Anything may trigger the idea of death in you – just a dry leaf falling from the tree is enough to remind you of death. Just a few days before it was so green and so young, so beautiful. It used to dance in the morning sun. What has happened?
A dying leaf falling from the tree was the cause of Lao Tzu’s enlightenment. Because seeing the dry leaf falling, he accepted his death so totally that there was no question of any fear. If this is how life functions, then there is no question of fear.
Have you ever thought about it – that death is the only certainty in life? Everything else may fail. Love may fail, money – you know what is happening in America. Nothing is certain. Just a few days ago the dollar was on top, the biggest and the strongest currency in the world. It will never be again. It has gone down the drain. There is no possibility for it to rise again. It will have to go even lower. And how proud the dollar was! And now its place has been taken by the German mark or by the Japanese yen. The Japanese yen is now the topmost, but it cannot remain at the top.
Nobody can remain at the top forever. Once you have reached the top, the next thing is to fall. How long can you balance? It is almost like in a circus, when somebody is balancing on the rope. How long? Just for a few seconds it is possible to manage it, and that too needs tremendous exercise and rehearsals. And still, the fear is there. Underneath there is the net, because even after so many rehearsals, so much practice, nobody knows – anything is possible. The rope may break, because the rope has not been trained not to break…Just any small thing: the woman who is walking may have a sneeze just in the middle of the rope. You cannot say – anything is possible. And you cannot prevent a sneeze.
Money is more visible. People believe in money more than in God. They may pretend that they believe in God more, but their actual life shows something else. But the reason is the same. Whether it is money or power or prestige or God or religion, the reason is the same. You are living in fear and you are trying to protect yourself somehow. And death is only one of the reasons that makes you aware of fear.
Love can also make you aware of fear, because love is also a kind of death. Your ego has to die, only then is love possible. It is a very partial death, but still something close to death. Hence people talk about love, but are very afraid of love. They talk about love because they feel very lonely. That loneliness creates fear.
Man is really in great trouble. The old proverb is right which says, “Life is not just a bed of roses.” It is not. Such great dilemmas! Loneliness creates fear. Out of that fear you want to be in love, to be intimate with someone so that your loneliness disappears. But as you come closer to somebody…Again, another fear – that you may be lost.