The ascetic asked, ”Have you ever loved anybody?”
”No, I am not guilty of such a mundane thing,” the man replied. ”I have never stooped so low; I want to realize God.”
The ascetic asked again, ”Have you never felt the pangs of love?”
The seeker was emphatic. ”I am telling the truth,” he replied.
The poor man spoke honestly. In the realm of religion to have loved is a disqualiﬁcation. He was sure that if he said he had loved someone the ascetic would ask him to rid himself of love then and there – to renounce the attachment and to leave all worldly emotions behind before seeking his guidance. So even if he had loved someone, he felt he must reply in the negative. Where can you ﬁnd a man who has never even loved a little?
The monk asked for the third time, ”Say something. Think carefully. Not even a little love – for somebody, for anybody? Haven’t you even loved one person a little?”
The aspirant said, ”Pardon me, but why do you keep harping on the same question? I wouldn’t touch love with a ten-foot pole. I want to attain self-realization. I want Godhood.”
To this the ascetic replied, ”Then you will have to excuse me. Please approach someone else. My experience tells me that if you had loved somebody, anybody, that if you had even had a glimpse of love, I could help enlarge it, I could help it to grow – probably to reach God. But if you have never loved, then you have nothing in you; you have no seed to grow into a tree. Go and make inquiries of someone else. My friend, in the absence of love I do not see any opening for God.”
Similarly, if there is no love between husband and wife…. You are sadly mistaken if you think that the husband who does not love his wife is able to love his children. The wife will only be able to love her son to the same degree she loves her husband, because the child is the reﬂection of her husband. But if there is no love for the husband, how can there be love for the child? And if the son is not given love, if his nourishing and his rearing are not with love, how do you expect him to love his mother and father? A family is a unit of life; the world itself is a large family. But family life has been poisoned by this condemnation of sex. And we moan that love is nowhere to be found! Under the circumstances, how do you expect to ﬁnd love anywhere?
Everyone says he loves. Mothers, wives, sons, brothers, sisters, friends – all say they love. But if you observe life in its totality, there is no love evident in life at all. If so many people are full of love there ought to be a shower of love; there ought to be a garden full of ﬂowers, more ﬂowers and even more ﬂowers. If there were a lamp of love shining in every home, how much light there would be in this world! But instead, we ﬁnd a pervading atmosphere of repulsion. There is not one single ray of love to be found in this sorry scheme of things. It is snobbery to believe that love is everywhere. And so long as we remain immersed in this illusion, the search for truth cannot even begin. Nobody loves anybody here. And until natural sex is accepted without reservation there can be no love. Until then, nobody can love anybody.
What I want to say is this: sex is divine. The primal energy of sex has the reﬂection of God in it. It is obvious: it is the energy that creates new life. And that is the greatest, most mysterious force of all. End this enmity with sex. If you want a shower of love in your life, renounce this conﬂict with sex. Accept sex with joy. Acknowledge its sacredness. Receive it gratefully and embrace it more and more deeply. You will be surprised that sex can reveal such sacredness; it will reveal its sacredness to the degree of your acceptance. And as sinful and irreverent as your approach is, that is how ugly and sinful the sex that confronts you will be.