If you look into life you will be able to know what death is. If you understand what death is, only then are you able to understand what life is. They are organic. Ordinarily, out of fear, we have created a division. We think that life is good and death is bad. We think that life has to be desired and death is to be avoided. We think somehow we have to protect ourselves against death. This absurd idea creates endless miseries in our lives, because a person who protects himself against death becomes incapable of living. He is the person who is afraid of exhaling, then he cannot inhale and he is stuck. Then he simply drags; his life is no longer a flow, his life is no longer a river.
If you really want to live you have to be ready to die. Who is afraid of death in you? Is life afraid of death? It is not possible. How can life be afraid of its own integral process? Something else is afraid in you. The ego is afraid in you. Life and death are not opposites; ego and death are opposites. Life and death are not opposites; ego and life are opposites. Ego is against both life and death. The ego is afraid to live and the ego is afraid to die. It is afraid to live because each effort, each step towards life, brings death closer. If you live you are coming closer to dying. The ego is afraid to die; hence it is afraid to live also. The ego simply drags.
There are many people who are neither alive nor dead. This is worse than anything. A man who is fully alive is full of death also. That is the meaning of Jesus on the cross. Jesus carrying his own cross has not really been understood. And he says to his disciples, 'You will have to carry your own cross.' The meaning of Jesus carrying his own cross is very simple, nothing but this: everybody has to carry his death continuously, everybody has to die each moment, everybody has to be on the cross because that is the only way to live fully, totally.
Whenever you come to a total moment of aliveness, suddenly you will see death there also. In love it happens. In love, life comes to a climax-hence people are afraid of love. I have been continuously surprised by people who come to me and say they are afraid of love. What is the fear of love? It is because when you really love somebody your ego starts slipping and melting. You cannot love with the ego; the ego becomes a barrier. And when you want to drop the barrier the ego says, 'This is going to be a death. Beware!' The death of the ego is not your death. The death of the ego is really your possibility of life. The ego is just a dead crust around you, it has to be broken and thrown away. It comes into being naturally-just as when a traveler passes, dust collects on his clothes, on his body, and he has to take a bath to get rid of the dust.
As we move in time, dust of experiences, of knowledge, of lived life, of past, collects. That dust becomes our ego. Accumulated, it becomes a crust around you, which has to be broken and thrown away. One has to take a bath continuously-every day, in fact every moment, so that this crust never becomes a prison. The ego is afraid to love because in love, life comes to a peak. But whenever there is a peak of life there is also a peak of death-they go together.
In love you die and you are reborn. The same happens when you come to meditate or to pray, or when you come to a master to surrender. The ego creates all sorts of difficulties, rationalizations not to surrender: 'Think about it, brood about it, be clever about it.' When you come to a master, again the ego becomes suspicious, doubtful, creates anxiety, because again you are coming to life, to a flame where death will also be as much alive as life.
Let it be remembered that death and life both become aflame together-they are never separate. If you are very, very minimally alive, at the minimum, then you can see death and life as being separate. The closer you come to the peak, the closer they start coming. At the very apex they meet and become one. In love, in meditation, in trust, in prayer, wherever life becomes total, death is there. Without death, life cannot become total. But the ego always thinks in divisions, in dualities; it divides everything. Existence is indivisible; it cannot be divided. You were a child, then you became young. Can you demarcate the line when you became young? Can you demarcate the point in time where suddenly you were no longer a child and you had become young? One day you become old. Can you demarcate the line when you become old?
Processes cannot be demarcated. Exactly the same happens when you are born. Can you demarcate when you are born? When life really starts? Does it start when the child starts breathing-the doctor spanks the child and the child starts breathing? Is life born then? Or is it when the child got into the womb, when the mother became pregnant, when the child was conceived? Does life start then? Or, even before that? When does life start exactly? It is a process of no ending and no beginning. It never starts. When is a person dead? Is a person dead when the breathing stops? Many yogis have now proved on scientific grounds that they can stop breathing and they are still alive and they can come back. So the stopping of the breathing cannot be the end. Where does life end?
It never ends anywhere, it never begins anywhere. We are involved in eternity. We have been here since the very beginning-if there was any beginning-and we are going to be here to the very end, if there is going to be any end. In fact, there cannot be any beginning and there cannot be any end. We are life-even if forms change, bodies change, minds change. What we call life is just an identification with a certain body, with a certain mind, with a certain attitude, and what we call death is nothing but getting out of that form, out of that body, out of that concept.
You change houses. If you get too identified with one house, then changing the house will be very painful. You will think that you are dying because the old house was what you were-that was your identity. But this doesn't happen, because you know that you are only changing the house, you remain the same. Those who have looked within themselves, those who have found who they are, come to know an eternal, non-ending process. Life is a process, timeless, beyond time. Death is part of it.
Osho, The Art of Dying, Talk #1
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