When you look at death, it makes you understand the importance of the moment when you have life and death in front of you, and you witness seeing someone deteriorating in front of you – it’s an overwhelming experience. If you don’t learn from that, I don’t know what else you’re gonna learn.
– Mickalene Thomas
Alexander And Immortality
There is a story about Alexander the Great, that he was in search to find something which can make him immortal. Everybody is in search of something like that, and when Alexander is in search, he will find it — he was such a powerful man. He searched and searched, and once he reached to the cave where some wise man has told him that, “If you drink the water of that cave — there is a stream in the cave — you will become immortal.” Alexander must have been foolish. All Alexanders are foolish, otherwise he should have asked the wise man whether he had drunk from that stream or not. He didn’t ask; he was in such a hurry. And who knows? — he may not be able to reach the cave, and before he dies… so he rushed.
He reached to the cave. Inside it, he was very happy: crystal clear the water was there; he had never seen such a water. And he was going to drink the water… suddenly a crow who was sitting in the cave said, “Stop! Don’t do it. I have done and I am suffering.” Alexander looked at the crow and said, “What are you saying? You have drunk, and what is the suffering?” He said, “Now I cannot die and I want to die. Everything is finished. I have known everything that life can give. I have known love and I have grown out of it. And I have known success; I was a king of crows, and now I am fed up, and I have known everything that can be known. And everybody I knew has died; they have gone back to rest, and I cannot rest. I have tried all efforts to commit suicide, but everything fails. I cannot die because I have drunk from this condemned cave. It is better that nobody knows about it. Before you drink, you meditate on my condition — and then you can drink.” It is said Alexander for the first time thought about it, and came back without drinking from that cave and that stream.
Life will be simply unbearable if there is no death. Love will be unbearable if there is no opposite to it. If you cannot separate from your beloved it will be unbearable; the whole thing will become so monotonous, it will create boredom. Life exists with the opposites — that’s why it is so interesting.
Life and death are one thread, the same line viewed from different sides.
– Lao Tzu