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Chapter 19: Deeper and Deeper into the Mysterious, the Miraculous

I have heard.. Mulla Nasruddin wanted to commit suicide. Being a man of great cleverness, he made all the arrangements, left no loopholes. Perhaps nobody else had attempted suicide in that way.

He went on top of a hill, taking a pistol with him. Just underneath the hill, deep down, was a river, very dangerous, deep, and surrounded by all kinds of rocks. On the hill there was a tree - he had also brought a rope. Not to take any chances, he figured out all the possible things so that suicide was absolutely certain. He also carried with him a big container full of kerosene oil.

He hanged himself from the tree, but because he was going to do many more things, he could not take his feet from the earth - because then how was he going to do other things? So he was hanging from the tree and standing on the earth. Then he poured kerosene oil over himself; he had brought a lighter too. He created a fire, the kerosene oil was burning all around him. But he was not a man to take any chances, so he also shot a bullet into his head. But the bullet cut the rope, he fell down into the river, and the river water destroyed the fire!

Desperately, he was coming back home when I met him. I asked, “You are still alive after all that arrangement?”

He said, “What to do? I know how to swim!” Everything failed!

You say you have attempted suicide many times. One thing is certain: you don’t want to commit suicide, you want to play with the idea. And you feel also that there is fear about death and there is also a certain joy. This is not only your situation. It is a very common human phenomenon.

Life is a torture, a burden; it is anguish. One wants to get rid of it. To get rid of it means getting rid of all the anguish, the despair, the hopelessness, the meaninglessness - this wife, this husband, these kids, this job. Hence there is an attraction towards death, because death will put an end to all your misery. But it will also put an end to you - that creates fear.

You really want to live, and live forever, but you want to live in paradise. And you are living in a hell! You want to get rid of the hell, you don’t want to get rid of yourself. And I want to emphasize that you are your own hell. So suicide is attractive from one side in that it will put an end to all your miseries, but on the other hand there is a great fear: it will finish you too.

Isn’t there some way that the miseries can be finished and you can live more intensely?

I also teach you that a certain suicide can help you - the suicide of the ego, not of you. Let the ego die, and then see that with it all problems disappear. You are left full of joy, blessedness, and each moment goes on opening new doors to new mysteries. Each moment becomes a moment of discovery - and it is an unending process.

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