Osho – “From darkness to the light” # 8

“Agony is missing yourself, ecstasy is finding yourself”

You exist first, and then you have to find who you are. The animals, the trees, the rocks, know first who they are, and then they exist; hence there is spiritual enquiry. No animal bother about asking the question: 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 this freedom is agony. Agony means: I don’t know how 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 it 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 that it is no 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 fibre 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 to 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 stop running. They are the people who have step 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 drop in again. No, these are real dropouts who never drop in again… Agony is the experience that you have come in 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 if 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 become 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. Forget about it, don’t look at it…as if it is not there. Believe it is not there.

The pseudo-religions are trying to teach you exactly that: try to reach to God, try to reach to 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. 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 past and reached to the center of your being.

Agony is all around the center, and 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 to run 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 judge by his entering into his own inner chaos. You are worthy to call yourself human being when you have reached to the center; and you can see from the center, around yourself. You are blissful – not only you are blissful, from the center the whole existence is blissful too.

Agony and ecstasy are two sides of you being. They both make you one organic unity, one whole. So I am not telling you to get rid of agony. That’s what the pseudo-religions have been telling you for centuries. I am telling you 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, there is no question left. Then for the first time you have the answer. Although you can not convey the answer to anybody else, you can convey the way you found it.

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