There is a possibility when you are awake to suspect, to doubt the reality that surrounds you. But when you are asleep, you cannot even doubt the existence of the dream. It is so real, it is more real than reality. Have you ever doubted any dream, thinking that perhaps what you are seeing is a dream? The moment you doubt, you are awake, and the dream is immediately finished. The dream can remain there only if you are totally asleep, so deep that no doubt, no suspicion, can arise in you.
But to those who have understood both life and death as nothing but two aspects of one reality, the dream and the so-called reality of your waking consciousness are not basically different. Just as in the morning you wake up and the dream life is finished, one day in death you wake up into another reality and all that was real up to then – for seventy years – becomes just a dream. Not even a trace of it is left anywhere in your consciousness.
Death is a constant reminder that, “I can come any moment. Be prepared.” And what is the preparation? The preparation is: live life so totally, so intensely, be so aflame with it that when death comes there is no complaint, there is no grudge. You are absolutely ready because you have lived life so totally, you have known all its mysteries – there is no point in living anymore. Death has come exactly at the right time, when you may have thought to die yourself. I call that death perfect which comes at the moment when you yourself may have thought, “It is enough.”
Death comes and you understand that life has been lived totally, so now there is no point to go on breathing and go on waking and sleeping unnecessarily – because nothing new is going to happen. Now everything is past and there is no future. In such a moment, death is a welcome guest. And unless you are ready to welcome death, know well that you have missed life. Those who feel sadness and fear about death are the people who have missed the train. But in our unconsciousness, we are all continuously missing the train. The train is moving every moment, just in front of you, but somehow you go on missing.
I have told you about those three professors, all belonging to the Department of Philosophy. And they were talking, standing on the platform. They had come to send one of them off for a long journey, to give him a send-off. But they got so involved in their talking and discussions that the train left. It was only when the last compartment was moving just in front of them that they all three became aware. They all ran. Two jumped into the compartment, one could not.
An old man, a porter on the railway station, was watching the whole scene. And this man standing there was looking so sad that the old man said, “I can understand that you missed the train, but don’t be worried, because within two hours another train will be coming.”
He said, “I am not worried about myself. I am worried about those two fellows who have entered the compartment. They had come to send me off…” But such was the rush – and everything had to be done so quickly.