Drop your intellect, and you will not lose anything. Carry your intellect with yourself and you will lose all. Drop your intellect, and you will lose only your imprisonment, your falsity. Drop your intellect. and suddenly your consciousness will soar high, will be on its wings… and you can go to the very south, to the open seas where you belong. Intellect is the burden on the man.
Tao starts with death. Why? There is something significant in the beginning. Tao says that if you understand death you will understand everything because in death your boundaries will be blurred. In death, you will disappear. In death, the ego will be dropped. In death, the mind will be no longer there. In death, all that is non-essential will be dropped and only the essential will remain. If you can understand death you will be able to understand what Tao is, what the pathless path is – because religion is also a way of dying, love is also a way of dying, prayer is also a way of dying. Meditation is voluntary death. Death is the greatest phenomenon. It is the culmination of life, the crescendo, the highest peak.
You know only one peak, and that peak is of sex, and that is the lowest peak of the Himalayas. Yes, it is a peak, but the lowest peak; death is the highest peak. Sex is birth: it is the beginning of the Himalayas, the lowest peak. Just at the beginning, the highest is not possible. Slowly, slowly, the peaks rise higher and higher, finally, they come to the peak. Death is the peak; sex is the beginning. Between sex and death is the whole story of life.
Western psychology starts by understanding sex. Eastern psychology, the psychology of the Buddhas, starts by understanding the psychology of death. To understand sex is very primary; to understand death is the ultimate. And by understanding death, you can die consciously. If you die consciously you will not be born again – there will be no need. You have learned the lesson; you will not be thrown back again and again into the wheel of life and death. You have known, you have learned – there is no need for you to be sent again to the school; you have transcended. If you don’t learn the meaning of death you will have to be thrown back. Life is a situation to learn what death is.
Who dies? And who is born? The ego is born and the ego dies. Deep down, where ego is no more, you are never born and you never die. You are eternal, you are eternity, you are the very substratum, the very stuff that existence is made of – how can you die? But ego is born and ego dies.
You are never born and you can never die, but how to know it? Would you like to wait until death comes? That is very risky because if you live your whole life unconsciously, there is not much possibility that you may become conscious when you die. It is not possible if your whole life has been a continuity of unconscious living, you will die unconsciously, you will not be able to know. You will die in a coma you will not be able to observe and see what is happening. You were not even able to see life, how can you see death? Death is more subtle.
If you really want to know. then start becoming alert, aware. Live consciously, learn consciousness, accumulate consciousness. Become a great flame of consciousness, then, when death comes. you will be able to witness it, you will be able to see it and you will know ’The body is dying, the ego is dying, but I am not dying because I am the witness.’ That witness is the very core of existence. That witness is what other religions call ’God’. and what Lieh Tzu. Chuang Tzu calls’Tao’: the knower, the knowledge element, consciousness, awareness, alertness.
Start living a conscious life. Do whatsoever you are doing, but do as if you are a witness to it – watch it, silently go on observing it. Don’t get lost into things; remain alert, remain beyond. Start from small things: walking on the road, eating, taking a bath, holding the hand of a friend, talking, listening – small things. but keep alert. You will forget it again and again. Pick it up again, find it out again. remember it again. This is what Buddha calls ’mindfulness’. what Gurdjieff calls ’self-remembering’.
Go on remembering that you are a witness. In the beginning, it is arduous, hard, because our sleep is long. We have slept for many lives. we have become accustomed to sleep. we are snoring – metaphysically. It is difficult. but if you try. by and by a ray of alertness will enter in your being. It is possible – difficult, but possible – not impossible. And this is the most valuable thing in life.
I know you will never die because you were never born, but you don’t know it. My knowing is not going to help you – you have to know it. It has to become your own understanding: ’a light unto yourself.
’IS IT HE WHO IS TRULY MISERABLE, IS IT WE WHO ARE TRULY HAPPY?’
And then he puts a question to his disciple ’Who is happy those who are alive or those who are dead? Who is really miserable – those who are dead or those who are alive? And who is really happy?’ And he leaves the question. It is a koan: the disciple has to meditate on it.
The parable says nothing. it ends abruptly. Now the disciple has to work it out. Now he has to meditate, he has to be aware of death. of life. of the love of this and that. And he has to meditate on the fact: Who is really happy? Are you happy by being just alive? You are not the whole world is so miserable. So, one thing can be deduced and can be deduced unconditionally, that just by being alive one is not bound to be happy. Just being alive is not enough to be happy – something more is needed to be happy, something ’plus’. Life plus awareness… then happiness arises, because in awareness, in the light of awareness, the darkness of ego disappears.