"What is our love? In the midst of pain and pleasure, we know it is exclusive, personal: my wife, my children, my country, my God. We know it as a flame in the midst of smoke, we know it through jealousy, we know it through domination, we know it through posession, we know it through loss when the other is gone. So we know love as a sensation, do we not? When we say we love, we know jealous, we know fear, we know anxiety. When you say you love someone, all that is implied: envy, the desire to posess, the desire to own, to dominate, the fear of loss, and so on. All this we call love, and we do not know love without fear, without envy, without posession; we merely verbalize that state of love which is without fear; we call it impersonal, pure, divine or God knows what else, but the fact is that we are jealous, we are dominating, possessive. We shall know that state of love only when jealousy, envy, possessiveness, domination, come to an end; and as long as we possess, we shall never love."
A passage from On Love and Loneliness, a compilation of some of J. Krishnamurti's talks on the topic.
It's easy enough to say, but more difficult to truly embrace. I have been thinking a fair bit about "open" relationships lately. I'm a pretty simple, honestly closed-minded person when it comes to dating. I think it has caused a lot of problems for me, for exactly the reasons K describes. I don't fully understand a difference between open relationships and polyamory. This idea of posession as a component of relationship is a source of great conflict. It's a necessary component for easing fear of loss, though - for a general feeling of safety. That's a hard thing to let go of. I see a lot of value in getting rid of the idea of posession, but I also have a really hard time getting rid of the idea of committing to one person. Can committing be independent of posession? Is committing only another way of seeking the same security?
It goes without saying that I am overthinking this, but why not?
" So we have made of love a thing of the mind. The mind becomes the instrument of love, and the mind is only sensation. Thought is the reaction of memory to sensation. Without the symbol, the word, the image, there is no memory, there is no thought. We know the sensation of so-called love, and we cling to that, and when it fails we want some other expression of that same sensation. So the more we cultivate sensation, the more we cultivate so-called knowledge - which is merely memory - the less there is of love.
As long as we are seeking love, there must be a self-enclosing process. Love implies vulnerability, love implies communion, and there can be no communion, no vulnerability, as long as there is the self-enclosing process of thought. The very process of thought is fear, and how can there be communion with another when there is fear, when we use thought as a means for further stimulation?
There can be love only when you understand the whole process of the mind. Love is not of the mind, and you cannot think about love. When you say, 'I want love', you are thinking about it, you are longing for it, which is a sensation, a means to an end. Therefore it is not love that you want, but stimulation; you want a means through which you can fulfill yourself, whether it be a person, a job, or a particular excitement, and so on. Surely, that is not love ... Love is a state of being, and in that state, the 'me', with its identifications, anxieties, and possessions, is absent."