The first question:
I am afraid of death, yet at the same time it has an incredible attraction for me. What does it mean?
Death is the greatest mystery of life. Life has many mysteries, but there is nothing comparable to death. Death is the climax, the crescendo. One is afraid of it because one will be lost, one will dissolve in it. One is afraid of it because of the ego – the ego cannot survive death. It will be left on this shore when you start moving towards the other; it cannot go with you.
And the ego is all that you know about yourself, hence the fear, great fear: “I will not exist in death.” But there is great attraction too. The ego will be lost, but not your reality. In fact, death will reveal to you your true identity; death will take away all your masks and will reveal your original face.
Death will for the first time make it possible for you to encounter your innermost, interiormost subjectivity as it is, without any camouflage, without any pretense, without any pseudo personality.
Hence, everybody is afraid of death and everybody is attracted. This attraction was misunderstood by Sigmund Freud and he thought that there is a death wish in man – he called it thanatos. He said, “Man has two basic, fundamental instincts: one is eros – a deep desire to live, to be alive forever, a desire for immortality – and the other is thanatos, the desire to die, to be finished with it all.” He misunderstood the whole point because he was not a mystic. He knew only one face of death – that it ends life. He knew only one thing – that death is an end. He was not aware that death is also a beginning. Each end is always a beginning, because nothing ever ends totally, nothing can ever end. Everything continues, only forms change.
Your form will die, but you have something formless in you too. Your body will not be there, but you have something in you, within your body, which is not part of your body. Your earthly part will drop into the earth, dust unto dust, but you have something of the sky in you, something of the beyond, which will take a new journey, a new pilgrimage.
Death creates fear if you think of the ego, and death appeals to you, attracts you, if you think of your true self. So vaguely one remains attracted towards death; if you become clearly aware of it, it can become a transforming understanding, it can become a mutant force.