Chapter 10: Enlightenment Is Not an Experience
A year ago, on March 15th, I was visiting friends in Santa Fe. Early that morning, Mahamati and I were lying in the back of my van when it was struck from behind. Following the impact I couldn’t breathe. My neck and back were aflame with pain, and I panicked. My hand discovered my mala and the struggle dropped with the deep remembrance of sannyas, and I relaxed to be aware for death. Ironically, I began to get air, just a little, and told Mati not to freak out if I dropped the body, because I was still intact. In the hospital emergency room, we both, simultaneously, felt your presence, and ecstatically laughed, to the dismay of the doctors and nurses. For seven weeks I was flat on my back, and my heart flowered as never before. The spine was fractured in two places, and this whole year I have been lazy - doing art, portraits of you, and a novel depicting my experiences with you. Osho, I am so grateful to find I can let go when death knocks on my door, and I feel so fortunate to look into your eyes once more. Thank you. Would you like to comment on my experience? Was it really you who came to the emergency room, or just our let-go to existence and life?
Atmo Shahid, my whole work - day in, day out - is going from one emergency room to another emergency room. I don’t have any other work. I have so many people in the world, and they are so expert in creating emergencies, that I am running like crazy. Why do you think I have told you now to drop the mala and orange clothes? Because it is getting too much! - running, without any rest.
But whatever happened to you has been of great value; this is the preparation every sannyasin is going through.
Life has to be a joy, a dance, a celebration. And when death comes, it has to be welcomed with silence, with serenity - wholeheartedly, not holding anything back. This is a way to kill death itself.
If you have lived joyously, you will be ready to welcome death too - invite her for a dance! Death is powerful only over people who have never lived, who don’t have the courage to relax peacefully in moments of death without any fear - because no accident, no disease, nothing can make even a dent in your consciousness; you are always intact.
But the problem with people is, they live their whole lives unconsciously - in such misery, anguish, anxiety, that it is almost necessary for them to remain unconscious. They find new ways to be unconscious: drugs.anything that makes them unconscious. But then when death comes, they fall into a deep coma. The very fear of death, the very presence of death makes them absolutely unconscious, without any anesthesia.
Only for these people does death happen. Otherwise, death is a fiction. It is just moving the house; your old house has become such that renovating it is more troublesome than moving into a new house. The moment the body comes to a point when it is no longer functioning organically - when its inner structure is fractured, when things are not happening as they should happen, when mechanisms have run to their full capacity..
Each child brings with himself at birth, the genes which tell his whole history. And soon it may become possible - it is almost possible now - in the reports of the scientists, they say that they can read the program of the first cells that begin your life. At least they will be able to know the great events in your life: when you will become sexually mature, at what age; when you will become old, when death will strike your body just to make you free.
Death is in the service of life. Life never dies.
But in unconsciousness you go on doing things that you are not clearly aware of why you are doing. You go on moving because everybody else is moving, but you don’t know where you are moving and for what. You go on living because everybody else is living, but without any consciousness.