Chapter 14: Conscious Dying
All meditations are really an effort to die consciously. If you can die consciously, only then do you come upon something which is immortal, which cannot die. But we believe in an immortal soul just to deceive ourselves. Through this belief life becomes easier. You have solved the problem without solving it. Now there is no death for you, and you can live as if you are going to live forever. Not only those who are theists, but even those who are atheists - who don’t believe in souls at all, so they cannot believe in immortal souls - they too live in such a way as if they are going to live forever. They also have to deceive themselves that there is no death and there are so many lives.
Kant has said that if there is no God, then too we will have to invent him, because without God it is difficult to live. Why? Because without God no morality is possible. Without God the whole edifice of morality falls down. All heaven, all hell, the results of your karma, everything falls down. So Kant says even if there is no God, he is needed. He is required because without him morality becomes impossible, and to live without morality will be very difficult.
We can live as immoral beings - we are already living - we can live in immorality. That is not difficult; we always live in it. But even to live in immorality we need moral concepts. So an immoral person also goes on believing. He may not be good today, but tomorrow he is going to be good. If in this life he is not going to be good, in the next he will be good.
So even a sinner goes on believing himself not really a sinner. Any day he can be a saint. That possibility helps. Then he can hope for the possibility and continue to be whatsoever he is. So whatsoever he is is just in shadow. His being a sinner is just a changing thing. It is not going to be permanent: he will be a saint soon. He can hope for the saint and he can continue to be a sinner. If you want to be a sinner, you need some hope against your being a sinner. If you don’t have any hope, it will be difficult to continue. So even those who are immoral, they need morality. And a God is needed as a central force, as a governing energy; otherwise, the whole thing will be a chaos.
And then Kant says, “Don’t deny God.” Kant has written two books, very valuable books. First he wrote one of the most valuable books of these two or three hundred years. He wrote The Critique of Pure Reason in which he says there is no God because reason cannot prove it. And that book is based on pure reason. He goes on thinking about it, goes on, and ultimately he comes to say that there is no God, because for reason it is impossible even to conceive and there is no possibility of proving the hypothesis. So he argues but he finds - he is an honest man - he finds God cannot be proved. This hypothesis is irrational, so he concludes there is no God.
Then he feels uneasy, because he was a very moral, religious man. He was one of the keenest of intellects, but a moral man, so he felt uneasy continuously for twenty years. Then he wrote a second book, The Critique of Practical Reason. The first was The Critique of Pure Reason. He followed pure reason wheresoever it led, but then it was not leading to God. For twenty years he felt uneasy. Something wrong he had done: “There is no God.” And the wrong was not that without God there is any inconvenience for Kant, but he sees that if there is no God, then for whole the world morality disappears, evaporates.