The word ecstasy is beautiful; it simply means “standing out.” Out of what? Standing out of your ego, your personality, your mind; getting out of the whole structure in which you have lived, and not only lived but with which you have become identified. Standing out of all this, just a pure witness, a watcher on the hills, and everything is left deep down in the valley.
Drop the nostalgia. Drop this dreaming about the valley. You have lived in the valley long enough, and what have you gained? For many, many lives you have lived in the valley, in all those chains, thinking that they were ornaments. Maybe they were made of silver and gold, maybe they were studded with diamonds and emeralds; but whether a chain is made of iron or gold makes no difference. In fact, a golden chain is far more difficult to break because you become more attached to it.
You have lived in the valley so long, for so many lives, now try to live on the peaks. Be totally with the peaks; forget all about the valleys, because that will be a disturbance. That disturbance is creating pain. You are looking back again and again: there is still some desire, some longing, some hope that you may get back to your old structures again.
But let me make it absolutely clear to you: there is no going back. Now you have crossed that point from where a person can still go back, so it is an exercise in futility to feel pain for something which is no more. But it will keep you occupied and you will miss the joys of the peak, the fresh air of the peak, the unpolluted atmosphere of the peak, the closeness of the sun and the clouds. Now is the time to whisper with the clouds and with the sun and the stars; it is a beautiful moment.
Decide in favor of ecstasy, and whatever pain happens through that decision, accept with joy, with thankfulness. The more gratefully you accept it as part of growth, the sooner it will disappear, and it will not leave even a trace on you; you will be unscratched by it. If you cling to it too long, it will leave wounds. Even if they heal, the marks will remain.
In these moments, when one passes from one stage of being to another stage of being, one is very vulnerable. In these moments one is very soft, impressionable. Don’t pay much attention to pain. That’s what you have been doing for a few months. I have been silently watching. Many times I have to be just a silent watcher, because I hate to interfere. Even though I know you are in need, still I respect your freedom so much that, unless you ask, I will keep quiet; I will not say a word. I will feel great compassion for you – I am perfectly aware of your tears and the anguish that you are passing through – but I have been keeping myself aloof deliberately, because this is the only way to give the disciple a chance to grow.
If I go on interfering at every stage, helping, supporting, you will start depending on me too much. Then you will never be able to walk on your own feet; you will always need crutches. I don’t want to give you crutches; I don’t want you to be dependent on me. The only gift that I can give to you is that of total freedom, of independence.