Chapter 9: The Sword of Love-and-Death
It happens very silently. You cannot hear its footsteps, it makes no noise. It goes on happening - and it happens so continuously that you don’t see it, it is so obvious. The obvious is forgotten, it becomes part of your life. You only take notice of something which happens suddenly, you only take notice of something which is abrupt. And death is continuous - that’s why you don’t take any note of it.
And these are not the only forms of death; there are even more subtle forms of death. When you fall in love you die. Love is death - death in its purity. And only those who are ready to die will be able to love. If you are afraid to die, you will also be afraid to love. That’s why love is missing in the world. People go on thinking about love; they fantasize about it, but they don’t move into it - because love is death, and death frightens you.
Lovers die into each other. And only those who are ready to die into each other become lovers. Others are only playing the game. The game of love is not real love, it is phony. And millions of people go on being phony - because they are afraid of death, therefore they are afraid of love too. And love always brings death in. Love is a door for death and death is a door for love.
Or when you meditate, then too you die. Hence people are afraid of going into deep meditation. Every day somebody comes to me: “Now, Osho, it is happening. And I am frightened, I am frightened to my very roots. Meditation is happening; I feel a kind of disappearance. Now protect me.” He was eager to meditate - when it was not happening he was very worried about it. Now it is happening; that creates worry. And I know why - because when he was reading about meditation and hearing about meditation he became greedy about it, without becoming aware that it will lead one into a deep death.
Or you surrender to a master: that is one of the most profound deaths; the ego dies and disappears. These are all deaths, and death is always coming.
You must have heard these famous lines of John Donne: “Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls - it tolls for thee.”
Whenever anybody dies anywhere, death knocks at your doors too. And not only a human being: a dog dies, a crow dies, or a leaf becomes pale and dies and drops from the tree - you are dying, because we are involved in each other, we are parts of each other, we are members of each other. Man is not an island; we are all in a kind of togetherness. And death is happening each moment in millions of ways all around the world. Existence lives through death, existence renews itself through death. Death is the greatest mystery - more mysterious than life, because life is only a pilgrimage towards death.
And only those who are in love with death will be able to know what life is. People don’t live - they can’t live, they are so frightened of death.
I have heard: