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Past Lives and the Science of the Soul
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OSHO : Dimensions Beyond the Known, Chapter 4

OSHO,
You have told us what happens to the soul during that timeless interval between two births. But some points remain unresolved, regarding the bodiless soul: in that bodiless state, does the soul remain stationary or can it move about? And how does it recognize other souls? In that state, is there any possibility of a dialogue between souls?

In this connection, two or three things may be remembered. Firstly, neither is there any stationary condition nor any movement in that state. That is why it becomes even more difficult to understand. It is easy for us to understand that if there is no movement there must be a state of rest or vice versa. In our thinking, these are the only two possibilities for everything. We think that in the absence of one the other must prevail. We are also under the impression that these two states are opposite to each other.

So firstly, we should understand that movement and non-movement are not opposites, but different aspects of the same thing. When the movement is such that we are not able to see or grasp it, we call it non-movement. Movement is, likewise, a state of non-movement which we are not able to comprehend. If something moves at a great speed, you will find that it appears stationary.

If a fan is moved at a high speed, you will not be able to see the blades. At that speed, you will not be able even to tell how many blades the fan has, because the empty space between the three blades becomes filled before we can see it. A fan can move so quickly that you cannot put anything through the spaces between the blades. Things can be moved in such a way that even if you touch them with your hand you will feel that they are not moving. That is why science says that all things that appear stationary to us are also moving, but the movement is very fast and at levels that are beyond the grasp of our senses. Therefore, movement and non-movement are not two things. They are different states of the same thing differing only in degree.

In the realm where there is no body, both these conditions will not be there because where there is no body there is neither time nor space. From what we have known thus far, it is not possible for us to conceive of a realm beyond time and space because we have not known anything that is beyond.

What then shall we call that condition? We do not even have any word to express a condition where there is no time and space. When, during a religious experience, messages of such a state were received for the first time, difficulties arose regarding how to describe it. What is the name of that state? An embarrassment similar to this is also experienced by science when it has difficulty in naming a newly discovered phenomenon; when something happens which is different from and beyond all our pertinent knowledge, this becomes very difficult.

For example, some years ago, when the electron was first discovered, the question arose whether to call it a particle or a wave. We cannot call it a particle because matter is always static; nor can we call it a wave because a wave is always moving and is weightless. The electron is both simultaneously. Then difficulty arises -- because in our understanding a thing can be only one of the two, but not both. But the electron is both a particle as well as a wave. Sometimes we comprehend it as a particle, sometimes as a wave. There is no word in any language of the world to express this phenomenon.

For the scientists who observed this, it seemed inconceivable. It became a mystery. When people asked Einstein why he was describing the electron as both a particle and a wave, they felt that his thinking was becoming illogical and mysterious. Einstein, in reply, then asked them whether he should believe fact or logic. The fact is that the electron is both at the same time, but logic tells us that a thing can be only one at a time. A man is either standing or walking. Logic tells us that he can be one thing at a time; he cannot be both standing and walking simultaneously. Logic, therefore, will not agree. But the experience of the electron required that scientists should put aside logic and hold fast to facts. The electron is an example.

The experience of religious individuals tells us that during that interval between the leaving of one body and the taking of another, the bodiless soul is neither stationary nor in movement. This is beyond our understanding. That is why some religions say the bodiless soul is stationary and others say that it is in movement. But this is only due to the difficulty of explaining -- because the boundaries of space and time within which movement or non-movement is observed do not exist during that interval. For both movement or non-movement, a body is necessary. Without body, there can be neither movement nor non-movement.

The body is the only medium through which these conditions can be observed.

For example, this is my hand. I can either move it or keep it steady. Someone may ask, when I do not have this physical hand, whether or not my soul will be moving. The question itself is meaningless because without this hand the soul can neither move nor remain stationary. Movement and non-movement are both qualities of the body. Beyond body, the words "movement" and "non-movement" have no meaning.

This is applicable to all dualities. Take, for example, the condition of speaking and the condition of remaining silent. Without the body, it is neither possible to speak nor to remain silent. Ordinarily, we can understand that it is not possible to speak without body, but it is difficult to understand that it is not possible even to be silent without body. Through the medium which enables one to speak, one can express silence as well. Becoming silent is only a way of speaking, a state of speaking. Silence is not only a state of not speaking, but of speaking as well.

For example, a man is blind. One may feel that perhaps he is only able to see darkness. This is illusion. Even to see darkness, eyes are necessary. Without eyes, it is not possible even to see darkness. You may close your eyes and think that because you are seeing darkness it is possible, but you are making a mistake. While you close your eyes, your eyes do not cease to be there; you do not become blind. If you become blind after once having had eyes, then you will know what darkness is. But for the one who is blind since birth it is not possible to know what darkness is, because darkness is also an experience of eyes. You experience darkness with the same medium used to experience light. One who is blind since birth cannot know what darkness is.

You hear through your ears. In language, we may say that one who has no ears is not hearing. But that state of not hearing is also not known to those who are deaf. Ears are necessary even to know that you did not hear. It is just like eyes being necessary to know what darkness is. Non-movement is possible only through that sense in which there is movement. If there is no sense, there is no experience of non-movement. In the bodiless state, the soul can neither speak nor remain silent. There is no instrument for speaking or for remaining silent. All experiences are dependent on the instrument -- on the body, on the senses.

But this does not mean that such a bodiless soul has reached liberation. The descriptions of a soul in liberation and one that is in the interval between life and rebirth may appear similar. What then is the difference between the liberated soul and the one that is in this interval? The difference is of potentiality, of seed existence.

During the bodiless existence, the interval between two bodies, the experiences and impressions of all previous births remain with the soul in seed form. As soon as the soul acquires a body, they will become active. For example, if we cut the feet of a person, his experiences of running will not disappear. Without feet he can neither run nor stop, because if he cannot run how can he stop? But if he acquires feet, all of his experiences and impressions will become active again and he will be able to run if he wants to.

It is like taking away a car from a person who has always been driving.

Now he cannot drive a car or press an accelerator -- because he has no car. Neither can he apply brakes to slow down. But his experiences of car driving remain with him. He is out of the car, but his experiences of driving remain with him in seed form. If he acquires a car after some years, he will be able to drive it as soon as he puts his foot on the accelerator.

The liberated soul becomes free of these impressions, whereas in the interval between two bodies the soul only becomes free of the senses, the instruments. In liberation, all experiences, impressions and desires are destroyed. In both conditions of the soul, there is one similarity -- that there is no body. But there is one dissimilarity. In liberation there is neither body nor the chain of bodily experiences. In the interval between births, though there is no body, there is a great chain of body-related experiences existing in seed form which can become active at any time upon acquisition of a body.

So whatever experiences one may have in this interval will be such as can be had without body. As I have said, these will be experiences of meditation. But the experiences of meditation are had only by very few persons. Out of millions of people, only one has that experience of meditation. What experiences can the remaining people have? Their experiences will be of a dream life. In a dream, no sense participates.

It is possible that if a person is in a dream, and if you can keep him in the dream and cut off his limbs, his dream may not be disturbed. But the chances are that his sleep will break. If it were possible to cut off his limbs one after the other without breaking his sleep, then his dream would continue undisturbed because none of the limbs of the body are necessary for the dream. The body is not at all active in a dream; there is no use of the body in it. Without the body the dream experience will remain. In fact, all experiences will remain in dream form.

If someone were to ask you whether you are stationary or in movement during a dream, you would find it difficult to reply. When you awake from the dream, you find that all along you were lying in the same place, but you were in a dream. Upon waking, you find that there have been long, deep happenings in the dream, but, remember, there was no movement at all in it.

If you understand properly, you will find that you are not even a participant in a dream. In a deep sense, you can only be a witness. That is why one can see oneself dying in a dream; one can see one's own body lying dead. In a dream, if you see yourself walking, then the one whom you see walking is a dream phenomenon and you are but a witness.

That is why religion has put forth the idea that if a person can view this world like a dream he will have the highest religious experience. From this only, the theological concept of calling this world maya -- an illusion or a dream -- has been put forth. The deeper meaning of this is that if one can view the world as if in a dream, then one becomes a witness. In a dream, one is always a witness and no one is a participant. In no circumstances are you ever an actor. Though you may see yourself as an actor, you are always the spectator, the seer, the one who is seeing.

Therefore, all bodiless experiences will be like dreams -- seed-like. Those whose experiences have created misery for them will see nightmares and dreams of hell. Those whose experiences have brought them happiness will dream of heaven and will be happy in their dreams. But these are all dreamlike experiences.

Sometimes different types of events may also happen, but these kinds of experiences will differ. Occasionally, it may so happen that souls which are neither stationary nor in movement will enter other bodies. But to say that the souls will enter is a linguistic fallacy. It would be better to say that some body may behave in such a way that it will cause a soul to enter into it. The world of such souls is not different from ours. That world exists also beside us, close by. We are all residing in the same world. Every inch of space that is here is filled with souls. The space right here which appears empty to us is also full.

There are two types of bodies which are in a state of deep receptivity.

One is of those that are in great fear. Those who are in great fear cause their souls to contract within their bodies -- so much so that they vacate some parts of the body completely. Some nearby souls drift into these empty parts like water entering a ditch. At such times, these souls experience things that only a soul with a body can experience.

Secondly, a soul can enter a body when it is in a deep prayerful moment. In such prayerful moments also, the soul contracts. But during fearful moments, only such souls drift in which are in great misery and agony, that see only nightmares. Those are the ones whom we call evil spirits. Because a frightened person happens to be in an ugly and dirty state, no higher soul can enter him.

A fearful person is like a ditch: only downward moving souls can enter. A prayerful person is like a peak: only upward moving souls can enter. A prayerful person becomes filled with so much inner fragrance and so much inner beauty that only the highest souls take interest in him. And such higher souls will enter only by what we call invocation, invitation or prayer.

Both these types of experiences by souls are such as could be had only with body. Thus, there is a complete science for invoking devatas -- gods. These devatas do not descend from some heaven, nor do those whom we call evil spirits come from hell or some devil's world. They are all present right here, coexisting with us.

Actually, in the same space, there is a multidimensional existence. For example, this room where we are sitting is full of air. If someone burns some incense, some aromatic substance, the room will become filled with fragrance. If someone sings a melodious song, sound waves will also fill the room. But the smoke of the incense will not clash with the waves of the song. This room can be filled with music as well as with light, but no light wave will clash with any sound wave. Nor will the light waves have to leave to make room for the entry of sound waves.

In fact, this very space is filled in one dimension by sound waves, in another by light waves and in a third dimension by the airwaves. Likewise, hundreds of things fill this room in hundreds of different dimensions. They do not in any way hinder one another, nor does any one thing have to move out of the way for something else. Therefore, all this space is multidimensional.

For example, in this place we have a table, but we cannot keep another table in the same place because tables are of the same dimension. But an existence of another dimension will not find the table to be a barrier. All these souls are very much near us; any time there can be an entry. When the souls enter, then they will have a bodily type of experience, and these experiences are such as can be had only through body.

Another factor concerns the way in which these souls that enter living bodies communicate.

Communication is possible only between the soul entering and the soul existing in the body. That is why, so far on this earth, no spirit, evil or godly, has been able to communicate directly with us, right before our very eyes. But it is not true there has not been any communication. Communication takes place. Information that we have about heaven and hell is not something out of people's imaginations, but it has been communicated by such souls through mediums.

Thus, in olden times, there was a system. For example, with the Vedas of the Hindus, none of the rishis of the Vedas would ever say that he was the writer of such and such a Veda; in fact, he was not a writer at all. It is not out of humility or modesty that the rishis did not claim to be the writers. It is a fact that what they had written down was, in a sense, heard by them. This is a very clear experience: when some soul enters into you and speaks, the experience is so clear that you know full well you are sitting aside while someone else and not you is speaking. You too are the listener and not the speaker.

This is not easy to know from outside, but if observed with proper attention it is possible. For example, the manner and style of speech will be different, the tone will differ, the diction and the language will also differ. To the original owner of the body, everything will be crystal clear from inside. If some evil spirit has entered, then the person will perhaps be so much afraid that he will become unconscious. But if a celestial soul has entered, then he will be aware and awakened such as he never was before. Then the situation will be crystal clear to him.

So those in whom the evil spirits enter will be very clear about the fact that someone had entered into them only after such evil spirits leave the body -- because they become so fearful that they faint and fall unconscious. But those in whom celestial souls enter will be able to say at the very moment that "what is being spoken is by someone else, not by me."

Just as two persons may use only one microphone, both these voices will use the same instrument. One will stop speaking while the other will start. When the senses of the body can be so used, it is possible for bodiless souls to communicate. That is how whatever is known to this world about devas and evil spirits becomes communicated. There is no other way to know about these things.

For all this, complete sciences have been evolved.

Once a science is evolved, things become easier to understand. Then these things can be made use of with full understanding. When these kinds of events happened in the past, scientific principles were derived from them. For example, if accidentally and suddenly some celestial soul had entered into someone, then from the study of that happening certain principles regarding the conditions conducive for such a phenomenon would be evolved. Then it could be said that if such conditions can be created again, then again such souls will enter.

For example, Mohammedans will burn lobhan and benzoin. This is a method of inviting good spirits by creating a specific fragrant atmosphere. Hindus also burn incense and they light a flame made from ghee. These things appear to be ritualistic formalities today, but at one time they had a deep meaning.

Hindus will chant a specific mantra which becomes an invocation. It is not necessary that there should be a meaning to the mantra. Ordinarily there is none, because mantras with meaning become distorted with the passage of time. But meaningless mantras do not become distorted. With a meaningless mantra nothing extraneous can enter with the passage of time. That is why all mantras of depth are meaningless. They have no meaning, so they remain changeless. They are only sounds. There are methods for the chanting of these sounds. If there is a specified beat, intensity and rhythm, the soul that is invoked will enter instantly. And if the soul for whom the mantra was devised is dissolved into nirvana, another soul of similar purity will enter.

All the religions of the world have certain mantras. The Jainas have Namokar:

I bow down to those who have destroyed all enemies.
I bow down to those who have achieved liberation.
I bow down to those who are the religious preceptors.
I bow down to those who are the priests.
I bow down to all the religious aspirants.

It has five divisions. On each division there is an invocation which becomes deeper and deeper. Ordinarily, people chant the entire mantra, but this is not the proper way. Those who desire to contact high souls should go on repeating only the first part. The remaining four parts need not be repeated. There should be full emphasis on one part only because the souls related to that part are different from those related to other parts.

For example, the first part of this mantra, namo arihantanam, is a prostration to the arihantas -- those who have destroyed all enemies and those who have transcended all their senses. Ari means an enemy and hanta means the destroyer. Therefore, this is a particular invocation to fully enlightened souls who can take only one birth more. This one part should be repeated with a special sound and impact. In this invocation, other Jaina souls are not included and, therefore, they cannot be contacted.

This arihant is a special technical word which is connected with the highest Jaina souls. With this mantra, the soul of Jesus Christ cannot be contacted; there is no such desire expressed here. With this mantra, even Buddha cannot be contacted. This is a technological term for the invocation of a particular category of Jaina souls. Like this, in all the five separate parts of Namokar, there is an invocation for five different categories of souls.

The last invocation, namo loye savva sahunam, is for invoking all the religious aspirants. It is directed to all aspirants of all religions; it has nothing to do with the Jainas or any specific group other than Jainas. It is a very generalized invocation for contact with any religious aspirant without any particularization.

All religions have such mantras through which contacts have been made. These mantras became shakti-mantras, and they became highly significant. A mantra is like a name given to a person, such as the name Ram. When the person is called by the name, immediately he becomes alert.

So there are also mantras for ordinary spirits. There are sciences for invoking both ordinary and extraordinary souls. Sometimes it may not be possible to contact a particular soul who is invoked because he may not be there due to the lapse of time. But it will always be possible to contact souls of a similar type with a mantra.

Now take the example of Mohammed. He always said that he was only a paigamber, a messenger, because Mohammed never felt that whatever he was experiencing was his own. The voice which came to him from above was very clear. His experiences are described by Mohammedans as ilham -- revelations. Mohammed felt that something entered into him and began speaking. He himself could not believe the happening. He did not think that anyone else would believe him. If he were to say that what was spoken was spoken by himself, he thought that no one else would believe him because he had never spoken that way before. He was not known to the people to speak in such a way. People did not know that he could tell such things, so he knew that no one would believe such a story.

He came back home from the place where the revelation took place in a mood of great fear, trying to avoid others and escape being seen. He did not want to reveal immediately what he knew, because then people would not trust him as he did not have a background for such things in his earlier life. Upon coming home he told his wife what had happened. He also told her that if she was able to trust him, then he would tell it to someone else -- otherwise not, because that which had come to him had come from above. Someone had spoken to him; it was not his voice. But when his wife trusted him, he began telling others.

With Moses too, the same thing happened. The voice descended upon him. In order for this voice to descend, some great divine spirit must use someone as a medium. But everyone cannot be used as a medium. This capacity and purity to become a vehicle, a medium, is not a minor thing. Communication can only be possible if a capable vehicle is available.

For such communication, another's body has to be used.
This type of attempt was made in recent times with Krishnamurti, but it failed.

This is the story of the attempted reincarnation by Buddha under the name of Maitreya. Buddha had said that he would take one more birth, with that name. A great deal of time had elapsed -- about two thousand five hundred years -- but still Buddha did not take birth. Indications had been received that Maitreya was not able to find a suitable mother or womb. Therefore, a different type of attempt was made. If it was not possible to find a suitable mother or womb, some selected individual might be developed and made ready through whom Maitreya could speak whatever he wanted to.

For this purpose, the large theosophical movement was started -- to arrange for the selection of a suitable individual and prepare him in every way to deserve to be the vehicle for Maitreya. The soul which wanted to give a message through Mohammed found in Mohammed a ready-made vehicle; he did not have to prepare anyone. Even the soul that gave a message through Moses did not have to make a vehicle. They found the vehicles ready-made. Those times were simple, and people were more innocent and less filled with ego. It was easy to find a vehicle then because one could, in full humility, surrender one's body to another soul for use, as if that body did not belong to him.

But now it is impossible. Individuality has become rigid and ego-centered; no one wants to surrender. Therefore, the Theosophists selected four or five small children -- because it could not be confidently predicted how each child would develop. They selected Krishnamurti as well as his brother Nityananda. Afterwards, they also selected Krishnamenon and also George Arundale.

Nityananda died a premature death as a result of the intensive preparations to make him the medium for Maitreya. Krishnamurti became so mentally disturbed by his brother's death that he himself could not become the medium.

Krishnamurti was selected at the age of nine by Annie Besant and Leadbeater. But this world is a big drama; this experiment was done by great powers. The drama was played on an international stage by powerful individuals. When the possibility of Maitreya entering into Krishnamurti became very near, certain, the soul of Devadatta who had been Buddha's cousin, and who had for his whole life opposed Buddha and attempted several times to kill him, influenced the mind of Krishnamurti's father.

Thus, a legal suit influenced by Devadatta was filed by Krishnamurti's father against Annie Besant and the other Theosophists, demanding back the possession of his son Krishnamurti who had been in their custody. This suit was fought up to the Privy Council. This fact has not been told before. I am telling it for the first time: Annie Besant fought the legal battle tooth and nail. But in the law courts, it was not possible for her to win because it was the father's right to claim possession of his minor child. Even if the child were to refuse to go to the father it was not possible for him to win because he was a minor. Therefore, it was necessary for them to run away from India taking Krishnamurti with them. In India, the suit was going on and Annie Besant ran away out of India with Krishnamurti. The suit went on up to the Supreme Court; there also Annie Besant was defeated. It was a legal battle and Devadatta was more powerful.

Ordinarily, the law becomes more cooperative in the hands of bad men because a good man is not preoccupied with matters of law. The bad man first makes all the necessary arrangements for his legal battle.

Afterwards, Annie Besant appealed the case to the Privy Council in London, and there the decision was reversed, against all legal provisions, to let the child remain with Annie Besant. There had never been any such precedent before, nor was the judgment just and proper. But there was no further appeal beyond the Privy Council. This judgment was made possible by the influence of the soul of Maitreya who did not interfere in the lower courts or the appellate courts. He reserved his powers of influence for the last court of appeal.

Thus, on the lower plane, it was an enacted drama witnessed by big headlines in newspapers and legal battles fought in law courts. But on the higher plane, a great battle was fought between two powerful souls. Afterwards, such great pains were taken in Krishnamurti's preparation that had, perhaps, never been taken before with any other individual. Individuals may have taken greater pains in preparing themselves for certain achievements, but so many people had never staked so much on one person.

But in spite of all this great effort, when the time came all hopes fell through. Theosophists had gathered some six thousand people in Holland from all over the world, and it was scheduled to be announced that Krishnamurti had on that day given up his own personality and accepted that of Maitreya. All the preparations were made. The long awaited moment came when he was to climb up to the rostrum to announce that he was no more Krishnamurti, so that the soul of Maitreya might enter and begin to speak. Six thousand delegates from all over the world had gathered together from far and wide, in great expectation, to listen to the voice of Maitreya. A great unprecedented event was to take place.

But nothing happened. At that crucial moment, Krishnamurti refused to relinquish his individuality. Devadatta had made his final attempt, and what could not be done in the Privy Council was made possible in that last court of the delegates. He made Krishnamurti announce that he was not a teacher -- not a world teacher, that he had nothing to do with anyone else's soul, that he was what he was, and that he did not want to tell anything more. A great experiment failed. But in one sense, it was the first experiment of its type, and there was a greater possibility of failure.

So it is not possible for souls to communicate unless they can enter into someone's body.

That is why a birth as a human being is indispensable. For example, someone dies now, and if he remains in a bodiless state for a hundred years there is no development of any type whatsoever during the hundred years. He will begin in the new birth from where he was when he died in the previous life -- right from there -- no matter how long the intervening period may be. This intervening period is not a time of development. It is like waking up in the same bed where you had slept the previous night.

That is why many religions went against sleep, because during sleep there is no progress. These religions began to reduce the sleeping time because of lack of development during sleep. You get up in the same bed you had slept in, unchanged. Exactly the same way, when you take birth again you pick up from where you had left off when you died. There is no change in your condition. It is like my stopping the watch now, but when I start it again it will start exactly from where it had stopped.

In the interval between births, all development is blocked. That is why no devatas can reach salvation while in heaven -- because there is no action there; one cannot do anything there. There one can only dream endlessly. For doing something, one has to take a human birth on earth.

Also, in regard to souls recognizing each other, two spirits desiring to meet each other can do so only by entering into two different bodies. There is no way of direct recognition. It is like twenty persons sleeping in this room. They will remain the whole night in the same room, but in sleep there is no way for them to know one another. They can know one another only after waking.

When we wake up, our recognition continues -- but in sleep it is not possible; there we have no relationship whatsoever. It is possible that one person may wake up and see all the rest that are sleeping. This means that if one soul enters into someone's body that soul can see the other souls. But the other souls cannot see that one soul.

If one soul enters into somebody's body, it can know something about the other souls that are bodiless.

But those bodiless souls cannot know anything. Actually, the fact of knowing and recognizing is possible only through a brain residing in a body, and upon death the body dies together with its brain.

But there are some other possibilities. If some persons have experimented while living, and have established relationships through telepathy or clairvoyance, which are methods of knowing without use of the brain and which have nothing to do with the brain, then such persons may succeed in establishing relationships with evil spirits as well as celestial souls. But there are very few persons of that capacity. However, information about the conditions prevailing in the spiritual world has been given to us only by such souls.

The situation is like this: twenty people drink liquor and all become unconscious. But among them one person who had a long habit of drinking could remain fully conscious, and so he could tell about the experiences of being drunk. The others could not because they became unconscious before they came to know anything.

There are a few organizations working in the world who prepare persons to communicate information about the spiritual world after death. For example, in London, Sir Oliver Lodge, who was a member of a spiritualist society, tried for a long time after his death to give a message, but failed. For twenty years, in spite of great efforts, no message could be communicated. Some other souls, in fact, informed that Oliver Lodge was trying sincerely to give a message, but tuning in could not be established.

For twenty years, he knocked at the doors of people to whom he had promised to give a message immediately after death. He was prepared by the society for this work. It appeared as if he had tried to awaken his friends from sleep. They would awaken and sit up alert, feeling that Oliver was somewhere nearby, but no one could become attuned in order to receive what Oliver had to say.

Oliver died ready to communicate and continued his efforts for twenty years, but there was no one ready to understand the language of the dead. Very often, some friend passing on the road felt Oliver's hand on his shoulder, knowing full well the touch of his hand. But when he would try to talk to them, the awareness of his presence would become lost. All of his friends would be very much upset over this, but in spite of Oliver's best repeated efforts no message could reach.

Preparations have to be twofold. If someone is capable of telepathic experiences while he is living, if he has developed the capacity to convey thought without words, if he has a capacity to see far off things with closed eyes, then such a person would know many things about the spiritual world.

Knowing is not only dependent on our physical existence. For example, a botanist, a poet, a shopkeeper and a child may go to a garden. They all go to the same garden, but they do not go after the same thing. The child will run after the colorful bees, the shopkeeper would think about his shop problems, the poet would stop at flowers and become lost in composing a poem, and the botanist would try to verify many things about trees.

The shopkeeper can see neither the flowers nor any poem in them. The botanist sees every root, every leaf, every flower, with such analytical eyes that he confirms the knowledge he has gathered over the last twenty or fifty years. None of the others can see what he can see. Similarly, those who die without knowing anything except the body cannot have any recognition of the other world, nor can they establish any relationship with it. They die in a coma, in a deep unconscious state, awaiting a new birth. But those who made preparations in advance will be able to do something. There are scriptures for such preparations.

If, before death, one dies in a scientific way with full preparation for it, with a plan and a methodology as to what he would do after death, then he can do something. There are chances for great experiences. But when a person dies ordinarily, he may take birth immediately or after some years. Then he will not know anything about the condition of the intervening period between births. That is why there is no possibility of direct communication.

OSHO,
for some time I have been feeling that you are in a hurry. What is that hurry and why? I am not able to understand. But the fact that you are in a hurry is evident from the letters which you have written to some of your devotees.
The question also arises whether the purpose for which you had to take birth has been fulfilled. If you have completed the task, then would you explain a statement you once made that you would roam about from village to village creating challenges for people, and if by chance you met with eyes that could become the lamp, you would work on such persons in an all-out effort. You have also said that you would do this so that at your time of death you will not have to say that you searched for a hundred persons but you could not get them.

I am in hurry for three reasons: first, no matter how much time one has, one will always find it insufficient. Always, any amount of time and energy would be insufficient -- because the work is as big as the sea, and the energy and the time one has are like the hollow of one's palm. Even if one is a Buddha or a Mahavira, a Krishna or a Christ, the effort cannot be greater than the hollow of the palm, and the expanse of the work is as vast as the sea.

This is only ordinary haste, which is usual. But there is haste for another reason too. Some time periods move slowly so that the time appears not to be moving at all. As we look to our historical past, we will find that time used to move very slowly. Then there are some eras that move fast, in which everything seems to be moving at a high speed. Today we are in such a fast-moving era. Everything is moving at a high speed, and nothing seems to remain steady or stable. If religion continues to move at its ancient slow speed, it will lag behind and die.

In the old days, even science moved slowly. For ten thousand years the bullock cart remained the same. The bullock cart remained a bullock cart and the blacksmith used the same old tools. Everything moved as slowly as a river moving on non-sloping plains. You would not know at all that anything was moving. Banks of such rivers still remain here and there.

In such times, religion also moved slowly. There was a sort of harmony in that movement, and science and religion both were in step with each other. But now religion moves slowly while science and other things are moving at a faster pace. Given these conditions, if religion lags behind and walks hesitantly, then it is no wonder people are not able to keep in step with it. For this reason also there is hurry.

Looking at the speed at which the world's knowledge about matter is increasing and the speed at which science is making great strides, religion should actually remain somewhat ahead of science and achieve a higher speed -- because whenever religion lags behind science it causes great harm. Religion should remain a little ahead to guide, because an ideal must always remain a little ahead; otherwise the ideal becomes meaningless. The ideal should always be ahead of achievement and should remain beyond it. This is the fundamental difference between these two.

If we look back at the era of Ram, religion was always ahead of him. If we look to the modern era, man is always ahead of religion. Nowadays only that person can become religious who is very backward. There is a reason for this: it is only because such a person alone is able to keep in step with religion. Today, the more progressive a person is, the farther he is from religion, or else his relationship with religion will remain only formal -- will be just for show. So religion must remain in the forefront.

If we look back to the time of Buddha or Mahavira, it will be very surprising to know that those who had the best minds in their times were religious. But in our civilization, if we look to the modern religious man, he has a lesser intelligence. In those days, those who were the leaders, those who had reached the top, were religious people. And now, those who are rustic, rural and backward are religious. The more intelligent minds of our times are not religious. This means that religion is not able to march ahead of man. For that reason also I am in hurry.

Another reason for being in a hurry is that these are times of emergency, of crisis.

For example, when you are going to a hospital, your footsteps have a faster pace than when you are going to your shop. The speed you use to go to a hospital is that of an emergency or a crisis. Today, the state of things is almost as if some religion is not able to create and put forth a strong vigorous movement it is possible that the entire humanity may be annihilated.

It is a time of emergency, like that of being admitted to a hospital. It is possible that the patient may die before reaching the hospital or before any medicine can be administered or by the time the disease is diagnosed, but the ill effects of this prevalent condition are not affecting any religious thinkers. Instead, they are affecting the younger generations of the entire world, and they have hit the younger generations of the developed nations the hardest.

If American parents tell a son to study for ten years in a university so that he may get a good job, the son retorts by asking whether there is a guarantee that he will live for ten years. The parents do not have the answer. In America, there is little trust in tomorrow. Tomorrow cannot be trusted; it is not certain whether there will even be a tomorrow. Therefore, there is a desire to enjoy today as much and as fast as one can.

This is not accidental. It is like a patient who is lying on his deathbed and may die any moment. The whole humanity is becoming like that. There is a hurry, because if the diagnosis is slow there can be no quick remedy. Therefore, I am in a hurry that whatever is to be done should be done fast.

About my statement that I will move from town to town: I have by now, in one sense, already done that work. I have in mind some people; now it is a matter of working on them. But the difficulty is that it would be better if instead of my keeping them in mind they keep me in mind. And as long as I do not come into their minds, nothing can be done.

But I have started this work also. My going and coming or my staying are all for the purpose of doing something. After preparing some persons, I want to send them out in two years to various towns. They will go. Not one hundred but ten thousand persons will be prepared. These persons of crisis are as full of potential as they are of dangers. If time is properly utilized, great potentialities are developed; otherwise the result is calamity.

Many persons can be prepared. This is a time for enterprise, and many people can be prepared for a jump into the unknown. It will happen. I have told you about the outer state of things. But whenever an era of destruction appears near, there will be many a soul that will have reached the last stretches of development on the inner plane. Such souls only need a push, and with just that they will take the jump.

Ordinarily, when death is felt to be coming nearer, it can be seen that one begins thinking about what is beyond death. Every individual begins to become religious in such a situation where death is drawing nearer to him. The questioning about what is beyond begins at the approach of death. Otherwise, one's life remains so much engaged that such a questioning does not arise.

When a whole era approaches a near-death condition, then millions of people begin to think inwardly about what is beyond.
This situation can also be utilized; it has great potentialities.

Therefore, I will slowly confine myself to a room: I will stop coming and going. Now I will work on those who are in my mind. I will prepare them and send them out. The moving from place to place, which I cannot do myself, I will be able to do by sending out ten thousand people.

For me, religion is also a scientific process.

So I have in my mind a complete scientific technique for it. As people become ready, the scientific technique will be passed on to them. With the help of that technique, they will work upon thousands of people. My presence is not for that. I was required only to find such people who could carry out that purpose. Now I shall be able to give work to them.

It was necessary to evolve certain principles; that has been done by me. The work of the scientist is over. Now the work is for the technicians. A scientist completes the work, like Edison discovering electricity and inventing an electric lamp. Thereafter, it is the work of the electrician to fix the bulb. There is no difficulty in that.

Now I have an almost complete picture of the work to be done. Now, after giving people the concept and getting them to do the technique, I will send them out as soon as they become ready. All this is in my mind, but the potentialities are not seen by all. Most people see only the actualities. Seeing the potentialities is a different task, but I can see them.

The conditions that were existing in one small area of Bihar during the time of Mahavira and Buddha can come about very smoothly within the next few years on a global scale. But an absolutely new type of religious person will have to be prepared, a new type of sannyasin will have to be born, a new type of yoga and meditation system will have to be devised. All this is ready in my mind.

As I come across people they will be given these things, and they will further pass along the same to others. There is a grave risk, however, because if the opportunity is lost it will cause great harm. The opportunity must be utilized because such a valuable time as exists today can hardly come again. From every angle, the era is at its climax or peak. Hereafter, there will only be anticlimax. Now America will not be able to progress further; it will only undergo disintegration.

The civilization has touched its peak, and now it will disintegrate. These are the last years.

We have not noted that India disintegrated after Mahavira and Buddha. After them, that golden crest could not be touched again. People ordinarily think that this happened due to Mahavira and Buddha, but in fact the case is just the opposite. Actually, just before disintegration begins, persons of the caliber of Mahavira and Buddha are able to work, not before that -- because just before disintegration, everything is in disorder and just on the point of crumbling.

Just as death faces an individual, so now death shows its dark face before the collective consciousness of an entire civilization. And that civilization's collective mind becomes ready to go deep into the realms of religion and the unknown. That is why it was possible that in a small place like Bihar fifty thousand sannyasins could move along with Mahavira.

This can repeat itself again; there is a complete possibility for it. I have a complete plan and a blueprint in my mind for this. In one sense, my work of finding the people I wanted is nearabout complete. Also, they do not know that I have found them. Now I have to give work to them by preparing them and sending them out to spread the message.

As long as it was my work, I knew what I had to do and I was doing it with comparative ease. But now I have to give work to others; now I cannot remain in that ease. I have to hurry up. This is another reason for my hurry. I therefore want to make it clear to all friends that I am in a hurry, so they should also hurry up. If they keep on at the speed with which they are walking, they will not reach anywhere. If they see me in a hurry, then perhaps they will also pick up speed. Otherwise not.

Jesus had to do this. Jesus said to the people that the world was very soon coming to an end. But people were so foolish that it was very difficult for them to understand. Jesus said that before their very eyes everything would be destroyed, that it was time for them to make a choice, and that those who did not change then would never get a chance to do so later. Those who heard and understood him became transformed, but most of the people went on asking when that hour would strike.

Now, after two thousand years, some Christian scholars, priests and theologians sit back and think that it seems as if Jesus had made some mistake -- because up until now that day of judgment has not arrived. Jesus had said that the event of world destruction would happen before their very eyes -- while he was there -- that the day of reckoning would come and that those who missed would miss forever. But that time has not come yet.

Was this the mistake of Jesus or have we misunderstood him? Some say that he made such a great mistake because he did not know anything about the matter, and therefore there may have been many other things about which Jesus did not know. Still others say that there is something wrong in our interpretation of the scriptures. But none of these people know that there are deep reasons and a calculated purpose behind what people like Jesus say. By saying these things, Jesus created an atmosphere of emergency in which many people became transformed.

People become transformed only during emergencies.

If one knows that one can transform tomorrow or even the day after, he will not do anything today; he will postpone it for tomorrow or the day after. But if he knows that there is no tomorrow, then that capacity for transformation comes into being.

In a way, when civilizations are on the verge of disintegration tomorrow becomes uncertain. One is not sure of the next day. Then the today has to be so compact that it can complete all that has to be done. If one has to enjoy, he has to do it today. If he has to surrender and renounce, that too he has to do today. Even if one has to destroy the ego or transform, that also must be done today.

So in Europe and America, a positive, decisive mentality has come into being that whatever one wants to do must be done today: "Forget the worries of tomorrow. If you want to drink, drink; if you want to enjoy, enjoy; if you want to steal, steal. Whatever you want to do, do it today." On the material plane, this has happened.

I want this to happen also on the spiritual plane. This can run parallel to what is happening on the material plane. I am in a great hurry for this idea to dawn. It is definite that this idea will come from the East. Only Eastern winds could carry it to the West, and the West will jump into it with full vigor.

There are particular places suitable for the rise and growth of certain things. All types of trees cannot grow in all countries. There are particular roots, a particular kind of land, a particular climate and particular water required for the growth of certain things. Similarly, all types of ideas also cannot arise everywhere, because different roots, land, climate and water are necessary for these as well.

Science could not develop in the East. For that tree there are no roots in the East. Religion could develop in the East because for that the East has deep roots. The climate, the land and the water -- everything required for its growth -- are available in the East. If science has come to the East, it is only from the West.

If religion goes to the West, it will be only from the East.

Sometimes there is an exception to this. For example, Japan, a country of the East, can challenge any country of the West in science. But it is interesting to note that Japan only imitates; it cannot be original. But it imitates in such a way that even the original looks pale before it. But still, it is imitation. Japan does not invent anything. If Japan makes a radio, it can outwit America in doing so, but it has to copy the basic one. Japan will be very skillful in copying, but the seed will come from Western countries. It will sow the seed and bring up the plant carefully, but it will never have original seeds of its own.

With religion also, America can outshine and surpass the East.

Once the seed of religion reaches there, America will outdo the East in its growth. But all the same, this will be imitation. The initiative, the first step in this matter, lies in the hands of the East.

That is why I am in a great hurry in planning to prepare people in the East who could be sent to the West. The spark will catch like wildfire in the West, but it has to come from the East.

OSHO : Dimensions Beyond the Known, Chapter 4
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