Question: Please talk about Possessiveness.
Osho: There is nothing worse than this that you can do, that you are capable of: reducing a being to a thing. And that’s what possession is.
Only things can be possessed; beings cannot be possessed.
You can have a communion with a being.
You can share your love, your poetry, your beauty, your body, your mind.
You can share but you cannot do business.
You cannot bargain.
You cannot possess a man or a woman.
But everybody is trying to do that all over the earth.
The result is this madhouse we call the planet earth. You try to possess — it is naturally impossible, it cannot happen in the very nature of things. Then there is misery. The more you try to possess a person, the more that person tries to become independent of you, because every person has a birthright to be free, to be himself or herself. You are trespassing on the privacy of the person, which is the only sacred place in the whole world. Neither Israel is sacred, nor is Kashi sacred, nor is Mecca sacred.
The only sacred space in the true sense is the privacy of a person — his or her independence, the beinghood. If you love a person you will never trespass. You will never try to be a detective, to be a Peeping Tom, peeping into the privacy of the other person. You will respect the privacy of the other person. But just look at the so called lovers — husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends. All they are doing, around the clock, is finding ways to trespass, to enter into the private world of the other person.
They don’t want the other person to have any privacy. Why? If the person has independence, privacy, individuality, they are afraid. The person tomorrow may not love them — because love is not something stagnant. It is a moment, it is nothing to do with permanency. It may continue for eternity, but basically love is a phenomenon of the moment. If it happens again in the next moment you are blessed. If it does not happen you should be thankful that at least it did happen before.
Remain open: perhaps it may happen again — if not with this person, then with another person. The question is not persons, the question is of love. Love should remain flowing, it should not be stopped. But in their stupidity people start thinking, “If this person goes out of my hands then I am going to starve my whole life without love.” And he does not know that by trying to hold this person permanently in his captivity, he will starve. He will not get love. You cannot get love from a slave.
You cannot get love from your possessions; from your chair, table, house, your furniture, you cannot get love. You can get love only from a free agent whose uniqueness is respected by you, whose freedom is respected by you. It is out of the freedom of the other that this moment of love has happened. Don’t destroy it by trying to possess, by trying to hold, by creating a legal bondage, a marriage. Let the other be free, and remain free yourself. Don’t let anybody else possess you either. To possess or to be possessed, both are ugly.
If you are possessed you lose your very soul. Lovers love only while they are not yet in a fixed relationship. As the relationship settles, love disappears. Once the relationship is fixed, instead of love, something else takes place: possessiveness. They still go on calling it love, but you cannot deceive existence. Just by calling it love you cannot change anything. It is now hate, not love. It is fear, not love. It is adjustment, not love. It is compromise, not love. It can be anything — but not love.
The deeper you try to understand, the more it will become clear to you that love and hate are not two things. It is just a linguistic mistake to call them love and hate. In the future, at least in psychological treatises and books, they will not be using “and” between the two. In fact it is better to make one word, “lovehate.” They are two sides of the same coin.