Chapter 7: I Teach Death
My beloved ones, a friend has asked:
Are you teaching people how to die? Are you teaching death?
You should teach life instead.
He is right, I am indeed teaching people how to die. I am teaching the art of dying, because one who learns the art of dying becomes an expert in the art of living as well. One who agrees to die becomes worthy of living the supreme life. Only those who have known how to erase themselves also come to know how to be.
These may seem like opposite things because we have taken life and death to be opposing each other, contradictory, but they are not. We have created a false contradiction between the two, and that has produced fatal results. Perhaps nothing has caused so much harm to the human race as this contradiction. Subsequently, this contradiction has had ramifications on many levels. If we divide things which are essentially one into separate parts - not only separate but contradictory parts - the ultimate result can be nothing but the creation of a schizophrenic, insane man.
Let’s assume there is a place where mad people live. Great difficulty and trouble would arise if these people were to believe that cold and hot were not only separate but contradictory things - for the simple reason that cold and hot are not contradictory, they are different degrees of qualifying the same thing. Our experience of cold and hot is not absolute, it is very relative. A little experiment will make this clear.
We always find things which are hot and things which are cold. We also see that something which is hot is hot, and something which is cold is cold - we cannot believe the same thing can be hot and cold at the same time. Now, when you go back home do a little experiment. Take a pot containing hot water, a pot containing cold water, and a pot containing water at room temperature. Put one hand in the hot water and another hand in cold water. Now take both hands out and place them in the water at room temperature. One hand will feel the water is cold and the other will feel the same water is hot. Is that water hot or cold? One hand will say it is hot, the other will say it is cold. Then what is the nature of the water really? If, simultaneously, one hand feels it is hot and the other feels the same water is cold, then we will have to realize the water is neither hot nor cold - its feeling hot or cold is relative to our hands.
Hot and cold are degrees of the same thing - they are not two different things. The distinction between them is of quantity, not of quality.