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Understanding relationships: An insight to Love, freedom and Aloneness by Osho

We say we are social animals but we know nothing about relating to each-other. We talk so much about love but we know only lust and attachment. If real love was understood by more people, there wouldn’t be so much misery and unhappiness. If you think you have ever been in love or curios about understanding how we relate to each-other and ourselves, this post will be a good beginning point.

I recently completed reading this book “Love, freedom and aloneness” by Osho. This post shares just a few of beautiful insights about the idea of love and relationship. All the quotes are taken from the book.

Real and unreal Love

Right now, what you call love is addressed to someone, confined to someone. And
love is not a phenomenon that can be confined. You can have it in your open hands, but
you cannot have it in your fist. The moment your hands are closed, they are empty. The
moment they are open, the whole of existence is available to you.

Whenever you think of the word ‘love’ you would think of a person, either from the past or present or an imaginary personality that you would want to have. And think how much are we confined when we think of love as person! A person is just a medium. Love is an urge to become one with the whole existence. Love is an urge to share the joy of being. But we have always heard that love means something that happens between two people! It is such a narrow perspective! How can you confine such a cosmic urge into a form of one person? Yet that is what we try to do.

The moment we fall in love we want to close the fist, secure it forever. As we close the fist, the flow of love stops. We have become attached, dependent and weak. All these because we never try to understand what is actually happening when we fall in love! We drag it down forcefully and tie it down to one person. That person becomes our everything because we saw a glimpse of ‘god’. Our ego had dissolved when we fell in love.

Our biggest misery is that we think it was the person who gave us this feeling! It is as if saying that Gautam Buddha got enlightenment because he was sitting the Bodhi tree! Do you see how stupid it is?

Very few people in the world have known love. Those are the people who have
become so silent, so peaceful . . . and out of that silence and peace they come in contact
with their innermost being, their soul. Once you are in contact with your soul, your love
becomes not a relationship but simply a shadow to you. Wherever you move, with
whomsoever you move, you are loving.

All love comes from within. Therefore it can only be known from within. What you call ‘love’ outside of you is only a reflection of what is within you. Once real love is understood from within, there is no need to turn to world for anything. You only want to give the treasure that you have!

Love Yourself

All of life we have been taught to love others, but never told to love who we really are. Don’t misinterpret this idea of ‘Loving yourself’. The idea of self love is ruined today by the society. As popularly understood, ‘love yourself’ doesn’t mean that you take selfies everyday, put it on social media and type ‘love yourself’ quotes. It is only feeding your ego more. There is a difference between loving yourself and feeling pleasure by giving boost to your ego.

“Remember, self-love does not mean egotistical pride, not at all. In fact it means just the opposite. The person who loves himself finds there is no self in him. Love always melts the self—that is one of the alchemical secrets to be learned, understood, experienced. Love always melts the self. Whenever you love, the self disappears. You love a woman, and at least in the few moments when there is real love for the woman, there is no self in you, no ego.”

By ‘Love yourself’ it is is meant that you should learn to look within, try to see who you really are!. “Love yourself’ means spend time to understand that ‘you are!’. Learn to be with the soul. If you do that, love becomes a consequence. You don’t have to love yourself, it comes as a consequence of being in touch with the soul.

Thus remember that it is important to ‘love yourself’, but understand carefully the difference between feeding your ego and actually loving yourself.

“Love yourself first. It has nothing to do with ego. In fact, love is such a light that the darkness of the ego cannot exist in it at all. If you love others, if your love is focused on others, you will live in darkness. Turn your light toward yourself first, become a light unto yourself first. Let the light dispel your inner darkness, your inner weakness. Let love make you a tremendous power, a spiritual force.”

Attachment and freedom

Can there be love without attachment? Everyone is puzzled by this question. It is only because they are confusing love with attachment. They think they know love but they only know attachment. Most of us have never loved. Whenever we have said ‘ I love you’, we were mostly attached. Yes we felt that intense emotion but with it was the need to accept the same from the other. Every ‘I love you’ we have said was an expectation to receive it back.

“If there is real love, it will never become attachment. What is the mechanism for love to become attachment? The moment you say to your lover or beloved, “Love only me,” you have started possessing. And the moment you possess someone you have insulted him deeply, because you have made him into a thing.”

Love as mentioned above is about giving. Love is so full of itself that it only wants to give without expecting anything in return. Attachment is the opposite of it. Attachment means you have become dependent on someone to give you love and you don’t want that to change.

“Love is the only freedom from attachment. When you love everything you are attached to nothing. . . . Man made prisoner by the love of a woman and woman made prisoner by the love of a man are equally unfit for freedom’s precious crown. But man and woman made as one by love, inseparable, indistinguishable, are verily entitled to the prize.”

—from The Book of Mirdad, Mikhail Naimy


When lovers have a fight, it is a demand for freedom. They thought they were in love, but in reality they were only attached. They were only together because they were fulfilling each-other’s needs and covering it up with the word ‘love’. But all of us have this inherent urge for freedom. Being in bondage with other blocks this freedom and thus the fights begin. There is a demand to open the fist that was closed to secure love.

But can you ever be free if you are always begging care and love from others? It is a great risk to demand freedom because you must give up all dependence. You must give up all hopes and expectations from others and become alone.

“There is a subtle fear of freedom, and everyone wants to be a slave. Everyone, of course, talks about freedom, but no one has the courage to be really free because when you are really free you are alone. If you have the courage to be alone, then only can you be free.”

It leads us to the most important part of the book.


For me this is the most important part because I have gone through all of the above phases. I have been in attachment and have also suffered the illusionary loss of someone. Now having gone through all that, I really understand the importance of freedom and aloneness. I understand that unless you can’t be alone, you can’t really love.

Every effort that has been directed toward avoiding loneliness has failed, and will fail, because it is against the fundamentals of life. What is needed is not something in which you can forget your loneliness. What is needed is that you become aware of your aloneness, which is a reality. And it is so beautiful to experience it, to feel it, because it is your freedom from the crowd, from the other. It is your freedom from the fear of being lonely.

Aloneness is not ‘loneliness’. The word ‘Aloneness’ is wisely used here. ‘Feeling lonely’ is being alone but still longing for others, still in the need of others. being alone is being satisfied and complete in who you are! You were born alone and you will die alone. There is no one else you can call ‘yours’ apart from you. But it is scary to even think that because all your life you have lived amongst others, been dependent on others. Your identity is there because of others. Your ego is not ready to accept this because it will lose its identity.

What identity will be left of you if you were alone? Who would you become? What personality? What name? Ego would lose everything it has made up. Others feed ego with attention, false identities, so called ‘care and love’. But sooner those false walls are broken, the better. After all they are made up, they are false. They will be broken inevitably.

“Man is born in a family among human beings. From the very first moment he is not alone; hence, he gets a certain psychology of always remaining with people. In aloneness he starts feeling scared . . . unknown fears. He is not exactly aware of what he is afraid of, but as he moves out of the crowd something inside him becomes uneasy. To be with others he feels cozy, at ease, comfortable. It is because of this reason he never comes to know the beauty of aloneness”


Aloneness doesn’t mean that your relation with others are over. In fact love begins once there is a taste of deep aloneness. After that the journey from ‘relationship’ to ‘relating’ begins. Being in ‘relationship’ is a fixed. The flow was stopped, the fist was closed and two people came in a relationship. Now they have images of each-other and they will struggle constantly to behave consistently with those images.

Relating is different. Relating is when two alone communicate. Both know that they are free, alone and express themselves without compromising even a bit of their freedom. There is no dependence. There is no attachment.

Relationship is the need of those who cannot be alone. Two lonely persons fall into a relationship. Two alone persons relate, communicate, commune, and yet they remain alone. Their aloneness remains uncontaminated; their aloneness remains virgin, pure. They are like peaks, Himalayan peaks, high in the sky above the clouds. No two peaks ever meet, yet there is a kind of communion through the wind and through the rain and through the rivers and through the sun and through the stars. Yes, there is a communion; much dialogue goes on. They whisper to each other, but their aloneness remains absolute, they never compromise.


I think more people need to understand what real love means. Movies and media have glorified and spoiled the idea of ‘love’. But there are a few wise on the earth who can guide us to what real love means. Love is expansion of self. It is an expression of being one with everything that exists.

I hope that this post created at least a curiosity of understanding yourself better, of understanding what you call ‘love’ better. I hope it made you ask, “Have I really loved?”.

I hope you enjoy your journey, and I am grateful if I could be of some help through this writings. Let me end this post with the quote from the book:

“Let your longing be a search of your own inner being; there, the meeting is already happening, there, we are already one.”

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