Audio for Art of Living part 11 (click to play or right click to download)

But this is all quite natural, because your life has not become a work of art. If it had, you could have made your life into a beautiful sculpture. You could have given your life a definite shape; you could have cleaned it and polished it and brought out its intrinsic brilliance. If you had burned all the rubbish in your life you would have achieved the purity of gold by now. If you had chipped away all the superfluous stone each limb of the statue would now be sheer artistry. You could have created a beautiful sculpture of your life, a beautiful work of art. But no, in spite of the fact you have done many things in your life, you have achieved nothing substantial.

Your life is not art; it is not art through and through – and Kabir says that even death must be total art. Death is as much an art as life is. And death is the test. If you have lived rightly, you can die rightly. If you have not lived rightly, you will not be able to die rightly. Death is the final offering. It is the highest; it is the crowning, the peak. Death is the essence, the flowering of life. How can your death be right if you have spent your life wrongly? How can your death be full of meaning if your life has been a waste? How can a tree whose roots are rotten bear sweet fruit? It is impossible.

What is the secret to the art of life? The secret is this – live in full awareness. Don’t grope in the darkness; don’t walk in sleep – walk in awareness. Whatsoever you do, no matter what it is – even if it is as insignificant as opening and closing your eyes – do it thoughtfully, do it with awareness. Who knows – everything may depend on that tiny action, on opening and closing your eyes! You may be walking along the road and see a woman, and you may spend your whole life with her. Even opening and closing your eyes, stay alert.

Buddha used to tell his disciples not to look more than four feet in front while they were walking. “For walking, it is quite enough,” he used to say. It is not necessary to look around, to keep checking on all sides. When you complete the first four feet you will see another four feet in front of you. It is enough. You can travel thousands of miles in this way. What need is there to look about? Don’t keep on looking all over the place. Such a journey never ends.

If you examine your life you will be able to see that whatever has happened in it has been accidental, has happened by chance. Something happens accidentally, and because of that accident the course of one’s entire life is changed. You were walking along the road on your way to the temple, for example, and a woman smiled at you. And instead of reaching your destination, you arrived somewhere else. You married that woman; you begat children. You were anxious to marry her, and so you were caught in a huge wheel that turns round and round. Has it never occurred to you that all of this was caused by chance, by an accident? Had you followed Buddha’s advice to his disciples, perhaps none of this would have happened.

To acquire the art of living, remember this – never act in unawareness, never act in sleep. Never allow anything to happen of its own accord. First see it properly. First consider it rightly. Look at it firmly, with discretion and wisdom, before putting it into action. If you do this you will find that your life acquires a kind of beauty, a certain elegance. You become like a sculpture; you become like the situation in which the sculptor and the stone are not separate. You yourself are the sculptor, you yourself are the statue, you yourself are the stone, you yourself are the chisel – you are everything, you are all.

From Osho, The Great Secret, Chapter 4

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