The simplest and the most obvious is that a man dies without any cause; he simply becomes old, older, and the change from old age to death is not through any disease. Death is simply the ultimate old age — everything in your body, in your brain, has stopped functioning. This will be the ordinary and obvious meaning of a natural death. The Natural death has a far deeper meaning: one has to live a natural life to attain a natural death. Natural death is the culmination of a life lived naturally, without any inhibition, without any repression — just the way the animals live, the birds live, the trees live, without any split…a life of let-go, allowing nature to flow through you without any obstructions from your side, as if you are absent and life is moving on its own. Rather than you living life, life lives you, you are secondary; then the culmination will be a natural death. Only an awakened man can die a natural death; otherwise all deaths are unnatural because all lives are unnatural.
How can you arrive at a natural death, living an unnatural life? Death will reflect the ultimate culmination, the crescendo of your whole life. In a condensed form, it is all that you have lived. So only very few people in the world have died naturally because only very few people have lived naturally. Our conditionings don’t allow us to be natural. Our conditionings, from the very beginning, teach us that we have to be something more than nature, that just to be natural is to be animal; we have to be supernatural. And it seems very logical. All the religions have been teaching this —that to be man means going above nature — and they have convinced centuries of humanity to go above nature. Nobody has succeeded in going above nature. All that they have succeeded in is destroying their natural, spontaneous beauty, their innocence. Man need not transcend nature. I say unto you, man has to fulfill nature — which no animal can do. That is the difference. The religions were cunning, cheating and deceiving people. They made the distinction that animals are natural and you have to be supernatural. No animal can do fasting; you cannot convince any animal that fasting is something divine. The animal only knows that it is hungry, and there is no difference between fasting and being hungry. You cannot convince any animal to go against nature.
This gave an opportunity to the so-called religious people, because man has the capacity at least to fight against nature. He will never be victorious, but he can fight. And in fighting he will not be destroying nature; he will be destroying only himself. That’s how man has destroyed himself — all his joy, all his love, all his grandeur — and has become not something higher than animals, but something lower, in every possible way. Perhaps you have never thought about it: no animal in the wild is homosexual. The very idea, and the whole world of animals will burst into laughter. It is simply stupid! But in a zoo, where females are not available, animals turn into homosexuals out of sheer necessity.
But man has turned the whole world into a zoo: millions and millions of people are homosexuals, lesbians, sodomists, and what-not — all kinds of perversions. And who is responsible? The people who were teaching you to go beyond nature, to attain supernatural divineness….
Whenever you enforce something, the result is not going to bring a betterment. In many spheres, by different religions, it has been tried to make man something above nature. The result has been, without any exception, failure. You are born as a natural being. You cannot go above yourself. It is just like trying to lift yourself off the ground by pulling your legs. You may hop a little, but sooner or later you are going to fall to the ground, and you may have a few fractures. You cannot fly.
And that’s what has been done. People have been trying to raise themselves above nature, which means above themselves. They are not separate from nature, but the idea suited their egos: you are not animals so you have to be above nature; you cannot behave like animals. People have even tried to make animals not behave like animals; they have tried to make them go a little above nature.
In the Victorian age in England dogs were clothed when people used to take them for a walk. The dogs had coats to prevent them being natural, to prevent them being naked and nude— which is suitable to animals. These kind of people are trying to raise their dogs a little higher than animals.
You can be more natural than any animal. You can go to the abysmal depths of nature, and you can go to the very heights of nature, but you will not be going beyond in any way. You will be becoming more natural, you will be becoming more multi-dimensionally natural. The religious man is not one who is above nature, but is the man who is totally natural, fully natural, who has explored nature in all its dimensions, who has not left anything unexplored.
Animals are prisoners; they have a certain limited area of being. Man has the capacity, the intelligence, the freedom to explore. And if you have explored nature totally, you have come home — nature is your home. And then death is a joy, is a celebration. Then you die without any complaint; you die with deep gratitude, because life gave you so much, and death is simply the ultimate height of all that you have lived. It is just like before the flame of a candle goes out it burns brightest. The natural man, before he dies, lives brightest for a moment; he is all light, all truth. To me this is natural death. But it has to be earned, it is not given to you. The opportunity is given to you, but you have to explore, you have to earn, you have to deserve.
Even to see the death of an authentic man, just to be near him while he is dying, you will be filled suddenly with a strange joy. Your tears will not be of sadness, sorrow; they will be of gratitude and blissfulness — because when a man dies naturally, living his life fully, he spreads his being into the whole of nature. Those who are present and close to him are bathed…a sudden freshness, a breeze, a new fragrance and a new feeling that death is not something bad, that death is not something to be afraid of that death is something to be earned, to be deserved.
Learn the art of life. But it can be called also the art of death. They are both the same.