The Spiritual Life - Topic Seventeen
From - Maturity: The Responsibility For Being Oneself by Osho
Life can be lived in two ways. If you live unconsciously you simply die; if you live consciously you attain more and more life. Death will come—but it never comes to a mature man, it comes only to a man who has been aging and getting old. A mature person never dies, because he will learn even through death. Even death is going to be an experience to be intensely lived, and watched, allowed. A mature man never dies. In fact, on the rock of maturity death struggles and shatters itself, commits suicide. Death dies, but never a mature man. That is the message of all the awakened ones, that you are deathless. They have known it, they have lived their death. They have watched and they have found that it can surround you but you remain aloof, you remain far away. Death happens near you but it never happens to you. Deathless is your being, blissful is your being, divine is your being, but those experiences you cannot cram into the mind and the memory. You have to pass through life and attain them.
Much suffering is there, much pain is there. And because of pain and suffering people like to live stupidly—it has to be understood why so many people insist that they should live in hypnosis, why Buddhas and Christs go on telling people to be awake, and nobody listens. There must be some deep involvement in the hypnosis, there must be some deep investment. What is the investment?
To become old is not to become wise. If you have been a fool when you were young and now you have become old, you will be just an old fool, that’s all. The mechanism has to be understood; otherwise you will listen to me and you will never become aware. You will listen and you will make it a part of your knowledge, that “Yes, this man says be aware and it is good to be aware, and those who attain to awareness become mature … .” But you yourself will not attain to it, it will remain just knowledge. You may communicate your knowledge to others, but nobody is helped that way. Why? Have you ever asked this question? Why don’t you attain to awareness? If it leads to the infinite bliss, to the attainment of satchitananda, to absolute truth—then why not be aware? Why do you insist on being sleepy? There is some investment, and this is the investment: if you become aware, there is suffering.
If you become aware, you become aware of pain, and the pain is so much that you would like to take a tranquilizer and be asleep. This sleepiness in life works as a protection against pain. But this is the trouble—if you are asleep against pain, you are asleep against pleasure also. Think of it as if there are two faucets: on one is written “pain” and on the other is written “pleasure.” You would like to close the faucet on which pain is written, and you would like to open the faucet on which pleasure is written. But this is the game—if you close the pain faucet the pleasure faucet immediately closes, because behind both there is only one faucet, on which “awareness” is written. Either both remain open or both remain closed, because both are two faces of the same phenomenon, two aspects. 8-10
Osho teaches that a person can live their life in one of two ways: in fear of pain, or in love of awareness.
When it comes to dying you have two choices: to die unconsciously or consciously.
Is the fear of death paralyzing and managed by avoidance and denial or is the idea of dying liberating and managed by curiosity and gratitude?
One of the benefits of living a spiritual life is having a positive and constructive way of managing our fear of death. The body surely will die but what happens to the spirit? This question is one of the fundamental existential questions that all wise and aware people consider and reflect on. It is this existential question which makes living life worthwhile, satisfying, and fulfilling. Some recognize, acknowledge, and examine this question while others deny it, dismiss it, and distract themselves with multiple idols of the ego.
Osho suggests that we consider our dying with curiosity. Osho teaches that it is in considering and examining our dying that we become wise. This wisdom involves an expansion of consciousness beyond our individual ego and it is this cosmic consciousness which lives forever.