L et us first dispose of the urge to escape from the fact of death through some form of belief, such as reincarnation or resurrection, or through easy rationalization. The mind is so eager to find a reasonable explanation of death, or a satisfying answer to this problem, that it easily slips into some kind of illusion. Of this, one has to be extremely watchful.But isn’t that one of our greatest difficulties? We crave for some kind of assurance especially from those whom we consider to have knowledge or experience in this matter; and when we can’t find such an assurance we bring, out of despair and hope, our own comforting beliefs and theories. So belief, the most outrageous or the most reasonable, becomes a necessity.’
However gratifying an escape may be, it does not in any way ensure the understanding of the problem. That very flight is the cause of fear. Fear comes in the movement away from the fact. Belief, however comforting, has in it the seed of fear. One shuts oneself off from the fact of death because one doesn’t want to look at it, and beliefs and theories offer an easy way out.
So if the mind is to discover the significance of death it must discard easily without resistance, the craving for some hopeful comfort. Is there despair when there is not that state which we call hope? The mind must approach death with a new awareness in which the familiar, the recognising process, is absent.
But is it possible — without resistance, morbidity, a suicidal urge, and while fully alive — to enter the house of death? This is possible only when the mind dies to the known, to the self. So our problem is not death, but for the mind to free itself from the centuries of psychological experience from mounting memory, the strengthening, refining of the self.