“If you can’t do any better than that,” said the foreman, “I’m gonna have to fire you.”
“I think-a I got it wrong,” said the Italian. “My wife, she’s in-a bed having a push chair.”
“That’s it, wise guy,” shouted the foreman, “You are fired!”
The Italian went home and asked his wife, “Hey, what was wrong with you yesterday?”
“I told-a you, I had-a miscarriage.”
“I knew it was-a something with-a wheels-a on it.”
There are misunderstandings piled upon misunderstandings in you. Some misunderstandings can be tremendously harmful. Getting the association of meditation and death identified in your mind is one of the greatest harms that you can do to yourself. Although you are not wrong, your associations with the meaning of death are such that they will prevent you from getting into meditation.
That is one of the reasons I want to make death more and more associated with celebration rather than with mourning, more and more associated with a change, a new beginning, rather than just a full stop, an end. I want to change the association. That will clear the way for meditativeness.
And if you are feeling, here with me, silent and meditative – still alive, more alive than ever – then there is no need to be afraid. Try it in different situations, and you will always find it a source of great healing, a source of great well-being, a source of great wisdom…a source of great insight into life and its mysteries.
When someone like Nietzsche or Gertrude Stein dies – a genius who would probably have become enlightened if they had met a master – what sort of consciousness do they carry into the next life, and what was it that in their previous lives allowed them to experience such a huge potential, such a great flowering, and such a great knack? Was it the idea of wanting to go their own way without a master?
There are many things in your question. First, you ask, “When someone like Nietzsche or Gertrude Stein dies – a genius who would probably have become enlightened if they had met a master – what sort of consciousness do they carry into the next life?
The first thing to be understood is that consciousness has nothing to do with genius. Everybody can be a Gautam Buddha. Everybody cannot be a Michelangelo, everybody cannot be a Friedrich Nietzsche.