On Reincarnation – Osho

I want to say one thing to you: the whole idea of reincarnation is a misconception. It is true that when a person dies his being becomes part of the whole. Whether he was a sinner or a saint does not matter, but he had also something called the mind, the memory. In the past the information was not available to explain memory as a bundle of thoughts and thought waves, but now it is easier.

And that’s where, on many points, I find Gautam Buddha far ahead of his time. He is the only man who would have agreed with my explanation. He has given hints, but he could not provide any evidence for it; there was nothing available to say. He has said that when a person dies, his memory travels into a new womb – not the self. And we now can understand it, that when you are dying, you will leave memories all around in the air. And if you have been miserable, all your miseries will find some location; they will enter into some other memory system. Either they will enter totally into a single womb – that’s how somebody remembers one’s past. It is not your past; it was somebody else’s mind that you have inherited.

Most people don’t remember because they have not got the whole lump, the whole heritage of a single individual’s memory system. They may have got fragments from here and there, and those fragments create your misery system. All those people who have died on the earth have died in misery. Very few people have died in joy. Very few people have died with the realization of no-mind. They don’t leave a trace behind. They don’t burden anybody else with their memory. They simply disperse into the universe. They don’t have any mind and they don’t have any memory system. They have already dissolved it in their meditations. That’s why the enlightened person is never born.

But the unenlightened people go on throwing out, with every death, all kinds of misery patterns. Just as riches attract more riches, misery attracts more misery. If you are miserable, then from miles, misery will travel to you – you are the right vehicle. And this is a very invisible phenomenon, like radio waves. They are traveling around you; you don’t hear them. Once you have the right instrument to receive them, immediately they become available. Even before the radio was there, they were traveling by your side.

There is no incarnation, but misery incarnates. Wounds of millions of people are moving around you, just in search of somebody who is willing to be miserable. Of course, the blissful does not leave any trace. The man of awakening dies the way a bird moves into the sky, without making a track or a path. The sky remains empty. Blissfulness moves without making any trace. That’s why you don’t get any inheritance from the buddhas; they simply disappear. And all kinds of idiots and retarded people go on reincarnating in their memories and it becomes every day thicker and thicker.

Today, perhaps, it has come to the point to be understood and to be dissolved; otherwise it is too thick to allow you to live, to allow you to laugh.

Your own consciousness has no wounds.

Your own consciousness knows nothing of misery.

Your own consciousness is innocent, utterly blissful.

To bring you in touch with your own consciousness, every effort is being made to detract you from the mind. The mind contains all your misery, all your wounds. And it goes on creating wounds in such a way that, unless you are aware, you will not even find how it creates them. […]

I teach you the watcher.

The only way to get out of misery patterns, whether ancient or new, is witnessing. I say it is the only way, because nobody has escaped from the mind without becoming a witness. Just witness, and suddenly you will start laughing at your own misery. All our miseries are so superficial – and most fundamentally, they are all borrowed.

And everybody is giving his misery to everybody else he comes in contact with. People are talking continuously about their miseries, about their troubles, about their conflicts. Have you ever heard anybody talking about his joyous moments? About his dances and songs? About his silences and blissfulness? No, nobody talks about these things. People go on sharing all their wounds, and whenever you are talking about your misery to somebody, without your knowing, you are transferring a miserable pattern. The person may be thinking that he is only listening to you, but he is also catching the vibe of misery, the wounds.

When I said that you carry other people’s wounds, my statement meant that your own consciousness has no wounds. If everybody becomes alert, meditative, there will be no wounds in the world. They will simply disappear. They will not find any house, any shelter. This is possible. If it is possible for me, it is possible for everybody.

-Osho

Excerpt from The Zen Manifesto, Discourse #5

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Only the Universe Is – Osho

The other night I heard you say there is no reincarnation, no soul, so spirit after death, only pure consciousness, pure silence.

Is it then so, that part of us, of our own consciousness, is aware of that endless silence, of being part of the whole?

All your questions arise out of your mind, and I am trying to take you beyond the mind. Beyond the mind there is no question, there is nobody to ask. But if you start thinking about meditation, that is not meditation. If you start thinking, “What happens when awareness witnesses the wholeness of existence?” – if you start thinking, you are moving inside the mind in a circle, in a vicious circle, you may find some answer, but that answer is not the truth.

You have to go beyond thinking, beyond questioning.

Just be silent and you will know.

You are not, only the universe is.

You are just a ripple in the river, arisen in a certain moment and dissolved back again, but not for a single moment separate from the river. This whole existence is nothing but a vast ocean in which all kinds of ripples, tidal waves, arise and disappear, and the ocean remains.

That which remains is your authentic reality. That which comes and goes is just a dream, or just a phenomenal, illusory reality. For a moment the tidal wave can think, “I am separate from the ocean.”

But you know, however the wave may be tidal, it is not separate from the ocean. Even when it is thinking it is separate – and it looks separate – deep down it is part of the ocean.

I am taking you deep down into the ocean. In that ocean nobody is separate. Suddenly a tremendous joy arises that you are eternal, that you are oceanic, that you have always been and you will always be… but not those small personalities that you have taken again and again. This time you stop taking personalities and simply become the whole.

The whole feels more cozy than nothingness, but they are simply two ways of saying the same thing. The whole appears cozy, it seems you are becoming more than you were before. And nothing seems dangerous – you are becoming even less than you were before. You were at least something, now you are becoming nothing. But becoming whole, you have to become nothing. Becoming part of this vast existence, you have to relax the separateness, the individuality.

The questioner goes on asking:

Does the dewdrop still feel or experience some aliveness inside, when first it melts into the ocean? 

The dewdrop disappearing into the ocean feels for the first time a vast life. Only the boundaries that were making it a small dewdrop have disappeared. The dewdrop is still there, but it is no longer a dewdrop, it has become the ocean.

I have told you about Kabir, one of the most important mystics of the East….

When he became enlightened he wrote down a small statement: “The dewdrop has disappeared into the ocean – Bund samani samund mein.” But before dying, he called his son Kamal, and told him, “Please correct it. It was my first experience, now I know better. The dewdrop has not entered into the ocean; on the contrary, the ocean has entered into the dewdrop. So write it down that the ocean has entered into the dewdrop.”

Both mean the same, but one is the experience of the beginner. The dewdrop disappearing into the ocean feels like you are going into a vast nothingness. But once you have reached into that vastness, when you are no more, suddenly that vastness is you. There will be no self, no sense of I, but a sense of totality, of wholeness.

It is difficult to bring it into language. That difficulty is shown in Kabir’s changing the statement. In fact, no statement is right. Whether you say the dewdrop has entered into the ocean, or you say the ocean has entered into the dewdrop, you are still talking of two things: the dewdrop and the ocean.

If I had been present there, I would have said, “It is better to cancel both. Whatever has happened has happened, nothing can be said about it. One thing is certain, there is no more separation. So what has entered into what does not matter. There have been two, now there are not two.”

-Osho

From The Zen Manifesto: Freedom from Oneself, Discourse #7

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Here you can listen to the discourse excerpt Only the Universe Is.

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Where Does Your Body End? – Osho

Does the soul leave the body when you die? Where does it go? 

This whole way of thinking – that something remains and something leaves – is fallacious. The gross body that we know is just a seed, the outer mask. There are also subtle bodies which continue to surround your soul even when it is leaving. These bodies are also part of you.

The body that is with me now is part of the universe, but because we conceive of our self as ours, it becomes a problem: where does my body end?

If you go into it deeply, you will see that the whole universe is part of you, part of your body. For example, if the sun were to cease this very moment, your body could not continue to exist. It could not exist if there were no oceans, it could not exist if there were no atmosphere. Your body is just a part, a constantly changing part of the universe. When the sun rises, something rises in you. When the sun sets, something sets in you. When there is a moon, you are different. When there is no moon, you are different. Your body is in a constant, dynamic relationship with the whole.

Wherever you are, whatever state you are in, you will still be in a body. If your body is taken by the universe then the universe will give you another body, unless you consciously become the whole universe. Then there is no need for a body, because the universe itself has no body.

Individuals are bound to have bodies. But where does your body end and where does it begin? It is a problem, a multidimensional problem. Your body could not exist if your father’s body had not been in existence. Your body is part of a long series, of an eternal series. Your body exists in the trees, in the sea, in everything. It is a small cosmos related to every part of the total.

Our language is very crude and limited, so when we say that the soul leaves the body, it gives a mistaken idea. The soul moves into the body of the universe, but the universe is constantly giving it another body. That body which you have left behind is still related to you, because the whole is related to you.

You are swimming in the sea. You have left part of the sea behind and gone ahead, but the part that has been left behind is still a part of the sea in which you are now swimming. The sea is one and you are swimming in it just like the fish which is born of the sea and will dissolve into the sea. A fish is nothing but the sea itself, frozen somewhere, which will soon dissolve back into the sea again.

Our concept of coming into life and going out of life is primitive. You cannot go anywhere beyond this universe. Wherever you go, the universe behaves like a body to you. Your body is not only your body: it is a big community of many souls; you are only one of them. Every cell of the body has a soul, and each body has seventy million living soul cells.

Your body is a crowd of many, many souls living in a big city, and you are only one soul living in it.

Each part of you is a soul in its own right. It can live and grow without you, it can love and reproduce without you; you are not needed. So when you have leave the body, the body is still a living thing. The central soul has gone, but there are multi-millions of cells still living in the body which can ultimately develop, like you have, into a human being.

So it is a complex thing. But one thing is certain: nothing is dead. We are part of the ocean of life; we are aliveness.

It seems inconceivable to us because we go on seeing the universe from a particular point of view. That point is the disturbance. If that point dissolves and there is no ego to look from, then you cannot say that when you die you have gone somewhere. You have been. You will continue to be. Even though everything dissolves, nothing really dissolves; nothing ends. But that is possible only when there is no ego to say, “This is me.”

We think that we are the center of the universe, just as mankind has always thought that the earth is the center of the universe. But even science has proven that this is not so. The fallacy that the sun goes around the earth is the same mental fallacy that we have about ourselves. It looks true even today, when we know it is not true. If we look, the sun seems to be circling the earth.

The same phenomenon happens deep down also. In religion also we are earthbound, ego-bound: everything seems to move around the ego. It is a fallacious idea; the reality is that you are going round the universe. You are part of it; you cannot be otherwise.

Whatever you think from an egocentric point of view will be wrong. For me, right and wrong have different connotations. For me, anything that has ego at the center is wrong and anything that has no ego at the center is right. And unless you become one with the universe, unless the ego dissolves, you cannot have the right vision.

-Osho

From The Great Challenge, Chapter Ten

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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.

The Light That Remains Forever – Osho

Does the Being, or Self, in the person die with the death of the person; or does it live beyond death in another body?

The question is a little complicated.

First you have to understand that your personality is not your reality; it is given by the culture, by the society.

Individuality is yours, but personality is not yours.

As personality you are always dead; only as individuality are you alive. But to be an individual you have to rebel against personality and against all those people who are forcing a certain personality on you.

Each child is born with a certain potential to be – and each society tries to make him something else.

I have heard about a man who was celebrating the golden jubilee of his marriage. All his friends, relatives, acquaintances, had gathered. There was much joy, laughter. But suddenly they realized that the man was missing. They could not understand where he had gone. They looked in the garden and he was sitting in the shadows, in darkness, by the side of a tree, very sad.

His friends said, “This is strange. You have called all of us to celebrate, and you are sitting here in such sadness as if somebody has died! What is the problem?”

He said, “The problem is… This woman that I married has tortured me so much that twenty-five years ago I enquired of my attorney, ‘If I shoot her what will be the result?’ and he said, ‘Are you mad? If you shoot her you will get twenty-five years in jail!’ I am feeling sad because today I would have been free. That idiot attorney has died; otherwise I would have killed him! He made me afraid.”

A man has to live with a woman he does not love, which is simply misery. A woman has to live with a man… which is simply misery, hell. A man has to work in a certain profession he hates. Everybody becomes something that he does not like. This is your personality. Society distracts everybody from his natural individuality and makes him something other than he was destined to be.

So the first thing to be understood is that you are not a person, you are not a personality. The word ‘person’ comes from Greek drama. In Greek drama the actors used masks, and the mask… you could not see the person’s real face; you could only hear his sound. Sona means sound. Persona means you don’t know who is speaking; you just hear the sound, the face is missing. The word ‘personality’ comes from that Greek drama.

Everybody is wearing a mask. You can hear the sound but you can’t see the face; you can’t see the individual. So the first thing: you are not a ‘person’. If you are a person, you are already dead. If you are only a personality, you have dragged yourself from the cradle to the grave but you never lived. You live only when you are an individuality – when you assert yourself against every tradition, every religion, every past that wants you to be someone other than existence wants you to be. Then you live.

Again I am reminded: a great surgeon I used to know – perhaps he was the most famous surgeon in India – was retiring, and all his friends, his colleagues, had given him a party, a farewell party, but he was very sad. I asked him, “Why are you sad? You should be happy: you are the topmost surgeon in the whole country.”

He said, “You don’t understand. I never wanted to become a surgeon in the first place, so who cares that I am the topmost surgeon? I hate to hear that! I wanted to become a musician, but my parents forced me to become a surgeon – against my will I became a surgeon. By chance I became the topmost surgeon; perhaps I would not have been able to become the topmost musician. I am rich, I have everything, I have respectability, but that does not help me to be happy.

“Even if I had remained a beggar, as a musician I would have been blissful because I would have been myself. This surgeon seems to be somebody else; it is a role that I have played, but it is not me. These people are celebrating, and I am crying within myself that my whole life is lost.”

So first, you are not a ‘person’; otherwise you are dead before death. And there are millions of people who die thirty, forty, or fifty years before they actually die. You are an individual, and only individuality is capable of knowing your real self. Personality has no self – only an ego, as false as personality. Individuality has a self, a soul. The individual is a living principle of life.

If you know life you will never ask this kind of question. Knowing life authentically means you also know that it is immortal. The knowledge of its immortality is intrinsic. It is not something informed, from outside. Just living your true being in totality you slowly, slowly become aware of the immortal current of life within you. You know the body will die, but this soul, which is life’s whole essence, cannot die.

In existence nothing is destructible.

And it is not something to believe in, it is a scientific truth that you cannot destroy anything. You cannot destroy even a small piece of stone. Whatever you do it will remain in some form or other.

Science enquires into the objective world and finds that even objective reality is immortal. Religion works exactly like science in the inner world and finds the dancing life is intrinsically immortal.

It will be good to remember Socrates at this point because he was not a man to believe anything. If you had asked him whether your soul would survive after bodily death he would say, “Let me first die – because unless I die, how can I say?” And the day he was given poison is one of the most significant days in the history of man. His disciples were sitting around him and he was lying down. He told his disciples, “I will tell you what is happening. As long as I can, I will go on informing you.”

Then he said, “Up to my knees, my legs are dead. Please somebody pinch my legs so I can know whether I can feel it or not.” Somebody pinched his legs. He said, “I cannot feel it; the legs have died. But remember one thing: I am as alive as I ever was. The death of the legs has not cut a part of my life; my life is as whole as it ever was.” Then all of the legs became dead, half of the body. And he said, “Half of my body is dead, but I am whole, as whole as ever.”

Then his hands became dead and he said, “I am still here and I am still whole. Perhaps now my heart will stop, but I can say to you that even though I may not be able to inform you, I will remain, because if all these parts are gone and I am whole, then it doesn’t matter: the heart is only a part.”

And when he died his face was so delighted, so joyous, that Plato, his disciple, remembers, “We have never seen his face so full of light, so radiant. Perhaps the last moment when the soul is leaving the body is just like the sunset when the sun is going down and the whole sky becomes so beautiful and radiant.”

It is not a question of belief. I am not a believer in anything, so I will not say to you to believe me that the soul is immortal. But it is my experience that it is immortal because I can remember my past lives, and that is a solid proof that there are going to be future lives. I can teach you techniques for remembering past lives and that will become a solid proof for you that you have a future. You have an eternity of past and an eternity of future.

You have always been here and you will always be here.

But first drop your fake personality.

Grow into your authentic individuality.

Live the way existence wanted you to live. Your very life should be so intense and so total that you burn your life’s torch from both ends. In that very intensity you will know that you have touched something of eternity. And if you have known it in your life, in your death you will find a deeper confirmation of the fact.

People who live in personality always die unconscious. They have never lived. They don’t know what consciousness is, so before death they become unconscious. That’s why we don’t  remember our past lives. You were unconscious, and death happened in your unconsciousness.

But if you live consciously, as an individual, then you will die consciously, the way Socrates is dying – so conscious to the last breath. And this memory will be with you in the next life too.

In the East there are three great religions: Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism. They disagree on every point – their philosophies are different about everything – but on one point they agree, and that is the eternal existence of the soul, because it is not a question of theoretical discussion, it is a question of existential experience. You can’t disagree about it – it is exactly so.

Against these three religions in the East, outside of India there are three religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Mohammedanism. They all believe in one life, and that simply shows their poverty. They have not explored deeply enough to find past lives, and they cannot guarantee anything about the future. These three religions born outside India are superficial. Their work is not in-depth research.

But in India for ten thousand years thousands of people have entered into self-realization and have found that there is some light that remains forever. It goes on moving from one body to another body but is indestructible.

I will not tell you to believe it. I will only tell you to experiment. I am against all beliefs, because every belief destroys you, destroys your thinking. I am in favor of experimenting, and there are techniques available.

That has been my whole life’s work – to make those techniques available to anybody who really wants to search and to find, to one who is not only a curious person but is a seeker who is ready to risk everything for the search. And it is a search for which you need to risk everything because you are going to find the greatest treasure.

-Osho

From The Path of the Mystic, Discourse #1

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com  or 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.