Death, the Gap and Jumping Out of the Wheel – Osho

In discourse the other night you said that at one’s death there is but a two or three second gap between which the soul travels from one body to the next. Master, you have said that your last life was seven hundred years ago. Where were you for all those years? 

Just here, in Uruguay! Where else could I be? The whole existence is available. When you are not in a body, you are just part of the whole existence without any partition.

The reason why I had to remain seven hundred years… A few people don’t get into the next life immediately. Either the person is so wicked, so animalistic, so murderous, like Adolf Hitler… He is not yet reborn because he needs a certain kind of womb which may not be available for thousands of years: he has to wait. Or if you have attained a certain evolved consciousness there is the same problem: you need a certain womb. Unless that is available, you cannot get another birth.

Ordinarily it is two or three seconds, because for the sleeping humanity the same kind of wombs are available. All day long millions of people are making love, and they are giving opportunities for new people to enter into a womb. So for the masses there is no problem; they don’t have to wait. It is almost instantaneous: as they leave one body, immediately some womb somewhere is ready. And they get into the closest womb.

By the way, if you are born in Germany, then for many lives you may be born in Germany for the simple reason that if you remain just part of the mass there is no reason to go far away to China or Japan and be born there. Just around you there are wombs ready to receive you.

In my experiments I have seen that people ordinarily continue in the same environment unless something starts growing in them and they cannot find the right womb in close proximity. Then they change. Then they move to different countries, to different races, to different peoples.

But in these extremes – either you are too cursed or too blessed – you will have to wait, because only once in a while a womb is ready for such a person. The father has to have certain qualities, the mother needs to have certain qualities, and only if their qualities are symmetrical with his own qualities can a certain soul enter. So it is not only that you carry your parents’ blood and your parents’ bones and your parents’ cells; there is something even deeper than that. You have certain qualities which are exactly those of your parents, but you have not acquired them from your parents – you had them, that’s why you got those parents.

Unembodied, you are just part of existence. It is difficult to explain to you where you are because “where” indicates a certain space; “when” indicates a certain time. But as you leave the body, you go beyond time and space both, so there is no way to say where you are. You are: time has stopped for you, space has disappeared for you.

You will remain in this state blissfully – if it is bliss that is preventing you from finding a new womb – or very miserably, if you are stuck because of misery, because of anguish, because of all the evil that you have done.

Adolf Hitler killed millions of people, at least six million people, and then he committed suicide himself – and all for no purpose. The whole thing was absolutely useless. Now to find parents of similar qualities, similar criminal minds, he will have to wait. But all this waiting will be an intense suffering.

My own understanding is that because of these situations, the idea of heaven and hell has arisen.

There is no hell and there is no heaven, just people who get stuck and cannot find a womb. If they are in anguish, misery, darkness, all the torture they have done to other people starts having its effects on them. They live in utter self-torture. And this is why the idea of hell has been created; otherwise there is no hell. But it has a meaning, a symbolic meaning.

Those seven hundred years were absolutely blissful for me, and I can say that anybody who has experienced that kind of bliss beyond time and space will naturally think he is in paradise. But there is no paradise; this existence is all. Either you are in the body… then you have a chance to evolve; without the body you cannot evolve. The body is a kind of school. It gives you all the situations for evolution. I know my seven hundred years were blissful, but I could not move ahead; it was frozen bliss. In that state there is no possibility to grow: you will remain at the same point until you are born again, and then you can start growing. A body is needed to grow.

Once you have attained the whole possibility of growth, the whole spectrum, there is no need for any evolution; you have come to the full point. Then you will not be coming back into the body. There is no need to come back to the school; you have learned everything. Now you can remain part of existence for eternity, with eternal bliss.

The body has to be respected, loved, because it is your vehicle for growth, for moving ahead.

Without it you cannot move. That’s why I am continuously surprised that the religions have created the idea that the body is something anti-spiritual. The body is what you want it to be: it can be anti-spiritual, it can be for spirituality. It is a vehicle: wherever you want to go it can take you; in itself it has no program. The body is very innocent and without any program.

The fact that all the religions have condemned the body has harmed humanity, because those who have condemned the body have stopped using the possibility of the body to take you to higher states.

On the contrary, they have started harming the body. They have been destructive to the body, and that is not going to help. They are destroying their own vehicle.

But it seems that the fact that people who have attained enlightenment have not entered into the body again has given a false idea to the priests, to the scholars – to those who don’t know and yet think they know. The idea has come to them that since you don’t enter into the body again after you become enlightened, that means that the body is not spiritual; it is anti-spiritual. You are in the body only because you are not enlightened, so fight with the body, torture the body, make yourself free of the body. But the methods they are using will not make them free of the body; they will get more entangled with the body. But nobody cares to look into all the implications of anything.

It is true that the enlightened person never enters the body, but the opposite is not true – that if you don’t enter the body you will be enlightened, or if you destroy the body you will be enlightened.

The very idea of destructiveness, torture, is unspiritual, and the person who can destroy himself can easily destroy anybody. If he can torture himself it is very easy for him to torture anybody.

Perhaps people like Adolf Hitler were your so-called saints in the past. They have tortured their bodies so much that now this is a reaction; the pendulum has moved to the other extreme: now they are torturing other people. Otherwise there is no reason why people should torture other people.

What enjoyment can they get in torturing other people? There must be some reason behind it – they have tortured themselves enough. So now it becomes a vicious circle: you torture yourself, then you are born in a body and you torture others; and because you torture others, you are born again in a body and you torture yourself.

The Hindustani word for the world is samsara. India has been very careful about its language: each word has its own philosophical background. Samsara means the wheel which goes on moving. The only way to jump out of the wheel is to be watchful, because watchfulness is already outside the wheel. If you become accustomed to watchfulness, you are suddenly out of the wheel. But if you get identified with anger, with jealousy, with love, with hate – with any kind of thing – then you are caught up with the wheel.

And the wheel goes on moving from one extreme to another. What is down will be up, what is up will be down – and there is no end to it unless somebody simply jumps out. And the only way to jump out is to become aware of your anger, of your love, of your hate, of your misery, of your joy. Just being watchful you are already out of the wheel – the goose is out.

-Osho

From The Path of the Mystic, Discourse #12

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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