THE MORE YOU TALK ABOUT DEATH, THE GREATER MY DESIRE FOR LIFE. I HAVE JUST REALISED THAT I HAVE NOT REALLY LIVED. WHILE I CAN UNDERSTAND THAT LIFE AND DEATH COME TOGETHER, THERE IS A YEARNING INSIDE ME THAT CRIES OUT FOR LIFE, LOVE AND PASSIONATE INTENSITY. I HAVE DISCOVERED I AM ANGUISHED AT THE THOUGHT OF SURRENDERING MY UNFULFILLED DESIRES. CAN ONE GIVE UP WHAT ONE HAS NEVER HAD? I FEEL I WOULD ONLY RETURN TO THE BODY AGAIN. ILLUSION OR NOT, TO MY GREAT AMAZEMENT I HAVE TO ADMIT THAT I STILL DESIRE, AND I HAVE NEVER FELT SUCH HUNGER.
When I say ‘to die’ I really mean: live intensely; I really mean: live passionately. How can you die unless you have lived totally? In total life there is death, and that death is beautiful. In a passionate, intense life, death comes spontaneously — as a silence, as a profound bliss. When I say ‘to die’, I am not saying anything against life; in fact, if you are afraid of death you will be afraid of life also.
That’s what has happened to the questioner.
A man who is afraid of death will be afraid of life also, because life brings death. If you are afraid of the enemy and you close your door, the friend will also be prohibited. And you are so afraid of the enemy that you close the door; the enemy may enter so you close the door for the friend also. And you become so afraid that you cannot open for the friend, because who knows? The friend may turn out to be the enemy. Or, when the door is open, the enemy may enter.
People have become afraid of life because they are afraid of death. They don’t live because at the highest points, peaks, death always penetrates into life. Have you watched this happening? The majority of women have lived a frigid life — they are afraid of orgasm, they are afraid of that wild explosion of energy. For centuries women have been frigid; they have not known what orgasm is. And the majority of men suffer because of that fear too — ninety-five per cent of men suffer from premature ejaculation. They are so afraid of orgasm, there is so much fear, that somehow they want to finish it, somehow they want to get out of it. Again and again they go into love-making and there is fear. The woman remains frigid and the man becomes so afraid that he cannot stay in that state any longer. The very fear makes him ejaculate sooner than is natural, and the woman remains rigid, closed, holding herself. Now orgasm has disappeared from the world because of the fear. In the deepest orgasm death penetrates; you feel as if you are dying. If a woman goes into orgasm she starts moaning, she starts crying, screaming. She may even start saying, ‘I am dying. Don’t kill me!’ That actually happens. If a woman goes into orgasm she will start mumbling, she will start saying that ‘I am dying! Don’t kill me! Stop!’ A moment comes in deep orgasm where ego cannot exist, death penetrates. But that is the beauty of orgasm.
People have become afraid of love because in love also, death penetrates. If two lovers are sitting side by side in deep love and intimacy, not even talking…. Talking is an escape, an escape from love. When two lovers are talking that simply shows they are avoiding the intimacy. Words in-between give distance — with no words distance disappears, death appears. In silence there is death just lurking around — a beautiful phenomenon. But people are so afraid that they go on talking whether it is needed or not. They go on talking about anything, everything — but they cannot keep silent.
If two lovers sit silently, death suddenly surrounds them. And when two lovers are silent you will see a certain happiness and also a certain sadness — happiness because life is at its peak, and sadness because at its peak death also comes in. Whenever you are silent you will feel a sort of sadness. Even looking at a rose flower, if you are sitting silently and not saying anything about the rose flower, just looking at it, in that silence you will suddenly feel it is there — death. You will see the flower withering, within moments it will be gone, lost forever. Such a beauty and so fragile! Such a beauty and so vulnerable! Such a beauty, such a miracle and soon it will be lost forever and it will not return again. Suddenly you will become sad.
Whenever you meditate you will find death moving around. In love, in orgasm, in any aesthetic experience; in music, in song, in poetry, in dance — wherever you suddenly lose your ego, death is there. So let me tell you one thing. You are afraid of life because you are afraid of death. And I would like to teach you how to die so that you lose all fear of death. The moment you lose the fear of death you become capable of living. I am not talking against life. How can I talk against life? I am madly in love with life! I am so madly in love with life, that because of it I have fallen in love with death also. It is part of life. When you love life totally how can you avoid death? You have to love death also.
When you love a flower deeply, you love its withering away also: When you love a woman deeply, you love her getting old also, you one day love her death also. That is part, part of the woman. The old age has not happened from the outside, it has come from the inside. The beautiful face has become wrinkled now — you love those wrinkles also. They are part of your woman. You love a man and his hair has grown white — you love those hairs also. They have not happened from the outside; they are not accidents. Life is unfolding. Now the black hair has disappeared and the grey hair has come. You don’t reject them, you love them, they are a part. Then your man becomes old, becomes weak — you love that too. Then one day the man is gone — you love that too.
Love loves all. Love knows nothing else than love.
Hence I say love death. If you can love death it will be very simple to love life. If you can love even death, there is no problem.
The problem arises because the questioner must have been repressing something, must be afraid of life. And then repression can bring dangerous outcomes. If you go on repressing, repressing, one day you will lose all aesthetic sense. You lose all sense of beauty, sense of grace, sense of divinity. Then the very repression becomes such a feverish state that you can do anything which is ugly…
If you repress, the possibility is that you may choose the ugliest life.
Then the very fever is so much that you are not in your consciousness. Then you are almost in neurosis.
Before the repression becomes too much, relax, move into life. It is your life! Don’t feel guilty. It is your life to live and love and to know and be. And whatsoever instincts God has given to you, they are just indications of where you have to move, where you have to seek, where you have to find your fulfillment.
I know that this life is not all — a greater life is hidden behind it. But it is hidden BEHIND it. You cannot find that greater life against this life; you have to find that greater life only by indulging deeply in this life. There are waves on the oceans. The ocean is hidden just behind the waves. If, seeing the turmoil and the chaos, you escape from the waves, you will be escaping from the ocean and its depth also. Jump in, those waves are part of it. Dive deep and waves will disappear, and then there will be the depth, the absolute silence of the ocean.
So this is my suggestion for the questioner. You have waited long, now no more. Enough is enough…
It is your life.
There is no need going on skipping breakfast every day. And Ave Maria twice is good, but when it comes finally, it is Godammit!
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse Series: The Art of Dying
Chapter title: Confusion is my Method
12 October 1976 am in Buddha Hall
Osho has spoken on ‘death, fear, ego, life’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- The Empty Boat
- The Book of Wisdom
- From the False to the Truth
- Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Vol 1, 2
- Walk Without Feet, Fly Without Wings and Think Without Mind
- My Way: The Way of the White Clouds
- The Art of Dying
- The Last Testament, Vol 2
- The Hidden Splendor
- The Razor’s Edge
- Zen: The Path of Paradox, Vol 3
- Beyond Psychology
- Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol 1, 2