Agony is missing yourself, ecstasy is finding yourself
WHAT IS AGONY AND WHAT IS ECSTASY?
The same. They are not opposites as they are understood to be. They are complementaries, intrinsic parts of one organic whole. Neither can exist without the other.
It will be a little difficult to understand because they have always been thought to be polar opposites.
They are polar opposites, seen from the outside. But all polar opposites are joined together from the inside. The negative or positive poles of electricity, the body and soul - from the outside they are not only different but antagonistic. From the inside they are two aspects of one phenomenon.
Let us first try to understand their meaning.
What is agony?
It is not ordinary suffering, misery, pain.
All these are very superficial things, just like ripples on the surface of a pond. They don't have any depth. You have known many pains, many miseries, many moments of suffering, and you know perfectly well they come and go. They don't even leave a trace behind them, they don't leave scars behind.
Yes, while they are there you feel that you are engulfed completely in pain. But when it is gone you know perfectly well that that was only a momentary emotional, sentimental, non-intelligent understanding of the thing. When you were in the cloud, yes, you were engulfed. But the cloud is gone with the wind and you are out of it, and now you know exactly that even in the cloud you were out of it, you were not it.
Note this difference, because that is the fundamental difference.
Agony is not separate from you, it is you.
Pain, suffering, misery, they are all separate from you; hence, momentarily they come and go. They have causes; when the causes are removed they disappear. Mostly they are your creations.
You hope for something, and then it does not materialize: great frustration comes in. You feel pain, hopelessness, as if you have been rejected by existence. Nothing of the sort has happened - it is all due to your expectation. The bigger the expectation, the bigger is going to be the frustration.
It is within your hands to be frustrated in life or not. Just your expectations should become smaller, smaller, smaller, and in the same proportion the frustration will become smaller. A day will come when there will be no expectation; then you will never come across any frustration.
You think, you imagine, some moments of pleasure - and they don't materialize, because existence has no obligation to materialize your imaginations. It has never given you any promise that whatever you think is going to happen. You have taken it for granted without any enquiry, as if the whole existence owes you something.
You owe everything to existence.
Existence owes you nothing.
So if you are running to catch shadows, you cannot catch them - it is not in the nature of things.
Then there is pain, because you were so much absorbed in running after the shadows that you were feeling a kind of fulfillment. A goal was there; although not in your hands but far away, still it was there. And it was only a question of time, a little more effort. Be a little more American: try and try and try again - and sooner or later existence is going to yield.
Existence does not care who you are, American or Russian. It never yields to anybody - it simply goes in its own way. By making an effort to fulfill your desires, to force nature, existence, to come behind you, you are creating causes of pain, suffering.
The moment you understand, you drop these causes.
And the dropping of the causes is the disappearance of all your misery.
It was your projection.
There is a Sufi story about a very cunning fox .... All foxes are cunning, but there are politician foxes too. This happened to be a politician fox, very cunning. One day she woke up, and finding herself very hungry, came out of her cave in search of some breakfast. The sun was rising, and she saw her shadow so long she could not believe it. She said, "My God! I am that big? Now where am I going to get my breakfast? I will need at least one camel; less than that won't do. My shadow is so big, naturally I must be as big." It is logical, perfectly Aristotelian. You cannot say she is wrong.
You also know yourself only in the mirror - there is no other way. Have you known yourself in any other way except through a shadow?
So don't laugh at the poor fox. How can she conceive that a small thing can make such a big shadow? It is very natural to conclude that if the shadow is so big, you must be as big.
And when it comes to feeling oneself big, who wants to argue against it? When anything gives you the sense of bigness, you don't want to go into details to find whether it is true or wrong, whether it is logically right, scientifically provable. No, your whole being is so enchanted ....
The fox really felt that big. You could see - her walk changed. But where can she find a camel for her breakfast? And even if she can find a camel, it is going to be absolutely pointless; she cannot make a breakfast out of a camel. She searches, she finds many small animals which would have been enough any other day, but today is different. She does not bother about all those small creatures.
They will be lost just in her teeth. She needs a camel, an elephant or something big.
But she finds nothing big. The sun goes on rising higher and higher, and she goes on becoming hungrier and hungrier. When the sun is just exactly above her head she looks again at her shadow:
it has shrunken so small it is just underneath her. She says, "My God! Hunger does things to people. Just one morning I have missed breakfast and look what has happened to my poor self! In the morning I was so big; only half a day has passed and this is my situation. Now even if I can get any small creature, that may be too much, I may not be able to digest it."
This Sufi story is significant. It is our story.
This is our agony:
We are trying to become something which is not in the nature of things. We are not allowing nature to take its course; that is our agony.
When I was leaving my parents to go to the hostel in the university, they were persistently asking, "What do you want to become?" And I was telling them, "That question is utter nonsense. How do I know what I am going to become? Only time will show."
They could not understand me. They said, "Look at all your friends: somebody is going to become a doctor, somebody is going to become an engineer, somebody is going to be become this, somebody is going to become that. You are the only person who is going to the university without any idea of what you want to become."
I said, "Becoming is not my number. I want to let things take their course. I would love to find what nature makes of me, but I don't have any program of my own. To have a program of my own means suffering. That means I am trying to impose something on nature and it is going to fail."
Man has been failing for thousands of years for the simple reason that he wants to conquer nature.
Someone has even written a book, CONQUEST OF NATURE. Nature cannot be conquered. Just look at the foolishness of the idea. You are part of nature, such a small, tiny part of such an infinite nature. And the part is trying to conquer the whole - as if your little finger is trying to conquer you.
How can you conquer nature?
Nature is your very soul.
Who is going to conquer whom?
Where is the separation?
I told my parents, "Please let me go. I am not going to project anything for my future. I want to keep it open so if nature desires anything of me, I am available. If nothing is desired of me that too is perfectly good. Who am I to expect that something should be desired of me? One day I was not, one day I will not be. Just a few days in between - why make much fuss about it? Can't you pass silently across this little interval between birth and death without making noise, raising flags, and shouting slogans? Can't you simply pass?"
But they said, "This is not the way. Everybody has to have an ideal; otherwise he will be lost."
I said, "I would love to be lost but remain true to nature, to existence, rather than achieve a great ideal against nature, against existence. In the first place, in which you say I will be lost, I will be blissfully lost. In the second place, in which you think I would have achieved something, I will be nothing but pain, suffering, and finally agony."
Agony is the deepest in you.
And it happens only to man.
All other animals are free of agony - but they are also free of ecstasy. Agony and ecstasy happen together; otherwise they don't happen at all.
Have you seen any animal in ecstasy or in agony? a buffalo in agony? Just to think of it seems to be absurd. A buffalo in agony? For what reason should the buffalo be in agony? The buffalo never tried to become the queen of England - why should it be in agony? It simply allowed nature to make her whatsoever was the will of existence. Yes, it will never know ecstasy either because both happen at the same depth.
Agony happens if you go on missing your self.
Ecstasy happens if you happen to find yourself.
Missing yourself or finding yourself:
Both happen at the same depth of your being.
Missing yourself means that you have been trying to become something, somebody. You have an idea, and you are trying to fulfill that idea in your life.
All idealists live in agony.
It is not only the existentialist philosophers who are in agony. Of course they have brought the word to great prominence for the simple reason that this century has come as far away from nature and existence as possible: one step more and humanity disappears. This was the longest distance possible - we have traveled it.
We have come as far away from ourselves as possible.
That's why in this century a philosophy like existentialism became possible.
I showed one of the histories of existentialism to one of my old professors who must have studied thirty, forty, years before. At that time the word "existentialism" was not even coined. Sartre, Jaspers, Marcel, were yet to be. He looked at the content and he could not believe it.
He said, "Is this a book on philosophy? No chapter on God, no chapter on the proofs for God, no chapter on religion, no chapter on the soul of man, no chapter on beyond death, heaven, hell. A strange history - chapters on agony, meaninglessness, anguish, anxiety. These are philosophical subjects?"
I said, "You have missed forty years. You have completely forgotten that forty years have passed since you were in the university studying philosophy, and after that you have never bothered about what has been happening to philosophy. You are still remembering Aristotle, Kant, Hegel, Feuerbach, Shankara, Nagarjuna, Bradley. You are still remembering these people who have really faded out; they are simply no longer in. And any philosopher worth the name today is not interested in God - he is interested in man. And to be interested in man brings all these problems, agony ...."
He said, "But what is agony?"
I had to use his language, something from the past history of philosophy so that he could have a little insight into agony. In the past there has been a great philosophical question down the ages.
The question was: between animals, trees, rocks, and man, what is the difference? Certainly they all exist; as far as existence is concerned there is no difference. Certainly they all live - even rocks grow.
The Himalayas are growing every year, one foot higher. The place where I was born was by the side of a mountain range called Vindhyachal. It is thought to be the ancientmost mountain in the world. It is almost a proved fact that Vindhyachal and the land around it came out of the sea first, because on Vindhyachal corpses of sea animals have been found which are the most ancient. On the Himalayas also they have been found but they are not so ancient. The Himalayas are the youngest mountains in the world, and Vindhyachal is the oldest mountain in the world.
Just by the way, I am reminded of the story about Vindhyachal in the UPANISHADS. One great seer, Agastya, went to south India, and had to cross Vindhyachal.
Vindhyachal was so high it was difficult for the seer, so he prayed to Vindhychal, "Be kind enough to just bend down a little and let me pass. And remain bending till I come back, because I will have to pass again." Agastya died in the south and never came back, but Vindhyachal is still bending. If you see the mountain you can see, it is as if an old man is bending.
The story is beautiful, but it shows that Vindhyachal is really old, an old man who cannot even stand straight. Mountains grow old or young; they are as alive as you are. Trees, animals, birds - as far as life is concerned we may have different kinds of life but we all have a certain quality called living, aliveness, which is similar.
So in ancient philosophy this has been a problem: Then what is the difference? Is there no difference? There have been two schools. One said there is no difference; we are all alike, we are part of one single whole - different dimensions, different branches, but we are all rooted in one existence. These are the spiritualists who say that we are all one.
The other school is that of the materialists, who say that we are all separate, there is no organic unity anywhere; existence is not one. According to the materialists, the word "universe" should not be used. The word "universe" was invented by the spiritualists because it means "uni," one.
According to the materialists the right word should be "multiverse" - many, not one. Everything is separate, and there is no unity anywhere.
And how does this whole go on? - and in a such a tremendous harmony? This is where you will see how logic can be fallacious.
The spiritualist says there is harmony because it is ruled by one God, or one universal consciousness. One absolute being, one center, controls everything. That's why nothing goes wrong. Everything moves in an absolute harmony. And the universe is vast, it is immense, immeasurable; still, everything goes on without any disturbance, without any discrepancy. The logic seems to be solid, but it is not so.
The same logic the materialist uses. He says it goes on in such a harmonious way because there is nobody who is controlling it. Whenever there is somebody who is controlling everything, there is a possibility of failure, mistakes, errors. Nobody is infallible.
If there were one God controlling everything for millions of years sometimes He might fall asleep, sometimes just for a change He might go for a morning walk. If it is being controlled by one being then there is every possibility of a mistake. And during such a long period can you think that a person will not commit any mistake? Just by mistake he may commit a mistake. And there are so many things to be arranged and looked after - just look ....
Just the other day Vivek was saying to me - seeing a peacock with its feathers open, so colorful, she said, "God must be taking so much care to paint them."
If God were really to paint all the peacocks of the world then you can be certain there would bound to be a thousand and one mistakes. Howsoever infallible God is He cannot manage to go on painting year by year millions and millions of peacocks. And not only peacocks, there are other birds, and every detail has to be looked into.
The materialists say that the world goes on perfectly because there is no manager, so who can commit a mistake? It is mechanical.
The same logic: the spiritualist tries to prove God, the materialist tries to prove, using the same logic - this harmony, this continuity - that there is no manager, that it is all mechanical. Only machines are not able to commit mistakes - either they work, or they fail. While the machine is working, it will be working the way it has been working forever, reproducing again and again, again and again, the same kinds of peacock feathers. It is not a work of consciousness.
A conscious mind would try to improve, would like to change a little bit - once in a while to put a little more red, a little more green, a little more blue ... a little different blue, because there are so many kinds of blues and so many kinds of greens. Once in a while he would put the head of one bird on another bird. One gets bored, putting on the same kind of head again and again, the same red nose again and again; just for a change, one would change to yellow, green, blue. But nothing like that happens.
The materialist says it is mechanical, it is a vast mechanism that goes on reproducing without any mind. While it produces, it will be producing the same. Yes, one day every machine fails, but you will not be there to know it. Once the machine fails, you fail too, so there will be nobody as a witness of the failure.
I told the old professor - his name was Professor Dasgupta - "Through this argument I can help you to have some insight into agony. The existentialist says there is a difference between animals and man. For the first time a certain group of thinkers has pointed to a difference which really makes a difference. They say, two sentences will have to be understood. One is: Existence precedes essence. And the other is: Essence precedes existence.
"In animals essence precedes existence. Essence means whatsoever they are going to be; the whole program comes first, before their birth. Before they exist the blueprint is there; they bring their blueprint with themselves, it is ahead of them. Their existence follows the essence."
Essence means the program, the blueprint of what they are going to be, how many lives they are going to live, how many children they will have, what colors they will change to according to seasons - everything. So much so that there are birds who come flying from the North Pole, three thousand miles down, because it becomes too cold there, and to exist is impossible.
They have to ... they start exactly on the same date every year. They don't have any calendar, they don't know that the season is going to change, but on the exact date, day, time, millions of birds immediately start moving towards the south. They will stop only when they have passed the three-thousand-mile radius, because within three thousand miles they will not be able to survive, they need a little warmer place.
But the strangest thing that has puzzled the scientists is that while they are away from their arctic home, the season for reproduction comes. So they mate, they make love, they find boyfriends, girlfriends. It takes time for the girls to become pregnant and then lay the eggs. By the time they lay the eggs, the warm season is finished. Now the arctic is ready to receive them back. So they leave the eggs and fly back to the arctic exactly on the same date as their forefathers and their forefathers have always done.
Those eggs hatch in their time, and the birds come out and start flying towards the arctic; three thousand miles in the exact direction they fly back to their world. Strange, absolutely miraculous, because nobody is there to tell them where .... "Your parents have gone. You don't have a map, and the arctic is far away - three thousand miles - and you are a little bird just out of the egg." Such a long journey with no preparation ... but they manage, they reach. And this happens year after year.
This is the meaning of essence coming first, existence following. They don't know what they are doing. It is some inner impulse, some urge that takes those birds far away. Flying three thousand miles without fail they reach their parents who had left them in the eggs without even telling them, "We are going, so when you get out, please come back home. Don't forget us, we will be waiting there," or giving them any indication of direction, nothing - no message has been left. At least they could have left one old guy and said, "When all these kids come out you take them home." Nobody is left, no message is left, no contact exists between them - but they reach.
There are fishes from the arctic that move in a certain season, and near England at a certain place they lay their eggs. Before the eggs are ripe, their journey back starts. And when the eggs give birth, the new fish start swimming against the current! The natural course would be to go with the current, but their program is fixed. Against the current they start moving towards the arctic, and they find their way back to their parents.
They will not recognize their parents. There is no need either because these fellows, if they can manage a three-thousand-mile journey against the current, don't need any parents, any teachers, any schools, college, universities. They are self-sufficient. This is the meaning of essence preceding existence. They are born with their whole life pattern complete and they will simply go on unfolding it. They are not going to learn anything.
Learning is not for them. They need no learning. They have already got all that they need for their life, every detail about everything - what to eat, what not to eat. You just look at a buffalo eating grass and you will be surprised: she goes on leaving certain grass and goes on eating certain other grass. Strange, but if you look closely, you will find she eats only a certain grass, other grass she does not eat.
You see here so many deer. They prefer a grass called alfalfa, and just now because we have brought water and planted trees and lawns and made it a green place, and certainly because of the deer, I have told my secretary, "Take care that so much good alfalfa is grown around that the deer will come automatically, and this will become a deerpark."
And I love that word, because Gautam Buddha lived in a deerpark. Where his thousands of disciples lived, hundreds of deer also lived in the same place. And our deer are growing, but a danger has started happening: they are eating too much alfalfa, getting too fat, and for deer that is dangerous because once they get too fat then they cannot run. Then they are easy prey to any animal, to any hunter. Not only that - when they become too fat ... because two or three deer have died.
I enquired why they died. The reason was they became so fat they could not walk. They fell over their feet and broke their legs, the weight was too much. Their feet are thin, those feet are not meant for that big a load. So I told my secretary then to either bring more deer so the alfalfa is not too much, or start cutting down the alfalfa, because this will kill the poor deer. They don't have a built-in program where to stop. Nature takes care. In nature, nothing goes off balance.
If there is too much alfalfa then deer will start coming more and more from all over the place; if there is less alfalfa, deer will disperse. But our deer are in a difficulty: they cannot go anywhere because they cannot find a place where human beings will not be killing them. This much in three years they have understood perfectly well.
They are far more intelligent than your attorney general; they know that these are the right people to live with. They stand on the road, they don't bother ... you may go on honking the horn - they move with their ease and grace and beauty. They don't bother; they understand that "These are our people," so they are not going to leave. And they don't have a built-in program where to stop, so they go on eating.
I told that professor, "Essence is a built-in program - and that's where man is different. Man comes as existence, and essence follows. You are not given a built-in program. You come open-ended, with no directions, with no clear-cut idea of what you are going to be. You exist first - and this is a great difference, the greatest possible difference."
You exist first, and then you have to find who you are. The animals, the trees, the rocks, know first who they are, then they exist; hence there is no spiritual enquiry. No animal bothers asking the questions: Who am I? What is the meaning of my life? He knows it already; there is no question, there is no doubt, no enquiry.
Man is a continuous enquiry, a continuous question. To the very last breath he goes on growing. To the very last breath he can change his whole life pattern.
He can take a quantum jump.
There is no necessity for him to just go on following the path that he has followed. At the very last moment he simply can step aside. There is nobody to prevent him, it is his freedom. Man is the only animal in existence who has freedom - and out of the freedom is agony."
Agony means: I don't know who I am.
I don't know where I am going and why I am going. I don't know whether whatever I am doing I am supposed to do or not. The question continuously remains; not even for a single moment does the question leave. Whatever you do, the question is there: Are you sure? Is it the thing for you to do?
Is this the place for you to be?
The question leaves not even for a single moment. And this is as deep as anything can be in you, at the very core of your being. This is the agony - that the meaning is not known, that the purpose is not known, that the goal is not known. It seems as if we are accidental, that by some accident we are born.
No other animal, no tree, no bird is accidental; they are planned. Existence has a whole program for them. Man seems to be totally different.
Existence has left man utterly free.
Once you become aware of this situation then agony arises. And it is fortunate to feel it. That's why I say it is not ordinary pain, suffering, misery. It is very extraordinary, and it is of tremendous value to your whole life, its growth, that you should feel agony, that each fiber of your being should feel the questioning, that you should become simply a question. And naturally it is frightening. You are left in a chaos. But out of this very chaos the stars are born.
If you don't start stuffing out of fear, if you don't start escaping from your agony .... Everybody is trying to escape, finding ways: falling in love, doing this, doing that - somehow, somewhere engaged. One thing is not finished, and you start doing another thing because you are afraid. If there is a gap between the two and the question raises its head, and you start feeling agony, then it is better to continue, to go on running; don't stop. People start running from their birth till they die.
They don't stop, they don't sit by the side of the road under a tree.
To me the statues of Buddha and Mahavira in the East, sitting in a lotus posture under a tree, do not mean anything historical. They mean something far more significant.
These are the people who have stopped running. These are the people who have stepped out of the road on which the whole procession of humanity is going.
They are real dropouts, not the Californian type which within a few years drops in again. No, these are real dropouts who never drop in again.
Sitting under a tree is just representative. You will be surprised to know that after Buddha's death, for five hundred years his statue was not made. Instead of a statue only a tree was made. For five hundred years, in the temples that were made and dedicated to Buddha, there was only a tree carved on the stone or marble, nothing else.
It was enough to remind one to step out of the road, because this has been for thousands of years the tradition, to plant trees on both the sides of Indian roads - huge trees with big branches almost meeting over the middle of the road so the road is completely covered with shadow. Even in the hottest summer you can go on the road in coolness, in the shadow.
So the tree became the symbol of dropping out of "the road." The road is the world, where everybody is going somewhere, trying to find something, and in fact basically trying to forget himself because it hurts. To remember oneself hurts, and the only thing that everybody is doing is to get engaged, concentrated - after money, after power, after this, after that. Become a painter, become a poet, become a musician, become someone and go on becoming. Don't stop, because if you stop you become aware of your hurt; the wound starts opening up. So don't give it a chance. This is the road.
For five hundred years they managed simply to have the tree. It was a beautiful symbol of stepping aside. But as time passed, people started forgetting the symbol. The simple tree - they could not understand what is supposed .... They started worshipping trees. It was at that time when Alexander the Great visited India, five hundred years after Buddha. He had seen those temples with trees, and he had asked people, but nobody knew what they meant, just tree worship. And all over India, even today, trees are worshipped; it has remained.
Then the Buddhist monks who could understand started making statues of Buddha. But five hundred years had passed; there was no photography possible in those days, so they had not even any idea of how Buddha looked.
At that time Alexander visited India. Alexander looked beautiful, he was a beautiful man, so the statues of Buddha are really Alexander's statues. That face is not Indian, that face is Greek. That's why when you see the Buddha's face, you cannot think that it is an Indian face. It is a Greek face, and not an ordinary Greek face - the face of one of the most beautiful Greek men. It is Alexander's face. They got the idea from Alexander's face. It was very fitting. It fits better with Buddha than with Alexander, so I don't have any objection.
I see it as perfectly right. Even if while Buddha was alive their heads were changed, it would have been perfectly good. What Alexander was ... what he was doing he could have done even with Buddha's face, there was no trouble. But Buddha certainly needs a beautiful face, very symmetrical, very harmonious with his inner self. The beauty that is shown on the face, in the proportion of his body, is the beauty of his soul.
Agony is the experience that you have come into the world a clean slate, a tabula rasa; nothing is written on it. This is your original face.
Now, you can do two things. One is, being afraid of this vacuum, you can start running after something or other - earning money, power, learning, asceticism, becoming a sage, scholar, politician - somehow to give you a feeling of identity, somehow to hide your own inner chaos.
But whatever you do the chaos is there and is going to remain there. It is an intrinsic part of you. So those who understand don't try in any way to escape from it. On the contrary, they try to enter into it.
These are the two ways: either run away from it as everybody else is doing, or run into it. Reach to its very center howsoever painful, fearful - but reach to the center, because that is you. And it is good at least one time to be at the very exact center of your being.
The moment you reach that center then the second word becomes significant: ecstasy.
Ecstasy is the flower of agony.
Agony is not against ecstasy.
Agony is the way to ecstasy.
You just have to accept it - what else can one do? It is there. You can close your eyes - that does not mean that the sun has disappeared; it is still there. And everybody is trying to close his eyes; the sun is too glaring. Close your eyes, completely close your eyes. Forget about it, don't look at it ... as if it is not there. Believe it is not there.
These pseudo-religions are trying to teach you exactly that:
Try to reach to God, try to reach heaven, follow Jesus Christ.
But none of them says don't follow anybody and don't look for any paradise or heaven because this is all trying to deceive yourself.
Encounter yourself, face yourself.
Have a one hundred and eighty-degree turn.
Look into the chaos that is there, into the agony that is there. And if it is your nature, then howsoever painful it is, we have to become acquainted with it. And the miracle is, it is painful to pass through it but it is just the greatest bliss when you have passed and reached the center of your being.
Agony is all around the center, and the ecstasy is just in the center. Perhaps agony is just a protective shell - ecstasy is so valuable it needs protection. And nature has created such a protective wall, what to say of others? - even you start running away from it. Who is going to enter into your agony if you yourself are running away?
The moment you think of it, agony seems to be a tremendous gift of nature. It changes its whole color, its fragrance, its meaning. It is a protective wall, so protective that even you start running away from it.
Don't run away from yourself whatever the case may be. A man's mettle is judged by his entering into his own inner chaos. You are worthy to call yourself human beings when you have reached to the center, and you can see from the center, around yourself. You are blissful - not only are you blissful, from the center the whole existence is blissful too.
Agony and ecstasy are two sides of your being. They both make you one organic unity, one whole.
So I am not telling you how to get rid of agony.
That's what pseudo-religions have been telling you for centuries.
I am telling you how to befriend agony, how to be in love with the chaos.
Once you are in love with the chaos, the freedom that chaos brings, the unbounded space that chaos brings, enter into it till you reach the center.
To find oneself is to find all.
Then there is nothing missing, then there is no question left. Then for the first time you have the answer. Although you cannot convey the answer to anybody else, you can convey the way you found it.
That's what the function of a Master is.
He does not give you the answer.
He does not make you more knowledgeable.
He simply shows you the method, how he found himself. He encourages you to take a jump into your chaos, into your agony.
The Master is simply a proof that you don't need to be afraid. If this man can find his center, passing through all the agony, there is no reason why you cannot do it too. And once you know the taste of ecstasy, your whole life, for the first time, has something that can be called godliness. A new quality arises in you, a new flare, a new flame. But that is our nature, everybody's nature.
I have never tried in my life to become anybody. I have simply allowed life to take me wherever it wanted. One thing I can say to you, I have not been a loser; it was a great joy to be taken over by nature. I have not at all interfered. I have not even been swimming, because in swimming you are at least throwing your hands about. I have been just going with the stream, floating with wherever the stream is going.
Fortunately all streams reach finally to the ocean. The small, the big, somehow or other they all find their way to the oceanic. And the oceanic feeling I call the religious feeling.
When your small drop drops into the ocean ....
In one sense you are no more.
In one sense you are for the first time.
On one hand there is death, and on the other hand there is rebirth.