Why are love and intimacy painful?

Acharya Prashant
14 min readOct 27, 2020

The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

“Intimacy is growth and is painful”

~ Osho

Question: Why did Osho say that “intimacy is painful” when there is growth in intimacy?

Acharya Prashant (AP): The ego can never really come close. Not to anything, anybody, not to the Truth and not even to itself.

The ego operates in separation. The ego operates in boundaries. The ego operates in duality.

To come close is to reduce the separation, dissolve the boundary and that would be the death of Ego.

Coming close implies, “knowing really”. Knowing what? Knowing just about anything. Doesn’t matter what that thing is. The ‘thing’ does not matter, the knowing matters. The knowing itself is Godliness.

So, Ego will never really want to know. Know what? Know just about anything. Because if one thing is known, really known, intimately known, then everything is known. So, the Ego would have knowledge at best. It would never have the complete knowing that is called ‘Realization’.

Knowledge is digestible to the Ego, Realization is not. Because ‘knowledge’ is incomplete knowing and ‘realization’ is total knowing.

The ego needs separation, Ego needs distance. Only in that distance, does it maintain itself.

Only in that distance is the boundary preserved.

And the question that has been asked, a sentence by Osho has been referred to, the sentence says, “Intimacy is growth, and Intimacy is painful.” The questioner has requested, that the paradox be explained.

There is no other real definition of growth than the dissolution of the Ego.

Like everything else, like all other definitions, actions, thoughts, this definition too, can come from either of the two centers. One real, and one false. The false center is the center of the Ego. From that center when you define growth, all that growth means, is obviously the growth of the Ego. And that is our prevalent worldly and social definition of growth.

Acharya Prashant