Chapter 8: 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.