We should be aware that whatever we know at present is nothing but death – and it is this knowing about death that leads to immortality. The body dies, it is dying each moment, but becoming aware of this body, by waking up to an awareness of this mortal vessel, we begin to experience that which is not the body. To know that which is not the body, is to know life in its reality; and because it is never born it never dies. This reality existed before your birth and it will continue to exist after your death. This is life. Life is not a span between birth and death – on the contrary, birth and death are just episodes within it.
During meditation, when the mind is quiet and empty, something that is different and apart from the body is seen. It is not seen when the mind is restless, just as one cannot look into the depths of a lake when there are ripples on the surface. And so, because of the continuous current of thought-waves rippling on the mind, what is hidden under them remains hidden – and we take the surface to be the whole truth. The body, which is only one’s dwelling place, seems to be all and everything. It creates the illusion that the body is one’s whole existence and life. One takes oneself to be just the body and nothing more. This identification with the body, this illusion of being one with the body does not allow us to know the real life, and we look upon the gradual process of dying that is taking place within the realm of time as life. This is the same kind of mistake you would make if you looked upon the construction and destruction of your house as your own birth and death.
This darkness disappears with the advent of peace and tranquillity of the mind. The illusion created by mental unrest is dispelled by tranquillity. What was hidden by the waves is revealed by wavelessness. And then for the first time we know the inhabitant of this house called the body. As soon as we know this inhabitant, death stops being anything more than the casting off of old clothes, and birth a putting on of new ones. And then the life which is transcendental to all clothes is known. The only man I call alive is one who knows this kind of life, otherwise all else are dead. Those who have taken the body to be their being are all still dead. Their real lives are yet to begin. They are in a dream, asleep, in a fainting stupor.
Without waking from this unconsciousness – without waking from this unconsciousness about the body – man will never be able to know his own self, his being, his basis, his very life. The world is full of the dead, the living dead, and the majority of people die without ever having lived. They become busy only in protecting themselves against death and in this busyness they never come to know that which is within them, that which is deathless, that which never dies.
Hearing your words I can see that I am dead. What should I do to find life?
My friend, if you see only because of my words it is of no value. Let go of words – mine and others as well – and then look. You should be able to see it yourself. That seeing itself will become a path leading you to life and then you won’t have to ask, “What should I do to find life?”