Chapter 8: Be in It; Don’t Be of It
Eight years ago when he had come to me, the thing that was more disturbing was not the illness but his fear of death. All these eight years he has lived with death.it can happen any moment. But slowly, slowly as his meditation has deepened, as his love has deepened, as he has understood more and more that death is part of life - you cannot deny it, and in denying it you will be denying life itself - he has become more accepting. A great suchness has descended upon him, and that is significant - more significant than life, more significant than death.
He will die one day, but now I am not worried about his death. He knows now how to die, he has learned the knack of it. Death will not be just an end but a great beginning for him. He will not be drowned by death; he will ride on it, he will go victorious. Hence there is no need to worry about him. And any blood will do. Blood is blood; it goes only into the body, it does not affect your soul.
But these ideas have existed for centuries: your food affects your soul, your clothes affect your soul.. These are all nonsense ideas! They affect you only if you are identified - but then anything will affect you. If you are not identified, nothing affects you; you remain untouched. And that’s the great experience: to feel untouched amidst all turmoil.
And I am tremendously happy with Prem Chinmaya: he has proved himself. And it is possible that because of his understanding, his life has been lengthened. Even doctors are a little puzzled how he is continuing; by all ordinary rules he should not be here anymore.
Amritam, our doctor, has also asked a question: How does Chinmaya go on pulling himself?
The reason is, he is no longer interested in pulling, that’s why he goes on pulling himself. If death comes this moment, he will accept it. Because of this, death has become irrelevant. He has become absolutely free of the anxiety. It is anxiety that kills more; it is deep down anxiety that becomes destructive. Because he is no longer in anguish, he may live a few more years, he may live long.
But whether he lives or not is no longer of any importance. The important thing has happened. If he lives he will live with a cool heart; if he dies he will die with a cool heart. He has learned the lesson.
Rejoice with him! Learn from him - because everybody has to encounter his death sooner or later. And one can never be certain: you may be perfectly healthy, and tomorrow death may take you away. So health is no guarantee.
In fact, it happens more often that a perfectly healthy person dies more quickly than an ill person. Because the healthy person has no way of coping with illness, any illness can prove fatal. But a person who has lived long with illness becomes adjusted to it, he can cope with it; he knows the ways of death. The healthy person knows nothing, so it often happens that the healthy person will die with the first stroke and the unhealthy person may live long. His body has become seasoned, has become more tolerant of diseases.
But remember, that is not the point at all. Whether Chinmaya lives a few years or not has no meaning anymore. If he lives, good; if he goes, he can go with joy in his heart, because his life has not been meaningless, his life has not been futile.
The first flowers have started blossoming.