You change houses. If you get too identified with one house, then changing the house will be very painful. You will think that you are dying because the old house was what you were – that was your identity. But this doesn’t happen, because you know that you are only changing the house, you remain the same. Those who have looked within themselves, those who have found who they are, come to know an eternal, non-ending process. Life is a process, timeless, beyond time. Death is part of it.
Death is a continuous revival: a help to life to resurrect again and again, a help to life to get rid of old forms, to get rid of dilapidated buildings, to get rid of old confining structures so that again you can flow and you can again become fresh and young, and you can again become virgin.
I have heard:
A man was browsing through an antique shop near Mount Vernon and ran across a rather ancient-looking axe.
“That’s a mighty old axe you have there,” he said to the shop owner.
“Yes,” said the man, “it once belonged to George Washington.”
“Really?” said the customer. “It certainly stood up well.”
“Of course,” said the antique dealer, “it has had three new handles and two new heads.”
But that’s how life is – it goes on changing handles and heads. In fact it seems that everything goes on changing and yet something remains eternally the same. Just watch. You were a child – what has remained of that now? Just a memory. Your body has changed, your mind has changed, your identity has changed. What has remained of your childhood? Nothing has remained, just a memory. You cannot even make a distinction between whether it really happened or you had seen a dream, or you had read it in a book, or somebody has told you about it – whether the childhood was yours or somebody else’s? Sometimes have a look at the album of old photographs. Just see, this was you. You will not be able to believe it, you have changed so much. In fact everything has changed – handles and heads and everthing has changed. And still, deep down, somewhere, something remains a continuity; a witnessing remains continuous.
There is a thread, howsoever invisible. Everything goes on changing. That invisible thread remains the same. That thread is beyond life and death. Life and death are two wings for that which is beyond life and death. That which is beyond goes on using life and death as two wheels of a cart, complementaries. It lives through life; it lives through death. Death and life are its processes, like inhalation, exhalation.
But something in you is transcendental. That art thou…that is transcendental.
But we are too identified with the form – that creates the ego. That’s what we call ‘I’. Of course the ‘I’ has to die many times. It is constantly in fear, trembling, shaking, always afraid, protecting, securing.