Then Almitra spoke, saying, We would ask now of Death.
And he said:
You would know the secret of death.
But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.
If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.
In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;
And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.
Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is laid upon him in honor.
Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king?
Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?
For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is it to cease breathing but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.
Death is one of the most mysterious, and yet the most false thing in existence. Everybody dies, and yet I say unto you: nobody ever dies. Death is an appearance, an appearance from the outside. That’s why it is always somebody else who dies; you never die.
And the person who dies, dies only in the eyes of those who are standing outside, not – if he is aware – in his own eyes; he simply moves from life to life, ultimately melting into the whole existence.
But death has tortured man. There are many who have avoided even asking the question, just out of fear; they don’t even pronounce the name of death. And it is not only ordinary people: a man of the caliber of Sigmund Freud was so afraid that it was banned by his friends and followers: nobody was allowed to speak of death before him. Three times it happened that accidentally somebody started talking about death – and Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, fainted, became unconscious. The fear must have been very great.
We make our graveyards outside the city, so that we don’t come across the graveyard every day in the marketplace. It is out of fear.
In my childhood, I loved to go to anybody’s funeral; it didn’t matter who had died. My father and my uncles were disturbed. They said, “The man was a stranger, he was not in any way related to us. Why should you waste your time following his funeral?”