The pope lay dying. His doctor called the cardinals together and announced, “We can only save his life with a heart transplant.”
“We must tell the people,” said one of the cardinals, “perhaps a donor will volunteer to give his heart for the pontiff.”
An announcement was made and thousands gathered beneath the pope’s balcony shouting, “Take-a my heart, take-a my heart!”
The cardinals now had to decide on the person who would donate his heart to the holy father. “We will drop a feather from his holiness’ head,” said the head cardinal. “Whosoever it lands upon will be the lucky person.”
As the feather floated down from the balcony, from the multitudes below came, “Take-a my heart – phew! Take-a my heart – phew!”
It is one thing to say, “Take-a my heart,” but when it comes so close, “Phew!” Everybody wants to know his inner reality, but you will have to lose something; you will have to pay for it.
There is nothing in existence available without payment. If you want to know yourself, you will have to drop all false identities. They are your investments, they are your power, they are your prestige, they are your religion, they are your qualifications. It is difficult to drop them; it feels like death.
Certainly meditation is a death, a death of all that is false in you. And only then, that which is not false is experienced. That experience is resurrection – a new life, the birth of a new man.
I am most aware of a big fear or guilt in me when I sit with you, and I am longing so much to be totally open to you. Recently I could feel the serpent rolled up in the bottom of me, sleeping, and the door, the third chakra still closed. My heart wants to fly with you. Is there anything I can do?
What is fear? There are fears and fears; I am not talking about them. I am talking about the most fundamental fear – all other fears are faraway echoes of the basic fear – and that fear is of death. Life is surrounded by death. You see every day somebody dying – something dying; something that was alive a moment before is dead.
Each death reminds you of your own death.
It is impossible to forget your own death; every moment there is a reminder. So the first thing to be understood is that the only possibility of getting rid of fear is to get rid of death. And you can get rid of death, because death is only an idea, not a reality.