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Chapter 9: The Sword of Love-and-Death

Ludwig Wittgenstein, a great philosopher, was staying at another great philosopher’s house - Bertrand Russell. While staying at Bertrand Russell’s home one night, Wittgenstein tramped back and forth, keeping Russell awake. Russell asked the reason. Wittgenstein said he was trying to decide whether to commit suicide or not. Russell said, “Well, hurry and make up your mind, for I want to get some sleep.”

Russell joked about it, but missed the point. Russell was a very rational man, realistic, pragmatic, logical. Wittgenstein was also a great logician, greater than Bertrand Russell, but he knew the limits of logic too. He knew that there is something beyond logic and he knew that life reveals its mysteries only in death. And he remained fascinated with death his whole life - he was always contemplating whether to commit suicide or not. By suicide he does not mean the ordinary suicide; he is asking whether to disappear or not.

And one can disappear in two ways. One, the ordinary way, the ordinary way of dying - resisting, fighting. The other way is relaxing, enjoying, ecstatic about it. That’s what he calls suicide. Voluntarily, dancing, thrilled by the adventure - that’s what he calls suicide. Suicide means being ready of one’s own accord, taking a few steps to meet death and embrace death.

This is one of the greatest problems each single individual has to decide. Don’t die an ordinary death - reluctant, fighting, angry, in rage, clinging, greedy for life. Die lovingly, only then will you be able to understand these sutras of Kabir - they are of immense value and of immense splendor.

The darkness of night is coming along fast,
and the shadows of love close in the body and the mind.

A very strange statement.

Tinvir sanz ka gahira avai
chhavai prem tan-man men.

The night is coming fast, the night is becoming darker and darker, all light is disappearing. Life is being drowned by death, death is coming like a flood - chhavai prem tan-man men. But Kabir says: I am surprised that my body and mind are both so full of love. And death is coming - it should not be so.

Ordinarily it is not so. When death comes your love disappears absolutely. You become dry like a desert, all that is green in you disappears. How can you love when death is coming? Who can think of love when death knocks on the door? How can you afford to think of love when death is so close by? Love is a luxury - when death is far away you can afford it.

In fact, lovers think that they are not going to die. Lovers tend to forget about death - they start feeling love is eternal, it is for ever and ever. Love is possible - ordinary love, I mean - is possible only when you can think, imagine, that there is no death. Only then is there time and space to show love, to grow love, to reap love. If death is coming..

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