In an ordinary death the body dies, but that is not death at all. Body is just like a dress; when it is tatty and old you change it for a new one. It is not death, it is just a change: a change of a dress, or a change of a house or abode. But you continue, the mind continues – just the same old mind in new bodies, just the same old wine in new bottles. The form changes but not the mind, the shape changes but not the mind. So the ordinary death is not a real death. Love is a real death: the body does not die but the mind dies, the body continues to be the same but the ego disappears.
If you love, you will have to drop all the conceptions that you have about yourself. If you love, you cannot be the ego because the ego will not allow love. They are antagonistic. If you choose the ego you will not be able to choose love. If you choose love you will have to drop the ego. Hence, the fear.
A greater fear than death grips you whenever you are in love. That’s why love has disappeared from the world. Rarely, very rarely does the phenomenon happen that love descends. What you call love is just a false coin: you have invented it because it is so difficult to live without love. It is difficult because without love, life carries no meaning; it is meaningless. Without love, life has no poetry in it. Without love, the tree exists but never flowers. Without love, you cannot dance, you cannot celebrate, you cannot feel grateful, you cannot pray.
Without love, temples are just ordinary houses; with love an ordinary house is transformed, transfigured into a temple. Without love you remain just possibilities – empty gestures; with love, for the first time you become substantial. With love, for the first time, the soul arises in you; the ego drops but the soul arises.
It is impossible to live without love, so humanity has created a trick. Humanity has invented a trick, a device. The device is: to live in a false love so that the ego continues on its own. Nothing is changed, and you can play the game of being in love: you can go on thinking that you love, you can go on believing that you love. But look at your love – what happens out of it? – nothing except misery, nothing except hell, nothing except conflict, quarrel, violence. Look deeply into your love relationships. They are more akin to hate relationships than to love. It is better to call them hate relationships than to call them love relationships.
But because everybody is living in the same way, you never become aware. Everybody is carrying the false coin; you never become aware. The real coin of love is very costly: you can purchase it only at the cost of losing yourself. There is no other way.
Be courageous, don’t be cowards. The real mettle of your being is tested only when love arises. Never before it do you know of what mettle you are made. In ordinary life, in the marketplace, doing this and that, in the world of ambition and power politics, your real mettle is never really tested. You never pass through the fire.
Love is the fire. If you are really gold you will survive it. If you are not real gold, you will be gone. But I tell you that you are real gold.
Trust me – pass through the fire. Hesitation is natural, but don’t make hesitation a barrier. Even with the hesitation, pass through it. In spite of the fear pass through the fire. And only through the fire will the rose of your consciousness flower. There is no other way.
Excerpted from Come Follow To You, Osho