Chapter 14: Gurus and Etceteranandas
Buddha does not die, he disappears into our concept of God. Jesus melts into the ocean of our God. And the people who are not yet awakened, they also don’t die. They have to come back again and again into some form, because the only possibility of being awakened is through forms.
The world is a context for becoming awakened, an opportunity.
Remember Atisha. He says, “Don’t wait for the opportunity” - because the world is the opportunity; we are already in it. The world is an opportunity to learn. It looks paradoxical; time is the opportunity to learn the eternal, the body is the opportunity to learn the bodiless, matter is the opportunity to learn consciousness, sex is the opportunity to learn samadhi. The whole existence is an opportunity. Anger is the opportunity to learn compassion, greed the opportunity to learn sharing, and death is the opportunity to go into the ego and see “whether I am or I am not. If I am, then maybe death is possible.” But if you find for yourself that “I am not,” that there is pure emptiness inside, that there is nobody - if you can feel that nobodiness inside you, where is death? What is death? Who can die?
Your question is significant. You ask, “Can you say something about death?” Only one thing, that death is not.
And you ask .“and the art of dying?” When there is no death, how are you going to learn the art of dying? You will have to live the art of living. If you know how to live, you will know everything about life, about death. But you will have to approach the positive.
Never make the negative the object of your study, because the negative is not there. You can go on and on and you will never arrive anywhere. Try to understand what light is, not darkness. Try to understand what life is, not death. Try to understand what love is, not hate.
If you go into hate you will never understand it, because hate is only the absence of love. So is darkness the absence of light. How can you understand absence? If you want to understand me, you have to understand me, not my absence. If you want to study this chair, this chair has to be studied - not that when it has been taken away, you start studying the absence. What will you study?
Always be alert, never get hooked into anything negative. Many people go on studying negative things; their energies are simply wasted. There is no art of dying. Or, the art of living is the art of dying. Live!