Question: Sir, how can we relate in love?
Acharya Prashant: Let us take a very basic kind of example, starting from what we usually interpret by ‘love’. Suppose there is a friend, and you love your friend. She is your childhood friend, and you love her. Because she is your childhood friend, there are a lot of experiences that you have had with her. Am I right?
You remember images of her when she was three years old, six years old, ten years old, then fifteen, and now twenty. And now she is in front of you, and you are talking to her. Have you ever wondered whom do you talk to? Do you really talk to the living fact, or do you talk to the entire domain of your experience?
You have thousands of images and memories, and you talk to them. You don’t even bother to look deeply, sharply, lovingly at the living thing. Because you already have experiences. “I already know her.”
Pay attention to this.
The doorbell rings, you open the door, and your father is standing at the door. Right? When you open the door, whom do you find? Your father. Now there is another case. The doorbell rings and a stranger is standing at the door. In which of these two cases are you more likely to look sharply at the face of the person?
Listeners: In case of the stranger.
AP: That is our misfortune. Strangers, we can look clearly at. But we are so insensitive and so unloving towards our closed ones that we hardly ever look directly, carefully, sharply at their faces. Why? Because we have experiences with them. “Oh, Daddy! I already know him. He comes home every evening. What is new about his face? Twenty thousand pictures are there. I have seen his face a billion times. What is there in his face?”
But you never realise that Daddy’s face is not the same as it was when you saw him last. The face has changed. The moment is new, and he deserves that you have a new relationship with him and not a continuation of the past. You cannot say, “Another day, another evening, same Daddy.” But is that not how we live? When you go back home today, will you look at your mother as if you are looking at her for the first time? Will you do that?
Unfortunately, we do not do that, because we already have experience. There can be no love now. That is why when young lovers meet, initially there is a euphoria. And after one year, it’s all over. Because now there is…
AP: Experience. Her eyes were so beautiful. Now it is the same. Do you say, “Such a new smile, I have never seen this ”? No. You say, (mockingly) “She is smiling daily the same way.” (Laughter)
The fact is actually the smile is different every time she smiles. But because of your experience, you cannot see that. The smile is actually different every time, but experience prevents you from realising that. So love and experience do not go together.
Next time when you meet somebody close to you, meet as if you are meeting the first time. It is no big problem if you even forget the person’s name. It is alright. You can ask the name, but it is the bigger problem if you remember everything. We remember everything. We are slaves of our memories. This incapacity to forget is a huge burden on the mind.
We live in memories, and experience is a memory. I am serious about this. Forget the name of the fellow. That is alright because the name can be known again but If you remember everything that has happened in the relationship since the last ten years, then that relationship is dead. Then it really needs revitalization.
~ Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session: To relate in love is to relate free of experience
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