In the East particularly, death is respected more than life – and the East has lived long to come to this conclusion. In the West life is more respected than death; hence so much tension, so much worry and so much anguish, so much madness.
Why? If you respect life more, you will be afraid of death, and then death will look antagonistic, the enemy; and if death is the enemy you will remain tense your whole life, because death can happen any moment. You don’t accept it, you reject it – but you cannot destroy it. Death cannot be destroyed. You can reject it; you can deny it; you can be afraid, scared, but it is there, just at the corner, always with you like a shadow. You will be trembling your whole life – and you are trembling. And in the fear, in all fears if searched deeply, you will find the fear of death.
Whenever you are afraid, something has given you an indication of death. If your bank goes bankrupt and you are filled with fear and trembling, anxiety – that too is anxiety about death, because your bank balance was nothing but a security against death. Now you are more open, vulnerable. Now who will protect you if death knocks at the door? If you become ill, if you become old, then who is going to take care of you? The guarantee was there in the bank, and the bank has gone bankrupt.
You cling to prestige, power, position, because when you have a position you are so significant that you are more protected by people. When you are not in power, you become so impotent that nobody bothers in any way who you are. When you are in power you have friends, family, followers; when you are not in power, everybody leaves. There was a protection, somebody was there to care; now nobody cares. Whatsoever you are afraid of, if you search deeply you will always find the shadow of death somewhere.
You cling to a husband, you are afraid he may leave; or you cling to a wife, afraid she may leave you. What is the fear? Is it really the fear of a divorce, or is it a fear of death? It is a fear of death…because in divorce you become alone. The other gives a protection, a feeling that you are not alone, somebody else is with you. In moments when somebody else will be needed, you will have somebody to look to. But the wife has left, or the husband has left, and now you are left alone, a stranger. Who will protect you? Who will care for you when you are ill?
When people are young they do not need a wife or a husband so much, but when they are old their need is more. When you are young it is a sexual relationship. The older you become the more it becomes a life relationship, because now if the other leaves you, immediately death is there. Wherever you are afraid, try to explore, and you will find death hiding somewhere behind. All fear is of death. Death is the only fear source.