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Chapter 14: The Great Death

The experience of the Lord of Death brings him to the logical conclusion that the ultimate reality must be frightening, because all must dissolve in it. Only the void will remain, only emptiness will be left. Instead of your separate existence there will be only emptiness. The ultimate reality will dissolve you absolutely.

This is a statement of the Lord of Death, so naturally it is incomplete. If the Lord of Birth were to say something, that would also be incomplete. But the enlightened ones, those who have known both birth and death, will make both statements: they will say either that the divine is both, the embodiment of fear and of love, or they will say that the divine is neither of the two. It will appear to be loving or fierce according to your projection. And the second view is closer to the truth.

The ultimate reality is simply neutral. According to whatever your mental state is, you project and then you see your own projections. Your mind, your thoughts, your instincts, your psychological conditioning, your understanding, all give it a different color and form. But the ultimate is colorless and formless. It is neither the embodiment of fear nor of love. It is impartial. It seems to be fearsome because you are afraid of disappearing, but if you are ready to dissolve and disappear, then the divine will appear to you as the embodiment of love.

To Jesus the divine was the embodiment of love, so he defined it as love. Jesus was ready to die; even on the cross he was not at all afraid of death. He was ready to die so easily on the cross that the cross became a symbol of Jesus, that death is acceptable as a natural phenomenon. And this is why to Jesus the divine appeared as love. Your divine is the projection of your mind. Your divine is your own creation; you create your own concept.

In my vision, the divine is neither of the two: it is a vast, formless, empty, void.existence. We see ourselves in it, so as man grows spiritually his experience of the divine will also change.

Actually, the divine never changes - it is as it is. It is your concept about it, your view, your vision which goes on changing. Different ages have different concepts about the divine. Different tribes, different castes have different concepts of the divine. Different individuals also have different visions and different representations of the divine.

But the divine is one, and everyone sees it from different perspectives and projects their different meanings. As long as you see any meaning in the divine you should know that you have not realized the truth; you are seeing your own reflection. The day you cease to find any meaning in the divine and there are no reflections there - the mirror is empty, nothing can be seen in it and only emptiness remains - then understand that what you are realizing now is the truth, it is not the projection of your mind.

This is why Buddha calls the ultimate truth shunya, emptiness. Unless for you the ultimate truth becomes emptiness, know well that you are projecting yourself on it. But it is quite natural for man to do this, and it is natural for Yama also.

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