Audio for Concious Death part 5 (click to play or right click to download)

So our delusion about death is a social delusion. It can be removed. There is a technique and a systematic way to remove it. If no one else removes it, then anyone who has practiced even a little meditation can come out of it himself at the time of death. There remains no need of the other. If you have had even a little experience of meditation, if you have had even a glimpse of the truth – that you are separate from your body – if even for a moment the feeling of disidentification with the body has penetrated deeply within you, you won’t be unconscious at the time of death. In fact, by then your state of unconsciousness will already be broken. You will be able to die consciously, knowingly.

But to be able to die, and knowingly, is a contradiction in terms. No person can ever die knowingly, because if he does he will carry on knowing the whole time that he is not dying; that something is dying in him but he is not. He will keep watching this separation and will ultimately find that his body is lying separate from him, at a distance. And then death turns out to be merely a separation; it amounts to the breaking of a connection. It is as if I were to step out of this house, and the members of this household, unaware of the world outside these walls, were to come to the door and bid me a tearful goodbye, feeling that the man they had come to say goodbye to has died. This is the situation.

The separation of the body and the consciousness is death, but because it is only a separation, it is meaningless to call it death. It is merely a loosening, the loosening and breaking of an association. It is nothing more than changing clothes. So one who dies knowing it, consciously, doesn’t really die. Hence, the question of death never arises for him. He won’t even call death a delusion. He won’t even say who it is that dies and who it is that does not. He will simply state that life was a combination. What he thought of as life until yesterday – that association, that combination has broken. Now a new life has begun which is not a combination in the former sense. Perhaps it is a new combination, a new journey.

Do you now understand what I mean when I say that death proves to be an illusion for the one who dies consciously? By illusion I mean death never was; it was just a social belief created by those who did not know how to die rightly, who had not died yet, who had no idea what death was. And this belief has prevailed forever, and will continue into the future – because the people who have not yet died go on jumping to conclusions about those who die. And the dead never return with news.

The truth is that many times a person rooted in meditation – one who may have made a little headway in meditation – may not realize for a long time that he has died. He sees people around him and wonders why they are weeping. The arrangements for taking his body to be cremated, or the arrangements to bury him, are significant only to remind him that he is no longer alive, that he is no longer the same person.
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That is the reason why we have burned dead bodies in India, except those of sannyasins. The sole reason for this has been that if the body is kept, the person may hover around it for weeks or months under the illusion that “I have not died” – because all he feels is: “I have in some way fallen out of the body, now how to get back in?” So if his body is kept, it delays his new journey, and he will unnecessarily hover around. Hence the custom of immediate cremation, so at the cremation ground he can see that the whole business is all over, that what he has taken to be his body no longer exists. He no longer has any link with the body; the bridge is broken. The matter is over, the whole thing is finished.

So keep in mind that the system of burning the body is not just a way of vacating the house. There are other important reasons behind it. Actually the departing person finds it hard to believe he is dead. How can he be? He sees himself, the same as before, without the slightest difference. Only a sannyasin’s body was never cremated because a sannyasin already knows he is not the body. That’s why we could build a tomb over his body. This was possible because the sannyasin had already realized that he and his body were separate. So there is no problem with preserving the body of a realized sannyasin. But the same is not true with regard to an ordinary man, because his spirit can keep wandering for a long time. It can still try to figure out a way to reenter the body.

It is possible to die in a state of awareness only if you have lived with awareness. If you have learned how to live consciously, you will certainly be able to die consciously – because dying is a phenomenon of life; it takes place within life. In other words, death is the final happening of what you understand life to be. It is not an event that occurs outside of life.

Ordinarily, we look upon death as something which happens outside of life, or as some kind of phenomenon opposite to life. No, in fact death is the final occurrence in the series of events which takes place in life. It is like a tree that bears fruit. First the fruit is green, then it starts turning yellow. It turns more and more yellow until finally it becomes completely yellow, ripe, and falls from the tree. That falling from the tree is not an event outside the ripening process of the fruit; rather, it is the eventual fulfillment of the ripening process.

The falling of the fruit from the tree is not an external event; rather it is the culmination of the yellowing, of the ripening that it has already gone through. And what was going on when the fruit was green? It was getting ready to face the same final event. And the same process was going on when it had not even blossomed on the branch, when it was still hidden inside the branch. Even in that state it was preparing for the final event. And what about when the tree had not yet been manifested, when it was still within the seed? The same preparation was going on then as well. And how about when even the seed had not yet been born and was still hidden in some other tree? The same process was going on.

So the event of death is just a part of the chain of events belonging to the same phenomenon. It is not the end, it is just a separation. One relationship, one situation, has come to an end, another relationship, another situation begins.

From Osho, And Now and Here, Chapter 10

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