Chapter 9: Ecstasy Is Freedom, Ecstasy Is Rebellion
Or it is a beautiful night and the sky is full of stars and the child wants to sit outside, but it is time to go to sleep. He is not feeling sleepy at all; he is wide awake, very, very awake. The child is puzzled. In the morning when he feels sleepy, everybody is after him - “Get up!” When he was enjoying, when it was so beautiful to be in the bed, when he wanted to take another turn and have a little more sleep and dream a little more, then everybody was against it. “Get up! It is time to get up.” Now he is wide awake and he wants to enjoy the stars. It is very poetic, this moment, very romantic. He feels thrilled. How can he go to sleep in such thrill? He is so excited, he wants to sing and dance, and they are forcing him to go to sleep - “It is nine o’clock. It is time to go to sleep.”
Now, he was happy being awake but he is forced to go to sleep. When he is playing he is forced to come to the dining table. He is not hungry. When he is hungry, the mother says, “This is not the time.” This way we go on destroying all possibility of being ecstatic, all possibility of being happy, joyful, delighted. Whatsoever the child feels spontaneously happy with seems to be wrong, and whatsoever he does not feel at all seems to be right.
At school a bird suddenly starts singing outside the classroom, and the child is all attention toward the bird, of course - not toward the mathematics teacher who is standing at the board with his ugly chalk. But the teacher is more powerful, politically more powerful than the bird. Certainly, the bird has no power, but it has beauty. The bird attracts the child without hammering on his head, “Be attentive! Concentrate on me!” No, simply, spontaneously, naturally, the consciousness of the child starts flowing out of the window. It goes to the bird. His heart is there, but he has to look at the blackboard. There is nothing to look at, but he has to pretend.
Happiness is wrong - wherever there is happiness the child starts becoming afraid something is going to be wrong.
If the child is playing with his own body, it is wrong. If the child is playing with his own sexual organs, it is wrong. And that is one of the most ecstatic moments in the life of a child. He enjoys his body; it is thrilling. But all thrill has to be cut, all joy has to be destroyed. It is neurotic, but the society is neurotic.
Whatsoever was done to the parents by their parents, they are doing the same to their children. This way one generation goes on destroying another. This way we transfer our neurosis from one generation to another. The whole earth has become a madhouse. Nobody seems to know what ecstasy is. It is lost. Barriers upon barriers have been created.
It is a daily observation here that when people start meditating and start feeling the upsurge of energy, when they start feeling happy, they immediately come to me: “A very strange thing is happening. I am feeling happy, and I am also feeling guilty, for no reason at all.” Guilty? They are also puzzled. Why should one feel guilty? They know that there is nothing - they have not done anything wrong. From where does this guilt arise? It is coming from that deep-rooted conditioning: that joy is wrong. To be sad is okay, but to be happy is not allowed.