Chapter 11: Total Desire: The Path to Desirelessness
The moment you accept the fact of death and begin to feel it, to live it, to be aware of it, you begin to drop through the inner door. The door opens, and through the door of death you begin to have glimpses of an eternal life. Only through death can one have glimpses of eternal life; there is no other way. So really, all that is known as meditation is just a voluntary death, just a deepening inside, a drowning inside, a sinking inside; just a going away from the surface toward the depths.
Of course, the depths are dark. The moment you leave the surface you will feel you are dying, because you have identified the surface of life with yourself. It is not that the surface waves are just surface waves; you have become identified with them, you are the surface. So when you leave the surface, it is not only that you leave the surface; you leave yourself, your identity - the past, the mind, the memory. All that you were, you have to leave; that is why meditation appears to be a death. You are dying, and only if you are ready to die this voluntary death - to go deep beyond yourself, to leave the self and transcend the surface - do you come to the reality, which is eternal.
So for one who is ready to die, this very readiness becomes the transcendence; this very readiness is the religiousness. When we say someone is worldly, it means he is more concerned with life than with death. Rather, that he is absolutely concerned with life and not at all concerned with death. A worldly person is one to whom death comes in the end; and when it comes, he is unconscious.
A religious man is one who is dying every moment. Death is not in the end; it is the very process of life. A religious man is one who is more concerned with death than with life, because he feels that whatever is known as life is going to be taken away. It is being taken away; every moment you are losing it. Life is just like sand in an hourglass: every moment the sand is being lost, and you cannot do anything about it. The process is natural; nothing can be done, it is irreversible.
Time is something which cannot be retained, which cannot be prevented, which cannot be reversed. It is one-dimensional: there is no going back. And ultimately the very process of time is death, because you are losing time, you are dying. One day all the sand is lost and you are empty - just an empty self with no time left. So you die.
Be more concerned with death - and time. It is right here and now, by the corner - present every moment. Once you begin to look for it, you become aware of it. It is here, you were just overlooking the fact; not even overlooking the fact, escaping it. So enter into death, jump into it. This is the arduousness of meditation, this is the austerity of it: one has to jump into death.
To go on loving life is a deep lust, and to be ready to die somehow looks unnatural. Of course, death is one of the most natural things, but it looks unnatural to be ready to die.
This is how the paradox, how the dialectics of existence works: if you are ready to die, this very readiness makes you undying; but if you are not ready to die, this very unreadiness, this overattachment and lust for living, makes you a dying phenomenon.