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Chapter 14: Conscious Dying

He became uneasy, because if you feel that your will is not your own you will have to face your imprisonment, your slavery. So he is in an imprisonment, but he goes on believing that he is free. That helps you to live in a prison as if it is your home.

This is how we go on rationalizing, and this man cannot drop alcohol unless he drops this rationalization. If he begins to feel, “Even if I will, I cannot drop it,” then he is realistic. Then he has come down to the earth. And if he feels, “I cannot do anything even if I will,” then he can do something, because now he is not living in illusion. He has stumbled upon reality. And you can do something with reality, you cannot do anything with illusions.

To escape from reality we create many mental attitudes. Freud is reported to have said that religion will continue to have power over man, not because religion is true but because man needs many illusions. And man is not yet an adult, mature enough to live without religion. In a way he is right, because as far as the majority of humanity is concerned religion is a rationalized illusion. Only sometimes - with a Buddha or with a Patanjali or with a Kapil - does it happen that religion is not an illusion but the ultimate reality. But for others religion is an illusion. It substitutes for your life, compensates. Your reality is so horrible that you need some illusions to compensate for it.

For example, if a country is very poor, it is bound to believe in a heaven after this life. That is a compensation. The reality is so horrible, so ugly, so much suffering is all around, and nothing can be done about it. But you can do one thing: you can believe in some heaven after this life, and that will help you to live in this ugly poverty. Then you can live easily because it is a question of a few years, or even a few lives - then you will be in heaven. So this poverty is not something permanent you have to be worried about. It is just a passing phase, just as if you are in a waiting room in a railway station. Let it be ugly, let it be as it is, because you are not going to stay here. This is not your home. A friend will come and you will be away from this waiting room.

If there is a heaven after this life, then this life becomes just a waiting room. One is only waiting for his train. When the train comes, he is away. You need not be worried. You can close your eyes and chant Gayatri - close your eyes and chant a mantra. This is only a waiting room. Religious people are reported to have continuously made the simile that this world is a waiting room. You are not to be here forever, so don’t be worried about it.

But if the waiting room is going to be your home, if it is not a waiting room but the whole of reality, then it will be impossible to live there. Then it will be impossible to live there even for one hour. If it is a waiting room you can live for lives in it, because the hope is always for something else. Really, you are not there. You have mentally transferred yourself somewhere else. This is a trick. The mind has gone to live somewhere else; only the body is here, so you can continue.

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