My whole vision is of a human being, totally alive, intensely alive, enjoying everything that life makes available, and enjoying it with grace, with gratitude towards existence.
And that’s what loving yourself means. It means that you have thrown all the garbage of religious rejection, repression. You have dropped all the ideals that they have given to you; you are now standing on your own as if you are Adam and Eve. No priest has been there before, no religion has been there before; you are uncorrupted, unspoiled, clean.
Start like Adam and Eve — just think of the idea!
Why bother about the past? Forget about it. You are the first man.
Start living as if you don’t know how to live. Nobody is there to teach you, no guidelines exist. No books exist which say how to do this, how to do that. You are just left alone on an island. Everything is available: Intelligence is within you, instinct is within you, intellect is within you, intuition is within you. Now start moving.
Yes, perhaps you may commit a few mistakes — there is no wrong in it, that’s how one learns. Perhaps a few times you may fall — nothing to be worried about. You can get up again; and next time you will be walking more carefully, more alert, so you have gained something out of that fall. Out of each mistake, each error, you are constantly gaining something.
Errors are valuable. Mistakes are immensely necessary. If you are somehow protected from committing mistakes and errors, you will never grow, you will never learn a thing, you will never mature.
So behave as if you are the first here. The whole world is available to you to explore. And in exploring it you will be surprised that simultaneously your inner world is being explored too, because as you explore the outer world your insight becomes deeper, your intelligence becomes sharper, your awareness becomes keener. And a perfectly fulfilled man is one who explores both the outer and the inner, and who, at the moment of death, can have a smile on his face: he lived totally, he is happy that he lived totally, he burned his life’s candle from both ends together.
When you can burn your candle from both ends together, why be miserly and burn just one end? When you can enjoy double the light and two flames together, enjoy it — because enjoyment is not simply enjoyment. Every joy is growth and brings you closer to blissfulness, to ecstasy.
And unless you have attained to a state of ecstasy where you can say, “I have arrived, I am fulfilled…. The purpose of existence in me is completed. If now death comes, it is welcome. Now that is the only thing that I don’t know.” A man who can say, “Death is now the only thing that I don’t know — life I have known,” will be enthusiastic about death, will be eager to meet it, would like to have a plunge into it.
And this is the paradox of life:
One who is ready to die, never dies.
One who is himself ready to jump into death, for him death disappears.
Death is only for cowards.
Death is only for those who have not lived, who have really remained dead their whole lives.
Death is not for the living.
The more alive you are, the farther away is death.
If you are totally living, there is no death:
Death exists not.
Then there is only life, life eternal.