Love in the Valley – Excert from a Compilation book on Peaks by Margaji
What about if your peak experience of falling in love, is one, that can only be described as a valley experience…? Then the term falling in love, which is so inappropriate in the context of peaks, might suddenly make sense. Yes, rising in love is a great vision, and yet, falling in love, is how people have called the experience of loving down the ages.
Aren’t we all afraid to fall. To fall off the pedestal of our own ideas, that love is elevating us, is making us touch the sky. When Svarup and me met, it was an experience, that can better be described as a “falling” experience, rather than a rising one.
It was a grounding experience, finding in the other a strange familiarity, as if one has always known the other, a feeling of coming home. It was not accompanied by heavenly trumpets, or big banners saying: “this is it, now let’s climb to the peak”. It was finding a friend back again, one that one has lost along the path, and one that one has grieved about deeply for having lost. A friend that one will always remember.
Maybe it was like this because our first meeting was in the context of an Osho Therapist meeting in Amsterdam. All the young therapists, covering the European field with their work, were invited to a meeting with some of the older therapists based in Rajneeeshpuram, USA, “the Ranch”.
There was a gossip that there a new European coordinator would be introduced to us, an Italian woman that had been trained by R.D.Laing, a world famous psychotherapist and author living in London, about whom Osho had many times spoken with great respect. The rumor was that she had a familiarity to the Ranch coordinator of the RIMU (Rajneesh International Meditation University) who was also from Italian origin, although with American nationality. She was well known for her bulldozing style of running the group department.
As it was common in that time, coordinator and therapists were usually quite alien to each other, and kept on a “safe” distance from each other. We, the young therapists, were curious how this new coordinator would present herself.
When Svarup arrived, what got us all, was that she had no pretense of power, no being above, or better than us. She was just a good friend. I guess, being new to the scene, added to her feeling more comfortable with us, the new therapists, than with the Ranch therapists and coordinators, who all had very precise personalities, and were settled in their positions.
My heart got touched by her. To see her a bit lost in this meeting, and feel an affinity to that state myself, my heart reached out to her. But instead of the heart raising to the peak of falling in love, it was more a sensation as if the bottom of my heart fell out, and a warm honey-like stream of sweetness released and was enveloping us both.
Later, when I came to Berlin, where I was going to co-lead my first Primal group, we met again. This time the fun part of ourselves met. We went together to the Disco, chatted, laughed, teased and got attracted to each other. Yet, the love that was just starting, was not so hot, that we would step over the fact that both of us shared our sleeping places with others. Because of the great appeal of commune life, more and more sannyasins joined the commune, and we had to share rooms: four persons to a small room. To make love was an art including denying or ignoring the feeling of being watched an exposed. So, that night we each went back to our own place.
It was the time when the Commune was run by the so called “mamas”. Most of them were women, though also men could be addressed by that title. It was a new regime, created by Sheela, Osho’s secretary, and the Mamas were both feared and respected. It consisted mainly out of a group of tough, no-nonsense, confronting women. In Berlin, there was a Dutch mama in charge. I had known her from Amsterdam. We never had any close contact , but the morning after, she called in Svarup and asked her: “Did you sleep with him?”, and as Svarup said: “Not yet”, she answered: “Forget about it. Mamas don’t sleep with therapists, and anyway he is bad news!” The last evaluation was based on my licentious behavior, which was, compared to others in the commune, quite mild. I had a sexual curiosity to try out different kinds of dates.
It is true, that lovers who are not allowed to come together, are the ones that in history are remembered as the most passionate. Romeo and Juliet are the most known Western example of all this. In India and the Middle East have their own version of this…Maybe this interference of the Dutch mama, based on judgment and control, is what made us aware of the passion that had woken up.
After that, we kept contact. I was placed in the Zurich Commune as the local therapist, by Svarup. Her choice was based on the fact that it was the furthest away from Berlin, who lived. But existence had its own plans. Soon, Svarup was sent herself to Zurich to start a new career in financial management of the commune there. When we met again, there was the same warm generous and affectionate feeling as before between us again. It felt loving and well known.
Probably the fact that commune life was already providing so many peaks of experience, like work crunches all the time, or being asked suddenly to join the commune in another country, added to this: what we were most longing for was an intimate non invasive being together, which of course was most difficult to reach. It is an art to create intimacy. It more comes by itself as an overflow of being together. But in the day time, we did not have much chance to meet, so all we had were our meetings at night, on the edge of rooms full of lovers or lost singles..
When the Ranch Commune in America collapsed, I was in Hamburg. This was the opportunity to jump out of a new pattern of being in half relationships that had been suiting me well up to then. I asked for being transferred back to Zurich, but the “a bit lost new commune member” that Svarup was at the beginning of our meeting had turned into a powerful mama of the Zurich commune. Though, upon meeting each other again, our hearts instantly recognized each other. But the almost predictable alienation that had formed itself between coordinators and therapists, took its toll. Svarup was completely involved in saving the commune, first, and then letting it go bankrupt. I didn’t wan to know anything about this all, and I started to develop a strong dislike for Switzerland, Zurich and all.
At the end, we became the two strangers that we were supposed to have been at our first meeting, although then we hadn’t been, but now we really were. Worlds apart, full with mistrust. Maybe it was a peak of disappointment, but anyway that period was full of disappointments, and the feeling of our budding love affair ending was just one of them.
Though the original friendship held strong enough, for us to depart as friends, each one in our own direction.
That could have been it, and it would have been anyway a good experience. But somewhere in the valley experience, in the intimacy of our nights, and the sweetness of our meeting, the seed had grown roots. Tiny little roots that definitely would not have survived any “peak” experience. In the darkness of the night it grew steadily. Once the roots got hold of the earth, the first leaves came and started to unfold themselves, and at that point of our meeting I was alone in Northern Germany, starting a new story, leading a Primal Tantra, and letting go of the commune in a respectful and gentle way.
One day, Svarup called. I was in the group, so I was asked to call back. I was surprised by the happiness that that first phone call created in me. I answered the call and even more surprisingly, I heard myself responding to Svarup’s greeting with a “yes, I come and visit you in Tuscany!”. Svarup was there, close to Osho Miasto, where she had a job caretaking of the Rebalancing Training.
Once we met there, on neutral ground, just two fellow travelers on the path, the peak experience started to happen… I had some money, so we bought a car and set off on our first honeymoon experience. It was after already knowing each other for two years or more.
This time we only focused on what we loved, and certainly a big part of that was our joint liking for unusual and remote settings, in which we could explore ourselves and our love affair. We looked for the most beautiful places in the different countries that we travelled to, and, after arrival, just dissolved within each other.
It was a peak, but a soft one, one that gave us the chance to tune into each other and to synchronize ourselves. Once we started climbing the peak, we had a common rhythm, and we could share deeply what fascinated us in this journey. Maybe another way to call it is to call it a “centered peak”.
Staying in and around the Osho Communes since then, of course has been a learning on how to relax with peak experiences. Osho created so many peaks, but often I felt so exhausted by the intensity that whenever I sat in the Evening Meeting with Him I would fall asleep instantly. We didn’t have ever the full time for ourselves, except maybe when we went into the “world”, to make the money for living in the Commune. There, in the world, we found opportunities to be together intimately. Anyway, we preferred to be in the valley together, rather than always reaching out for the furthest peaks.
As we live now, overseeing the valley of Eressos, on the Greek island of Lesbos, we are just high enough to not be overtaken by the antics of a Greek holiday village. At the same time, it is not high enough to call it a peak, actually it is a lovely place in the hills. Here it seems we have found an outer place that reflects our inner connection well. Inside of us, to be the watcher on the hill takes away some of the identification. We are aware that we could travel towards higher and higher peaks, but as we are growing older, we are increasingly enjoying to be in the valley, and live the good life.
The love between us is always becoming more soft, more rich, abundant, more compassionate, and it slowly moves towards the Sandhiya of life, the mystical sunset that still reverberates in its light many hours after disappearing, creating a panorama of colours filling up the sky. There is time enough to simply be, and a trust that when the eternal night comes, we are ready to welcome it and support each other to enter into its velvety dark and silent space.
PREMARTHA AND SVARUP