How to Die – Osho

Every culture, every civilization, every so called religion, cuts every child off from his heart. It is a most dangerous thing. All that is dangerous comes out of the heart. Mind is more secure, and with the mind you know where you are. With the heart, no one ever knows where one is. With the mind, everything is calculated, mapped, measured. And you can feel the crowd always with you, in front of you, at the back of you. Many are moving on it; it is a highway – concrete, solid, gives you a feeling of security. With the heart you are alone. Nobody is with you. Fear grips, fear possesses you. Where are you going? Now you no longer know, because when you move with a crowd on a highway, you know where you are moving because you think the crowd knows.

And everybody is in the same position: everybody thinks, ‘So many people are moving, we must be moving somewhere; otherwise, why so many people, millions of them, moving? They must be moving somewhere.’ Everybody thinks like that. In fact, the crowd is not moving anywhere. No crowd has ever reached any goal. The crowd goes on moving and moving. You are born; you become part of the crowd. And the crowd was already moving before you were born. And then a day comes when you are finished, you die, and the crowd goes on moving, because new ones are always being born. The crowd never reaches anywhere! – but it gives a feeling of comfort. You feel cozy, surrounded by so many people wiser than you, older than you, more experienced than you; they must know where they are moving – you feel secure.

The moment you start falling towards the heart… and it is a falling: falling like falling in an abyss. That’s why when somebody is in love; we say he has fallen in love. It is a fall – the head sees it as a fall – someone has gone astray, fallen. When you start falling towards the heart you become alone; now nobody can be with you there, you in your total loneliness. Afraid, scared you will be. Now you will not know where you are going, because nobody is there and there are no milestones. In fact, there is no concrete solid path. Heart is unmapped, unmeasured, uncharted. Tremendous fear will be there.

The whole of my effort is to help you not to be afraid, because only through the heart will you be reborn. But before you are reborn, you will have to die. Nobody can be reborn before he dies. So the whole message of Sufism, Zen, Hassidism – these are all forms of Sufism – is how to die. The whole art of dying is the base. I am teaching you here nothing except that: how to die.

If you die, you become available to infinite sources of life. You die, really, in your present form. It has become too narrow. You only survive in it – you don’t live. The tremendous possibility of life is completely closed, and you feel confined, imprisoned. You feel everywhere a limitation, a boundary. A wall, a stone wall comes wherever you move – a wall.

My whole effort is how to break these stone walls. And they are not made of stone – they are made of thoughts. And nothing is more like rock than a thought. They are made of dogmas, scriptures. They surround you. And wherever you go, you carry them with you. Your imprisonment you carry with you. Your prison is always hanging around you. How to break them?

The breaking of the walls will appear to you like a death. It is in a way, because your present identity will be lost. Whosoever you are, that identity will be lost. You will be that no more. Suddenly something else…. It was always hidden within you, but you were not aware. Suddenly a discontinuity. The old is no more there, and something utterly new has entered. It is not continuous with your past. That’s why we call it a death. It is not continuous: a gap exists.

And if you look backwards, you will not feel that whatsoever existed before this resurrection was real. No, it will appear as if you saw it in a dream; or it will appear as if you read it somewhere in a fiction; or, as if somebody else related his own story and it was never yours – somebody else’s. The old completely disappears. That’s why we call it a death. An absolutely new phenomenon comes into existence. And remember the word ‘absolutely’. It is not a modified form of the old; it has no connection with the old. It is resurrection. But resurrection is possible only when you are capable of dying.

-Osho

Excerpt from Until You Die (Journey Toward the Heart), Chapter One

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com, or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

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