Death comes so suddenly ...

At the moment of death all your knowledge of the world will be lost into thin air. Only one thing will go with you, and that one thing is being constantly ignored -- that is your self-knowledge, your self-realization. In fact, this is the only ignorance -- ignoring yourself.

But even the greatest scientist, the greatest philosopher, the greatest thinker thinks about faraway stars, thinks about strange things -- like, "What is the speed of light?" -- works day and night to find how to split the atom, and never thinks for a moment, "Who is this being within me? What constitutes my consciousness?" Certainly discriminating mind, DISCRIMINATING CONSCIOUSNESS, is the greatest disease, because it will keep you ignorant till the moment of death. Then certainly you will become aware that you have been engaged in a futile exercise. You know so much and yet you don't know who you are. Suddenly all your knowledge is of no use, all your power is of no use, all your money is of no use, all your prestige is of no use. The only thing that could have been of use you ignored your whole life -- and now there is no more time....

The Great Zen Master Ta Hui
Chapter #22
Chapter title: Witnessing

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