I say you are blessed to know – because everybody is going to die, but because it is unknown when, where, people go on living under the illusion that they are going to live forever. They always see others dying. That logically supports their standpoint that “It is always the other who dies. I never die.” You must have seen many people dying, giving you a strong support, a rational background that it is always the other who dies. And when you die you will not know, you will be unconscious – you will miss the opportunity of knowing death. Those who have known death are unanimous in their opinion that it is the greatest orgasmic experience of life.
But people die unconsciously. It is good that there are diseases which are predictable. Cancer means that you have known seven days before – or seven months, whatever the time may be – that death is coming closer each moment. These seven days are not allowed to everybody. Cancer seems to be something you must have earned in your past life – because J. Krishnamurti died of cancer, Ramana Maharshi died of cancer, Ramakrishna died of cancer. Strange…three enlightened people who are not mythological, who have lived just now, died of cancer. It seems to be something spiritual!
It certainly has a spiritual dimension. I am not saying that all those who die of cancer are enlightened beings, but they can become enlightened beings more easily than anybody else because others go on living under the illusion that they are going to live; there is no hurry. Meditation can be postponed – tomorrow, the day after tomorrow. What is the hurry? And there are more urgent things which have to be done today. Meditation is never urgent because death is never urgent.
For the man who comes to know that cancer is going to strike him within seven days, everything in life becomes meaningless. All urgencies disappear. He was thinking of making a beautiful palace; the very idea disappears. He was thinking to fight the next election; the whole idea disappears. He was worried about the third world war; he is no longer worried. It doesn’t matter to him. What happens after him does not matter – he has only seven days to live.
If he is a little alert in those seven days he can live seventy years or seven hundred years or the whole eternity – because now meditation becomes a priority, love becomes a priority: dance, rejoicing, experiencing beauty, which were never priorities before.
This week, the full-moon night will be a priority because he will never see the full-moon again. This is his last full-moon. He has lived for years. Moons have come and gone, and he has never bothered about it; but now he has to take it seriously. This is the last moon, this is the last chance to love, this is the last chance to be, this is the last chance to experience all that is beautiful in life.
And he has no energy anymore for anger, for fighting. He can postpone; he can say, “After a week I will see you in court, but this week let me be on a holiday.”
Yes, in the beginning you will feel sadness, despair, that life is slipping out of your hands. But it is always slipping out of your hands whether you know it or not. It is slipping out of everybody else’s hands whether he knows it or not. You are fortunate that you know it.