Ecstasy in the Now!

Perhaps the best way to gain such an experience as time ceasing to exist is to realize that the word “present” is linked to the word “presence.” When the present moment becomes filled with a presence that is all-absorbing, completely at peace, and totally satisfying, you are in the now.

Presence isn’t an experience. Presence is felt whenever awareness is open enough. The situation at hand doesn’t have to bear any responsibility. Paradoxically, someone can be in intense pain, only to find that in the middle of his suffering, the mind – unable to tolerate the body’s torment – suddenly decides to abandon it. This is particularly true of psychological pain – soldiers caught in the terror of battle report a moment of liberation when intense stress is replaced by a rush of ecstatic release.

Ecstasy changes everything. The body is no longer heavy and slow; the mind stops experiencing its background music of sadness and fear. There is a dropping away of personality, replaced by the sweetness of nectar. This sweetness can linger a long time in the heart, but when it leaves, you know beyond doubt that you have lost the now.

The secret of ecstasy is that you have to throw it away once you’ve found it. Only by walking away can you experience the present moment again, the place where presence lives. Awareness is in the now when it knows itself. If we take away the vocabulary of sweetness and bliss and nectar, the quality that is missing in most people’s lives, the biggest thing that keeps them from being present, is sobriety. You have to be sober before you can be ecstatic.

This isn’t a paradox. What you’re hunting for – call it presence, the now, or ecstasy – is totally out of reach. You cannot hunt it down, chase after it, command it, or persuade it to come to you. Your personal charms are useless here, and so are your thoughts and insights.

Sobriety begins by realizing, in all seriousness, that you have to throw away almost every strategy that you’ve been using to get what you want.

Adapted from The Book of Secrets, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2004).

82 comments

Mary B.
Mary B.3 years ago

Ann M, feeling like you need a nap after you read or hear something you don't understand is very normal. I just figure that my conscious mind needs some time out to catch up with what the bodys system has already taken in and processed.The human intellect just can't hold a lot of data so it has to pare it down to it's essence, and then 'insights' pop in.

Yulan Lawson
Yulan Lawson3 years ago

Thank you

Ro H.
Ro H.3 years ago

ty

Dot A.
Dot A.3 years ago

most of my friends don't get Deepak either,
he appeals to a particular frame of mind
but while reading his free articles
maybe a new concept you will find

Patricia H.
Patricia H.3 years ago

thanks for sharing

rene davis
rene davis3 years ago

Thanks

Mary Donnelly
Mary Donnelly3 years ago

Thanks.

Anne Moran
Anne Moran3 years ago

MR. CHOPRA NEVER CEASES TO AMAZE ME WITH HIS DIATRIBE... HIS WAY OF SEEING AND WRITING THINGS ARE MIND-BLOWING... I ALWAYS FEEL LIKE I NEED A NAP AFTER READING HIS ARTICLES... TOO MUCH FOR ME... GOT TO KEEP IT SIMPLE !

Patty B.
Patty B.3 years ago

Hmmmm...........ummmmm...ok..........

Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton3 years ago

Thanks.