There was an ancient mysterious wall which stood at the edge of a village, and whenever anyone climbed the wall to look onto the other side, instead of coming back he or she smiled and would jump to the other side, never to return.

The inhabitants of the village became curious as to what could draw these people to

the other side of the wall. After all, their village had all the necessities of living a comfortable life.

They made an arrangement to where they would tie a person’s feet, so that when he or she looked over and wished to jump, they could be pulled back.

The next time someone tried to climb the wall to see what was on the other side, they chained her feet so that she could not go over. She looked on the other side and was delighted at what she saw, and smiled.

Those standing below grew curious to question her and pulled her back, but to their great disappointment she had lost the power of speech.

“Those who have Seen cannot say. That which has been Seen cannot be painted, cannot be reduced to words. But still each one has to give a try – and the world goes on becoming more and more beautiful because of these efforts.”

Die As Ego

Life is a mystery, not a riddle. It has to be lived, not solved.

Whosoever has seen the other side of the Mysterious Wall has seen Mystery of Life. As soon as they saw Life as Mystery they died as an ego or became silent.

Death of the ego is the birth of the soul: When the question arises, “Who am I?” Either we try to avoid this question by involving in some activity or we get afraid. Fear arises in us.

THIS QUESTION MAKES EVERYBODY AFRAID. It is nothing exceptional; it is absolutely the case with everybody. Whoever wants to go deep into the question, into the quest, of “Who am I?” is bound to feel fear at a certain point. Why? Because there comes a point where you cross the boundary of the ego and enter into the world of egolessness. That point is the point of great fear – because it looks like death. And, in fact, it is a kind of death: the ego disappears.

And up to now that has been your identity. Up to now that’s what you have been thinking you are. And suddenly it starts evaporating. A great fear grips the heart: “I am dying!” because your identity is dying. You are not really dying; in fact, you are being born. It is a rebirth, it is a true birth. It is like the seed dying into the soil. The seed must be feeling afraid, nervous, trembling. How can the seed trust that once he is gone there will be a great tree and great flowering? The seed will not be there to witness it; no seed has ever witnessed it, so how can this seed believe and trust?

And the same happens with the ego: the ego cannot trust that there is anything more than itself And the ego is dying, and the ego starts breathing its last, and you become afraid. Many people turn back from that point, rush back out.

This is going to happen to every meditator. Hence, your question is significant, very significant. Every meditator has to encounter this situation, this challenge. Many times people come to the point from where they would have entered into God, but they could not risk, they could not gather courage. They became afraid, scared; they rushed out.

You have to take the risk. And I tell you, from my own experience, it is not death. Yes, it is a death to the ego, but the death of the ego is the birth of the soul. You will die as a drop, but you will be born as the ocean. It is worth it. You will be dying only as a limited being, as a defined being, and you will be born as undefined, undefinable.

Yes, you will disappear, with all your neurosis, psychosis. with all your tensions, anxieties, anguishes: you will disappear with all your problems, worries; you will disappear as you have known yourself up to now. But your disappearance is only a change of garments, and you will be getting closer to your reality, deeper into your reality. You will get more rooted into being. That’s the whole search!

Learning from the story Mysterious Wall: Die As Ego

Experience Learning

A question to Osho by his lawyer, late Ram Jethmalani: Beloved Master, When I am dead, am I really dead? I want to be really convinced that death is eternal sleep.

Ram Jethmalani, death is the greatest illusion. It has never happened, it can’t happen in the very nature of things. Yes, there is something which creates the illusion: death is a disconnection between the body and the soul but only a disconnection; neither the body dies nor the soul. The body cannot die because it is already dead; it belongs to the world of matter. How can a dead thing die? And the soul cannot die because it belongs to the world of eternity, God – it is life itself. How can life die?

Both are together in us. This connection becomes disconnected; the soul becomes unplugged from the body – that’s all that death is, what we call death. The body moves back to matter, to the earth; and the soul, if it still has desires, longings, starts seeking another womb, another opportunity to fulfill them. Or if the soul is finished with all desires, with all longings, then there is no longer any possibility of its coming back into a bodily form – then it moves into eternal consciousness.

Moving into eternal consciousness is a very paradoxical phenomenon: one is not and yet one is. A dewdrop slipping into the ocean is no more, in a sense – as a dewdrop it is no more; the boundary that made it a dewdrop has disappeared. But in another sense it is more than it has ever been: it has become the very ocean, its boundary has expanded to infinity, its boundary has exploded into the unbounded.

A man like Buddha becomes the universal consciousness, yet – and this is the paradox – his individuality is not lost, his consciousness is not lost.

So, Ram, I cannot say that death is eternal sleep – on the contrary, it is eternal awakening. Poets have been telling you down the ages: Death is eternal sleep – don’t be afraid. They themselves know not, they are simply giving you consolation. But what can the difference be between real death and eternal sleep? Have you ever thought about it? If sleep is eternal it is death. If it is never going to be broken then where is the difference? A corpse and an eternally asleep man are exactly the same. If the sleep is going to be forever and forever, it is death.

The primitive people are far closer to the truth: they say that sleep is a small death. They are right, because for a few hours you become completely oblivious to the world, to others, to yourself, to your body. You become completely disconnected for a few hours, then you are reconnected again. It is a small death. Sleep is a small death but not vice versa: death is not eternal sleep; if it were then what would the difference be, Ram?

If you simply want to console yourself that, “I will be eternally asleep in death,” that’s another matter. But the truth is not to console you; truth is as it is. The truth is that death has two possibilities. If you die with longing, desiring, then it brings you back into another body, because without a body you cannot make any effort to fulfill your desires.

Without the body you cannot eat food, you cannot make love; without the body you cannot become the prime minister of a country – without the body it is impossible to do anything. The body is the vehicle for doing things; gaining, journeying, reaching, arriving. Without the body you simply are; it is a state of being.

With the body you are always becoming: becoming this, becoming that, richer, more famous, more successful. Without the body all becoming ceases. Becoming is another name for desiring, so if a person dies with a deep, deep desire to become something he will be born again into another body. That is one alternative.


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