Your Aloneness Cannot be Destroyed – Osho

Death is always there. You may be unaware of it, but it is always confronting you with immediacy.

You cannot be certain of the next moment.

But we go on living – and nobody believes that he is going to die; it is always the other who dies. You have seen people dying, many people of all kinds – children, young people, old people – but you have never seen yourself dying. So obviously somewhere in your mind the idea persists that it is always the other who dies. But remember, those who are dead also had the same idea; for them you are the other. And one day you will be dying, and the people who will take you to the graveyard will not feel at all the immediacy of death.

It is always there – just like a shadow to you. From the very first moment of your birth you have been dying. It is a fallacy to think that death comes like an accident, suddenly when you are seventy, eighty, ninety. No. Death and life are together. The moment you are born you start dying.

But man is very clever in deceiving himself.

Each of your birthdays is an effort to forget that it is not your birthday, it is your death day; you have died one year more. But with flowers and candles and cakes, one forgets the immediacy of death.

It is always with you. Birth is the beginning of death. […]

This immediacy of death should wake you up. Now there is no more time for you to fool around, no time for you to deceive yourself. Death is just there waiting for you, and you are fortunate that you know it. Knowing of your death can become a transformation. […]

Otherwise people are always postponing; they will meditate tomorrow – and tomorrow never comes. And there are so many other things to do, you don’t have time for meditation. […]

But a man who is fully aware that now there is no way, that tomorrow is finished, all that you have in your hands is this moment…. […]

The time for meditation has come. Now you can forget those small, stupid things in which you were involved.

There are millions of people who are playing cards, watching football matches – not at all aware of what they are doing. And if you ask them, they say they are killing time. Great! Time is killing you, and you remain with the idea that you are killing time. How can you kill time? You have never even seen it. Your swords cannot cut it, even your nuclear weapons are unable to touch it. How are you going to kill time?

But time is killing you every moment.

The very closeness of death makes it possible for you to understand the deathless which is within you. That’s the whole art of meditation: to go within as deep as you can to the very center of your being. And you will be surprised, amazed that at the center of your being you are eternal. There is no death, there has never been any death. Nothing dies in reality, it only changes forms. […]

No help from the outside is available, you have to depend on your inside. You are left alone.

In fact everybody has always been alone.

From birth to death, the whole journey is alone.

You may be in the crowd, but your aloneness cannot be destroyed. It is there. You make every effort to camouflage your aloneness, but nobody has ever succeeded in it. A truth is a truth – you may postpone it a little bit…. Whatever has to be done has to be done now! […]

You cannot find a better time for meditation, at least in my commune. And don’t feel serious, because death is natural; what causes it is meaningless. Don’t be in a paranoia. In fact, rejoice that you are the chosen few; everybody else is in darkness about his death, you are not. And the very fact that you know death is coming is bound to create space for you to know yourself.[…]

And knowing your eternal being, knowing that you have been here always and you will be here always, is a tremendous revelation.

In that revelation is celebration.

-Osho

From From Death to Deathlessness, Discourse #21

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 in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

Death is There and yet I am Still Here – Osho

What I wish to say is that it is essential to see death, to understand it, to recognize it. But this is possible only when we die; one can only see it while dying. Then what is the way now? And if one sees death only while dying, then there is no way to understand it — because at the time of death one will be unconscious.

Yes, there is a way now. We can go through an experiment of entering into death of our own free will. And may I say that meditation or samadhi is nothing else but that. The experience of entering death voluntarily is meditation, samadhi. The phenomenon that will automatically occur one day with the dropping of the body — we can willingly make that happen by creating a distance, inside, between the self and the body. And so, by leaving the body from the inside, we can experience the event of death, we can experience the occurrence of death. We can experience death today, this evening — because the occurrence of death simply means that our soul and our body will experience, in that journey, the same distinction between the two of them as when the vehicle is left behind and the traveler moves on ahead.

I have heard that a man went to see a Mohammedan fakir, Sheikh Fareed, and said, “We have heard that when Mansoor’s hands and legs were cut off he felt no pain… which is hard to believe. Even a thorn hurts when it pricks the foot. Won’t it hurt if one’s hands and legs are cut off? It seems that these are all fantastic stories.” The man also said, “We hear that when Jesus was hanged on the cross he did not feel any pain. And he was permitted to say his final prayers. What the bleeding, naked Jesus — hanging on a cross, pierced with thorns, hands stuck with nails — said in the final moments can hardly be believed!”

Jesus said, “Forgive these people, they don’t know what they are doing.” You must have heard this sentence. And the people all over the world who believe in Christ repeat it continuously. The sentence is very simple. Jesus said, “O, Lord, please forgive these people, because they know not what they are doing.” Reading this sentence, people ordinarily understand Jesus is saying that the poor people didn’t know they were killing a good man like him. No, that was not what Jesus meant. What Jesus meant was that “These senseless people do not know that the person they are killing cannot die. Forgive them because they don’t know what they are doing. They are doing something which is impossible — they are committing the act of killing, which is impossible.”

The man said, “It is hard to believe that a person about to be killed could show so much compassion. In fact, he will be filled with anger.”

Fareed gave a hearty laugh and said, “You have raised a good question, but I will answer it later. First, do me a little favor.” He picked up a coconut lying nearby, gave it to him and asked him to break it open, cautioning him not to break the kernel.

But the coconut was unripe, so the man said, “Pardon me, I cannot do this. The coconut is completely raw, and if I break open the shell the kernel will break too.”

Fareed asked him to put that coconut away. Then he gave him another coconut, one which was dry, and asked him to break that one open. “Can you save the kernel of this one?” he asked.

And the man replied, “Yes, the kernel can be saved.”

Fareed said, “I have given you an answer. Did you understand?”

The man replied, “I didn’t understand anything. What relation is there between a coconut and your answer? What relation is there between the coconut and my question?”

Fareed said, “Put this coconut away too. There is no need to break it or anything. I am pointing out to you that there is one raw coconut which still has the kernel and the shell joined together — if you hit the shell, the kernel will also break. Then there is the dry coconut. Now how is the dry coconut different from the raw coconut? There is a slight difference: the kernel of the dry coconut has shrunk inside and become separated from the shell; a distance has occurred between the kernel and the shell. Now you say, even after breaking open the shell, the kernel can be saved. So I have answered your question!”

The man said, “I still don’t get it.” The fakir said, “Go, die and understand — without that you cannot follow what I am saying. But even then you will not be able to follow me because at the time of death you will become unconscious. One day the kernel and the shell will be separated, but at that moment you will become unconscious. If you want to understand, then start learning now how to separate the kernel from the shell — now, while you are alive.”

If the shell, the body, and the kernel, the consciousness, separate at this very instant, death is finished. With the creation of that distance, you come to know that the shell and the kernel are two separate things — that you will continue to survive in spite of the breaking of the shell, that there is no question of you breaking, of you disappearing. In that state, even though death will occur, it cannot penetrate inside you — it will occur outside you. It means only that which you are not will die. That which you are will survive.

This is the very meaning of meditation or samadhi: learning how to separate the shell from the kernel. They can be separated because they are separate. They can be known separately because they are separate. That’s why I call meditation a voluntary entry into death. And the man who enters death willingly, encounters it and comes to know that, “Death is there, and yet I am still here.”

-Osho

From And Now and Here, Discourse #1

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

You can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

Death, the Gap and Jumping Out of the Wheel – Osho

In discourse the other night you said that at one’s death there is but a two or three second gap between which the soul travels from one body to the next. Master, you have said that your last life was seven hundred years ago. Where were you for all those years? 

Just here, in Uruguay! Where else could I be? The whole existence is available. When you are not in a body, you are just part of the whole existence without any partition.

The reason why I had to remain seven hundred years… A few people don’t get into the next life immediately. Either the person is so wicked, so animalistic, so murderous, like Adolf Hitler… He is not yet reborn because he needs a certain kind of womb which may not be available for thousands of years: he has to wait. Or if you have attained a certain evolved consciousness there is the same problem: you need a certain womb. Unless that is available, you cannot get another birth.

Ordinarily it is two or three seconds, because for the sleeping humanity the same kind of wombs are available. All day long millions of people are making love, and they are giving opportunities for new people to enter into a womb. So for the masses there is no problem; they don’t have to wait. It is almost instantaneous: as they leave one body, immediately some womb somewhere is ready. And they get into the closest womb.

By the way, if you are born in Germany, then for many lives you may be born in Germany for the simple reason that if you remain just part of the mass there is no reason to go far away to China or Japan and be born there. Just around you there are wombs ready to receive you.

In my experiments I have seen that people ordinarily continue in the same environment unless something starts growing in them and they cannot find the right womb in close proximity. Then they change. Then they move to different countries, to different races, to different peoples.

But in these extremes – either you are too cursed or too blessed – you will have to wait, because only once in a while a womb is ready for such a person. The father has to have certain qualities, the mother needs to have certain qualities, and only if their qualities are symmetrical with his own qualities can a certain soul enter. So it is not only that you carry your parents’ blood and your parents’ bones and your parents’ cells; there is something even deeper than that. You have certain qualities which are exactly those of your parents, but you have not acquired them from your parents – you had them, that’s why you got those parents.

Unembodied, you are just part of existence. It is difficult to explain to you where you are because “where” indicates a certain space; “when” indicates a certain time. But as you leave the body, you go beyond time and space both, so there is no way to say where you are. You are: time has stopped for you, space has disappeared for you.

You will remain in this state blissfully – if it is bliss that is preventing you from finding a new womb – or very miserably, if you are stuck because of misery, because of anguish, because of all the evil that you have done.

Adolf Hitler killed millions of people, at least six million people, and then he committed suicide himself – and all for no purpose. The whole thing was absolutely useless. Now to find parents of similar qualities, similar criminal minds, he will have to wait. But all this waiting will be an intense suffering.

My own understanding is that because of these situations, the idea of heaven and hell has arisen.

There is no hell and there is no heaven, just people who get stuck and cannot find a womb. If they are in anguish, misery, darkness, all the torture they have done to other people starts having its effects on them. They live in utter self-torture. And this is why the idea of hell has been created; otherwise there is no hell. But it has a meaning, a symbolic meaning.

Those seven hundred years were absolutely blissful for me, and I can say that anybody who has experienced that kind of bliss beyond time and space will naturally think he is in paradise. But there is no paradise; this existence is all. Either you are in the body… then you have a chance to evolve; without the body you cannot evolve. The body is a kind of school. It gives you all the situations for evolution. I know my seven hundred years were blissful, but I could not move ahead; it was frozen bliss. In that state there is no possibility to grow: you will remain at the same point until you are born again, and then you can start growing. A body is needed to grow.

Once you have attained the whole possibility of growth, the whole spectrum, there is no need for any evolution; you have come to the full point. Then you will not be coming back into the body. There is no need to come back to the school; you have learned everything. Now you can remain part of existence for eternity, with eternal bliss.

The body has to be respected, loved, because it is your vehicle for growth, for moving ahead.

Without it you cannot move. That’s why I am continuously surprised that the religions have created the idea that the body is something anti-spiritual. The body is what you want it to be: it can be anti-spiritual, it can be for spirituality. It is a vehicle: wherever you want to go it can take you; in itself it has no program. The body is very innocent and without any program.

The fact that all the religions have condemned the body has harmed humanity, because those who have condemned the body have stopped using the possibility of the body to take you to higher states.

On the contrary, they have started harming the body. They have been destructive to the body, and that is not going to help. They are destroying their own vehicle.

But it seems that the fact that people who have attained enlightenment have not entered into the body again has given a false idea to the priests, to the scholars – to those who don’t know and yet think they know. The idea has come to them that since you don’t enter into the body again after you become enlightened, that means that the body is not spiritual; it is anti-spiritual. You are in the body only because you are not enlightened, so fight with the body, torture the body, make yourself free of the body. But the methods they are using will not make them free of the body; they will get more entangled with the body. But nobody cares to look into all the implications of anything.

It is true that the enlightened person never enters the body, but the opposite is not true – that if you don’t enter the body you will be enlightened, or if you destroy the body you will be enlightened.

The very idea of destructiveness, torture, is unspiritual, and the person who can destroy himself can easily destroy anybody. If he can torture himself it is very easy for him to torture anybody.

Perhaps people like Adolf Hitler were your so-called saints in the past. They have tortured their bodies so much that now this is a reaction; the pendulum has moved to the other extreme: now they are torturing other people. Otherwise there is no reason why people should torture other people.

What enjoyment can they get in torturing other people? There must be some reason behind it – they have tortured themselves enough. So now it becomes a vicious circle: you torture yourself, then you are born in a body and you torture others; and because you torture others, you are born again in a body and you torture yourself.

The Hindustani word for the world is samsara. India has been very careful about its language: each word has its own philosophical background. Samsara means the wheel which goes on moving. The only way to jump out of the wheel is to be watchful, because watchfulness is already outside the wheel. If you become accustomed to watchfulness, you are suddenly out of the wheel. But if you get identified with anger, with jealousy, with love, with hate – with any kind of thing – then you are caught up with the wheel.

And the wheel goes on moving from one extreme to another. What is down will be up, what is up will be down – and there is no end to it unless somebody simply jumps out. And the only way to jump out is to become aware of your anger, of your love, of your hate, of your misery, of your joy. Just being watchful you are already out of the wheel – the goose is out.

-Osho

From The Path of the Mystic, Discourse #12

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 in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

Death, a Blessing in Disguise – Osho

My friend, Chintan, is just starting six months of heavy chemotherapy. You have already sent him such beautiful messages for his meditation while passing through this. Now, Osho, do you have some jokes for him too? 

Prem Garima, Chintan is certainly passing through a difficult stage, but everybody has to finally pass through the difficult stage of death.

Only a meditator is capable of passing through it as if it is a joke. He can pass through it laughing and singing, because he knows that the fire cannot burn and the death cannot destroy him. There is no sword that can cut him.

He belongs to the eternal life.

Once a small glimpse of the eternity is achieved, there is no life which can be destroyed by anything. It can be removed from one form into another, but death cannot do more than that — just the changing of the house.

To the non-meditator death is the end, to the meditator, a beginning. It is a new beginning, a fresh beginning, freed from the old rotten body, the old mind. It is a resurrection; every death is a resurrection. But if you don’t know it, you will die unconsciously without experiencing the beauty of resurrection. If you can die consciously, death is only a door into a new life on a higher plane. But to die consciously, one has to live consciously. You cannot manage to die consciously without a long, meditative, conscious life. Only a conscious life is rewarded with a conscious death — it is a reward, but only to the conscious man. To the unconscious man, it is the end to all his efforts, ambitions, desires. There is only darkness ahead, not a single light and no possibilities left.

Death simply takes away the whole future.

Naturally, the unconscious man is immensely afraid and deeply trembling, knowing that death is coming closer every day. Since your birth the only thing that has been certain is death; everything else is uncertain and accidental. Only death is not accidental; it is an absolute certainty. There is no way to avoid it or dodge it. It will catch hold of you in the right moment at the right place.

I have always loved the beautiful Sufi story…

A king dreams in the night that a dark shadow is putting her hand on his shoulder. He looks back. He is horrified. It is just a dark shadow, but the shadow speaks and says, “There is no need to be worried. I have just come to inform you — it is not routine; you are a great king; it is an exception — otherwise I never come to inform anybody. I come without any information.”

The king said, “But who are you?”

The dark shadow laughed and said, “I am your death, and be prepared. Tomorrow, as the sun will be setting, I am going to come to you.”

Naturally, this nightmare woke him up. Even after he was awake, knowing well that it was only a dream, he was trembling and perspiring. And his heart was beating so loudly he could hear it himself. He immediately called the council of all his wise men, and particularly the royal astrologers, prophets, and told them the dream. He asked them the meaning of it — is it true that death is going to happen? The astrologers may be able to figure it out.

The wise men, the philosophers, the astrologers, the prophets, all started arguing about the dream.

Perhaps it was the first dream analysis! But they could not come to any conclusion, just as they cannot come to any conclusion today. All the dream analysts, the so-called psychoanalysts, differ in their interpretations. You take the same dream to all and you will get different conclusions about the dream. You will be more confused than ever.

And so was the situation of the king from the middle of the night till the morning; he became more and more confused because everybody was saying something different. And when the sun started rising, the old man who used to serve the king… He was not only a servant, he had helped the king from his very childhood. He had taken care of him, because his mother had died and his father had appointed the man to take care of the child because he was his most trustworthy bodyguard. So the king respected him almost like his father.

The old man said, whispered in his ear, “These great thinkers and philosophers and astrologers have argued for centuries and they have never come to any conclusion; do you think they will come to any conclusion within twelve hours? Forget it; that is not possible. These are the people who know only how to argue; they never come to any conclusion. They argue well but the question is not the beauty of the argument, the question is what is the conclusion of all your philosophies? There is no conclusion at all. No two philosophers agree with each other.”

The king asked him, “Then what do you propose?”

He said, “My understanding is let them discuss; there is no harm. But you take our fastest horse and get away as far as possible from the palace. It is dangerous to be at this place, for at least the coming twelve hours. After the sun has set, you can start turning back, but not before that.” It looked practical. The old man said, “These people can go on arguing; there is no need to stop them. If they come to any conclusion, I will follow you immediately. The best way is towards Damascus, another capital of another kingdom. So I will know where to find you, to give you their conclusion. I will come behind you.”

The king was convinced by the old man. He left all those great philosophers discussing, and slipped quietly out of the palace with the best horse he had. The whole day the horse was running as fast as possible. They did not stop to eat or even to drink water. It was not a time to think of water or food. And the horse seemed to be in a certain understanding that it was a very critical moment for his master.

They reached near Damascus, just outside the city, as the sun was setting. They stopped in a mango grove and as he was tying the horse to a tree, he patted it and he said, “You prove to be a great friend. You have never run so fast before; you must have understood my situation. And we have come hundreds of miles away.”

As the sun was setting he immediately felt the same hand on his shoulder from behind. The shadow was there and said, “I also have to thank your horse. I was worried whether you would be able to reach this place at the right time or not. That’s why I had come to inform you. This is the place destined for your death, and your horse has brought you right on time.”

Whether you run or you stay, it doesn’t matter, death comes. Death has started coming closer to you from the very moment you were born. In what form it comes does not matter. Bertrand Russell has said that if there were no death in the world, there would have been no religion. He has some great insight there: without death, who was going to bother about meditation? Without death, who was going to bother to know about the secret mysteries of life? One would have remained always concerned with the mundane and the worldly. Who would have turned inwards? There would have been no Gautam Buddha.

So death is not just a calamity, it is a blessing in disguise. If you can understand, if you have this much intelligence — that after birth, death is approaching every moment closer — you will not lose your time in trivia. Your priority will be to know what this life is before it ends: Who is living in me? What force? For every intelligent man and woman this is the priority. Everything else is secondary to knowing oneself.

Once you know yourself, there is no death.

Death was only in your ignorance.

In your meditative consciousness, death disappears just as darkness disappears when there is light brought in. Meditation brings the light in, and death is found to be the greatest fiction. It appears only from the outside that somebody is dying. From the inside nobody has ever died, and that is where your life source is.

Chintan is taking his death very joyously, very peacefully. He will die consciously. He is giving every indication that death cannot make him unconscious, cannot knock him unconscious. He will retain his consciousness, and he will have a laugh as he will be dying, because the whole world is living in an illusion.

Life is neither born nor dies.

It has been before birth; it will be after death. Birth and death both are small episodes in the eternal stream of consciousness and light.

Garima, you are asking for some jokes for him….

Giovanni bumps into his friend Alfredo on the streets of Rome, and notices that his friend is looking very depressed.

“How was your holiday in-a Miami Beach?” he asks.

“Mama mia,” replies Alfredo. “It was-a terrible. I go-a to Miami and check into-a bigg-a hotel. In-a the morning I go down to eat-a breakfast. I tell-a the waitress, ‘I wanna two pissis-a toast.’ She bring only one piss. I tell-a her, ‘I want two piss.’ She say, ‘Go to the toilet.’ “I say, ‘You no understand, I wanna two piss on-a the plate.’

“She say, ‘You better no piss on da plate, you sonna va bitch.’ I don’t even know the lady and she call me sonna va bitch!“Later I go eat at the bigga restaurant. The waitress brings me a spoon and knife but no fock. I tell-a her, ‘I wanna fock.’ She tell me, ‘Everyone wanna fuck.’ “I tell her, ‘You no understand. I wanna fock on-a da table.’

“She say, ‘You better not fuck on-a table, you sonna va bitch.’

“So I go back to my room in-a hotel and there is no shits on-a my bed. I call the manager and tell-a him, ‘I wanna shit.’ He tell me to go to the toilet. I say, ‘You not understand. I wanna shit on my bed.’

“He say, ‘You better not shit on-a bed, you sonna va bitch.’

“I go to the check-out desk and the man at the desk say, ‘Happy Holidays, Peace to you.’

“I say, ‘Piss on you too, you sonna va bitch, I gonna go back to Italy.’”

Just tell Chintan: Avoid Italy and go anywhere else.

-Osho

From The Invitation, Discourse #9, Q1

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 in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

Cancer Provided the Poke I Needed – Devageet

Devageet left his body on January 26, 2020. A beautiful tribute page can be found on OSHONEWS.

 

I have a cancer.

It has stripped away my tomorrows.

My tree of life has been stripped down to essentials.

There is a new purity of intent.

Priorities are put to the test.

Cancer has dissolved procrastination, and

I am left joyous and grateful.

Cancer stole my baggage,

Now, unexpectedly, I fly higher.

Perhaps I am fooling myself.

How can I know?

Simply by reaching deep into my heart.

There I find joy, good humour, gratitude and delight.

Alone in the night; I wake several times nowadays, the cancer reveals itself as an awakener.

My sleep has been deep but now,

Thanks to oncology, I have surged beyond psychology.

What a Laugh!

I do not need to know what comes next.

I do need to simply be present here-now.

Laughter, joy, meditation, love, friendship,

Are with me on this surprising journey.

They are here, now, as I write.

Even this chemotherapy is proving an unexpected friend.

Who could have guessed? Not me.

I remember Osho saying,

Never act out of fear.

Acting out of fear, even if it appears to be right, it is always seen, sooner or later, as wrong.

I search myself for fear.

Is it hiding?

I have not found it yet.

But the search has found another unexpected jewel:

Meditation and awareness can now penetrate even my sleep.

Cancer provided the poke I needed.

I had long regarded myself as chairman of the ‘slow learners’ club.

Slow or not, cancer has shown something has happened, and continues to happen.

Yes, I may be fooling myself.

So what!

I am in truth, consciousness and bliss.

Sitting here-now, an ancient meditator, full of cytotoxic drugs, quietly grieving over the loss of his beard,

I find myself smiling, then laughing out loud.

I am dancing inside.

I love the ridiculousness of this paradox that is happening.

Who would have guessed?

Not me.

But then, didn’t Osho say, Death comes dancing.

This here-now does not feel like death, more like enhanced life.

Whatever comes, whenever, I am ready,

Grateful far beyond these poor words.

-Devageet

The Great Forgetting – Jean Klein

The whole problem of dying is based on the premise that we are born and that this born something or someone dies. So the first step is this question: Who or what is born and who or what dies?

The idea of being born is just that, an idea. It is second-hand information. It is what our mothers told us. If we ask ourselves, “Do I know that I am born?” and we look closely, we will see that, yes, a perception is born and dies, but we cannot say, “I am born.”

It is vital in all genuine exploration to become free from second-hand information, free from common sense. If we begin by questioning the questions, we will find that we are led to question the questioner. This is the beginning of self-inquiry.

When we let go of second-hand information, we are face to face with bare facts, precepts rather than concepts. When we leave aside day-dreaming, hypothesis and the taken- for- granted, we are left with the core of the problem, which I would say in this case is: Why speak of death before knowing what life is? Because if we don’t know what life is, how can we even begin to talk of death? So let us first talk about life.

The expressions of life appear and disappear in our awareness. We know what time is, we know what space is, we know what an experience is. How could we know these things if we did not, in some way, also know what timeless, spaceless, experienceless means? Can we know white without reference to black? Can we know dark without reference to light? We know impermanence because in some way we “know” permanence. This permanence is not an experience in time and space. It is not a condition. It does not belong to existence because existence is in time and space. It is essentially nothing, yet in some way we refer to this nothingness very often. It is the background from which we function. It has nothing to do with succession, with past and future. It is cause less and cannot be born.

When we discover this background, the problem of death becomes completely meaningless. When this timeless awareness from which we function unconsciously becomes aware— aware of itself—, then we know that what we are is timeless and spaceless. We know what life is, and it does not enter our mind to even think of death because we live knowingly in this timeless background, in the now, and succession is only an expression of this now.

The real question then is: how can I come to know life so that death is meaningless? I would say that we can never know, in an objective way, what life is. We can only be life, be the knowing. This knowing is an instantaneous apperception, free from space and time, in which there is not a knower and something known. It is the awakening of life in its fullness.

This awakening is our real birth. The phenomenal birth is only an accident and it remains an accident as long as our real nature, our real birth, is not explored. Once we are awake in life, we are profoundly aware that we are not a conceptual object. The object and the reflex to objectify oneself does not arise. It is a state of profound openness, a total absence of being anything, where there is simply life, “isness”. It is timeless and dimensionless, and cannot be objectified, that is, experienced. It is not born and what is not born cannot die. In this original non-state, the idea of death does not even occur.

The fear of dying comes from mis-taking oneself to be the body-mind. This mistake is a thought only. So really the fear of dying comes from the capacity to think. When there is no thought, there is no space and time. Space, time, coming, going, past, future, exist only in thought. They have no autonomous reality. All the fear created by society and religions around so-called dying is mind-fabrication. But it is only an object which can be afraid and you are not an object.

Dying on the biological level does not create fear. Fear is in the mind, not in the body. The fear of dying is only anticipation that “I” will disappear. The idea of a final disappearing destroys all security for the “I” image. But this “You,” “me”, this self-image is also a thought construct built up from memory. The powerful instinct for what is wrongly called self-preservation (the term shows how we have identified with the body-mind) is merely biological survival. Life is desireless but the body-mind is an expression of life, so one could say that the desire to stay alive comes from life itself. As an expression of life, the body accomplishes the course inherent to its nature.

The real meaning of death and dying is completely different from that usually understood by these words. When one knows the continuum that is life, all perceptions (of which our body is but one) are felt as appearing and disappearing in awareness or consciousness. This appearing and disappearing is the real meaning of birth and death. We are born every moment a thought or sensation appears and we die every moment the concept or perception disappears. We die every evening before going to sleep, and we are born every morning. So we need to become acquainted with this dying, this letting-go of the objective world.

We should ask ourselves in our most profound intimacy:
What is there before the thought appears? What is there when the thought disappears? What is there when the body goes to sleep and before it wakes up? When we observe closely, we will find, not the absence we took for granted, but a presence, a presence that cannot, however, be objectified. It is too early, it is our nearest.

If we really know how to go to sleep we will know how to die. We will be already familiar with dying, already familiar with the dissolution of the born. To do this, one must, before going to sleep, lay aside all qualifications. We must become as naked psychologically as we are physically. This means that we put aside all opinions, thought, worries, ideas before we go to sleep. It is an offering of all that we are not. In letting go there is an expansion of mind and body and in all expansion is the fore-feeling of reality, our globality. This should be done each time we sleep until we find that, before the body wakes up in the morning, we are. Presence is already there.

It is better not to postpone this letting-go of the personal entity and all its qualifications until the actual moment of death. Otherwise, it is necessary to have someone who knows life to assist in the final letting go. This is supposedly the priest’s role in the last rites. The function of the priest, shaman, lama or other, is to help one go knowingly through the threshold from the object world to the objectless world. It is to help the dying one forget all the residues of the person and so be open to a new dimension of life. It is an offering back to life of all the expressions that life gave us temporarily. Then what remains is original consciousness.

But whoever is assisting someone over the threshold must be qualified to do so. This simply means that the personality must be absent. In assisting someone to die, one must die with them. The moment you die with the dying one, he or she is stimulated by your dying, by your giving up of all qualifications. Timeless presence, love, has the power to free the dying person from the residues of identification with the phenomenal world. There is no place at all in this assistance for feelings of sadness, pity, fear, nor is there room for talking. All this keeps the dying one grasping onto the objective world.

Ideally, the best way to die is in silence. But when one is steeped in the rituals of a religious tradition, these may help one, in the absence of a qualified priest or real friend, to let go of specific attachments. But the rites must be impersonal, give no hold to the person as, for example, certain sounds draw one beyond the world of sentiment and emotivity.

The way to come to this letting-go is, as I said, the same as before going to sleep. Everything that appears in the moment is seen as a fact. One takes note of the fact without analysis or interference and feels the welcoming in this unconditional taking-note. When we face, in this way, everything that appears, then the openness, attention, in which the perception was welcomed, comes back to us. We find ourselves in the light. This is a natural giving up without intention. So, whether we are dying (and we must!) or assisting someone to die, it is the same procedure. We take a knowing stand in consciousness.

It is crucial to come to know death while still alive. The quality of life is completely different for one who knows letting-go in the waking state. This is the real meaning of the word death. It is the real significance of the word sacrifice. As Meister Eckhart said, “God is when I am not.” We are only born after the death of all that is personal. Only when we are awake in nothingness can we speak of fullness.

But there is another reason for not leaving the real dying until the last moment. There is the real danger that one will remain stuck to the expressions of life and, at the moment of death, emphasize the object, so
that one is taken passively to what is beyond. Passively here means “not knowingly.”

The question may arise: What difference does it make how I die? Consciousness is not affected by birth or death. There is not one moment without consciousness, so after the death of the body, consciousness is
always there. But how one dies does make a difference, because after the death of the person, although consciousness is, it can be awake—conscious of itself—or not. Generally, after the death of the body-mind, this being consciousness is passive, it is not consciousness conscious of itself. What is of utmost importance, therefore, is to be knowingly consciousness and this can only come about before the body dies. Since most of us only know ourselves as objects and do not know ourselves as consciousness, few,
after death, dissolve in consciousness which knows itself.

Consciousness which knows itself is fulfilled and does not look for further expression. As the residues of the body disperse in global energy, consciousness dissolves in its own light. There is nobody to go
anywhere and nowhere to go.

All ideas about different states and stages of the dissolution of energy are, therefore, meaningless to the awakened one and a hindrance to the one who is in the process of letting go of all qualifications and attachments. Such concepts cause confusion. They are mind-constructs since there is no one left to know such things. As long as there are such ideas, there is still a somebody to know. And as long as there is still a somebody to know, there has been no real dying.

It is possible that in one who is still fixed on the objective world, identified with the personality, children, spouse, money, vocation and so on, it may be difficult for the energy to dissolve. It remains concentrated. That is why there are rituals of various kinds which help dissolve the energy and aid the
giving up of all hold on the phenomenal plane. And it is why sometimes, though the body is not visible, there may still be residues of the personality. One should accept these and take several sessions to systematically empty oneself of all ideas, memories and feelings for the dead person. It is a process of elimination. Then one sees that there is much more to the relationship than one could remember. Memory belongs to our minds, but the real relationship is not limited by memory.

The problem of physical suffering during dying needs to be addressed because the question naturally arises as to how one can come to a real letting-go in the face of acute pain. The first thing to clarify is that
pain must be seen as an object like any other, from the perspective that what we are fundamentally is not an object and cannot be afraid or feel pain. So we must be absolutely clear about our profound non-involvement
in the events surrounding the sensation we call pain or illness.

We cannot say, “I am afraid, I am in pain, I am dying,” because the “I” is unchanged and unchanging. It is the body which feels sensation and the mind that creates fear. Once there is clarity about what one is not
—the body and its sensations, the mind and its thoughts—the suffering is dramatically reduced. Then the sensation, the illness can be faced squarely without psychological interference.

Pain, like every object, is a pointer to our real nature. It must be seen objectively, in front of us as if the body belonged to another. In objectifying it, we are extricated from it, no longer drowned in the illness,
the sensation. And in the psychological space thus created, there will be a glimpse of real freedom from the burden. It is not enough to vaguely note this brief feeling of detachment. We must become truly interested in this feeling of freedom, that is, make it, in turn, an object of attention, sustain and live in this free feeling. With it comes the conviction that one is neither the healthy nor the unhealthy body.

Illness and death are an opportunity, par excellence, to clarify the fundamental error of our existence: that we have identified awareness, consciousness, life, with its object and it is through this mis-take that
all conflict and suffering arise. Illness then is a gift, a gift to help us realize more quickly what we are not. It gives us an opportunity that should not be refused: to be what we are.

Our living in wholeness stimulates our surroundings, our family and friends. I would say it stimulates the life in them. Knowingly or unknowingly, they share life with us and, at death, neither we nor they will
feel isolated. This feeling of life will remain and continue to stimulate them because life is eternal and in it all are oneness.

But generally family and friends do not have an honest relation with the dying one. They continue, in some way, to hold onto, to try to save, the person. They do not let him or her meet the light. This is because relationships in the family are of object to object, person to person. So it is better not to have the family present at the moment of dying if they cannot perform the last rites, be priests, so to speak, that is, die with you.

It is important that the dying one offer up the expressions of life consciously. However, in certain circumstances, clarity may be impaired by the intensity of the pain or the use of medications to relieve it. At the very moment of the final release, nature usually takes itself in charge and pain does not cloud awareness, so when assisting a dying person, a doctor has a great responsibility. First and foremost, he or she must represent health, life and, like the priest, prepare the patient for the final release. The doctor
must also die with the patient. All his talent is needed to first help the patient distance himself from identifying with the object, and then to see precisely how much medication is necessary to make this distancing possible. The patient must retain a profound awareness of what is happening.

Either prolonging life artificially or taking one’s life prematurely is a deep lack of respect for all life has given us. It is a lack of gratitude, a profound ignorance. Life gives us the opportunity for a real birth and all interfering is a refusal of this opportunity. When one awakes in the real “I,” the destiny of all that we are not no longer has any meaning. Pain, an accident, death, is on the film, but we are the light which illuminates the film. So, thinking about the fate of the body and trying to interfere is a mark of ego-centredness and a lack of love.

Only an ego can have concepts and intentions, and as long as we live as the contracted ego we will have a false view of what life is. What we generally call “my life” belongs only to the mind and thus appears to take place in succession. The illusion of life as time gives us the impression that we can
interfere. This wrong seeing is sometimes corrected before dying when there is a panoramic memory of one’s whole life. This is because there is a sudden letting-go of the mind’s control, of the channelling of one’s being into strict succession in time and space. In this sudden letting-go we are ejected into the timeless and facts appear to us without all the intervening thoughts that generally qualify every fact. This panorama usually occurs at a crisis when there is a very dramatic letting-go. In a natural death one is
gently dissolved in being.

Real death is, then, the death of conceptual living. Life is presence, always in the here and now, the moment itself. In the absence of the “person” there is simply living, non-volitional acting. Non-volitional living is living in happiness. It is only in non-intentional living that there is acceptance, and it is only in accepting, in welcoming, that all the elements of a situation can be clearly seen. When we live in accepting, illness has no hold, no substance, and we have the greatest possibility of getting better.

All the changes the body undergoes are hypothetical and transitional, but there is nothing hypothetical about what we really are—consciousness. It is prior to body. It is prior to thought. It is between two concepts or percepts. It is silent awareness, nameless, without attribute. It is the total giving up of all qualifications, freedom from all identifications. It is the eternal presence we take for absence. When one lives knowingly in this presence, there is no death.

Then when you see the moment to go has come, and you have learned how, I would even say learned the technique of giving up, it is extremely beautiful. Dying then is thanking, a thanking for having had the opportunity to know life, to be the knowing, to be thanking itself. In the great forgetting of all that we are not, dying is the total release into openness, openness to the light.

-Jean Klein

Excerpt from The Book of Listening, pp. 67-75

If You Can See Death, Death Cannot See You – Osho

I have heard one beautiful story. Once there was a great sculptor, a painter, a great artist. His art was so perfect that when he would make a statue of a man, it was difficult to say who was the man and who was the statue. It was so lifelike, so alive, so similar. An astrologer told him that his death is approaching; he is going to die soon. Of course, he became very much afraid and frightened, and as every man wants to avoid death, he also wanted to avoid. He thought about it, meditated, and he found a clue. He made his own statues, eleven in number, and when Death knocked on his door and the Angel of Death entered, he stood hidden among his own eleven statues. He stopped his breathing.

The Angel of Death was puzzled, could not believe his own eyes. It had never happened; it was so irregular. God has never been known to create two persons alike; he always creates the unique. He has never believed in any routine. He is not like an assembly line. He is absolutely against carbons; he creates only originals. What has happened? Twelve persons in all, absolutely alike? Now, whom to take away? Only one has to be taken away. Death, the Angel of Death, could not decide. Puzzled, worried, nervous, he went back. He asked God, “What have you done? There are twelve persons exactly alike, and I am only supposed to bring one. How should I choose?”

God laughed. He called the Angel of Death close to him, and he uttered in his ears the formula, the clue how to find the real from the unreal. He gave him a mantra and told him, “Just go, and utter it in that room where that artist is hiding himself among his own statues.”

The Angel of Death asked, “How is it going to work?”

God said, “Don’t be worried. Just go and try.”

The Angel of Death came, not yet believing how it is going to work, but when God had said, he had to do it. He came in the room, looked around, and not addressing anybody in particular, he said, “Sir, everything is perfect except one thing. You have done well, but you have missed at one point. One error is there.”

The man completely forgot that he is hiding. He jumped; he said, “What error?”

And Death laughed. And Death said, “You are caught. This is the only error: you cannot forget yourself. Come on, follow me.”

Death is of the ego. If the ego exists, death exists. The moment the ego disappears, death disappears. You are not going to die, remember; but if you think that you are, you are going to die. If you think that you are a being, then you are going to die. This false entity of the ego is going to die, but if you think of yourself in terms of nonbeing, in terms of non-ego, then there is no death – already you have become deathless. You have always been deathless; now you have recognized the fact.

The artist was caught because he could not disappear into nonbeing.

Buddha says in his Dhammapada: If you can see death, death cannot see you. If you can die before death comes, then death cannot come to you; and there is no need to make statues. That is not going to help. Deep down you have to destroy one statue, not to create eleven more. You have to destroy the image of the ego. There is no need to create more statues and more images. Religion, in a way, is destructive. In a way, it is negative. It annihilates you – annihilates you completely and utterly.

You come to me with some ideas to attain some fulfillment, and I am here to destroy you completely. You have your ideas; I have my own. You would like to be fulfilled – fulfilled in your ego – and I would like you to drop the ego, to dissolve, to disappear, because only then is there fulfillment. The ego knows only emptiness; it is always unfulfilled. By the very nature, by its very intrinsic nature, it cannot attain to fulfillment. When you are not, fulfillment is. Call it God, or give it a name Patanjali would like – samadhi – the attainment of the ultimate, but it comes when you disappear.

These sutras of Patanjali are scientific methods how to dissolve, how to die, how to commit real suicide. I call it real because if you kill your body that is unreal suicide. If you kill your self that is authentic suicide.

And that is the paradox: that if you die, you attain to eternal life. If you cling to life, you will die a thousand and one times. You will go on… you will go on being born and dying again and again and again. It is a wheel. If you cling, you move with the wheel.

Drop out of the wheel of life and death. How to drop out of it? It seems so impossible because you have never thought of yourself as a nonbeing, you have never thought of yourself as just space, pure space, with nobody there inside.

These are the sutras. Each sutra has to be understood very deeply. A sutra is a very condensed thing. A sutra is like a seed. You have to accept it deep down in your heart; your heart has to become a soil for it. Then it sprouts, and then the meaning.

I can only persuade you to be open so that the seed can fall right in place within you, so that the seed can move into the deep darkness of your non-being. In that darkness of your  non-being, it will start being alive. A sutra is a seed. Intellectually, it is very easy to understand it. Existentially, to attain to its meaning is arduous. But that’s what Patanjali would like, that’s what I would like.

So don’t just be intellectuals here. Get en rapport with me, get in tune with me. Don’t just listen to me; rather, be with me. Listening is secondary; being with me is primary, basic – just to be in my company. Allow yourself to be totally here-now with me, in my presence, because that death has happened to me. It can become infectious. I have committed that suicide. If you come close to me, if you are in tune with me even for a single moment, you will have a glimpse of death.

And, Buddha is right when he says, “If you can see death, death will not be able to see you,” because the moment you see death you have transcended death. Then there is no death for you.

-Osho

Excerpt from Secrets of Yoga, Chapter One (Originally published as Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, V.8).

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