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Photo Copyright Suresh Gundappa 2006

You have a deep need to be needed. Somebody must need you, otherwise you don’t have any ground under your feet — society is your need. Even if somebody fights with you it is okay, better than being alone, because at least he pays attention to you, the enemy; you can think about him.

Whenever you are in love, look at this need. Look at lovers, watch, because it will be difficult if you yourself are in love. Then to watch is difficult because you are almost crazy, you are not in your senses. But watch lovers: they say to each other, “I love you,” but deep down in their hearts they want to be loved. To love is not the thing, to be loved is the real thing; and they love just in order to be loved. The basic thing is not to love, the basic thing is to be loved.

That’s why lovers go on complaining against each other, “You don’t love me enough.” Nothing is enough, never can anything be enough, because the need is infinite. Hence the bondage is infinite, it cannot be fulfilled. Whatsoever the lover is doing, you will always feel something more is possible; you can still hope more, you can still imagine more. And then that is lacking and then you feel frustrated. And every lover thinks, “I love, but the other is not responding well,” and the other thinks in the same terms. What is the matter?

You cannot live with yourself. Whenever you are alone you become uneasy; immediately you feel inconvenience, discomfort, a deep anxiety. What to do? Where to go? Go to the club, go to the church or go to the theater — but go somewhere, meet the other — or just go shopping. For people who are rich, shopping is the only game, the only sport; they go shopping. If you are poor, you need not enter the shop, you just move on the street looking at the windows. But go!

To be alone is very difficult, very unusual, extraordinary. Why this hankering? — because whenever you are alone your whole meaning disappears. Go and purchase something from a shop; at least the salesman will give you meaning… not the thing, because you go on purchasing useless things. You purchase just for the sake of the purchase. But the salesman, or the owner of the shop, they look at you as if you are a king. They behave as if they depend on you — and you know well that this is just a face. This is how shopkeepers exploit: the salesman is not bothered about you at all, his smile is just a painted smile; he smiles at everybody, it is nothing particular for you. But you never look at these things. He smiles and greets and receives you as a welcome guest. You feel comfortable, you are somebody, there are people who depend on you; this shopkeeper was waiting for you.

One thing: you need to be needed, you have a deep need to be needed. If nobody needs you, you feel useless, meaningless; if somebody needs you, he gives you significance, you feel important. You go on saying, “I have to look after the wife and the children,” as if you are carrying them as a burden — you are wrong. You talk as if it is a great responsibility and you are just fulfilling a duty. You are wrong! Just think, if the wife is not there and the children have disappeared, what will you do? Suddenly you will feel your life has become meaningless, because they needed you. Small children, they waited for you, they gave you significance, you were important. Now that nobody needs you, you will shrink, because when nobody needs you nobody pays attention to you: whether you are or not makes no difference.

Can you say with your total heart that you loved? No! You never bothered about it, you have taken it for granted that you love. The problem is always the other, you never look at yourself.

Love and lot’s of it dear ones