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Chapter 13: Ecstasy Is Knowing That Nobody Is Holding Your Hand

[aside] Sheela, put this light out; it is driving me Oregonian!

It is only your own voice, which will lead you into blossoming, into freedom.

Yes, the path in the beginning will look dangerous, because you were always holding the hand of your father, your priest, your rabbi, your mother; and when a child holds the hand of the father there is no fear, no danger. He can rely on his father. But now you are holding his hand only in imagination - there is no father; it is pure imagination. And it is better to know that you are alone and there is no hand supporting you, because then you will try to find your own way to protect yourself against dangers.

It is dangerous to go on believing that you are still protected when you are not really protected. That’s what has happened to millions of people in the world. They feel they are protected, protected by God, protected by all kinds of things.

There is no God. There is nobody to protect you. You are alone, and you have to accept your aloneness joyously. In fact, it is a tremendous ecstasy that nobody is holding your hand.

My grandfather loved me very much, just because of my mischiefs. Even in his old age he was mischievous. He never liked my father or my uncles because they were all against this old man’s mischievousness. They all said to him, “You are now seventy and you should behave. Now your sons are fifty, fifty-five, your daughters are fifty, their children are married, their children’s children are there - and you go on doing such things that we feel ashamed.”

I was the only one with whom he was intimate, because I loved the old man for the simple reason that he had not lost his childhood even at the age of seventy. He was as mischievous as any child. And he would play his mischief even on his own sons and daughters and sons-in-law, and they would be just shocked.

I was his only confidant because we conspired together. Of course he could not do many things; I had to do them. For example, his son-in-law was sleeping in the room and my grandfather could not go up onto the roof, but I could go. So we conspired together; he would help me, he would become a ladder for me to go onto the roof and remove a tile. And with just a bamboo and a brush attached to it, in the night, touching the face of the son-in-law. He would scream, and the whole house would run there: “What is the matter?” But by that time we had disappeared, and he would say, “There was some ghost or somebody just touching my face. I tried to catch him but I could not; it was dark.”

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