The path by a farm and up a hill overlooking various buildings, cows with their calves, chickens, horses, and many farm machines, was a pleasant one. It was often used by deers and other wild animals who left their footprints on the soft earth. When it was very still, the voices from the farm, the laughter and sound of the radio, would be carried to quite a distance.
It was a well-kept farm and there was an air of tidiness around it. There was a song among the trees.
Suddenly, a woman came out of a house; she went over to a cowshed and began beating a cow with a stick. The sharp noise of this beating came up the hill.
How easy it is to destroy the thing we love. How quickly a barrier comes between us, a word, a gesture, a smile! Health, mood and desire cast a shadow, and what was bright becomes dull and burdensome. Through constant friction, hope and frustration, that which was beautiful and simple, becomes fearful and expectant.
Relationship is complex and difficult, and few can come out of it unscathed. Though we would like it to be static, enduring, continuous, relationship is a movement, a process which must be deeply and fully understood and not made to conform to an inner or outer pattern. Conformity, which is the social structure, loses its weight and authority only when there is love. Love in relationship is a purifying process as it reveals the ways of the self. Without this revelation, relationship has little significance.
But how we struggle against this revelation! The struggle takes many forms: dominance or subservience, fear or hope, jealousy or acceptance, and so on and on.
The difficulty is that we do not love; and if we do love, we want it to function in a particular way, we do not give it freedom. We love with our minds and not with our hearts. Mind can modify itself, but love cannot. Mind can make itself invulnerable, but love cannot; mind can always withdraw, be exclusive, become personal or impersonal. Love is not to be compared and hedged about.
Our difficulty lies in that which we call love, which is really of the mind. We fill our hearts with the things of the mind and keep our hearts empty and expectant. It is the mind that clings, that is envious, that holds and destroys. Our life is dominated by the physical centres and by the mind. We do not love and let it alone, but crave to be loved; we give in order to receive, which is the generosity of the mind and not of the heart.
The mind is ever seeking certainty, security; and can love be made certain by the mind?
But even love of the heart has its own tricks; for we have so corrupted our heart that it is hesitant and confused. It is this that makes life so painful. One moment we think we have love, and in the next, it is lost. There comes an imponderable strength, not of the mind, whose sources may not be fathomed. This strength is again destroyed by the mind; for in this battle, the mind seems invariably to be the victor.
This conflict within ourselves is not to be resolved by the cunning mind or by the hesitant heart. There is no means, no way to bring this conflict to an end. The very search for a means is another urge of the mind to be the master, to put away conflict in order to be peaceful, to have love, to become something.
Our greatest difficulty is to be widely and deeply aware that there is no means to love as a desirable end of the mind. When we understand this really and profoundly, then there is a possibility of receiving something that is not of this world. Without the touch of that something, do what we will, there can be no lasting happiness in relationship. Whatever tricks the mind may play, you and I are separate; integration is not with you, but within myself. This integration comes into being only when the mind is utterly silent.
Excerpt from Commentaries on Living I