Lately, sitting in your presence I am aware that I don’t feel the love I used to feel in the past. Rather, I am aware more of your silence and my falling into this silence, this stillness, beauty, quiet and grace. Osho, can you please explain the difference between love and silence, and why I feel saddened by this happening?
The path of a seeker is not straight. It takes many turns, unexpected…suddenly, out of nowhere. But you will come back to the same experience again and again, on a higher level of course. It is just like going up a mountain: the path goes round and round.
You come to the same spots but on a higher level. You will come to feel love at least seven times, and you will lose it the same number of times, but each time it will be a different quality of love. And the same is true about other experiences – silence, blissfulness, innocence, ecstasy. Unless you become enlightened you will not be able to gather them all; they will be scattered along the whole path. But it is happening for the first time, hence the question.
The love that you used to feel was the lowest rung of the ladder. It was beautiful, but still, it was not the purest that comes at the last rung. Now you have moved on and you are feeling silence, stillness, beauty, quiet and grace. But because you have lost love you are feeling sad. There is no reason to feel sad; on the contrary, there is every reason to feel joyous. You have moved on the path.
Soon the turn will come again, that you will find love enveloping you. But it will be a different experience. Although the name remains the same, it has a depth which was not there before. Before it was a superficial layer, now it has depth and height. Before it was horizontal, now it will be vertical. It will be lost also, and again you will feel a great silence and stillness and serenity, and you will see the difference from the first experience of silence.
The first experience of silence is only an absence of noise. The second experience will start turning from the negative to the positive. It will not be just absence of noise, it will be a positive existence in itself, not related to noise at all. And then silence is a tremendous transformation.
Just to not feel the noise is one thing. We call it silence – it is not silence – but when silence descends on you as a positive force, it fills you. It is not emptiness, it is overflowing.
And so will be the other qualities: stillness, beauty, quiet and grace. And this is going to happen seven times, so there is no need to be sad; you will lose on one level and you will go on moving. You will find the same experiences on a higher level, more crystal clear, more penetrating to the heart, more transforming, more positive. And each time it happens you will be rising higher.
After the seventh, nothing will be lost. Then you can gather all the experiences of seven layers into one organic unity. That unity happens on its own. That’s what I call enlightenment. Now there is nowhere to go, you have reached the highest point and from that point you can see all those lower stages.