Aids confronts us with the immediacy of our death. Our seriousness seems to create more disease and paranoia. Instead of feeling like victims, how can we respond through celebration?
Death is always there. You may be unaware of it, but it is always confronting you with immediacy. You cannot be certain of the next moment.
But we go on living – and nobody believes that he is going to die; it is always the other who dies. You have seen people dying, many people of all kinds – children, young people, old people – but you have never seen yourself dying. So obviously somewhere in your mind the idea persists that it is always the other who dies. But remember, those who are dead also had the same idea; for them you are the other. And one day you will be dying, and the people who will take you to the graveyard will not feel at all the immediacy of death.
It is always there – just like a shadow to you. From the very first moment of your birth you have been dying. It is a fallacy to think that death comes like an accident, suddenly when you are seventy, eighty, ninety. No. Death and life are together. The moment you are born you start dying.
But man is very clever in deceiving himself.
Each of your birthdays is an effort to forget that it is not your birthday, it is your death day; you have died one year more. But with flowers and candles and cakes, one forgets the immediacy of death. It is always with you.
Birth is the beginning of death.
So AIDS in fact should not make you serious; on the contrary it should make you more alert, more aware, because you are a rare person for whom death is a certainty, and you cannot deceive yourself anymore.
Many who do not have AIDS will be dying before you, but their death will be coming without their knowing. And to know is always better than not to know. Something can be done when you know a fact is going to happen.
The AIDS patient knows that within two years he is going to die. This immediacy of death should wake you up. Now there is no more time for you to fool around, no time for you to deceive yourself. Death is just there waiting for you, and you are fortunate that you know it.
Knowing of your death can become a transformation.
If you know you are going to die within two years, these two years can be devoted to meditation. Otherwise people are always postponing; they will meditate tomorrow – and tomorrow never comes. And there are so many other things to do, you don’t have time for meditation.
But a man who is fully aware that now there is no way, that tomorrow is finished, all that you have in your hands is this moment…. This is the reality, AIDS or no AIDS, but AIDS makes it very profoundly felt, and that can become a blessing in disguise. The time for meditation has come. Now you can forget those small, stupid things in which you were involved.