The second question:
Why is the ultimate experience hard to attain? It seems to me that it is part of nature’s intention to make it very difficult and to require man to go through ages of development before he reaches it. Isn’t there a divine purpose why it takes him so long to reach?
It is not! It is not hard to attain. It is very easy. But because it is so easy, it has become hard. The ego is always interested in whatsoever is hard to attain because then the ego feels a challenge. The ego is not interested in doing whatsoever is easy; that is the problem. The ego is not interested in doing meditation; that is the only reason why it appears to be so hard.
It is so easy – but so easy that there is no challenge in it. No ambition can be fulfilled through it; you cannot attain to any worldly power through it; you cannot attain to any worldly prestige through it. Really, you do not attain anything in the world which is visible. Rather, on the contrary, you go on losing and finally you lose yourself. It is hard because you are not ready to lose yourself; it is easy if you are ready to lose yourself. In a single moment it can happen. Otherwise, you will take lives and lives and lives and it will not happen.
The question is not of time; the question is deeper. The question is whether you are ready to lose yourself. But you can ask, “Why is it so hard to lose? Why are people not ready to lose more easily?” There is a reason, and the reason is that losing oneself appears to be deathlike and no one wants to die. Everyone wants to live – to live more. Everyone wants to avoid death.
Of course, no one can avoid it. No one ever succeeds in avoiding it. Death occurs. Death is the only certainty. All else is uncertain in life. Only death is certain. Death will happen whether you are trying to avoid it or not. You cannot escape it. In a sense it had already happened the moment you were born. Half of it has already happened and the other half will follow. And these two halves cannot be divided.
Buddha says again and again, “Once born, you will have to die” – because you have entered death with your birth, it is an entry. You are already dead in a way. You have already started to die. The moment you are born, you have started to die. Your death process has started.