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Existence knows nothing about old age

Part 2 of 3

You have not been coming for so long that now the gossip has changed about me: that I am no more old, I am really ancient. What should I do now?

Devageet, your question is the question of almost every human being. Knowingly or unknowingly, there is a trembling in the heart that you are becoming old, that after old age the deluge -- after old age, death. And for centuries you have been made so much afraid of death that the very idea has become deep-rooted in your unconscious; it has gone deep in your blood, in your bones, in your marrow. The very word frightens you -- not that you know what death is, but just because of thousands of years of conditioning that death is the end of your life, you are afraid. I want you to be absolutely aware that death is not the end. In existence, nothing begins and nothing ends. Just look all around... the evening is not the end, nor is the morning the beginning. The morning is moving towards the evening and the evening is moving towards the morning. Everything is simply moving into different forms. There is no beginning and there is no end.

Why should it be otherwise with man? -- man is not an exception. In this idea of being exceptional, in being more special than the other animals and the trees and the birds, man has created his own hell, his paranoia. The idea that we are exceptional beings, we are human beings, has created a rift between you and existence. That rift causes all your fears and your misery, causes unnecessary anguish and angst in you. And all your so-called leaders, whether religious or political or social, have emphasized the rift; they have widened it. There has not been a single effort in the whole history of man to bridge the rift, to bring man back to the earth, to bring man back with the animals and with the birds and with the trees, and to declare an absolute unity with existence. That is the truth of our being. Once it is understood, you are neither worried about old age nor worried about death, because looking around you, you can be absolutely satisfied that nothing ever begins, it has been always there; nothing ever ends, it will remain always there. The idea of being old fills you with great anxiety. It means now your days of life, of love, of rejoicings are over, that now you will exist only in name. It will not be a rejoicing, but only a dragging towards the grave.

Obviously you cannot enjoy the idea that you are just a burden in existence, just standing in a queue which is moving every moment towards the graveyard. It is one of the greatest failures of all cultures and all civilizations in the world that they have not been able to provide a meaningful life, a creative existence for their old; that they have not been able to provide a subtle beauty and grace, not only to old age, but to death itself. And the problem becomes more complicated because the more you are afraid of death, the more you will be afraid of life too. Each moment lived, death comes closer....

  

A man who is afraid of death cannot be in love with life, because it is life finally that takes you to the doors of death. How can you love life? It was for this reason that all the religions started renouncing life: renounce life because that is the only way to renounce death. If you don't live life, if you are already finished with the job of living, loving, dancing, singing, then naturally you need not be afraid of death; you have died already. We have called these dead people saints; we have worshiped them. We have worshiped them because we knew we would also like to be like them, although we don't have that much courage. At least we can worship and show our intentions. If we had courage or one day if we gather courage, we would also like to live like you: utterly dead. The saint cannot die because he has already died. He has renounced all the pleasures, all the joys; all that life offers he has rejected. He has returned the ticket to existence saying, "I am no more part of the show." He has closed his eyes.

It happened once that a so-called saint was visiting me. I took him into the garden -- there were so many beautiful dahlias, and I showed him those beautiful flowers in the morning sun. He looked very strangely at me, a little annoyed, irritated, and he could not resist the temptation to condemn me, saying, "I thought you were a religious person... and you are still enjoying the beauty of the flowers?" On one point he is right, that if you are enjoying the beauty of the flowers, you cannot avoid enjoying the beauty of human beings; you cannot avoid enjoying the beauty of women; you cannot avoid enjoying the beauty of music and dance. If you are interested in the beauty of the flowers, you have shown that you are still interested in life, that you cannot yet renounce love. If you are aware of beauty, how can you avoid love?

Beauty provokes love; love imparts beauty. I said, "On this point you are right, but on the second point you are wrong. Who ever told you that I am a religious person? I am not yet dead! -- to be religious the basic requirement is to be dead. If you are alive you can only be a hypocrite, you cannot be really religious." When you will see a bird on the wing, it is impossible not to rejoice in its freedom. And when you will see the sunset with all the colors spread on the horizon -- even if you close your eyes, your very effort of closing the eyes will show your interest. You have been overwhelmed by the beauty of it. Life is another name of love. And love is nothing but being sensitive to beauty. I said to that so-called saint, "I can renounce religion but I cannot renounce life, because life has been given to me by existence itself, and religion is just man-made, manufactured by the priests and the politicians; manufactured to deprive man of his joy, to deprive man of his dignity, to deprive man of his humanity itself. "I am not a religious person in your sense. I have a totally different definition of being religious.

 

 

Excerpt from: Osho. The Great Pilgrimage: From Here to Here, Chapter #20 "A graceful old age is your birth right", 29 Sept. 1987

 

 

Updated on 18-09-2020







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