What is the pay-off in jealousy that makes us ready to endure the misery it brings? You are feeling jealous; it creates misery. But look around – there must be something positive in it. It also gives you some ego, some sense of superiority. Your jealousy at least pretends to be love. If you don't feel jealous, you will think maybe you don't love anymore. You are clinging to jealousy because you would like to cling to love – at least your idea of love.
If your partner goes with somebody else and you don't feel jealous at all, you will immediately think that you no longer love. For centuries, you have been told that lovers are jealous. Jealousy has become an intrinsic part of your love: without jealousy your love dies; only with jealousy can your so-called love live. If you want your love, you will have to accept your jealousy and the misery that is created by it.
Jealousy appears natural because everybody else is doing the same thing. Your mind will say, “It is natural to feel hurt when your lover leaves you. Because you have loved so much, how can you avoid the hurt, the wound, when your lover leaves you?”
In fact, you are enjoying your wound too, in a very subtle and unconscious way. Your love was so profound that you are shattered now because your lover has left you. Even if you are not shattered you will believe your own lie. You will behave as if you are in great misery. You will cry and weep.
Watch every kind of misery: either it has some pleasure in it which you are not ready to lose or it has some hope in it which goes on dangling in front of you like a carrot. And it looks so close, and you have traveled so long and now the goal is so close, why drop it? You will find some rationalisation in it, some hypocrisy in it.
A woman wrote to me that her man has left her and she is not feeling miserable. “Why am I not feeling miserable? Am I too hard, rocklike? I don't feel any misery.” She is miserable because she is not feeling misery!
Nothing is wrong with her; she is absolutely right. In fact, when lovers leave each other after a long, long togetherness – and all the misery that is bound to happen when you are together – it is a relief. But it is against the ego to confess that it is a relief. For a few days at least you will move with a long face, with tears flowing from your eyes – but this is the idea that has prevailed in the world.
If a man lives moment to moment in totality, then there is never any repentance, no guilt. If you have loved totally, there is no question. One day if the lover leaves that simply means, “Now our ways are parting. We can say goodbye, we can be thankful to each other. We shared so much, we loved so much, we have enriched each other's lives so much – what is there to cry and weep about and why be miserable?”
Abridged from The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Osho Times International, Courtesy Osho International Foundation. www.osho.com