Friday, May 27, 2011

Osho on death

OshoPhoto: Amrit Vismay
Beloved Osho,
For the last week I have known that I have cancer. From that time, except for a few moments of panic and fear, I have felt a deep calmness and relaxation coming into my being.
Have I already given up my life, or is this the quietness of acceptance?
Osho says:
We have given up our lives at the very moment when we were born, because the birth is nothing but a beginning of death. Each moment you will be dying more and more.
It is not that on a certain day, at seventy years old, death comes; it is not an event; it is a process that begins with the birth. It takes seventy years; it is mighty lazy, but it is a process, not an event. And I am emphasizing this fact so that I can make it clear to you that life and death are not two things. They become two if death is an event which ends life. Then they become two; then they become antagonistic, enemies.
When I say that death is a process beginning with birth, I’m saying that life is also a process beginning with the same birth – and these are not two processes. It is one process: it begins with birth, it ends with death.
But life and death are like two wings of a bird, or two hands, or two legs.
Even your brain has two hemispheres, separate, the right hemisphere and the left hemisphere. You can’t exist without this dialectics.
Life is a dialectics – and if you understand this, a tremendous acceptance of death naturally comes to you. It is not against you, it is part of you; without it you cannot be alive.
It is just like the background of a blackboard on which you write with white chalk: the blackboard is not against the chalk; it simply gives it emphasis, prominence. Without the blackboard your white writing will disappear. It is like day and night – you see it everywhere, but you go on behaving like blind people. Without the night there is not day.
The deeper you enter into the dialectics … it is a miraculous experience. Without inaction there is not action; if you cannot relax, you cannot act. The more you can relax, the more perfection will be in your action. They appear to be opposites; they are not. The better you dissolve into sleep in the night, the sharper, the younger you will wake up in the morning. And everywhere in life you will find the same dialectical process.
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I say you are blessed to know – because everybody is going to die, but because it is unknown when, where, people go on living under the illusion that they are going to live forever. They always see others dying. That supports logically their standpoint that “it is always the other who dies. I never die.”
You must have seen many people dying, giving you a strong support, a rational background that it is always the other who dies. And when you die you will not know, you will be unconscious – you will miss the opportunity of knowing death.
Those who have known death are unanimous in their opinion that it is the greatest orgasmic experience of life. But people die unconsciously. It is good that there are diseases which are predictable.
Cancer means that you have known seven days before – or seven months, whatever the time may be – that death is coming closer each moment. These seven days are not allowed to everybody. Cancer seems to be something you must have earned in your past life – because J. Krishnamurti died of cancer, Raman Maharshi died of cancer, Ramkrishna died of cancer. Strange … three enlightened people who are not mythological, who have lived just now died of cancer. It seems to be something spiritual!
It certainly has a spiritual dimension …
I’m not saying that all those who die of cancer are enlightened beings, but they can become enlightened being s more easily than anybody else because others go on living under the illusion that they are going to live; there is no hurry. Meditation can be postponed – tomorrow, the day after tomorrow. What is the hurry? – and there are more urgent things which have to be done today.
Meditation is never urgent because death is never urgent.
For the man who comes to know that cancer is going to strike within seven days, everything in life becomes meaningless. All urgencies disappear. He was thinking of making a beautiful palace; the very idea disappears. He was thinking to fight the next election; the whole idea disappears. He was worried about the third world war; he is no longer worried. It doesn’t matter to him. What happens after him does not matter – he has only seven days to live.
If he is little alert in those days he can live seventy years or seven hundred years or the whole eternity – because now meditation becomes a priority, love becomes a priority … dance rejoicing, experiencing beauty, which were never priorities before …
Excerpt from the Osho book “Inner Harmony.”
Credit: Osho; for info visit: (online library also available there)

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