Life is an opportunity. You can use it, you can misuse it, or you can simply waste it. It depends on you. Except you, nobody is going to be responsible. Responsibility is of the individual.
Once you realize this then you start becoming alert, aware. Then you start living in a totally different way. Then, in fact, for the first time you become alive.
Otherwise, people live in a sort of dream – half-asleep, half-awake… just somewhere in between consciousness and unconsciousness. That life is not really a life. You exist – but you don’t live.
Existence is given to you. Existence is a gift. Life has to be earned. When existence turns upon itself, it becomes life. Existence has been given by the whole; you have not done anything for it. It is simply there, a given fact. When existence becomes life… the moment you start existing in a conscious way, immediately existence becomes life.
Existence lived consciously is life.
Life is a great challenge, an adventure into the unknown, an adventure into oneself, and adventure into that which is. If you live an unconscious life, if you simply exist, you will always remain afraid of death. Death will always be just somewhere near the comer, hanging around you. Only life goes beyond death.
Existence comes, disappears. It is given to you, taken away. It is a wave in the ocean… arises, falls back, disappears.
But life is eternal. Once you have it, you have it forever. Life knows no death. Life is not afraid of death. Once you know what life is, death disappears. If you are still afraid of death, know well – you have not known life yet.
Death exists only in the ignorance – in the ignorance of what life is. One goes on living. One goes on moving from one moment to another, from one action to another, completely unaware what one is doing, why one is doing, why one is drifting from this point to that point. If you become a little meditative, many times in a day you will catch hold of yourself completely drifting unconscious.
The whole effort of religion is to make you aware of your existence.
Existence plus awareness is life eternal – what Jesus calls life in abundance, what Jesus calls the kingdom of god.
That kingdom of god is within you. You have already the seed within you. You just have to allow it to sprout. You have to allow it to come in the sunlit world of the sky, to become free, to move in freedom, to move higher and higher, to touch the very infinity. It is possible to soar high – but the basic thing is awareness.
Shortly before Carl Jung died, he said in an interview, ‘We need more understanding of human nature, because the only real danger that exists is man himself. He is the great danger and we are pitifully unaware of it. We know nothing of man.’
One fallacy continues and that fallacy is that because you are, you think you know who you are. You feel that you are, but you don’t know who you are. Just a confused feeling, a mixed feeling, a shadowy feeling that you are, is not enough. It should become crystal-clear. It should become an unwavering light within you. Only then one knows what man is.
In Sanskrit, for ‘man’ we have the word ‘purusha’. That word is tremendously beautiful. It is difficult to translate it because it has three meanings. It can be pronounced with three different emphases. The word is purusha. It can be pronounced as pur u sha. Then it means ‘the dawn in the city… he who is filled with light’.
It can be pronounced as puru sha. Then it means ‘filled with wisdom and eternal happiness… a citizen of heaven’.
It can be pronounced as pu rusha. Then it means ‘whose passions are purified and who has become deathless’.
There are many possibilities within you, layer upon layer. The first layer is of the body. If you get identified with the body, you are getting identified with the temporal, the momentary. Then there is bound to be fear of death.
The body is a flux, like a river – continuously changing, moving. It has nothing of the eternal in it. Each moment the body is changing. In fact, the body is dying every moment. It is not that after seventy years suddenly one day you die. The body dies every day. Death continues for seventy years; it is a process.
Death is not an event; it is a long process. By and by, by and by, the body comes to a point where it cannot hold itself. It disintegrates.
If you are identified with the body, of course the fear will be constantly there that death is approaching. You can live, but you can live only in fear. And what type of life is possible when one’s foundations are constantly shaking? and one is sitting on a volcano and death is possible any moment? And only one thing is certain – that death is coming – and everything else is uncertain. How can one live? How can one celebrate? How can one dance and sing and be? Impossible. The death won’t allow it. The death is too much and too close.
Then there is a second layer within you: that of the mind – which is even more temporal and more fleeting than the body. Mind is also continuously disintegrating. Mind is the inner part of the body and the body is the outer part of the mind. These are not two things. Mind and body is not a right expression. The right expression is mind-body. You are psychosomatic. Not that the body exists and the mind exists. The body is the gross mind, and the mind is the subtle body… aspects of the same coin – one outer, the second inner.
So there are people who are identified with the body. These are the materialists. They cannot live. Desperately they try, of course, but they cannot live. A materialist only pretends that he is living; he cannot live. His life cannot be very deep; it can only be superficial, shallow – because he is trying to live through the body which is continuously dying.He is living in a house which is on fire. He is trying to rest in a house which is on fire. How can you rest? How can you love?
The materialist can have only sex, cannot love. Because sex is temporal; love is something of the eternal. He can make hit-and-run contacts with people but he cannot relate. He is constantly running, because he is identified with the body. The body is never at rest; it is a continuous movement.
At the most he can have sex – a temporal, a momentary thing; nothing deeper, nothing of the soul, nothing of the innermost core. Beings remain far away; bodies meet and mingle and separate again. The materialist is the most idiotic person, because he is trying to live through death. That is the stupidity.
Then another type of person is the idealist – one who is identified with the mind, with ideas, ideologies, ideals. He lives in a very ephemeral world – not in any way better than the materialist. Of course, more ego-fulfilling, because he can condemn the materialist.
He talks about god, he talks about the soul, he talks about religion and great things. He talks about the other world – but that is all mere talk. He lives in the mind: continuously thinking, brooding, playing with ideas and words. He creates utopias of the mind, great beautiful dreams – but he is also wasting the opportunity. Because the opportunity is here and now, and he always thinks of somewhere else.
The word ‘utopia’ is beautiful. It means ‘that which never comes’. He thinks of something which never comes, which cannot come. He lives somewhere else. He exists here and lives somewhere else. He lives in a dichotomy, in a dualism. With great tension he exists. The politicians, the revolutionaries, the so-called theologians, the priests, they all live a life identified with the mind.
And real life is beyond both body and mind. You are in the body, you are in the mind, but you are neither. The body is your outer shell, the mind is your inner shell, but you are beyond both.
This insight is the beginning of real life. How to start this insight? That’s what meditation is all about.
Start witnessing. Walking on the street, become a witness. Watch the body walking… and you, from the innermost core, are just watching, witnessing, observing. Suddenly you will have a sense of freedom. Suddenly you will see that the body is walking, you are not walking.
Sometimes the body is healthy, sometimes the body is ill. Watch, just watch, and suddenly you will have a sense of a totally different quality of being. You are not the body. The body is ill, of course, but you are not ill. The body is healthy, but it has nothing to do with you. You are a witness, a watcher on the hills… far beyond. Of course, tethered to the body, but not identified with the body; rooted in the body, but always beyond and transcending.
The first meditation is to separate yourself from the body. And by and by, when you become more acute in your observation of the body, start observing the thoughts that continuously go on within your mind. But first watch the body, because it is gross, can be observed more easily, will not need much awareness. Once you become attuned, then start watching the mind.
Whatsoever can be watched becomes separate from you. Whatsoever you can witness, you are not it. You are the witnessing consciousness. The witnessed is the object; you are the subjectivity. The body, and the mind also, remain far away when you become a witness. Suddenly you are there – with no body and no mind… a pure consciousness, just simple sheer purity, an innocence, a mirror.
In this innocence, for the first time you know who you are. In this purity, for the first time existence becomes life. For the first time you are. Before it, you were simply asleep, dreaming; now you are. And when you are, then there is no death. Then you know that you will be witnessing your death also. One who has become capable of witnessing life has become capable of witnessing death. Because death is not the end of life; it is the very culmination of it. It is the very pinnacle of it. Life comes to its peak in death. Because you are afraid, you miss. Otherwise death is the greatest orgasm there is.
You have known the small orgasm of sex. In sex also, a small, a little death happens. Some life energy is released from your body – you feel orgasmic, unburdened, relaxed, just think of death. The whole energy that you have is released. Death is the greatest orgasm.
In sexual orgasm just a small, minute part of your energy is relaxed. Then too you feel so beautiful. Then too you feel so relaxed and you fall in deep sleep, all tensions dissolved. You become a harmony. Think of death as the whole life released. From every pore of your body, the whole life released back to the whole. It is the greatest orgasm there is. Yes, death is the greatest orgasm.
But people go on missing it because of fear. The same happens with sexual orgasm. Many people go on missing it. They cannot have any orgasm because of the fear. They cannot move totally in it.
Remember this; people who are afraid of death will be afraid of sex also.
You can watch this happening in this country. This country has remained afraid of sex, and this country is very much afraid of death also. You cannot find more cowards anywhere. You cannot find more cowardly people anywhere. What has happened? Those people who are afraid of death will become afraid of sex also, because a small death happens in sex. Those people who become afraid of sex, cling too much to life. They become miserly. Misers miss sexual orgasms and then they miss the great orgasm, the fulfillment of the whole life.
Once you know what death is, you will receive it with great celebration. You will welcome it. It is the fulfillment of your whole life’s effort. It is the fruition of your whole life’s effort. The journey ends. One comes back home.
But in death you don’t die. Just the energy that was given to you through the body and through the mind is released, goes back to the world. You return back home.
If you don’t die rightly, you will be born again. Now let me explain it to you. If you don’t die rightly, if you don’t achieve the total orgasm that death is, you will be born again, because you missed and you have to be given another opportunity.
God is very patient with you. He goes on giving you more opportunities. He has compassion. If you have missed this life, he will give you another. If you have failed this time, for another session you will be sent back to the world. Unless you fulfill the goal, you will be sent back again and again. That is the meaning of the theory of rebirth.
The Christian god is a little miserly. He gives only one life. That creates much tension. Just one life? No time even to err, no time to go astray. That creates very deep inner tension. In the East we have created the concept of a more compassionate god who goes on giving. You have missed this one? Take another. And in a way it is very sensible. There is no god personified as such who gives life to you. It is in fact you.
Have you watched sometimes? In the night you go to sleep. Just watch. When you fall asleep, when you are falling asleep, just watch the last thought, the last desire, the last fragment in your mind. And then when in the morning you feel awake, don’t open the eyes; just again watch. The last fragment will be the first fragment again.
If you were thinking of money when you were falling asleep, exactly the same thought will be the first thought in the morning. You will be thinking of money again – because that thought remained in your mind, waited for you to come back to it. If you were thinking of sex, in the morning you will be thinking of sex. Whatsoever…. If you were thinking of god and you prayed and that was your last thing in the night, first thing in the morning you will find a prayer arising in you.
The last thought in the night is the first thought in the morning. The last thought of this life will be the first thought of another life. The last thought when you are dying this time will become the first seed of your next life.
But when a buddha dies, a man who has attained, he simply dies with no thought. He enjoys the orgasm. It is so fulfilling, it is so totally fulfilling that there is no need to come back. He disappears into the cosmos. There is no need to be embodied again.
In the East we have been watching the death experience of people. How you die reflects your whole life, how you lived. If I can see just your death, I can write your whole biography – because in that one moment your whole life becomes condensed. In that one moment, like a lightning, you show everything.
A miserly person will die with clenched fists – still holding and clinging, still trying not to die, still trying not to relax. A loving person will die with open fists – sharing… even sharing his death as he shared his life. You can see everything written on the face – whether this man has lived his life fully alert, aware. If he has, then on his face there will be a light shining; around his body there will be an aura. You come close to him and you will feel silent – not sad, but silent. It even happens that if a person has died blissfully in a total orgasm you will feel suddenly happy near him.
It happened in my childhood. A very saintly person in my village died. I had a certain attachment towards him. He was a priest in a small temple, a very poor man, and whenever I would pass – and I used to pass at least twice a day; when going to the school near the temple, I would pass – he would call me and he would always give me some fruit, some sweet.
When he died, I was the only child who went to see him. The whole town gathered. Suddenly I could not believe what happened – I started laughing. My father was there; he tried to stop me because he felt embarrassed. A death is not a time to laugh. He tried to shut me up. He told me again and again, ‘You keep quiet!’
But I have never felt that urge again. Since then I have never felt it; never before had I ever felt it – to laugh so loudly, as if something beautiful has happened. And I could not hold myself. I laughed loudly, everybody was angry, I was sent back, and my father told me, ‘Never again are you to be allowed in any serious situation! Because of you, even I was feeling very embarrassed. Why were you laughing? What was happening there? What is there in death to laugh about? Everybody was crying and weeping and you were laughing.’
And I told him, ‘Something happened. That old man released something and it was tremendously beautiful. He died an orgasmic death.’ Not exactly these words, but I told him that I felt he was very happy dying, very blissful dying, and I wanted to participate in his laughter. He was laughing, his energy was laughing.
I was thought mad. How can a man die laughing? Since then I have been watching many deaths, but I have not seen that type of death again.
When you die, you release your energy and with that energy your whole life’s experience.
Whatsoever you have been – sad, happy, loving, angry, passionate, compassionate – whatsoever you have been, that energy carries the vibrations of your whole life. Whenever a saint is dying, just being near him is a great gift; just to be showered with his energy is a great inspiration. You will be put in a totally different dimension. You will be drugged by his energy, you will feel drunk.
Death can be a total fulfillment, but that is possible only if life has been lived.
From Nirvana: The Last Nightmare, Discourse #9
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