Chapter 23: Several More Looking Methods
If you want to contemplate death, know another fact about it: it can occur the next moment; it is possible the very next moment. You may not be able to hear my whole sentence, I may not be able to complete it. My mother’s father used to tell me that when I was born he consulted one astrologer, one of the best known astrologers of those days. The astrologer was to make my kundali - birth chart. But the astrologer studied it and he said, “If this child survives after seven years, only then will I make the chart. It seems impossible that he can survive for more than seven years, so it is useless. If the child is going to die in seven years it is useless to make the kundali; it will be of no use. And it has been my habit,” the astrologer said, “that unless I am certain that the kundali will be useful I never make it.” So he didn’t make it.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, I survived. Then my mother’s father went to the astrologer, but he was dead, so he never could make my kundali. He was dead, and I have been constantly wondering about this. He was aware of the fact that this child may die, but he was not aware of the fact that he may die. He was not aware! It seems that he was absolutely unconcerned - and he was no ordinary man. But no one is concerned with his own death. Knowingly, cunningly, we are not concerned with it because it creates a fear. So I have always suspected that that astrologer might have never looked at his own kundali; otherwise he would have become aware.
Death is possible the very next moment, but the mind will not believe it. I say it and your mind will say, “No! How is it possible the next moment? It is far away.” But that is a trick. If you postpone, you cannot contemplate. It must be so near that you can focus on it. And when I say that the next moment it is possible, I mean it. It can happen, and whenever it will happen it will be the next moment. Just before it, you could not have conceived that it was going to happen.
A person is dying: just a moment before he could never have thought that death is so near. It always happens in the next moment - remember. It has always happened that way, and this will be the way always. It always happens in the next moment. Bring it near so that you can focus on it, and that very focusing will help you to enter in, a new need will be created.
Secondly, you go on living. You go on creating artificial meanings and purposes for this very moment. You never think of your life as a whole, whether it has any meaning or not. You go on creating new meanings, and you push yourself on with those meanings. That is why a poor man lives a more meaningful life than a rich man - because a poor man has many things to get, and that gives a meaning to his life. If you are really rich, it means you have everything that is possible and this world cannot offer anything to you. Then your life becomes meaningless. Now you cannot create any meaning for this moment, for this day, to help you live. That is why the richer a society, the more affluent a culture, the more meaninglessness is felt. Poorer societies never feel meaninglessness.
A poor man is concerned with having a house. For years together he will work for it. His life has a meaning; something has to be achieved. And when he gets the house he will be happy for a few days at least, but then bigger houses are there. So he will go on moving, doing this and that, never thinking about his life as a whole, whether it has any meaning or not. He never takes life as a whole.