Chapter 9: Relax in Joy
If you can lie down as if you are dead, if you can lie there absolutely motionless for some time each day, suddenly one day the happening will take place - the relationship between you and the body will be shattered, the consciousness and the body will separate from each other. Remaining apart, aloof, you will see your body alongside. An infinite distance happens then. And there is no way to bridge it. In this moment “Mara” is reversed, and the sound of “Rama” is heard. Now there is no death. Now you have known death and it has disappeared forever. The person who tries to run away from death without knowing it only becomes more and more afraid of it. You are trying to run away from it, and because of this you are in great difficulty. You are great escapists. Whenever you see danger you always run away. Yet you do not realize that your fear increases by running away, it does not decrease.
How can you run away from your shadow? Where will you run? If you run faster and faster you will see that your shadow runs just as fast. Your shadow is just behind you so you will say you are not running fast enough. You will run faster, and then your shadow will run even faster. Your mind will even tell you to risk your life to save yourself. But no matter how hard you try, you will always find your shadow next to you. It is your own shadow, it can never be avoided.
If you don’t want your shadow to pursue you, then don’t run. Just stand there and look at it. You will laugh when you look at it, because it is not there. Something’s shadow appears as soon as that something obstructs light, and, in the same way, any obstruction to knowledge is death.
Death is your shadow. Death is not there; it only seems to be solid because you are running away from it. You want to save yourself from it and so it pursues you. But if you stand still, it will also stand still. Look at it attentively; it will be no more. There is no need to destroy it, no need to take a sword in your hand and cut its throat. Nothing has to be done to it. You have only to know its real nature, to know that the shadow is merely a shadow.
No sooner do you realize untruth as untruth, than it is no longer there. As soon as you recognize illusion as illusion, it ceases to exist; as soon as you recognize maya as maya, where can it exist? There is no need to know truth, you only need to know what falsehood is. When you know something as untruth it topples immediately. What remains is truth.
Don’t try to seek truth directly, just try to know what untruth is. Don’t try to know the meaning of life directly, try to know only what death is. Where are you going to look for God? Just know what death is. The shadow that looks like death is also God. Just look at the shadow attentively, and with its help you will reach him whose shadow you see. At present you are trying to save yourself from the shadow, and so you are unable to attain to him whose shadow it is you are seeing.
The shadow is the ladder. That is why Kabir asks, “When shall I disappear? When shall I see that total bliss?” When you look at the shadow with great attentiveness you will cease to be and only God will remain. As long as you are afraid of the shadow you cannot be authentic. How can you be authentic when you are afraid of untruth?
The thing that is afraid of the shadow is your ego. Understand this, and the meaning will be clear. The ego is afraid of death. And its fear is quite natural, because it will surely die. You have become one with the ego; you have identified yourself with it - and so you are afraid. It may not be easy for you to understand that the ego is going to die, but your fear is completely beyond comprehension. You are worried and anxious without any real cause.