Chapter 53: From Death to Deathlessness
Let me put it in this way: whenever you inhale, it is life, and whenever you exhale, it is death. The first thing a child does is to inhale. A child cannot exhale. The first thing is inhalation. He cannot exhale, because there is no air within his chest; he has to inhale. The first act is inhalation. And the old man, while dying, will do the last act, which will be exhalation. Dying, you cannot inhale - or can you? When you are dying, you cannot inhale. The last act cannot be inhalation; the last act will be exhalation. The first act is inhalation and the last is exhalation. Inhalation is birth and exhalation is death. But every moment you are doing both - inhaling, exhaling. Inhalation is life, exhalation is death.
You may not have observed, but try to observe it. Whenever you exhale, you are more at peace. Exhale deeply and you will feel a certain peace within. Whenever you inhale, you become intense, you become tense. The very intensity of inhalation creates a tension. And the normal, ordinary emphasis is always on inhalation. If I tell you to take deep breaths, you will always start with inhalation.
Really, we are afraid of exhaling. That’s why breathing has become shallow. You never exhale, you go on inhaling. Only the body goes on exhaling, because the body cannot exist with inhalation alone. It needs both: life and death.
Try one experiment. The whole day, whenever you remember, exhale deeply and don’t inhale. Allow the body to inhale; you simply exhale deeply. And you will feel a deep peace, because death is peace, death is silence. And if you can pay attention, more attention, to exhalation, you will feel egoless. With inhalation you will feel more egoistic; with exhalation you will feel more egoless. Pay more attention to exhalation. The whole day, whenever you remember, exhale deeply and don’t inhale. Allow the body to inhale; you don’t do anything.
This emphasis on exhalation will help you very much to do this experiment, because you will be ready to die. A readiness is needed, otherwise the technique will not be of much help. And you can be ready only if you have tasted death in a certain way. Exhale deeply and you will have a taste of it. It is beautiful.
Death is just beautiful, because nothing is like death - so silent, so relaxing, so calm, so unperturbed. But we are afraid of death. And why are we afraid of death? Why is there so much fear of death? We are afraid of death not because of death - because we don’t know it. How can you be afraid of something you have never encountered? How can you be afraid of something that you don’t know? At least you must know it to be afraid of it. So really you are not afraid of death; the fear is something else. You have never really lived - that creates the fear of death.
The fear comes because you are not living, so you are afraid - “I have not lived yet, and if death happens then what? Unfulfilled, unlived, I will die.” The fear of death comes only to those who are not really alive. If you are alive, you will welcome death. Then there is no fear. You have known life; now you would like to know death also. But we are so afraid of life itself that we have not know it, we have not entered deep into it. That creates the fear of death.