Chapter 6: Don’t Look at Happiness Too Long
That’s why I called it instasy not ecstasy, because it is a turning in, moving in, going to one’s own being. Now you are not other-directed. You are not future-oriented. You are simply trying to know who you are. The whole world has disappeared. The whole nightmare of it is no more there. An awakening is happening. This awakening will become the goal, and then you will be totally ecstatic.
When I say totally ecstatic you can misunderstand me, because you have lived in misery, and whatsoever I say you will understand from the standpoint of a miserable man. When I say ecstatic you think of something opposite to misery, something like happiness. Then you misunderstand. It is neither like misery nor like happiness. It is different, absolutely different, categorically different, diametrically different: it is a totally different phenomenon. Bliss is neither happiness nor unhappiness. Both have disappeared, the duality gone; you are at home.
And you don’t feel that you are ecstatic, remember. If you feel you are ecstatic there is still a possibility of misery coming back, because you are not one with ecstasy, you are still separate. You are still experiencing it. It is something other than you, it is not you.
If you ask Buddha, Are you ecstatic? he will shrug his shoulders. The very question is meaningless, irrelevant. That’s why Buddha remained silent about many questions, because he found out that whatsoever he said would be misunderstood. If you ask me, Are you happy? what should I say to you? If you ask me, Are you unhappy? what should I say to you? Somebody has asked, “You say that you are in paradise; is there pain in paradise or not?” There is no pain, but immediately I would like to add - there is no pleasure either. Because pleasure and pain are two aspects of the same coin. Pleasure converts into pain, pain converts into pleasure. They are not two things.
In Japan there is a story that I would like to tell you. In Japan they think that the white mouse is a good omen. If somebody suddenly sees a white mouse he feels very happy - something good is going to happen to him.
One day it happened, a father and son were sitting, taking their dinner, when suddenly the son saw that behind the father there was a white mouse. He told his father: “Don’t turn suddenly, there is a guest behind you, a very good omen. Slowly move and see.” The father slowly moved and saw a white mouse, and they were both happy because it was really a good omen, something beautiful was going to happen. The white mouse started moving around them, and because they were not disturbing him he started dancing and shaking; but when he shook, suddenly he became an ordinary grey mouse. Because in fact he had fallen in a tin of flour, white flour, that’s why he looked white; when he started dancing he became an ordinary grey mouse. Both father and son closed their eyes, because the good omen had disappeared - but even if you close your eyes the grey mouse is there.