same way again — because there is no difference. You are preparing for the same conclusion, the same collapse.
If you can learn anything from the failure of love, then that thing is: become more aware, become more meditative. And by meditation I mean the capacity to be joyous alone. Very rare people are capable of being blissful for no reason at all — just sitting silently and blissful! Others will think them mad, because the idea of happiness is that it has to come from somebody else. You meet a beautiful woman and you are happy or you meet a beautiful man and you are happy. Sitting silently in your room and so blissful, so blissed out? You must be crazy or something! People will suspect that you are on a drug, stoned.
Yes, meditation is the ultimate LSD! It is releasing your own psychedelic powers. It is releasing your own imprisoned splendor. And you become so joyous, such a celebration arises in your being, that you need not have any relationship. Still you can relate with people… and that’s the difference between relating and relationship.
Relationship is a thing: you cling to it. Relating is a flow, a movement, a process. You meet a person, you are loving, because you have so much love to give — and the more you give, the more you have. Once you have understood this strange arithmetic of love: that the more you give, the more you have…. This is just against the economic laws that operate in the outside world. Once you have known that, if you want to have more love and more joy, you give and share, then you simply share. And whosoever allows you to share your joy with him or with her, you feel grateful to him or her. But it is not a relationship; it is a riverlike flow.
The river passes by the side of a tree, saying hello, nourishing the tree, giving water to the tree… and it moves on, dances on. It does not cling to the tree. And the tree does not say, “Where are you going? We are married! And before you can leave me you will need a divorce, at least a separation! Where are you going? And if you were to leave me, why had you danced so beautifully around me? Why in the first place did you nourish me?” No, the tree showers its flowers onto the river in deep gratefulness, and the river moves on. The wind comes and dances around the tree and moves on. And the tree gives its fragrance to the wind.
This is relating. If humanity is ever going to become grown-up, mature, this will be the way of love: people meeting, sharing, moving, a nonpossessive quality, a nondominating quality. Otherwise love becomes a power trip. Don’t be worried, Krishna Deva, about what platonic love is. Meditate on: what is love?
Mrs. Green and her neighbor, Mrs. Kenyon, were having a chat one day.
“Mrs. Green,” said Mrs. Kenyon, “maybe it is none of my business, but after all we have been friends a long time and I am concerned about your reputation. You are divorced, that’s true, but people are talking about you. It just does not look right when an eighteen-year-old boy comes every night and visits you till such a late hour.”
“Well,” Mrs. Green smiled, “don’t worry about it. It is purely a platonic relationship.”
“How can it be platonic?” Mrs. Kenyon asked.
“Well,” said Mrs. Green, “it is play for him and it is tonic for me!”
That’s what platonic love is: play for one, tonic for the other! More than that I don’t know anything about it!
Source – Osho Book “The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 6”