Osho explains how our constantly pining after other than what we have impacts how we live and, ultimately, how we die.
To acquire the art of living, remember this – never act in unawareness, never act in sleep. Never allow anything to happen of its own accord. First see it properly. First consider it rightly. Look at it firmly, with discretion and wisdom, before putting it into action. If you do this you will find that your life acquires a kind of beauty, a certain elegance.
If you remain awake and alert until death,
you have lived rightly.
And then you will be able to meet death
in a right manner as well.
You are just like a child who is sent back to the same class again and again until he passes his grades. We tell him he will not be allowed into the next class until he completes this one. The abode of love remains closed to you in the same way until you are through with life. Live in such a way that there will not be another birth and die in such a way that there will never be another death. If there is birth then there will certainly be death; death will follow automatically. So live in such a way that there will not be another birth – and then there will be no more death either.
[The] difficulty [is that] at the time of death…. a man’s desires are not fully satisfied and the body is ready to leave him. So those incomplete and unfulfilled desires will immediately seek a new birth. They must be fulfilled. You cannot be free of the world before that. Your desire for a little more of life, to live a bit longer, is the cause of another birth.
So understand well that the beginning of death is not really in the womb, it happens before you enter another womb. This chain of death started when you desired more life at the time of your previous death.
As you go deeper and deeper into the phenomenon
you will find that desires
are the links in the chain of deaths.
Whether someone is young or old he has desires he wants to fulfil – and that is the cause of the series of births and deaths. Buddha said continuously: Be free from desires and you will be free of samsar, free of the world.
So don’t entertain any desires whatsoever. Be happy with what you are and be satisfied with what you are. Then there will not be another birth for you. You should be content – as if you have reached your goal; as if there is no further journey to be undertaken; as if there is nowhere else to go. No matter what may be achieved, it should be more than enough. There should be no thought whatsoever of achieving more than you already have.
If this happens to you, how will you be born again? You will die fully satisfied. And the man who dies completely satisfied has no reason to come back again. Such a man has known the art of death. The man who dies in desirelessness knows the art of death.
The man who has known the truth of life will be filled with joy at the coming of death because he will soon be free from the entanglement of samsar, from the entanglement of the world. Soon this useless carry-on will be over; soon this childish toy will be put away. Now such a man is worthy to journey to that place from which there is no return.
(Osho: The Great Secret)