What do you know of life? Very little. You do not know your relationship to property, to your neighbor, to your wife, to ideas. You know only the superficial things, and you want to continue the superficial things. For God's sake, what a miserable life! Is not continuity a stupid thing? It is a stupid person that wants to continue - no man who understood the rich feelings of life would want continuity. When you understand life, you will find the unknown, for life is the unknown, and death and life are one. There is no division between life and death; it is the foolish and the ignorant who make the division, those who are concerned with their body and with their petty continuity. Such people use the theory of reincarnation as a means of covering up their fear, as a guarantee of their stupid little continuity. It is obvious that thought continues; but surely, a man who is seeking truth is not concerned with thought, for thought does not lead to truth. The theory of the 'me' continuing through reincarnation towards truth is a false idea, it is untrue. The 'me' is a bundle of memories, which is time, and the mere continuation of time does not lead you to the eternal, which is beyond time. The fear of death ceases only when the unknown enters your heart. Life is the unknown, as death is the unknown, as truth is the unknown. Life is the unknown, sir; but we cling to one small expression of that life, and that which we cling to is merely memory, which is an incomplete thought; therefore, that which we cling to is unreal, it has no validity. The mind clings to that empty thing called memory, and memory is the mind, the self, at whatever level you like to fix it. So, mind, which is in the field of the known, can never invite the unknown. It is only when there is the unknown, a state of complete uncertainty, that there comes the cessation of fear and with it the perception of reality.
To Be Human
Sixth Talk in Poona, India 1948