What is life?
It is not a question.
A rose is a rose is a rose. What is a rose? You are alive, and you ask me what is life? Are you alive or dead?
If I was in a graveyard and people started coming out of their graves and asking, “What is life?” the question would be relevant. But you are still out of the grave. You are alive, but you have never looked into the source of your life, from where comes your aliveness.
Just go in.
Forget everything – the whole world. Even for a few moments, as if you are alone, just go in. Right now, in this very silence, you will know what life is.
You will never be able to say to anybody what life is. It is a mystery to be experienced, but it cannot be explained. That’s why I said “A rose is a rose is a rose.” It says nothing, there is no explanation, but you can experience it.
And the rose is something outside you, but life is all that you are. But for thousands of years you have been conditioned not to live, just to survive. You have been told by religions to renounce everything that can give you a taste of life.
My effort is just the opposite of all the religions. That’s why I have refused to call my people a religion. I don’t want to belong to that category of life-negative people. I am utterly in love with life.
My approach is life-affirmative. You dance, you sing, you love, you meditate. And, in different ways, try to feel your aliveness. Whatever you are doing, do it so intensely and so totally that your full life starts functioning, that you start throbbing.
You will know, but you will never be able to say what it is. But there is no need; anybody who asks you, you can show him the way. You cannot explain to him what life is, but you can show him the way, how you have arrived, how you have been able to experience it.
It is a taste on the tongue – very sweet.
I am reminded of a story…. In a cafeteria in paradise, Gautam Buddha, Confucius, Lao Tzu are all sitting around a table talking about great things of life. A naked, beautiful woman comes with a jar in her hands, and she says, “This jar contains the very juice of life. Would any of you like to taste it?”
Buddha immediately closes his eyes. He is for renouncing life, he is for not seeing a woman – and that too, so beautiful, and naked.
Confucius tries to follow Buddha, because he does not want to be thought less than Buddha. But just out of the corner of his eye – the woman is so beautiful, the temptation is so great – he looks at her. And the woman says, “Perhaps you would like…?”
He says, “First I will have just a sip to taste what it is.” He takes a sip and says, “It is bitter!”
Lao Tzu is sitting with wide open eyes, enjoying the beauty of the woman. He takes the whole jar, and drinks it completely.
The woman says, “What are you doing?”
He says, “Keep quiet! I never do anything halfway. Either I do it, then I do it totally; or I do not do it, but then I do not do it totally. And Confucius is right: in the beginning it is bitter – one has to learn the taste – in the end it is really great, just groovy!”
My approach is, drink the whole juice of life. Squeeze every moment to its fullest, and you will know what life is.
I cannot answer. It is not a question. It is a quest, and you have to do it. Nobody else can do it on your behalf.
I have tasted it, and it is really groovy.
Osho, From Bondage to Freedom, Ch 24, Q 6