Chapter 2: Discovering Your Own Path
Live it. The existential approach is to live the problem. Be in it, deeply! If there is fear, then be fearful. Then don’t befool yourself by creating some bravery; don’t befool yourself that you are not in fear. Don’t befool yourself that the soul is immortal so there is no death. Death is there. And you will never know that the soul is immortal unless you know death.
I am not saying that the soul is not immortal. What I am saying is this: that you cannot fool your being like that. You go on saying that the soul is immortal, repeating it continuously, but the fear will still be there. Really, you are repeating it because of the fear. You don’t know. You just want to reject the fear through some explanation: “The soul is immortal, so I am not going to die.” You can create an illusory, temporary solution, but death is there and the fear will be there.
If death is there, accept it. It is so; it is going to happen. Disease is there: it is so. Old age is there: it is so, it is going to happen. And you cannot help yourself. You just have to face it.
The existential approach means facing life’s problems. And once you face a problem, it is no longer there. Only your escape creates it. For example, death is there. If you accept that death is there, it is going to happen, it is a certainty, the only certainty really.
Nothing is as certain as death. Everything is uncertain. Death is the only certainty; it is going to happen. You have been promised death the moment you have accepted life. It is only the other pole of birth, the phenomenon of birth. It is going to happen. In fact, it has happened with your birth. You are bound to die. With this acceptance there will be fear. Accept the fear, accept death - and the moment you have accepted it totally, where is fear?
The fear comes because of nonacceptance: “I should not die! How can I become so death-proof that I am not going to die? How can I be certain that death is not going to come to me? It may come to everyone, but I should be the exception.” This creates fear. The being knows that this is impossible: you cannot be the exception. The being knows perfectly well that your explanations will not do, that death will come.
You know perfectly well, you know absolutely, you are certain. As far as your deeper sources of life are concerned, you know that death is going to be. It is not something that is coming to you; it is something that is developing in you, something that is growing in you. So your roots know it well: they are growing death, they are constantly growing. Birth was the first act toward death. Your being knows well that death is there, going to happen. You can befool consciously, you can create theories - and the unconscious will know that you are going to die and the fear will be there.