Chapter 14: The Great Death
It depends on your viewpoint, on your outlook, whether the divine is the embodiment of fear or of love. When someone begins to seek and search for the ultimate reality, there comes a moment of disappearing. A moment comes when one has to lose oneself, and whenever the moment of losing oneself arrives the heart trembles with fear, which is natural. Why are you afraid of death? - you are afraid of death because it will efface you.
But even death cannot efface you as totally as the divine will efface you. Because even after death you will remain: you will enter into new bodies and you will continue on your journey into new births. In death only your body will die, not your being. But the divine will efface even your being. All your forms will dissolve into the formless. Death will snatch away only your body, but the divine will snatch away your separate identity, your separate existence, your ego - that is the great death.
So if you are afraid of death then it is natural for you to also be afraid of the divine. It is not the nature of the divine to be fearsome, it is your own ego that is afraid. But the divine is not frightening to those who are ready to disappear. For those who are ready to lose themselves, the divine is the embodiment of love.
Try to understand it in this way: people are unable to love because of their fear, because love also effaces the lover. His whole identity as a separate being will be dissolved. And the lover who is not ready to lose himself in love can never know love. Love means the readiness to dissolve, the readiness to disappear. Love also means the ego will dissolve. A frightened person cannot love. But for the one who is ready to lose himself, great love will arise in his life and bliss will shower on him. So fear and love depend on one thing: whether you are ready to dissolve or not.
Sooner or later, the people who go deep into meditation come to me and say, “There was a moment when we became afraid of disappearing; we became frightened and rushed back to our normal state.” But that was the moment when the divine was very close by! And many meditators rush back to their minds at the last moment - just as the drop which was about to take the jump and fall into the ocean turned back; it returned to the shore. But it is natural for people to do this.
Meditation is also a death because meditation is a jump into the vast. When fear grips you, then understand that the right moment has arrived and it is not the time to turn back. One who is courageous at that moment is a true seeker. But the one who becomes afraid in that moment and goes back to his mind and settles in his old pattern will miss a great opportunity. Nobody knows when this opportunity will come again. If you have missed such an opportunity, then be aware not to miss it again. Actually, you have been searching for that moment, you have been searching for that dissolution.
But the ego holds on until the very last moment. The fear of death grips the mind and with that fear you come back into your body - again you hold tightly on to the bank so that the drop will not be lost.