That’s why I say death will have to be lived, it will have to be known, it will have to be seen. You will have to fall in love with it; you will have to look into its eyes. And as soon as a man looks into death’s eyes, begins to watch it, penetrate into it, he feels astounded. To his great amazement, he realizes, “What a great mystery lies hidden in death! What I knew as death and kept running away from, actually conceals within itself the source of supreme life.” Hence I say to you: enter into death willingly so that you may reach life.
There is an incredible saying of Jesus. Jesus has said, “The one who will save himself will perish; and the one who will efface himself – no one can ever destroy him. One who will lose himself shall find, and one who will save himself shall be lost.” If a seed wishes to save itself, it will rot – what else? And if a seed annihilates itself in the earth, disappears, it will become a tree. The death of the seed becomes life for the tree. If the seed were to protect itself by saying, “I am scared. I could die. I don’t want to disappear. Why should I disappear?” then the seed is bound to rot. In that case, it will not even remain a seed, let alone grow into a tree. We shrink with fear of death.
I would like to say one more thing that may not have occurred to you before. Only one who is afraid of death has ego, because ego means a constricted personality, a solid knot. One who has fear of death shrinks within. Anyone in fear has to shrink inside, and whatever shrinks turns into a knot. A complex is created inside the person.
The feeling of “I” is the feeling of a man afraid of death. The man who penetrates death, who is not afraid of death, who does not run away from it, who begins to live it – his “I” disappears, his ego disappears. And when the ego disappears only life remains. We can put it this way: only the ego dies, not the soul. But since we continue to remain egos, a great difficulty is created. In fact, only the ego can die; only the ego has a death – because it is false. It will have to die. But we are holding on to it.
For example, a wave rises in an ocean. If the wave wants to survive as a wave, it cannot; it is bound to die. How can a wave survive as a wave? It will die. Unless, of course, it becomes ice. If it contracts, becomes solid, then it can survive. But still, in that sort of survival the wave is no more and the ice remains – ice which is a wave, closed, broken away from the ocean. Remember, as a wave it is not apart from the ocean, it is one with the ocean. As ice, it parts from the ocean, it separates, it becomes solid. In it, the wave has contracted; it has become frozen.