I said, “I would love to be lost but remain true to nature, to existence, rather than achieve a great ideal against nature, against existence. In the first place, in which you say I will be lost, I will be blissfully lost. In the second place, in which you think I would have achieved something, I will be nothing but pain, suffering, and finally agony.”
Agony is the deepest in you.
And it happens only to man.
All other animals are free of agony – but they are also free of ecstasy. Agony and ecstasy happen together; otherwise they don’t happen at all.
Have you seen any animal in ecstasy or in agony? a buffalo in agony? Just to think of it seems to be absurd. A buffalo in agony? For what reason should the buffalo be in agony? The buffalo never tried to become the queen of England – why should it be in agony? It simply allowed nature to make her whatsoever was the will of existence. Yes, it will never know ecstasy either because both happen at the same depth.
Agony happens if you go on missing your self.
Ecstasy happens if you happen to find yourself.
Missing yourself or finding yourself:
Both happen at the same depth of your being.
Missing yourself means that you have been trying to become something, somebody. You have an idea, and you are trying to fulfill that idea in your life.
All idealists live in agony.
It is not only the existentialist philosophers who are in agony. Of course they have brought the word to great prominence for the simple reason that this century has come as far away from nature and existence as possible: one step more and humanity disappears. This was the longest distance possible – we have traveled it.
We have come as far away from ourselves as possible.
That’s why in this century a philosophy like existentialism became possible.
I showed one of the histories of existentialism to one of my old professors who must have studied thirty, forty, years before. At that time the word existentialism was not even coined. Sartre, Jaspers, Marcel, were yet to be. He looked at the content and he could not believe it.
He said, “Is this a book on philosophy? No chapter on God, no chapter on the proofs for God, no chapter on religion, no chapter on the soul of man, no chapter on beyond death, heaven, hell. A strange history – chapters on agony, meaninglessness, anguish, anxiety. These are philosophical subjects?”