Chapter 23: Several More Looking Methods
For the animal mind death always occurs to others. And if for you also death is just something which happens to others, you still live in the animal mind. If you are not aware of death, you have not yet become man. That is the basic difference between animal and man-because animal cannot be aware of death, only man can be. If you are not aware of death you are not a man yet, and only man creates the need to move inward.
To me, man means awareness of death. I am not saying become afraid of death; that is not awareness. Just be aware of the fact that death is coming nearer and nearer and you have to be prepared for it.
Life has its own needs; death creates its own needs. That is why younger societies are irreligious - because younger societies are not yet aware of the phenomenon of death; it has not become a central concern for them. An older society - for example, India, one of the oldest societies in existence - is so much aware of death. Because of that awareness, deep down India is religious. So the first thing: become aware of death. Think about it, look at it, contemplate it. Do not be afraid, do not escape the fact. It is there and you cannot escape it! It has come into existence with you.
Your death is born with you; now you cannot escape it. You have hidden it in yourself - become aware of it. The moment you become aware that you are going to die, that death is certain, your total mind will start looking in a different dimension. Then food is a basic need for the body, but not for the being, because even if you get food death will occur. Food cannot protect you from death, food can only postpone. Food can help you to postpone. If you get a good shelter, a good house, it will not protect you from death. it will only help you to die conveniently, comfortably. And death, whether it happens comfortably or uncomfortably, is the same.
In life you may be poor or rich, but death is the great equalizer. The greatest communism is in death. Howsoever you live, it makes no difference; death happens equally. In life, equality is impossible; in death, inequality is impossible. Become aware of it, contemplate it. And it is not only that death is certain somewhere in the future: with the idea that it is very far away, you will again not be able to contemplate it. The mind has a very small range; the focus of the mind is very small. You cannot think beyond thirty years. After thirty years there will be death. it is as if you are not going to die. Thirty years is so long, the distance is so much, it is as if death is not going to occur.