Life is man's project. We are our life's creators. God has created man, but as freedom. So there is an essential freedom inside; now it is up to you to choose what you would like to happen to you in life and then you will see that it starts happening. One thing is linked with another, one thing leads to another, and slowly slowly you have taken a certain route; then all other alternatives are dropped.
When a child is born, all the alternatives are open; he is utterly free. He can be a musician, he can be a poet, he can be a wrestler, he can be a politician -- he can be anything... an Adolf Hitler, a Gautam Buddha; anything is possible. But sooner or later choices start coming and he starts moving in a certain direction. Then that direction remains his world.
So always remember: whatsoever has happened to you, you have been the cause of it. Sometimes it hurts that you are the cause of all the misery that has happened to you; you feel sad. But there is no need to feel sad, because through it you come to an understanding, and then things need not happen the same way again to you. You can change, you can manage your life in a different way. You can live in a different way, you can be a different person, a totally different person!
And the second thing to be remembered: for whatsoever happens whether it hurts, gives pain, or whether it makes you happy -- always feel thankful, because sometimes pain is needed for growth and pleasure is not needed. So whatsoever happens, make it an opportunity to grow. Use that opportunity as a jumping board for something higher.
A friend dies -- there is pain, there is anguish and misery, but use that opportunity. Meditate on death. Everybody is going to die. So remember that death is always there; don't forget it. Your friend's death has reminded you of a very very significant phenomenon that death is there. Don't arrange your life without taking note of death -- that is the reminder in it. Maybe god has given you a message to get ready: the friend is gone, you will be gone one day, so prepare for death! One has to learn from death as much or even more than one has to learn from life, because life is small, death is vast. Life is a small affair, a seventy-year affair in which one-third will be gone in sleep, another one-third will be gone in earning bread and butter, another one-third in other stupidities.... Nothing much is left! It is not a big thing -- it is a very small phenomenon; compared to death it is nothing. Death is eternity.
And we prepare for life -- we send the children to the school and the college and the university -- for twenty-five years. If they are going to live to seventy-five, we give one-third for preparation. What preparation do we make for death? And we are going on such a long journey. What provisions are there? How are we ready for it?
So when a friend dies, it is a reminder to now become aware -- death is there, you cannot just forget it. And by forgetting, nothing is helped -- it is bound to come! Don't be like the ostrich. You can hide yourself from death but death is going to come; whether you hide or not makes no difference. In fact, if you don't hide yourself you may be better able to face it, to live it. And those who have lived death have attained to the immortal, because the immortal can be known only through death. It is only in death that one comes to see that there is something inside which never dies.
So when a friend dies, meditate over death. Think about your own life, think about the priorities again -- how you have been wasting your life. Rearrange it; give it a new style and a new shape in which death becomes a prominent thing. Let it be arranged around death, and then you have used the opportunity.
So even if sometimes you feel that things are not as they should be, use that opportunity. This is what I call the creative way of the sannyasin: using all kinds of possibilities and transforming their quality. OSHO The Madman’s Guide to enlightenment,
Nothing is an actual experience. Either you can experience it in deep meditation, or when death comes. Death and meditation are the two possibilities of experiencing it. Yes, sometimes you can experience it in love too. If you dissolve into somebody in deep love you can experience a kind of nothingness. That's why people are afraid of love -- they go only so far, then panic arises, then they are frightened. That's why very few people have remained orgasmic -- because orgasm gives you an experience of nothingness. You disappear, you melt into something and you don't know what it is. You go into the indefinable, avyakrit. You go beyond the social. You go into some unity where separation is no longer valid, where ego exists not. And it is frightening, because it is deathlike.
So it is an experience, either in love, which people have learned to avoid -- so many go on hankering for love, and go on destroying all possibilities for it because of the fear of nothingness -- or, in deep meditation when thought stops. You simply see there is nothing inside, but that nothing has a presence; it is not simply absence of thought, it is presence of something unknown, mysterious, something very huge. Or, you can experience it in death, if you are alert. People ordinarily die in unconsciousness. Because of the fear of nothingness they become unconscious. If you die consciously.... And you can die consciously only if you accept the phenomenon of death, and for that one has to learn for the whole life, prepare. One has to love to be ready to die, and one has to meditate to be ready to die. Only a man who has loved and meditated will be able to die consciously. And once you die consciously then there is no need for you to come back, because you have learned the lesson of life. Then you disappear into the whole; that is nirvana.
The logical positivists look very logical, but they miss something -- because reality is far more than logic. In ordinary experience we come only to what they say: this chair is here, this will be removed, then you will say there is no chair there. It simply indicates absence -- the chair has been removed. These are ordinary instances of nothingness: there was once a house and then it has been dismantled, it is no longer there. It is only an absence.
But there are nothingnesses deep inside your being, at the very core. At the very core of life, death exists. Death is the center of the cyclone. In love you come close to that, in meditation you come close to that, in physical death also you come close to that. In deep sleep, when dreams disappear, you come close to it. It is very life-giving, it is life-enhancing. A man who cannot sleep deeply will become ill, because it is only in deep sleep, when he dies into his deepest depth, that he regains life, energy, vitality. In the morning he is again fresh and full of zest, gusto -- vibrant, again vibrant.
Learn to die! That is the greatest art to be learned, the greatest skill there is.
Heidegger's standpoint comes very close to Buddha's, and his language is very modern, that's why I'm quoting him. He says: "Every being, so far as it is a being, is made out of nothing." There is a parallel Christian doctrine too -- very neglected, because Christian theologicians cannot manage it, it is too much. The doctrine is creatio ex nihilo: the creation is out of nothing.
If you ask the modern physicist he will agree with Buddha: the deeper you go into matter, things start disappearing. A moment comes, when the atom is divided -- thing-hood completely disappears. Then there are electrons, but they are not things anymore, they are no-things. It is very difficult to understand. But physics, modern physics, has come very close to metaphysics -- because it is coming closer and closer to reality every day. It is approaching through matter, but coming to nothing. You know matter no longer exists in modern physics. Matter is just an illusion: it only appears, it is not there. The solidity of it, the substantiality of it, is all illusion; nothing is substantial, all is flux and energy. Matter is nothing but energy. And when you go deeper into energy, energy is not a thing, it is a no-thing.
Death is the point at which knowledge fails, and we become open to being -- that has been the Buddhist experience down the ages. Buddha used to send his disciples, when somebody had died, to see the body burning on the funeral pyre: "Meditate there, meditate on the nothingness of life." Death is the point at which knowledge fails, and when knowledge fails, mind fails. And when mind fails, there is a possibility of truth penetrating you.
But people don't know. When somebody dies you don't know what to do, you are very embarrassed. When somebody dies it is a great moment to meditate.
I always think that each city needs a Death Center. When somebody is dying and his death is very, very imminent he should be moved to the Death Center. It should be a small temple where people who can go deep in meditation should sit around him, should help him to die, and should participate in his being when he disappears into nothing. When somebody disappears into nothing great energy is released. The energy that was there, surrounding him, is released. If you are in a silent space around him, you will go on a great trip. No psychedelic can take you there. The man is naturally releasing great energy; if you can absorb that energy, you will also kind of die with him. And you will see the ultimate -- the source and the goal, the beginning and the end.
"Man is the being by whom nothing comes into the world," says Jean-Paul Sartre. Consciousness is not this or that object, it is not any object at all; but surely it is itself? "No," says Sartre, "that is precisely what it is not. Consciousness is never identical with itself. Thus, when I reflect upon myself, the self that is reflected is other than the self that reflects. When I try to state what I am, I fail, because while I am speaking, what I am talking about slips away into the past and becomes what I was. I am my past and my future, and yet I am not. I have been the one, and I shall be the other. But in the present, there is nothingness."
If somebody asks you, "Who are you?" what are you going to say? Either you can answer out of the past, which is no more, or you can answer out of the future, which you are not yet. But who are you right in this moment? A nobody, a nothingness. This nothingness is the very core, the heart -- the heart of your being.
Death is not the ax that cuts down the tree of life, it is the fruit that grows on it. Death is the very substance you are made of. Nothingness is your very being. Attain to this nothingness either through love or meditation, and go on having glimpses of it. This is what Nagarjuna means by shunya. This is what Buddha transferred that day when he delivered the Flower Sermon. This is what Mahakashyapa understood when he laughed. He saw nothingness, and the purity of it, the innocence of it, the primal innocence of it, the radiance of it, the immortality of it -- because nothingness cannot die. Things die; nothingness is immortal, eternal.
If you are identified with anything, you will suffer death. But if you know that you are death, how can you suffer death? Then nothing can destroy you; nothingness is indestructible. OSHO The Heart Sutra,