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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   Reflections on Khalil Gibran's The Prophet
 

Chapter 37: A Dewdrop Cannot Offend the Ocean

I must remind you that most heart attacks happen nearabout the age forty-two, or a year earlier, or a year later. Youth is gone, old age has not come, and the tension is too much. A heart attack in those years is really not a physical thing. Of course it expresses as a physical symptom, but deep down it is psychological.

The middle-aged man lives the most difficult life. He is like a bridge - neither on this side, nor on that side. He cannot mix with those who are still dancing, and he cannot mix with those who are praying and confessing in churches, in temples, in mosques. He is really lost; he does not know what to do, where to go. And this happens only because he has not lived his youth totally.

If you have lived your youth totally, you will remain young to the very last breath of your life. Your body may become old, but your freshness and youthfulness will remain the same.

Hindus brag very much that, in their calculation of time, the beginning was the best age: satyuga, the age of truth. And they brag about it because nobody died young.

I was talking to a Hindu saint, and I said, “Don’t brag about it, it is nothing to be bragged about. I see some other meaning in it, and my meaning is supported by immense evidence discovered by science. The farther back we go. We have found skeletons of people who must have died at the age of forty; we have not found a single skeleton of a man who has lived more than forty years, so don’t brag about it - you are not aware of the reality. The reality is, that in your satyuga people used to become old nearabout thirty-five, and died nearabout forty. Naturally, nobody died young.”

But in my conception, just the reverse should be the case; even if you die at the age of ninety or a hundred, you should still die young. Your youthfulness is a totally different phenomenon to your aging: aging is physical; youthfulness is your approach toward life.

If you are for life and not against life you will remain young, in your inner world, to the very last breath, and there will be no middle age.

Middle age is a gap, a gap which is more like a nightmare, because youth is gone and old age has not come yet. You cannot seek pleasures and you cannot even regret - regret for what? You have never lived; the question of regret does not arise. So the man feels utterly empty between youth and old age. The gap is horrible - the most painful experience of life.

And in their fear of seeking and remembering they shun all pleasures.

They cannot seek pleasures because it looks embarrassing to mix with the young people, to go to a disco and dance - a middle-aged person feels out of place. And he cannot sit with the old, who are only full of repentance. His situation is really bad!

.they shun all pleasures, lest they neglect the spirit or offend against it.