There are only two types of people in the world: those who understand that every moment life is at risk, hence they do something, and those who are absolutely unaware that death can strike any moment and take away their whole future – all their dreams, all their imaginations, all that they were thinking they were going to do tomorrow.
Death does only one thing:
It takes away your tomorrow.
A man who has entered in this affair of the search leaves tomorrow himself; he does not wait for death to take it away. He has no tomorrow. He has only this moment, and he has to concentrate himself into this moment, without holding anything back. In this crystallization is the great happening of enlightenment.
Now that you have taken up this affair…
Certainly you are here, so these words are actually addressed to you; they are not addressed to somebody fictitious. Being with me means you have taken up this great affair, that you are no more just an ordinary human being but a seeker, that you are ready to risk everything to find the secret of existence.
…you must steadfastly make yourself thoroughgoing.
Do everything as if there is no time left, as if this is the last moment to do it; so do it fully, completely, without postponing, without saying, “There is no hurry. Something can be done today, something can be done tomorrow.”
Don’t live in installments: that is the meaning of being thoroughgoing. It means don’t be American! Don’t live in installments; live totally now, as if tomorrow does not exist. In fact it does not exist; it is only our idea, it is our laziness. It is our reluctance to put ourselves totally at risk, now. We say, “What is the hurry?” – we find a thousand and one excuses for postponing, particularly the great affair.
Gautam Buddha was dying and a man came running. Buddha had passed by his village thirty times in his forty-two years of wandering; his village was kind of a crossroad. Buddha had passed by the side of his house and had stayed outside the village thirty times – and this man had always postponed. He wanted to see Buddha, he had heard so much about him, but always small excuses…a customer has come, and he is tending his shop; his wife is sick and he has to go to the physician, or something else.
But suddenly one day he heard that Gautam Buddha was outside his village and had told his disciples that now he is going to leave his body: “If you have anything to ask, you can ask. It should not be said by the coming generations that Buddha did not answer a question which was in the mind of one of his disciples. For forty-two years I have been answering you, but perhaps there may be some questions still. Before I leave the body, I want to answer them all.”