For example, a man sets out from Dwarka for Calcutta. The very first step he takes will be as much to reach Calcutta as his last step. The final step will be as instrumental in bringing him to Calcutta as the initial step. And if the initial step can’t bring him to Calcutta, the last step cannot either. This means that when he took his first step toward Calcutta, he began to reach Calcutta. With each step Calcutta drew nearer and nearer. You may perhaps say he took six months to arrive at Calcutta, but the fact is that it is only because he had started to arrive six months ago that he could arrive six months later.
The second thing I would like to say to you is: don’t think that death is somewhere in the future, death is present every moment. And what is future? It is the sum total of all of our presents. We keep on adding to it. It is just like when we heat water. At the first degree the water warms up, but it hasn’t turned into steam yet. And the same is the case when it heats up two degrees. The water will turn into steam when it heats to a hundred degrees; however, it started moving closer to becoming steam at the first degree, and then at the second, and the third and so on. But even when it’s at ninety-nine degrees the water does not turn into steam; that will only happen when it reaches one hundred.
Has it ever occurred to you that the hundredth degree is also a degree, just as the first degree is also a degree? The journey from the ninety-ninth degree to the hundredth degree is the same as from the first to the second degree; there is no difference. So the one who knows will warn you at the very first degree that the water will turn into steam – although you never see water turning into steam anywhere. Of course, he may say the water is heating up, but where is it turning into steam? We can delude ourselves up to the ninety-ninth degree that the water is still not turning into steam, but at the hundredth degree it is bound to become steam. Each degree will keep bringing the boiling point closer.
Hence, it is meaningless to try to save yourself from death, or to postpone it by saying that death is in the future. Death is happening every moment; we are dying every day. In fact, there is virtually no difference between what we call living, and dying. What we call living is just another name for dying gradually. I don’t say think about the future, I say watch what is already happening now. I am not asking you to think, even.
This friend has asked, “Why think of death?” I don’t say to think. Thinking will lead you nowhere. Remember this: no fact can ever be known by thinking. Actually, thinking is a tactful means of falsifying facts. Looking at a flower, if you begin thinking about it you will never know the flower, because the more you move into thinking about it, the further it will be removed from you. You will move ahead in your thoughts while the flower will remain lying there. What has the flower to do with what you are thinking? A flower is a fact. If you want to know a flower, don’t think about it – look at the flower.