Chapter 25: The Bell Always Tolls for Somebody Else
I can understand when you say, “I am certain that one day I am going to die.” I know what you mean. But you don’t know what you mean. It is only an inference, not a certainty. You have seen people dying; your grandfather died, your father died, neighbors died, teachers, your professors - people go on dying. You are also one of the members of this dying queue, and the queue is moving. Each time somebody dies you have to move a little closer. You don’t know where you are moving, but one thing is certain: whoever moves, it is when somebody dies. Every step in this queue brings you closer to death. But it is an inference. Have you really seen a man die? You will say yes. Almost everybody has seen somebody die. But I say to you emphatically, you have not seen a single man die. You have seen only a man stopping breathing, his heart stopping beating, his pulse disappearing. Yes, you have seen this. And the medical profession will say that the man is dead. But now even the medical profession is not so certain as it used to be.
There are at least ten bodies in America being preserved because science has become aware that when somebody stops breathing, if his brain cells can be preserved, if his brain can be preserved from dying - and it simply means that the brain has to be provided nourishment, oxygen, or whatsoever is needed - then the body will remain dead but the brain will remain alive. And they hope that within twenty years’ time there will be methods available to bring the body back - to pulsate, to breathe. The heart will start beating again; if the brain has been kept alive, the man will come back to life again.
Of course it will be very difficult for the man who has been dead for twenty years to come back to life. Everything will have changed by that time. His generation will have disappeared from the earth; new kinds of people will be there - new ideas, everything new. I don’t think he will be able to adjust. The very shock is going to kill him again, because what he will see will be absolutely against his beliefs, against his conventional mind which he has been carrying for a century. A century-old mind - it cannot bear the shock.
But that apart, whether it can bear the shock or not.even medical science is no longer certain that what we have always called death, is death. Yes, there are symptoms; the man is no longer capable of doing things he used to do. This is a very negative definition of death. Medical science has not been able to provide a positive definition of death: no breathing, no pulse, no heartbeat - can’t you see it is all negative?
One yogi in India - his name was Brahma Yogi - devoted his whole life to prove that all the symptoms that make the medical profession certain about death are wrong. His work was of tremendous value. He practiced methods very ancient in the East, simple methods, but requiring one thing which has disappeared from the world: patience. The methods are very simple, but.twenty years’, thirty years’ practice - in this world of hurry and blurry, who is going to practice a certain breathing technique for thirty years?
People are speedy. People are not walking, people are running, faster and faster every day; their vehicles are becoming faster and faster every day.
Now in Japan they have trains which can move at four hundred miles per hour. And this cannot be the end - the Japanese scientists say that soon it will be possible to move the train at any speed you want, because four hundred was the barrier, which we have crossed. When a train moves at four hundred miles per hour, it rises one foot above its rails - because of the speed. It is almost in the air, it is an airplane - one foot above the ground.