Question : I KNOW THAT I AM NOT MY BODY, BUT STILL I WANT TO LOVE AND BE LOVED. IS SPIRITUAL LOVE POSSIBLE IN THIS ROTTEN WORLD?
"THIS WORLD is NOT ROTTEN. This world is full of God - or, in Buddha's words: full of nothingness, which is the same. If anything is rotten, it is your mind. And, yes, it is very difficult with a rotten mind to find love.
And never think in terms of spiritual and material love - love is simply love. It is neither material nor spiritual. How can love be material or spiritual? Love is simply love. Love means the joy of sharing your life with somebody. Yes, your body can be shared, your being can be shared - but sharing is love, not what.you share. Sharing is love. So all love is simply love.
But I can see the problem must be coming from your upbringing: I KNOW THAT I AM NOT MY BODY... who told you? You are more your body than your mind. You are more your body than your so-called self. That's what Ikkyu is saying: that self is a false entity, rotten. And the mind is just a phenomenon conditioned by the society. Your body is truer than your mind and than your self; your body belongs to existence.
But you must have been contaminated by the priests that you are not the body. They have created a dichotomy in everybody that "You are the soul, and how can a soul fall so much as to love a body?"
And you will not find ghosts around here - you will find people who live in their bodies, who are their bodies.
That's why you cannot find somebody to love and by loved by - you are in search of a ghost. And I don't think if you really come across a ghost that you will like it. But that's what you are hankering for. You have been told to condemn your body; and if you condemn your body and if you don't like your body, do you think somebody else is going to like it? If even you don't like it, who is going to like it? By liking your body, by loving your body, you create a situation in which somebody else can also love your body. But you create that milieu, that climate.
A man or a woman who hates his own body... and that's how you hate deep down, because from the very beginning you have been told to hate the body - body is something ugly, body is something unspiritual. You have been taught that the body is the enemy. The body is the temple of God. In this body lives that nothingness Buddha talks about; in this body lives that seed of enlightenment I go on talking about. This body contains your greatest joy, this body contains God. Don't condemn it, otherwise it will be impossible.