Osho on ‘Death’
Why are people so afraid of death? Do you think they are really afraid of death? You may not have meditated over it. Nobody is afraid of death — because how can you be afraid of something which you have not seen yet? You cannot be afraid of something which is unknown, you can only be afraid of something which is known. A child is not afraid of catching hold of a snake, a child is not afraid of putting his hand into the fire. Why is he not afraid? Because he does not know! How can he be afraid of the snake? He has no past experience, no bitter experience. How can he be afraid of the flame? — he has never been burned before. How can you be afraid of death? You don’t know anything about death. Who knows? It may be a beautiful rest. Who knows? It may take you to a higher plane of life. Who knows? It may give you freedom from your body. Who knows? How can you be afraid of death? No, nobody is afraid of death; let me say it clearly.
But you will say everybody is afraid of death, I know. There is something else in it: people are not afraid of death, they are afraid of losing their separation, they are afraid of losing their ego. Once you start feeling separate from existence the fear of death arises because then death seems to be dangerous. You will no longer be separate; what will happen to your ego, your personality? And you have cultivated the personality with such care, with such great effort; you have polished it your whole life, and death will come and destroy it.
If you understand, if you see, if you can feel and experience that you are not separate from existence, that you are one with it, all fear of death disappears because there is nobody to die inside you. In the first place there is nobody at all, existence lives through you.
Saint Paul says, “Not I, but Christ lives through me.” And Christ says, “Not I, but God lives through me.” They are expressing their non-separation, they are declaring that they are one with existence.
Once you know that you are one with existence there is no death possible. For death to be possible first you have to create a private, personal life; then death becomes possible. You make death possible by creating the ego; and the stronger the ego, the more will be the fear of death. Hence the most egoistic person is very very prone… deep down, trembling, afraid of death. The less the ego the less the fear of death.
That’s why small children are not afraid of death — their egos are not yet born. Animals are not afraid of death, they simply die; when death comes they die. When birth comes they are here, when death comes they are gone.
A person of true consciousness will come like the wind and will go like the wind. He will not leave any traces anywhere. He will not struggle with death, because he will not struggle with life itself. He will allow life to flow through him and he will allow death also to flow through him. Life is God’s and death is God’s; life is a manifestation, death is a rest.
And remember, if the fear of death disappears then all other fears disappear automatically, because all other fears are nothing but by-products of the main, basic fear — the fear of death. Go into any of your fears and ultimately you will come to the rock-bottom, and that will be the fear of death.”
Osho, The Guest, Ch 1