And then try it with persons. This is difficult in the beginning because there is a fear. Because you have been reducing persons to things, you are afraid that if you allow someone to be so intimate he will also reduce you to a thing. That is the fear. So no one allows much intimacy: a gap is always to be kept and guarded. Too much closeness is dangerous because the other can convert you into a thing, he can try to possess you. That is the fear. You are trying to convert others into things, and others are trying to convert you – and no one wants to be a thing, no one wants to become a means, no one wants to be used. It is the most degrading phenomenon to be reduced to just a means to something, not valuable in yourself. But everyone is trying. Because of this there is a deep fear and it will be difficult to start this technique with persons.
So start with a river, with a hill, with the stars, with the sky, with trees. Once you come to know the feeling of what happens when you become one with the tree; once you come to know how blissful you become when you become one with the river, how without losing anything you gain the whole existence – then you can try it with persons. And if it is so blissful with a tree, with a river, you cannot imagine how much more blissful it will be with a person, because a person is a higher phenomenon, a more highly evolved being. Through a person you can reach higher peaks of experience. If you can become ecstatic with even a rock, with a person you can feel a divine ecstasy happening to you.
But start with something that you are not much afraid of, or, if there is a person you love, a friend, a beloved, a lover, of whom you are not afraid, with whom you can be really intimate and close without any fear, with whom you can lose yourself without getting scared deep down that he may turn you into a thing – if you have someone like that, then try this technique. Lose yourself consciously into him. When you lose yourself consciously into someone, that someone will lose himself into you; when you are open and you flow into the other, the other starts flowing into you and there is a deep meeting, a communion. Two energies melt into each other. In that state there is no ego, no individual – simply consciousness. And if this is possible with one individual, it is possible with the whole universe. What saints have called ecstasy, samadhi, is just a deep love phenomenon between a person and the whole universe.
Feel the consciousness of each person as your own consciousness. So leaving aside concern for self, become each being.
We are always concerned with our own self. Even while we are in love, we are concerned with our own self, that is why love becomes a misery. It can become heaven but it becomes a hell, because even lovers are concerned with their own selves. The other is loved because he gives you happiness, the other is loved because you feel good with him, but the other is still not loved as if he is something valuable in himself or herself. The value comes through your enjoyment. You are gratified, you are satisfied in some way, that is why the other has become significant. This is also using the other.
Concern for the self means exploitation of the other. And religious consciousness can come into existence only when the concern for the self is lost, because then you become non-exploitive. With existence your relationship becomes one, not of exploitation, but of sheer sharing, sheer bliss. You are not using, you are not being used – it becomes a sheer celebration of being.