Chapter 13: Human Mind Is a Miracle
Scientists say there is no reason for the body to die for at least three hundred years. It is just an old hypnosis, autohypnosis, which has made the idea prevalent that you have only seventy years to live. It goes so deep in your consciousness that by the seventieth year you start thinking you are sinking, you are gone.
And anyway by the time you are retired at the age of sixty there is nothing to do. Death seems to be a relief, not a danger. We have not been capable enough and human enough to provide a situation where our old people can have some dignity, some self-respect, some pride. We have not been able to find dimensions where they can contribute to the world. And they are experienced and certainly capable of contributing enough - enough for their self-respect, enough for them to live and not to feel like a burden.
When George Bernard Shaw became seventy years old, he started taking trips to small villages around London. His friends were surprised, “What are you doing? For days you disappear. In this old age you should rest.”
He said, “I am searching for the place to rest in this old age.”
They said, “What do you mean? You have a beautiful house, you have everything that you need.”
He said, “You don’t understand. I am going around all these villages looking in their cemeteries, at the gravestones, in search of a place where many people have lived at least a hundred years.”
And finally he found a village where on a gravestone was the inscription, “This man died at the untimely age of one hundred and twenty.” He said, “This is the village worth living in, where people think that at the age of one hundred and twenty it is an untimely death.” He lived in that village, and he lived beyond a hundred years.
Perhaps it has some significance.not just accidental. He was a man of tremendous wisdom; and if the villagers believe it then the atmosphere is bound to change his own conditioning.
In Pakistan there is a part of Kashmir which belonged to India; Pakistan has occupied it for forty years. Perhaps that part, because of its secludedness, hidden behind the mountains, has not come in contact with people who die at the age of seventy. They are uneducated people; in fact they cannot count when they are seventy, so how to die at seventy? They don’t have a calendar. They don’t know when they were born; they don’t know how old they are.
They are the most primitive people who have been found living behind the Himalayan peaks, in a valley - in a beautiful valley, self-sufficient, and they have never gone out. And there have been people found, according to the doctors, who are two hundred years old. And they are young; they are working in the fields, in the gardens, in the orchards, and when you ask them about their age they say, “We don’t know. Nobody here knows; there is no school here.”