Osho speaks about the difference between ordinary suicide – that is not really suicide, you simply change the body – and the ultimate suicide, where you will never be born again, when you disappear into the cosmos.
Death is difficult, very difficult. Have you watched it? Except man, no animal can commit suicide. It is not possible for any animal even to think about committing suicide. Have you thought about it? Have you heard of any tree committing suicide, any animal committing suicide? No. Only man, man’s intelligence, can make it possible that a man can commit suicide.
And I am not talking about ordinary suicide – because that is not really suicide, you simply change the body – I am talking of the ultimate suicide. Once you die the way I am teaching you to die, you will never be born again in life. You will disappear into the cosmos, you will not have any form any more, you will become the formless.
I have heard:
The man was charged with trespassing on the farmer’s property and shooting quail. The Counsel for Defense tried to confuse the farmer. ‘Now,’ he asked, ‘are you prepared to swear that this man shot your quail?’
‘I didn’t say he shot them,’ was the reply. ‘I said I suspected him of doing it.’
‘Ah, now we are coming to it. What made you suspect this man?’
‘Well,’ replied the farmer, ‘firstly, I caught him on my land with a shotgun. Secondly, I heard a gun go off and saw some quail fall. Thirdly, I found four quail in his pocket, and you can’t tell me them birds just flew in there and committed suicide.’
Only man is capable of committing suicide. That is the glory of man. Only man can be capable enough to think that life is not worth living, only man is capable enough to reflect that this life is simply futile. Ordinarily when people commit suicide, they don’t do it because they have understood life’s futility, they do it only because they have understood this life’s futility – and they are hoping that in another life somewhere else things will be better.
The spiritual suicide means that a man has come to understand that not only this life is futile, but life as such is futile. Then he starts thinking of how to get rid of being born again and again, how to get rid of getting into the tunnel of the body and of being confined and encased; then he starts thinking of how to remain absolutely free without any form. This is what moksha is, this is what liberation is – or you can call it salvation.
A man can never be happy in the body because it is such a confinement. All around are walls; you are forced into a prison. It does not look like a prison because the prison walks with you – wherever you go it goes with you, so you don’t feel that it is like a prison. Once you have known a life without the body, once you have become capable of getting out of the body – even for a single split moment – then you will see how you are confined, how you are imprisoned.
The body is a bondage, the mind is a bondage, but, you have to understand – I cannot force you free. Remember one thing: you can be forced into bondage from the outside, but you cannot be forced into freedom from the outside. Somebody can force you into a prison cell, but nobody can take you out of a prison cell. If you want to remain in a prison cell, you will find some other prison cell somewhere else. You may escape from one prison, but you will get into another – from the frying pan into the fire. You can easily change your prisons, but that doesn’t make any difference. That’s what everybody has been doing for millennia. Each life you have been in a prison – sometimes a man, sometimes a woman, sometimes black, sometimes white, sometimes Indian, sometimes Chinese, sometimes American. You have moved in all the forms possible.
When people come to me and I look into them, it is surprising how many forms they have moved in, how many bodies, how many shapes they have lived in, how many names and religions and countries… and still they are not fed up. And they go on repeating the old circle again and again.
Osho, The Art of Dying, Ch 6, Q 2 (excerpt)