Friendship is love without any biological tones; it has become a rare phenomenon. It used to be a great thing in the past, but a few great things in the past have completely disappeared. It is strange that ugly things are stubborn; they don’t die easily; and beautiful things are fragile; they die and disappear very easily.
Today, friendship is understood either in biological terms, economic terms, or in sociological terms — in terms of a kind of acquaintance. But friendship means that if the need arises, you will be ready even to sacrifice yourself. It means that you have made somebody else more important than yourself; somebody else has become more precious than you yourself. It is not a business. It is love in its purity.
This friendship is possible even the way you are now. But if you start becoming more conscious of your being, then friendship starts turning into friendliness. Friendliness has a wider connotation, a far bigger sky. Friendship is a small thing compared to friendliness. Friendship can be broken, the friend can turn into an enemy. That possibility remains intrinsic in the very fact of friendship.
I am reminded of Machiavelli giving guidance to the princes of the world in his great work, The Prince. One of his guidelines is, never tell anything to your friend, which you would not be able to say to your enemy, because the person who is a friend today may turn into an enemy tomorrow.
And the suggestion following that is, never say anything against the enemy, because the enemy can turn into a friend tomorrow. Then you will be embarrassed. Machiavelli is giving clear insight: that our ordinary love can change into hate, friendship can become enmity any moment. This is the unconscious state of man — where love is hiding hate just behind it, where you hate the same person you love but you are not aware of it.
Friendliness becomes possible only when you are real, authentic, and you are absolutely aware of your being. And out of this awareness, if love arises, it will be friendliness. Friendliness can never change into its opposite. Remember this as a criterion, that the greatest values of life are only those which cannot change into their opposite; in fact, there is no opposite. You are asking, “What is real authentic friendliness?”
It will need a great transformation in you to have a taste of friendliness. As you are, friendliness is a faraway star. You can have a look at the faraway star, you can have a certain intellectual understanding, but it will remain only an intellectual understanding, not an existential taste.
I said to you that your question is very complex, not because of the question, but because of you. You are not yet at the point from where friendliness can become an experience. Be real, be authentic and you will know the purest quality of love — just a fragrance of love surrounding you always. And that quality of the purest love is friendliness. Friendship is addressed to someone, somebody is your friend.