Chapter 11: Life Is a Luxury
We paint the dead man, we put beautiful clothes on the dead man. Now in the West a whole profession exists of how to decorate the dead body so that it looks alive, at least in appearance. And sometimes it happens that a dead body can be decorated so perfectly that the man never looked so radiant when he was alive as he looks when he is dead.
I have heard about a rich man. He purchased a beautiful Cadillac and just three days later he died. The doctors had said that the disease was so sudden that nothing could be done about it and he would die within twenty-four hours. So he made a will. He said, “I have just purchased my Cadillac. It was specially ordered, made to order, and I have not even been able to drive it, so do one thing - bury me in my Cadillac.”
His will was followed. A big grave was dug and he was put in the Cadillac, and with a crane the Cadillac was put in the grave. The whole town had gathered to see this thing. All were there.
Two beggars also came and one beggar said to the other, “Man, this is the way one should live. This is what I call living! This is life, man!”
It happens. You are so dead in life that sometimes your death can look very, very alive ( comparatively.
You cannot solve the problem of death. There is no way. Then what is one supposed to do? The easiest way that man has found is to go into a sleep about death - not to look at it, to avoid it. Never look at it face-to-face, eye-to-eye. Avoid it. Avoidance has become the way of man.
There are problems ( there is ill health, there is disease, there is cancer, there is tuberculosis, and many things. Nobody is ever secure, nobody can ever be, because life exists in insecurity. You may have a big bank balance, but the bank can go bankrupt any day, or the country can turn and become communist. Anything can happen. You have a wife and suddenly she falls in love with a stranger and is gone. You have a son and you were trusting in him and he becomes a hippie - or a sannyasin! Who knows? Life is insecure, there is no security. You can only pretend that you are secure. Nothing ever is.
Then what to do? Escape into sleep. Create a haze around yourself so that you don’t see clearly what is what. People live with this haze, this metaphysical haze around themselves like a fog, so they can believe whatsoever they want to believe.
I have heard about a man who was driving his car. A young hippie was standing on the road; he wanted to be picked up, taken into the car. The driver very lovingly opened the door and took him in, and the car started rushing again with mad speed.