Death is already happening. Whether you face it or not, whether you look at it or not, it is already there.
“It is just like breathing. When a child is born, he inhales. He breathes in for the first time. That is the beginning of life. And when one day he becomes old, dies, he will exhale.
“Death always happens with exhalation and birth with inhalation. But exhalation and inhalation are happening continuously. With each inhalation you are born; with each exhalation you die.
“So the first thing to understand is that death is not somewhere in the future, waiting for you, as it has been always pictured. It is part of life; it is an ongoing process-not in the future, here, now.
Life and death are two aspects of existence. simultaneously happening together.
“Ordinarily, you have been taught to think of death as being against life. Death is not against life-life is not possible without death. Death is the very ground on which life exists. Death and life are like two wings: the bird cannot fly with one wing, and the being cannot be without death. So the first thing is a clear understanding of what we mean by death.
“Death is an absolutely necessary process for life to be. It is not the enemy, it is the friend. And it is not there somewhere in the future, it is here, now. It is not going to happen, it has been always happening. Since you have been here it has been with you. With each exhalation it happens-a little death, a small death-but because of fear we have put it in the future.
“The mind always tries to avoid things which it cannot comprehend, and death is one of the most incomprehensible mysteries. There are only three mysteries: life, death and love. All these three are beyond mind.
So mind takes life for granted; then there is no need to inquire. That is a way of avoiding. You never think, you never meditate on life; you have simply accepted it, taken it for granted. It is a tremendous mystery. You are alive, but don’t think that you have known life.
“For death, mind plays another trick: it postpones it. To accept it here and now would be a constant worry, so the mind puts it somewhere in the future-then there is no hurry. When it comes, we will see.
“And for love, mind has created substitutes which are not love. Sometimes you call your possessiveness your love; sometimes you call your attachment your love; sometimes you call your domination your love-these are ego games. Love has nothing to do with them. In fact, because of these games, love is not possible.
“Between life and death, between the two banks of life and death, flows the river of love. And that is possible only for a person who does not take life for granted, who moves deep into the quality of being alive and becomes existential, authentic. Love is for the person who accepts death here and now and does not postpone it. Then between these two a beautiful phenomenon arises: the river of love.
“Life and death are like two banks. The possibility is there for the river of love to flow, but it is only a possibility. You will have to materialize it. Life and death are there, but love has to be materialized-that is the goal of being a human. Unless love materializes, you have missed-you have missed the whole point of being.”
In the next part of this talk, Death Is the Only Certainty, Osho goes into more detail about why we need to understand that death is here.
Osho Bardo Meditation is an interesting method based on Tibetan Buddhist scriptures, as a relaxation into death.
To read the complete talk and see all available media formats:
Osho, Ancient Music in the Pines, Talk #8 – Life, Death and Love