Chapter 25: To Enter into Your Own Presence
To the very last moment of your death, you are fully alive - perhaps more alive than ever. And it will be significant to be reminded when Socrates was given poison - that was the Athenian way of killing a person. A man was preparing the poison outside the room. Socrates’ disciples had gathered and they were all sad and crying. And Socrates: “What is the matter with you? Is this the moment to be sad? I am going on a far journey. I am going for a great adventure. Life I have known. I want to know death, too. And you should send me on this great adventure with joy rather than crying and weeping.” The man who was preparing the poison delayed it as much as he could because he also loved Socrates. But Socrates asked again and again: “What is the matter? The time is passing. The sun has set. The poison should be ready.” And the man who was preparing the poison - he said, “I have prepared my whole life, poison for many people, but I have never come across a man like you. I want to delay it so you can live a little more.” Socrates said, “This is not right. I have lived enough. More than enough because each moment of my life was totally lived. There is nothing more to be lived. I want to taste death. And you should fulfill your duty. You should not delay it. Give me the poison.”
The poison was given to him and you can see the nature of a scientific mind, the mind of an enquirer. He said to his disciples, “My legs have become numb but I want to remind you that although my legs have become numb - they are dead - but I am as full as I was ever. My consciousness is complete. Nothing is missing.” Then he said, “My thighs have become dead. No I have lost my lower body completely. It is dead. Half of my body is dead but I am totally whole. Nothing has died in my consciousness.”
Then his hands fell down and he said, “Now my heart is sinking, but as long as I can tell you, I am going to remind you that I am still here as whole, undented by death as I was always - young and fresh. Soon my tongue may not be able to say. So let this be my last statement: That only body dies. Consciousness lives forever.”
We have killed this type of people for the whole past of humanity. It is ugly. It is insane. We have destroyed our own best, our very cream, our most genius people and if we are in misery, it should be a wonder.
We should be in a misery. We have created it ourselves. We destroyed those people who could have changed us, who could have transformed the whole quality of life on the earth. We destroyed them. We have chosen to be miserable, to be suffering. We have chosen the hell - just because we were lazy to change ourselves.
I am reminded of a story.
A man died - a very lazy man. The heaven and the hell are just in front of each other - the gates. The lazy man stood in the middle of the road, looked at heaven and was very much surprised. The gate was rotten. The walls were broken. It looked like a ruin. Everything looked sad, trees were not green inside. There were no flowers and when he looked at hell, this was a totally different world - so beautiful, as if it has been made absolutely new.
The gate was an art piece - beautiful, surrounded by flowers. He said, “Before I enter into heaven, I would like to have a little taste of hell.” But the angels said, “Because you had been so lazy, you have never committed a sin.”
To commit a sin, one has to be a little active. Lazy people are saints. They cannot steal in the night. Who is going to bother in somebody else’s house? They cannot try to elope with somebody else’s wife.
So the angels said, “You have been so lazy - bone lazy. Hell is not for you. It is for active people.” But the lazy man was persistent. He said, “I will not enter heaven unless I have seen inside. I will choose my own place. And what kind of heaven is this if a man has not even the freedom to choose?”