The Mysteries of the Seven Bodies – Osho

In yesterday’s talk you said that the seeker should first worry about his own receptivity and should not go begging from door to door. But the very meaning of a sadhak is that there are obstacles on his path of spiritual growth. He does not know how to be receptive. Is it difficult to meet the right guide?

To seek and to ask are two different things. Actually, only he who does not want to seek asks. To seek and to ask are not one and the same; rather, they are contradictory. He who wants to avoid seeking asks. The process of seeking and the process of begging are very different. In asking the attention is centered on the other – on the giver; in seeking the attention is centered on oneself – on the receiver. To say that there are obstacles in the path of spiritual growth means there are obstacles within the seeker himself. The path too lies within and it is not very difficult to understand one’s own hindrances. It will have to be explained at length what obstacles are and how they can be removed. Yesterday I told you about the seven bodies. We shall talk in greater detail about these and it will become clear to you.

As there are seven bodies, so there are also seven chakras, energy centers, and each chakra is connected in a special way with its corresponding body. The chakra of the physical body is the muladhar. This is the first chakra and it has an integral connection with the physical body. The muladhar chakra has two possibilities. Its first potentiality is a natural one that is given to us with birth; its other possibility is obtainable by meditation.

The basic natural possibility of this chakra is the sex urge of the physical body. The very first question that arises in the mind of the seeker is what to do in regard to this central principle. Now there is another possibility of this chakra, and that is brahmacharya, celibacy, which is attainable through meditation. Sex is the natural possibility and brahmacharya is its transformation. The more the mind is focused upon and gripped by sexual desire, the more difficult it will be to reach its ultimate potential of brahmacharya.

Now this means that we can utilize the situation given to us by nature in two ways. We can live in the condition that nature has placed us in – but then the process of spiritual growth cannot begin – or we transform this state. The only danger in the path of transformation is that there is the possibility that we may begin to fight with our natural center. What is the real danger in the path of a seeker? The first obstacle is that if the meditator indulges only in nature’s order of things he cannot rise to the ultimate possibility of his physical body and he stagnates at the starting point. On the one hand there is a need; on the other hand there is a suppression which causes the meditator to fight the sex urge. Suppression is an obstacle on the path of meditation. This is the obstacle of the first chakra. Transformation cannot come about with suppression.

If suppression is an obstruction, what is the solution? Understanding will then solve the matter. Transformation takes place within as you begin to understand sex. There is a reason for this. All elements of nature lie blind and unconscious within us. If we become conscious of them, transformation begins. Awareness is the alchemy; awareness is the alchemy of changing them, of transforming them. If a person becomes awake toward his sexual desires with his total feelings and his total understanding, then brahmacharya will begin to take birth within him in place of sex. Unless a person reaches brahmacharya in his first body it is difficult to work on the potentiality of other centers.

The second body, as I said, is the emotional or the etheric body. The second body is connected to the second chakra – the swadhishthan chakra. This too has two possibilities. Basically, its natural potential is fear, hate, anger, and violence. All these are conditions obtained from the natural potential of the swadhishthan chakra. If a person stagnates at the second body, then the directly opposite conditions of transformation – love, compassion, fearlessness, friendliness – do not take place. The obstacle on the meditator’s path in the second chakra is hate, anger and violence, and the question is of their transformation.

Here too the same mistake is made. One person can give vent to his anger; another can suppress his anger. One can just be fearful; another can suppress his fear and make a show of courage. But neither of these will lead to transformation. When there is fear it has to be accepted; there is no use hiding or suppressing it. If there is violence within there is no use in covering it with the mantle of nonviolence. Shouting slogans of nonviolence will bring no change in the state of violence within. It remains violence. It is a condition given to us by nature in the second body. It has its uses just as there is meaning to sex. Through sex alone other physical bodies can be given birth. Before one physical body falls, nature has made provisions for the birth of another.

Fear, violence, anger, are all necessary on the second plane; otherwise man could not survive, could not protect himself. Fear protects him, anger involves him in struggle against others and violence helps him to save himself from the violence of others. All these are qualities of the second body and are necessary for survival, but generally we stop here and do not go any further. If a person understands the nature of fear he attains fearlessness, and if he understands the nature of violence he attains nonviolence. Similarly, by understanding anger we develop the quality of forgiveness.

In fact, anger is one side of the coin, forgiveness is the other. They each hide behind the other – but the coin has to be turned over. If we come to know one side of the coin perfectly we naturally become curious to know what is on the other side – and so the coin turns. If we hide the coin and pretend we have no fear, no violence within, we will never be able to know fearlessness and nonviolence. He who accepts the presence of fear within himself and who has investigated it fully will soon reach a place where he will want to find out what is behind fear. His curiosity will encourage him to see the other side of the coin.

The moment he turns it over he becomes fearless. Similarly, violence will turn into compassion.

These are the potentials of the second body. Thus, the meditator has to bring about a transformation in the qualities given to him by nature. And for this it is not necessary to go around asking others; one has to keep seeking and asking within oneself. We all know that anger and fear are impediments – because how can a coward seek truth? He will go begging for truth; he will wish that someone should give it to him without his having to go into unknown lands.

The third is the astral body. This also has two dimensions. Primarily, the third body revolves around doubt and thinking. If these are transformed doubt becomes trust and thinking becomes vivek, awareness. If doubts are repressed you never attain to shraddha, trust, though we are advised to suppress doubts and to believe what we hear. He who represses his doubts never attains to trust, because doubt remains present within though repressed. It will creep within like a cancer and eat up your vitality. Beliefs are implanted for fear of skepticism. We will have to understand the quality of doubt, we will have to live it and go along with it. Then one day we will reach a point where we will begin to have doubt about doubt itself. The moment we begin to doubt, doubt itself, trust begins.

We cannot reach to the clarity of discrimination without going through the process of thinking. There are people who do not think and people who encourage them not to think. They say, “Do not think; leave all thoughts.” He who stops thinking lands himself in ignorance and blind faith. This is not clarity. The power of discrimination is gained only after passing through the most subtle processes of thinking. What is the meaning of vivek, discrimination? Doubt is always present in thoughts. It is always indecisive. Therefore, those who think a great deal never come to a decision. It is only when they step out of the wheel of thoughts that they can decide. Decision comes from a state of clarity which is beyond thoughts.

Thoughts have no connection with decision. He who is always engrossed in thoughts never reaches a decision. That is why it invariably happens that those whose life is less dominated by thoughts are very resolute, whereas those who think a great deal lack determination. There is danger from both. Those who do not think go ahead and do whatever they are determined to do, for the simple reason that they have no thought process to create doubt within.

The dogmatists and the fanatics of the world are very active and energetic people; for them there is no question of doubting – they never think! If they feel that heaven is attained by killing one thousand people, they will rest only after killing one thousand people and not before. They never stop to think what they are doing so there is never any indecision on their part. A man who thinks, on the contrary, will keep on thinking instead of making any decision.

If we close our doors for fear of thoughts we will be left with blind faith only. This is very dangerous and is a great obstacle in the path of the meditator. What is needed is an open-eyed discretion and thoughts that are clear, resolute, and which allow us to make decisions. This is the meaning of vivek: clarity, awareness. It means that the power of thinking is complete. It means we have passed through thoughts in such detail that all the doubts are cleared. Now only pure decision is left in its essence.

The chakra pertaining to the third body is manipur. Doubt and trust are its two forms. When doubt is transformed trust is the result. But, remember, trust is not opposed or contrary to doubt. Trust is the purest and most ultimate development of it. It is the ultimate extreme of doubt, where even doubt becomes lost because here doubt begins to doubt even itself and in this way commits suicide. Then trust is born.

The fourth plane is the mental body or the psyche, and the fourth chakra, the anahat, is connected with the fourth body. The natural qualities of this plane are imagination and dreaming. This is what the mind is always doing: imagining and dreaming. It dreams in the night and in the daytime it daydreams. If imagination is fully developed, that is to say if it is developed to its fullest extent, in a complete way, it becomes determination, will. If dreaming develops fully it is transformed into vision – psychic vision. If a man’s ability to dream is fully developed he has only to close his eyes and he can see things. He can then see even through a wall. At first he only dreams of seeing beyond the wall; later he actually sees beyond it. Now he can only guess what you are thinking, but after the transformation he sees what you think. Vision means seeing and hearing things without the use of the usual sense organs. The limitations of time and space are no more for a person who develops vision.

In dreams you travel far. If you are in Bombay you reach Calcutta. In vision also you can travel distances, but there will be a difference: in dreams you imagine you have gone, whereas in vision you actually go. The fourth, psychic body can actually be present there. As we have no idea of the ultimate possibility of this fourth body, we have discarded the ancient concept of dreams in today’s world. The ancient experience was that in dream one of the bodies of man comes out of him and goes on a journey.

There was a man, Swedenborg, whom people knew as a dreamer. He used to talk of heaven and hell and that they can only exist in dreams. But one afternoon, as he slept, he began to shout, “Help! Help! My house is on fire.” People came running, but there was no fire there. They awoke him to assure him that it was only a dream and there was no danger of fire. He insisted, however, that his house was on fire. His house was three hundred miles away and it had caught fire at that time. On the second or third day news came of this disaster. His house was burnt to ashes, and it was actually burning when he cried out in his sleep. Now this is no longer a dream but a vision. The distance of three hundred miles was no longer there. This man witnessed what was happening three hundred miles away.

Now scientists also agree that there are great psychic possibilities of the fourth body. Now that man has set out in space, research in this direction has become all the more important. The fact remains that no matter how reliable the instruments at man’s disposal, these cannot be relied upon completely. If the radio communication in a spaceship ceases to function the astronauts lose contact with the world for all time. They will not be able to tell us where they are or what has happened to them. So today scientists are keen to develop telepathy and vision of the psychic body to overcome this risk. If the astronauts were able to communicate directly with the power of telepathy it would be a part of the development of the fourth body. Then space travel can be safe. A lot of work has been carried out in this direction.

Thirty years ago a man set out to explore the North Pole. He was equipped with all that was necessary for wireless communication. One more arrangement was also made which has not made known up until now. A psychic person whose fourth body faculties were functioning was also made to receive the transmission from the explorer. The most surprising thing was that when there was bad weather the wireless failed, but this psychic person received the news without any difficulty. When the diaries were compared later on it was found that eighty to ninety-five percent of the time the signals received by the psychic person were correct, whereas the news relayed by the radio was not available more than seventy-two percent of the time, because there were many breakdowns. Now Russia and America are both very eager, and a great deal of work is going on in the field of telepathy, clairvoyance, thought projection and thought reading. All these are the possibilities of the fourth body. To dream is its natural quality; to see the truth, to see the real, is its ultimate possibility. Anahat is the chakra of this fourth body.

The fifth chakra is the vishuddhi chakra. It is located in the throat. The fifth body is the spiritual body. The vishuddhi chakra is connected to the spiritual body. The first four bodies and their chakras were split into two. The duality ends with the fifth body.

As I said before, the difference between male and female lasts until the fourth body; after that it ends. If we observe very closely all duality belongs to the male and the female. Where the distance between male and female is no more, at that very point all duality ceases. The fifth body is non-dual. It does not have two possibilities but only one.

This is why there is not much effort for the meditator to make: because here there is nothing contrary to develop; here one has only to enter. By the time we reach the fourth body we develop so much capability and strength that it is very easy to enter the fifth body. In that case how can we tell the difference between a person who has entered the fifth body and one who has not? The difference will be that he who has entered the fifth body is completely rid of all unconsciousness. He will not actually sleep at night. That is, he sleeps but his body alone sleeps; someone within is forever awake. If he turns in sleep he knows it; if he does not he knows it. If he has covered himself with a blanket he knows it; if he has not then also he knows it. His awareness does not slacken in sleep; he is awake all the twenty-four hours. For the one who has not entered the fifth body, his state is just the opposite. In sleep he is asleep, and in the waking hours also one layer of him will be asleep.

People appear to be working. When you come home every evening the car turns left into your gate; you apply the brake when you reach the porch. Do not be under the illusion that you are doing all this consciously. It happens unconsciously by sheer force of habit. It is only in certain moments, moments of great danger that we really come into alertness. When the danger is so much that it will not do to go about lacking awareness, we awaken. For instance, if a man puts a knife at your chest you jump into consciousness. The point of the knife for a moment takes you right up to the fifth body. With the exception of these few moments in our lives we live like somnambulists.

Neither has the wife seen the husband’s face properly nor has the husband seen the wife’s face. If the husband tries to visualize the wife’s face he will not be able to do so. The lines of her face will start slipping away and it will be difficult to say whether it was the same face he has seen for the last thirty years. You have never seen, because there must be an awakened person within you to see.

One who is “awake” appears to be seeing but actually he is not – because he is asleep within, dreaming, and everything is going on in this dream state. You get angry, then you say, “I do not know how I got angry; I did not want to.” You say, “Forgive me! I did not want to be rude; it was a slip of the tongue.” You have used an obscenity and it is you who deny the intention of its use. The criminal always says, “I did not want to kill. It happened in spite of me.” This proves that we are going about like an automaton. We say what we do not want to say; we do what we do not want to do.

In the evening we vow to be up at four in the morning. When it is four o’clock and the alarm goes off we turn over saying there is no need to be up so early. Then you get up at six and are filled with remorse for having overslept. Then you again swear to keep the same vow as yesterday. It is strange that a man decides on one thing in the evening and goes back on it in the morning! Then what he decides at four in the morning changes again before it is six, and what he decides at six changes long before it is evening, and in between he changes a thousand times. These decisions, these thoughts, come to us in our sleepy state. They are like dreams: they expand and burst like bubbles. There is no wakeful person behind them – no one who is alert and conscious.

So sleep is the innate condition before the beginning of the spiritual plane. Man is a somnambulist before he enters the fifth body, and there the quality is wakefulness. Therefore, after the growth of the fourth body we can call the individual a buddha, an awakened one. Now such a man is awake. Buddha is not the name of Gautam Siddharth but a name given him after his attainment of the fifth plane. Gautama the Buddha means Gautam who has awakened. His name remained Gautam, but that was the name of the sleeping person so gradually it dropped and only Buddha remained.

This difference comes with the attainment of the fifth body. Before we enter into it, whatever we do is an unconscious action which cannot be trusted. One moment a man vows to love and cherish his loved one the whole life and the next moment he is quite capable of strangling her. The alliance which he promised for a lifetime does not last long. This poor man is not to be blamed. What is the value of promises given in sleep? In a dream I may promise, “This is a lifelong relationship.” What value is this promise? In the morning I will deny it because it was only a dream.

A sleeping man cannot be trusted. This world of ours is entirely a world of sleeping people; hence, so much confusion, so many conflicts, so many quarrels, so much chaos. It is all the making of sleeping men.

There is another important difference between a sleeping man and an awakened man which we should bear in mind. A sleeping man does not know who he is, so he is always striving to show others that he is this or he is that. This is his lifelong endeavor. He tries in a thousand ways to prove himself. Sometimes he climbs the ladder of politics and declares, “I am so and so.” Sometimes he builds a house and displays his wealth, or he climbs a mountain and displays his strength. He tries in all ways to prove himself. And in all these efforts he is in fact unknowingly trying to find out for himself who he is. He knows not who he is.

Before crossing the fourth plane we cannot find the answer. The fifth body is called the spiritual body because there you get the answer to the quest for “Who am I?” The call of the ‘I’ stops once and for all on this plane; the claim to be someone special vanishes immediately. If you say to such a person, “You are so and so,” he will laugh. All claims from his side will now stop, because now he knows. There is no longer any need to prove himself, because who he is, is now a proven fact.

The conflicts and problems of the individual end on the fifth plane. But this plane has its own hazards. You have come to know yourself, and this knowing is so blissful and fulfilling that you may want to terminate your journey here. You may not feel like continuing on. The hazards that were up to now were all of pain and agony; now the hazards that begin are of bliss. The fifth plane is so blissful that you will not have the heart to leave it and proceed further. Therefore, the individual who enters this plane has to be very alert about clinging to bliss so that it does not hinder him from going further. Here bliss is supreme and at the peak of its glory; it is in its profoundest depths. A great transformation comes about within one who has known himself. But this is not all; there is further to go also.

It is a fact that distress and suffering do not obstruct our way as much as joy. Bliss is very obstructive. It was difficult enough to leave the crowd and confusion of the marketplace, but it is a thousand times more difficult to leave the soft music of the veena in the temple. This is why many meditators stop at atma gyan, self-realization, and do not go up to brahma gyan, experience of the Brahman – the cosmic reality.

We shall have to be alert about this bliss. Our effort here should be not to get lost in this bliss. Bliss draws us towards itself; it drowns us; we get immersed in it completely. Do not become immersed in bliss. Know that this too is an experience. Happiness was an experience, misery was an experience; bliss too is an experience. Stand outside of it, be a witness. As long as there is experience there is an obstacle: the ultimate end has not been reached. At the ultimate state all experiences end. Joy and sorrow come to an end, so also does bliss. Our language, however, does not go beyond this point. This is why we have described God as sat-chit-ananda – truth-consciousness-bliss. This is not the form of the supreme self, but this is the ultimate that words can express. Bliss is the ultimate expression of man. In fact, words cannot go beyond the fifth plane. But about the fifth plane we can say, “There is bliss there; there is perfect awakening; there is realization of the self there.” All this can be described.

Therefore, there will be no mystery about those who stop at the fifth plane. Their talk will sound very scientific because the realm of mystery lies beyond this plane. Things are very clear up to the fifth plane. I believe that science will sooner or later absorb those religions that go up to the fifth body, because science will be able to reach up to the atman.

When a seeker sets out on this path his search is mainly for bliss and not truth. Frustrated by suffering and restlessness he sets out in search of bliss. So one who seeks bliss will definitely stop at the fifth plane; therefore, I must tell you to seek not bliss but truth. Then you will not remain long here.

Then a question arises: “There is ananda: this is well and good. I know myself: this too is well and good. But these are only the leaves and the flowers. Where are the roots? I know myself, I am blissful – it is good, but from where do I arise? Where are my roots? From where have I come? Where are the depths of my existence? From which ocean has this wave that I am arisen?”

If your quest is for truth you will go ahead of the fifth body. From the very beginning, therefore, your quest should be for truth and not bliss; otherwise your journey up to the fifth plane will be easy but you will stop there. If the quest is for truth, there is no question of stopping there.

So the greatest obstacle on the fifth plane is the unequaled joy we experience – and more so because we come from a world where there is nothing but pain, suffering, anxiety and tension.

Then, when we reach this temple of bliss, there is an overwhelming desire to dance with ecstasy, to be drowned, to be lost in this bliss. This is not the place to be lost. That place will come, and then you will not have to lose yourself; you will simply be lost. There is a great difference between losing yourself and being lost. In other words, you will reach a place where even if you wish you cannot save yourself. You will see yourself becoming lost; there is no remedy. Yet here also in the fifth body you can lose yourself. Your effort, your endeavor, still works here – and even though the ego is intrinsically dead on the fifth plane, I-am-ness still persists. It is necessary, therefore, to understand the difference between ego and I-am-ness.

The ego, the feeling of ‘I’, will die, but the feeling of ‘am’ will not die. There are two things in “I am,” the ‘I’ is the ego and the ‘am’ is asmita – the feeling of being. So the ‘I’ will die on the fifth plane, but the being, the ‘am’, will remain: I-am-ness will remain. Standing on this plane, a meditator will declare, “There are infinite souls and each soul is different and apart from the other.” On this plane the meditator will experience the existence of infinite souls, because he still has the feeling of am, the feeling of being which makes him feel apart from others. If the quest for truth grips the mind the obstacle of bliss can be crossed – because incessant bliss becomes tedious. A single strain of a melody can become irksome.

Bertrand Russell once said jokingly, “I am not attracted to salvation, because I hear there is nothing but bliss there. Bliss alone would be very monotonous – bliss and bliss and nothing else. If there is not a single trace of unhappiness – no anxiety, no tension in it – how long can one bear such bliss?”

To be lost in bliss is the hazard of the fifth plane. It is very difficult to overcome. Sometimes it takes many births to do so. The first four steps are not so hard to cross, but the fifth is very difficult. Many births may be needed to be bored of bliss, to be bored of the self, to be bored of the atman.

So the quest up to the fifth body is to be rid of pain, hatred, violence and desires. After the fifth the search is in order to be rid of the self. So there are two things: the first is freedom from something; this is one thing and it is completed at the fifth plane. The second thing is freedom from the self, and so a completely new world starts from here.

The sixth is the brahma sharira, the cosmic body, and the sixth chakra is the agya chakra. Here there is no duality. The experience of bliss becomes intense on the fifth plane and the experience of existence, of being, on the sixth. Asmita will now be lost – I am. The I in this, is lost at the fifth plane and the am will go as soon as you transcend the fifth. The is-ness will be felt; tathata, suchness will be felt. Nowhere will there be the feeling of I or of am; only that which is remains. So here will be the perception of reality, of being – the perception of consciousness. But here the consciousness is free of me; it is no longer my consciousness. It is only consciousness – no longer my existence, but only existence.

Some meditators stop after reaching the Brahma sharira, the cosmic body, because the state of “I am the Brahman” has come – of “Aham Brahmasmi,” when I am not and only the Brahman is. Now what more is there to seek? What is to be sought? Nothing remains to be sought. Now everything is attained. The Brahman means the total. One who stands at this point says, “The Brahman is the ultimate truth, the Brahman is the cosmic reality. There is nothing beyond.”

It is possible to stop here, and seekers do stop at this stage for millions of births, because there seems to be nothing ahead. So the Brahma gyani, the one who has attained realization of the Brahman, will get stuck here; he will go no further. This is so difficult to cross because there is nothing to cross to. Everything has been covered. Does not one need a space to cross into? If I want to go outside of this room there must be someplace else to go. But the room has now become so enormous, so beginningless and endless, so infinite, so boundless, that there is nowhere to go. So where will we go to search? Nothing remains to be found; everything has been covered. So the journey may halt at this stage for infinite births.

So the Brahman is the ultimate obstacle – the last barrier in the ultimate quest of the seeker. Now only the being remains, but non-being has yet to be realized. The being, the is-ness, is known, but the non-being has yet to be realized – that which is not still remains to be known. Therefore, the seventh plane is the nirvana kaya, nirvanic body, and its chakra is the sahasrar. Nothing can be said in connection with this chakra. We can only continue talking at the most up to the sixth – and that too with great difficulty. Most of it will turn out to be wrong.

Until the fifth body the search progresses within a very scientific method; everything can be explained. On the sixth plane the horizon begins to fade; everything seems meaningless. Hints can still be given but ultimately the pointing finger breaks and the hints too are no more because one’s own being is eliminated. So the Brahman, the absolute being, is known from the sixth body and the sixth chakra.

Therefore, those who seek the Brahman will meditate on the agya chakra which is between the eyes. This chakra is connected to the cosmic body. Those who work completely on this chakra will begin to call the vast infinite expanse that they witness the third eye. This is the third eye from where they can now view the cosmic, the infinite.

One more journey yet remains – the journey to non-being, nonexistence. Existence is only half the story: there is also nonexistence. Light is, but on the other side there is darkness. Life is one part, but there is also death. Therefore, it is necessary also to know the remaining nonexistence, the void, because the ultimate truth can only be known when both are known – existence and nonexistence. Being is known in its entirety and non-being is known in its entirety: then the knowing is complete. Existence is known in entirety and nonexistence is known in its entirety: then we know the whole; otherwise our experience is incomplete. There is an imperfection in brahma gyan, which is that it has not been able to know the non-being. Therefore, the brahma gyani denies that there is such a thing as nonexistence and calls it an illusion. He says that it does not exist. He says that to be is the truth and not to be is a falsity. There simply is no such thing, so the question of knowing it does not arise.

Nirvana kaya means the shunya kaya, the void from where we jump from the being into the non-being. In the cosmic body something yet remains unknown. That too has to be known – what it is not to be, what it is to be completely erased. Therefore, the seventh plane in a sense is an ultimate death. Nirvana, as I told you previously, means the extinction of the flame. That which was I, is extinct; that which was am, is extinct. But now we have again come into being by being one with the all. Now we are the Brahman, and this too will have to be left. He who is ready to take the last jump knows the existence and also the nonexistence.

So these are the seven bodies and the seven chakras, and within them lie all the means as well as the barriers. There are no barriers outside. Therefore, there is not much reason to inquire outside. If you have gone to ask someone or to understand from someone, then do not beg. To understand is one thing, to beg is another. Your search should always continue. Whatever you have heard and understood should also be made your search. Do not make it your belief or else it will be begging.

You asked me something; I gave you an answer. If you have come for alms you will put this in your bag and store it away as your treasure. Then you are not a meditator but a beggar. No, what I told you should become your quest. It should accelerate your search; it should stimulate and motivate your curiosity. It should put you into greater difficulty, make you more restless and raise new questions in you, new dimensions, so that you will set out on a new path of discovery. Then you have not taken alms from me, then you have understood what I said. And if this helps you to understand yourself, then this is not begging.

So go forth to know and understand; go forth to search. You are not the only one seeking; many others are also. Many have searched, many have attained. Try to know, to grasp, what has happened to such people and also what has not happened; try and understand all this. But while understanding this, do not stop trying to understand your own self. Do not think that understanding others has become your realization. Do not put faith in their experiences; do not believe them blindly. Rather, turn everything into questioning. Turn them into questions and not answers; then your journey will continue. Then it will not be begging: it will be your quest.

It is your search that will take you to the last. As you penetrate within yourself you will find the two sides of each chakra. As I told you, one is given to you by nature and one you have to discover. Anger is given to you; forgiveness you have to find. Sex is given to you; brahmacharya you have to develop. Dreams you have; vision has to evolve.

Your search for the opposite will continue up to the fourth chakra. From the fifth will start your search for the indivisible, for the non-dual. Try to continue your search for that which is different from what has come to you in the fifth body. When you attain bliss try to find out what there is beyond bliss. On the sixth plane you attain the Brahman, but keep inquiring, “What is there beyond the Brahman?” Then one day you will step into the seventh body, where being and non-being, light and darkness, life and death, occur together. That is the attainment of the ultimate… and there are no means of communicating this state.

This is why our scriptures end with the fifth body, or at the most they go up to the sixth body. Those with a completely scientific turn of mind do not talk about what is after the fifth body. The cosmic reality, which is boundless and unlimited, begins from there, but mystics like the Sufis talk of the planes beyond the fifth. It is very difficult to talk of these planes because one has to contradict oneself again and again. If you go through the text of all that one Sufi has said you will say this person is mad. Sometimes he says one thing and sometimes something else. He says, “God is” and he also says, “God is not.” He says, “I have seen him” and in the same breath he says, “How can you see him? He is not an object that the eyes can see!” These mystics raise such questions that you will wonder if they are asking others or asking themselves.

Mysticism starts with the sixth plane. Therefore, where there is no mysticism in a religion, know that it has finished on the fifth body. But mysticism also is not the final stage. The ultimate is the void – nothingness. The religion that ends with mysticism ends with the sixth body. The void is the ultimate; nihilism is the ultimate, because after it there is nothing more to be said.

-Osho

From In Search of the Miraculous, Discourse #16

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Related post: Your Identification Breaks in the Fifth Body, Now You will be the Master

In Search of the Miraculous

You can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

LSD: A Shortcut to False Samadhi – Osho

An interview with Acharya Rajneesh by Ma Ananda Prem Instructor, Sivananda Ashram, New York, U. S. A. on 25th, October 1970, Bombay (India)

Ma Ananda Prem: Acharayaji, before asking a question I would like to tell you my experience in meditation with special reference to controlled LSD-experimentation I underwent.

In New York I used to study psycho-analysis. As a result of that, I became a subject in a Government sponsored experiment to study the effects of LSD. In this experiment, I was given seven small doses of LSD, over a period of two years, in a controlled situation. I had learned how to use it to awaken the Kundalini and bring meditation.

Three times I had a certain experience, which I am sure was Samadhi – of the variety with seed, in the sixth body, where I became the whole existence. I would like to describe the experience to you to get your opinion on whether or not what I experienced was true cosmic consciousness.

I sat in a meditative asana, after taking the drug, and meditated. Shortly, thereafter, the Kundalini began coming up the Sushumna from the Muladhara. I concentrated on Agna Chakra, and all the energy flowed there. From Agna, some flowed down to Anahat, releasing various tension knots there. All was very blissful.

I was aware of four colours: the colour saffron, like my clothes, was the main one, and I seemed to be enveloped in it. This was mixed with a yellow colour. Under the yellow was white, still more subtle. And beyond the saffron, without, was a deep blue. Everything seemed to be mainly saffron though.

Suddenly, the Kundalini shot up the spine, very fast and powerful, and there was an explosion in the Agna Chakra. As a result of this, I felt that I became the whole existence, and was one with everything. Or rather, that I had dissolved completely, and the universe, was all there was. This I experienced with complete awareness and clarity such as I never had before.

This state was completely desireless, as all the cravings and desires had melted away. The feeling was one of perfect harmony. There was nothing to be desired, as everything was therein one vast present. It was as if a fog had lifted, and that the curtain of subjectivity called ego, that usually coloured my view of the outer reality, (thus separating me from it), was no longer there. All barriers and separateness between the inner and the outer were gone.

At that point, I stopped meditating because it felt as if I had reached the end of meditation and of bliss. It was thus no longer possible to meditate. My spine seemed melted down to zero tension level. Everything was perfect love, so there was no longer any craving for love. For the first time, love was not the result of any ego need, as I had no desires or needs any longer. All creation seemed to be a joyous, blissful lighthearted prank. It seemed as if the creation wanted to have fun with itself through its multitudes of energy atoms.

I then got up and walked about, but though my body was walking, it was very clear that I was not the body but the universe. The body seemed to move in front of me and all identity with it was gone.

I remained this way some twelve hours during each of the three experiences. Then the body tensions returned, drawing me back to my former way. However, I had a lot of Kundalini and very blissful meditation for two months after each experiment, such as I have never gotten with any yoga practice. When I do yoga and the usual meditation, it feels as if these practices are taking me in the same direction as these LSD experiences. I see no difference. Also, these experiences seem to match all descriptions of Samadhi with seed, or the Jivanmukta state, that I have ever read.

My questions then are:

1. In your opinion was the experience genuine Samadhi, as I feel it was? If not, how does genuine Samadhi at the sixth body level differ, other than it being permanent?

2. Is there any harm in occasionally using LSD only for spiritual purposes, in a controlled situation, to help meditation?

3. Is permanent self-realization possible with the help of a chemical like LSD?

4. What do the colours mean?

Acharya Rajneesh: It was not genuine. It was not Samadhi, but a chemical change. The mind can project anything it likes to project – even an unconscious desire of Samadhi! So whatsoever you have known about Samadhi and have read about it, will be projected through the chemical help of LSD. LSD or any other chemical drug is nothing but a help to make the mind more projective. All the hindrances, all the ordinary hindrances are withdrawn. The ordinary reason and conscious mind are withdrawn. You are completely in the hold of the unconscious. But the unconscious itself will not bring Samadhi through LSD. It can only be possible, if the unconscious has been fed with conceptions, colours and vital experiences. Everything that has been put into it can be projected.

If you have not known anything about Kundalini, it is impossible to feel it through LSD. A person who is suffering from any Phobia will project his phobia. A person who is under some suppressed fear will feel the actual phenomenon to take place. So LSD will bring different experiences to different persons.

LSD can only be a help to project whatsoever is in the seed form of your unconscious mind. If it is love, then love will be projected – if it is hatred, then hatred will be projected. LSD is an expanding drug; whatsoever is in the seed form will be expanded into a tree. You could feel Kundalini, you could feel Chakras, and you could feel harmony or the totality, only because these are the seeds already in your unconscious mind. If they are not there, then LSD will not project these.

The projection is because of LSD, but this is not Samadhi. Samadhi comes from your unconscious longing. If you have longed for it then LSD will help you. LSD can be a help to anything unconscious, to be psychically realised, but it is not a spiritual revelation. What you have seen is something which you wanted to realize, projected on the psychic canvas, so it is not Samadhi and it is not genuine. It is neither; and it is nothing else than dreaming. It is just a dreaming phenomenon.

In the night you dream because the conscious barriers are withdrawn. So whatever in your mind is suppressed, desired, longed for, begins to take shape and form and begins to be imagined. But when you are in a dream, you never know that it is a dream. It is so lifelike, it is so real. It seems so authentically real, that you can never conceive within a dream that you are dreaming. LSD is a chemical way of dreaming. It is not a natural way of dreaming, but a chemical way of dreaming.

So you can see things which you have never seen, know things that you have not known, realise things that you have never realised. But all these realisations are only apparent realisations. They are not real. They are beautiful; they have their own charm, just like nice dreams. But LSD can project a nightmare also. It depends on you, not on LSD. If your mind is hallucinating and is suffering from some untoward images, these will be projected. So there are persons who have seen hell in their LSD trip, and there are persons who have seen demons. It depends on persons. All that chemical drugs can do is to project whatsoever is there to be projected.

So do not mistake it for samadhi and do not cling to such experiences, otherwise they will be obstructions in meditation. You have felt so much in LSD dreams that, when you go in real meditation it is faint. It is not so vital that the feeling is not of such a great upsurge. Compared to your dream experiences meditation will look faint. This will create a depressive mood. You will feel something is being lost. You have known something and this something is not coming through meditation. Then the mind will say, “LSD is better”. And if you go on taking LSD your mind will become less and less meditative. And meditation and its experiences will go on becoming fainter and fainter. So don’t take LSD again.

Ma A. P.: It was just an experiment.

Acharya Rajneesh: Yes it was, but it has made an impact on your mind. And the impact is dangerous because you will always be comparing. The comparison will always be there.

The real meditation will seem unreal because unreal has appeared to you as authentic.

Ma A. P.: I can’t find the real difference?

Acharya Rajneesh: There are so many things. First, the comparison can never be accurate. It can never be right; because what you have seen in your LSD trip you cannot remember exactly when you are awakened. You cannot remember a dream exactly when you are out of your dream. The dream is again imagined. You add much to it. It is not the same; because when you are out of LSD, you cannot remember it exactly as it was. Only a faint feeling of blissfulness will be there. And now you will imagine the whole experience again. This is not exactly the experience that it was. It can never be. You have a feeling that you have known something. That feeling is illusory and you will again imagine what you have seen, what you have known in the experience itself. But there will be a blissfulness, because of revelation through the chemical drugs.

You are totally relaxed. Your tensions at that moment are withdrawn. They are not  nonexistential; they are awaiting you to come back. But they are not in focus, so you are relaxed totally. The revelation is so great; you will have a blissful feeling afterwards. You will feel it. The hangover bliss will be there. In this bliss you will imagine again what you have seen, what you have known.

Now this is all imaginary – 90% of it will be imagination and the greater the distance between the experience and the remembrance, the more beautiful, the more blissful, it will look to you. It will become a cherished memory. Now each time in meditation you will compare it. Meditation will be a faint thing in comparison because it is real. It is not a dreamland. The progress is step by step. It is not so sudden. It will never overtake you. You will always be prepared in-between, and the progress is very slow. It will seem slow because now in the real world, there is time; but in LSD experiences or in ordinary dreams, there is no such time, as it exists in our waking hours. So you can dream in a single moment, a dream that will take years together in reality to pass. So in LSD, the thing is sudden. It is so sudden that it overwhelms you. It shatters your total memory. All the tensions are non-existential for the moment. You are relaxed and the cosmic harmony is felt. The barriers are not there. You do not exist as an I; and the world and you have become one. This is so sudden and blissful that you will have a cherished memory of it afterwards. And you will go on adding to it each time you compare it with reality. It will become more and more beautiful, and the reality will become fainter. So don’t compare it.

Firstly, you cannot compare it, because you are in two states of mind and the memory cannot be brought from one state to another. It cannot be brought. Only faint remembrances are there. Secondly, when you compare retro-spectively, it is the same mind which has projected these experiences of LSD, the same unconscious mind, the same medium. You have taken LSD and you are meditating. All the time the unconscious seeds are there which you can project in your meditation. The second thing to be remembered is, don’t conceive any pre-formulated, readymade conceptions. What is to be the result? Don’t think about it. To go in meditation is to go in an uncharted sea. You can’t know beforehand what is going to happen, and if you know already what is going to happen, it will begin to happen; and it will still be a projection.

You can project in LSD. You can project in meditation also, because the unconscious is the projector. So all the knowledge about Kundalini, all the knowledge of Chakras, all the knowledge that you have of knowing must be thrown out; because your ordinary mind can also project it.

When you are meditating, you can project the same thing. The process will be slow because there is no chemical help. It will take longer time but the phenomena is the same. I am not saying that kundalini is not. I am not saying that chakras are not. I am not saying that there are no experiences. There are, but you must not know beforehand, otherwise you will project them.

You must be completely unknowing. You must be ignorant. There’s a basic condition to proceed further, you must not know beforehand. Each thing must be known directly, must be experienced, not taken for granted. Information should not be made knowledge. So throw away all information. Cease to know things and proceed as a vacuum. Proceed in ignorance – you don’t know. So everything will be a surprise, everything must be a surprise. If it is not a surprise then you say, “Yes, I have known it, this has happened before.”

There is a great possibility of self-delusion, for the mind is deceptive. And the unconscious goes on playing tricks! It is not only in LSD that the deception is possible, even in ordinary meditation, the deception is possible. The unconscious is the same. You must change it. You must make it vacant. It must not be a knowing unconscious. It must be openly vulnerable, ready to face the unknown. Meditation is going into the unknown. So you need a purge, you need a cleansing, you need a complete overhaul.

The unconscious must be cleaned. It must not be pre-burdened – it must not have seeds.

Sabeej Samadhi is a Samadhi with seeds. A Samadhi with seeds means a Samadhi with your projections. It is not a Samadhi at all. It is just a name-sake. There is another term – Nirbeej Samadhi, a Samadhi which is seedless. Only a seedless Samadhi is Samadhi, which is authentic because there is nothing to be projected. It is not that you are projecting – something has come to you. You have encountered something. You have known something new, completely fresh, absolutely unknown before, not even imagined; because whatsoever you can imagine you can project.

So knowledge is a hindrance in Samadhi and a person who is a ‘knowing-person’, can never reach Samadhi. You must not go burdened with knowledge. You must reach the door of Samadhi completely empty handed, naked, vacant, only then the authentic thing happens. Otherwise, you are meditating with the projections. You have been projecting in meditation, and you have been projecting in your LSD experiences. Both are projections.

You must unburden yourself. You must understand this. Forget all that you have known.

Don’t conceive Samadhi in any way. Do not conceive, do not conceptualize, just go like a child in an unknown country. The language is not known, there is no one acquainted, everything is new and you have no guide book with you. Only in this way things will begin to happen, which are authentic. Otherwise this will take a long time, and you will go on, encircling yourself and the projection will go on. In this way LSD will be more forceful. LSD will be more vital. LSD will be an experience and meditation will be something faint compared to it. But if you unburden your knowledge, forget all these names – ‘Kundalini’, ‘Chakras’, etc., everything, put it aside and proceed just like a child, only then meditation will happen. Otherwise meditation too will be imaginary and a dream.

The difference is very subtle. It is really difficult to know what the difference is, although there is a difference. But one thing could be understood correctly and that is, if things are happening according to your knowledge, then you must not take them seriously; because they can never happen according to your knowledge. They happen to each individual so differently, that no scripture, no ‘Guru’, can exactly say what will happen. Everything that is being said is just a generalization. To no one it happens exactly like that. The seven Chakras or the ‘Kundalini’ or the passage, are so different, that they are bound to be different in each individual. So, if things are happening according to a pattern, you must not take them seriously. You are imagining. Things will be different for you. They will never be the same to anyone else. The happening is individual and there are no generalizations.

Everybody’s experiences are different and incomparable, and all these things which are being said are generalizations. Generalizations never happen. We are twenty persons here. We can calculate the average age of all here, but no one will be exactly of that age. Average is a myth.

It is a generalization. We can have the average height; but no one will correspond exactly with it. We can have average knowledge, but no one may possess it. All the generalizations are myths. They help to formulate things but they don’t help to be life-springs. They help to make systems, they help to make scriptures, and they help to make maps. But you can never take a map as a country. You must not. You must have seen the map of India; but nowhere in India will you find it. The map is there, with its formulation. When you enter India, you will never encounter it. It is just a generalization – it helps formulation, but it never helps experience. Rather, it becomes obstructive. So knowledge can be gathered without knowing that knowledge is dangerous. If it is concerned with outward information, it is all right, it makes no difference; but if it is inner experience, it makes a lot of difference. Because the mind projects. It makes a lot of difference.

So you begin your meditation as if you have never heard anything about ‘kundalini’, ‘Chakras’ – just be without this information. Make it a point – a first condition to enter meditation – that you are not supposing anything, that you do not know anything, that you are ready and open to anything that happens. You have nothing to compare. First, your information (your preconceived ideas) must go. You must not cling to them. If you do not cling to them they will go – die. The seed will die. It will burn. But if you cling to it, it will seem like knowledge, it will seem as a help, it will seem as a guide. So don’t cling to them and they will become redundant. Then it will not be a living seed. It will not project itself.

Secondly, forget your LSD experiences as dreams, otherwise they will be coming between you and your meditation and comparison will go on. That comparison will be suicidal. It must not be compared, otherwise meditation will cease; and you will lean over to LSD. Any chemical help can only create psychic phenomena. It can never be an authentic realization. Realisation is something to which you have happened. Realisation is not something which has happened to you. Realisation is something in which you have jumped. It is not that something has penetrated into you.

In LSD you go nowhere; you are just where you were. Something happens to you because of chemical changes; because your ordinary mind is not functioning. It has been de-functioned.

The ordinary reasoning, the ordinary checks are numbed. They are put off and the unconscious is put on. This has been done through a chemical agent. You are not the controller but the chemical agent is the controller. You are under its influence. You are not a free agent – now LSD is free in you and LSD will work something in you. It is not that you are working, but you are being worked upon and something will happen to you – not that you have happened to something. Realisation means you have happened to something – you have jumped, you have encountered, you have gone! You are not where you were. You have changed. This change is a conscious change, with full awareness; and the change is your effort. Because you have done it, you have traveled, you have gone to some peak, you can be on the Everest. There are two ways:

1. That you are on the Everest but you will be in your bed. You have gone nowhere; and

2. You can go and the very going is the change.

The very struggle to go upward will change you and the peak will not only be a peak of

Everest; but will also be a peak of your efforts. When you have reached the Everest, you have reached the Everest of your will power. In your dreams you have gone nowhere, you exist in the same state, in the same time, only something has happened to you. A dream has come to you. This dream can come in two ways – you can create it through LSD. That is why they look similar. Both ways you are creating it. The unconscious must not be a burden – the unconscious with seeds, with projections, with longings. Only then meditation is possible.

Another difference: when you have taken LSD, your conscious mind has gone to sleep and your unconscious mind begins to work over you. But in meditation, your unconscious is not asleep; rather your conscious is expanding and making your unconscious also conscious. The light of the conscious is going into the unconscious, and a time comes when your whole mind is one. Then meditation has happened. But in LSD the conscious goes to sleep and your unconscious takes charge of you.

Ma A.P.: What do the colours and their sequence mean?

Acharya Rajneesh: They have some meaning but the order is always different for each individual. The order is never the same. But they do have meaning. Colours, perfumes, sounds – everything has a meaning. The first thing that is to be noticed is, the moment you go deep inwards, your each sense has got a corresponding inner organ. We have got an outer sense just like eyes. They see what is without; but when we close our eyes they can see what is within. Every outward experience is stored inward also. The essence of it is stored.

So all your senses have reservoirs of experience in your mind. When you travel inwards, these reservoirs will be met. When you come to the reservoir of colours, you will see beautiful colours which you have never seen with your eyes. But these are essences of all the past experiences – just like a painter painting a beautiful woman. This is not any particular woman. He has seen so many women. This is the essence of them all. All that he has seen, all that he has known, is being depicted in this one figure. Something is from somewhere and something is from somewhere else. This particular figure is nowhere to be met. It is not imaginary and yet, it is nowhere to be found. It is authentic because it has been taken from experiences and yet, it is just an image. It is real and unreal both.

Our senses have stored all the experiences, not only of this life, but of all the lives that have been lived. These are certain essences in us. The eyes have stored colours, light, etc. Ears have stored sounds, harmonies, silences, etc. All the essences have their store-rooms. Now even Science confirms this. They say that if you can touch a particular brain cell with an electrode, then that particular brain cell will explode. A person falling down may see stars. The shock may create stars, if particular brain cells which store light-experiences are being touched. With an electrode, your memories can be touched. If with an electrode I touch a cell which conserves your memory of childhood, you will again become a child and everything will be replayed on the canvas of the mind.

So when you go inwards, these essential essences will explode; and you will know many things which are unknown in such sure form in the outward world. Outward world is always impure with substances, but the inward experiences are pure essences. There is no impurity of matter. They are just electrical phenomena. As phenomenon is just energy, it is pure, and nothing obstructs it. It is transparent. Don’t take these experiences seriously. They are only meaningful as indications that you are going deep down. But it is only the way, it is not the destination.

When you really reach deep down, and in, there will be no experiences – neither of light, nor of sound, nor of anything. Unless all these experiences cease, you cannot transcend the mind. It is the psyche which is displaying its experiences, conserved through endless lives. So first, each person will feel different things because each one is differently oriented, as far as his senses are concerned.

Just two days back someone came, who had no sense of taste; had never known what taste means, so he cannot feel in his inner experiences any feeling of taste. There are persons who are blind, or colour-blind. One person in twelve is colour-blind. A colour-blind person means he cannot see a particular colour. He sees everything else but only a particular colour is not seen by him. Bernard Shaw could not see yellow. He could not make any difference between yellow and green. So he was colour blind as far as yellow was concerned. He could never see yellow in his inner experiences. There was no reservoir of yellow colour. There was no essence of yellow. He had never seen it.

To him it was non-existential. We do not see all the colours. These seven colours are not all the colours. We see only up to these seven colours. Beyond them, we are colour-blind. Below these seven and beyond these seven, there are infinite ranges of colours. We have not seen them, so we will not feel them in our inward journey; because all that is felt in the store-room, is of the without. So, if a musician goes in meditation, he will know sounds which we can ever know. A painter will know colours, which we can never know. If Van Gogh goes into meditation, we cannot conceive what colours he will see, what new combinations he will know! So this too will differ from individual to individual. There can be no order. One thing is certain, when you go deep down in your inner path, things will begin to happen. You will have experiences of colours, sound, perfumes, smells. These are all stored experiences. The whole mind is a storehouse. Every cell is a bundle of experiences ready to explode. Go on, touch it and it will explode! This is meaningful as far as it indicates inwardness. But it will become a hindrance if you cling to it. As the feeling is lovely, the mind will long to cling to it, to repeat it. Then it will be a hindrance to further progress.

A state of mind is to be reached where there is no experience. Rather you say – state of mind with no experience; or you can say – a state of mind with experience of nothingness. Experience itself is the last barrier. One must come to the point where one IS, and there is no experience. Experience has ceased. Only when experience has ceased, duality ceases. When you are experiencing something, duality is there. You are there, so the experience is there. Something without is there. Even if you experience oneness with the world, this experience is duality.

So in meditation, there will be no experiences. When meditation takes its full flowering, there will be no experience at all. YOU WILL BE – and just being is the experience. Nothing is, except just your being – your existence only. And when the experience is not, the experiencer explodes; because it can exist only as a second polarity to experience. When the object is not, the subject explodes itself. There is no subject, no object. Only then the existential is achieved – only then you can say

God IS. You are not, and the World is not – GOD IS. The very ISNESS is God. So these experiences will come, they will come.

-Osho

Taken from the booklet LSD: A Shortcut to False Samadhi

You can read the entire book at: http://www.osho.com/library/

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.