Soul of the subject surfaces slowly? Or the subject of Soul surfaces slowly? Or the surface of the Soul slowly introduces to the subject?
Certain subjects because of the very voluminous and valuable content already available by virtue of in depth study and experience from very ancient times by great souls and stalwarts instill a sort of discomfort even for people who are high on confidence and who adopt an attitude of I care two hoots to what my predecessors have said.
In addition if that subject cannot be that easily either tangibly proved through scientific experiments or cannot be measured and/or evaluated and besides, if these subjects also involve too many uncertainties and vagueness involving varying religious interpretations and beliefs, you can imagine the plight.
So, the very thought of getting into such an arena is like getting into a den of a pride of hungry lions wherein the entry point closes the movement you enter. Imagine the shivers that such a situation would send down your spine, your pants would become obviously wet. But then what if life presents you with one such situation all of sudden or you stumble upon one, then you have no other option than to refer to the literatures of your predecessors in humility, even if not total understanding and remain at peace for some result to emerge and stay in the hope that would help you either by encouraging your encounter or showing ways to escape.
I stumbled upon one such subject with two rather vague but new and unusual paths which ventured into the subject which sounded as good as making a statement about the heat of the sun’s core with the shadow of a tree produced by the angle of its [sun’s ] rays, as logical or illogical as that may sound, but then it provided an opening for people to attempt to note
1] That the sun exists,
2] That it is hot,
3] That the angle of its rays causes shadows etc
So as mentioned earlier in this rather long preamble I am not going to expose my ignorance nor am I going to claim any knowledge about the subject but I can safely say that I have read enough materials, loads and loads to get myself academically confused, if not clarified; that I have encountered enough experiences in my life to believe in it; I have had the privilege of having had friction with great giants in flesh and blood and through books as a result of which I gained immense knowledge about the subject.
I am going give below the recent materials that have emerged on this subject and some discussions that have taken place on this subject not necessarily the most entertaining nor enlightening but nonetheless some attempts to explore the subject by ordinary people.
Before I even attempt to introduce what subject I am going to talk about I would like to very cautiously guard myself to avoid attracting too many controversies and counter views as I have explained already I am not an expert but I am enjoying the journey in the subject.
The actual topic of the subject is yet to surface but before I proceed to introduce the topic I would like to take a small detour and make some observations about word or language itself, though often the best available medium to express several experiences of life but still how an inadequate tool it is sometimes, as expressed and felt not by an ordinary mortal like me but by great scholars, writers, philosophers, scientists etc. Here are some of their statements.
“Words, he decided, were inadequate at best, impossible at worst. They meant too many things. Or they meant nothing at all.” -― Patricia A. McKillip, In The Forests of Serre
“The struggle of literature is in fact a struggle to escape from the confines of language; it stretches out from the utmost limits of what can be said; what stirs literature is the call and attraction of what is not in the dictionary.” ― Italo Calvino
“For in spite of language, in spite of intelligence and intuition and sympathy, one can never really communicate anything to anybody.”― Aldous Huxley
Words are a pretext. It is the inner bond that draws one person to another, not words.”
Spirituality for me is recognizing that I am connected to the energy of all creation, that I am a part of it and it is always a part of me. Whatever label or word we use to describe "it" doesn't matter. Words are completely inadequate.- Echart Tolle
An Interview with author Neale Donald Walsch author of ‘Conversations With God’by Sirona Knight & Michael Starwyn
You feel communicating with God takes you to a place you experience as a true home, then?
Neale: Yes, it's a feeling of oneness. The feeling is indescribable and words are impotent and puny in the face of the actual experience. Anyone who has had this kind of experience, in meditation or in a moment of divine samadhi where they have felt one with all of it, knows there are no words to describe the feeling.
In addition to the inherent in adequacy as expressed by such great scholars words also have their own romance and are fallible to the manipulators how it is you can read in this link http://contentwriteups.blogspot.in/2014/01/romance-of-words-and-its-manipulators.html
There have been even articles like these ones http://www.spiritscienceandmetaphysics.com/scientists-prove-that-dna-can-be-reprogrammed-with-words-and-frequencies/
So, after this long prelude of precaution and still, before I introduce the topic I would like to mention that the subject is so much part of too many entities some of which were always viewed as mere abstract philosophizing, some as more to do with people preoccupied with religion and/or spirituality. However as it is the most intrinsic part of life, but not actually experienced by many, it has been or forced to be explained with reference to or in connection with or associated with many other related phenomena/phenomenons or noumena /hypotheses as you would like to call them as. For example: self, divinity, universal principle, spirit, universal spirit, reincarnation etc.
Now after enjoying the somewhat safe feeling of friction beneath my feet of the sand on the shore I would like to carefully slide into edges of the ocean which is the subject of the topic and try to churn out whatever little I can with different tools and methods of churning. I do not dare to come out with any of my own definitions, descriptions or even interpretations of the subject .So I am confining myself to churning and would like all those who wish to join to enjoy the process of churning and wonder at the many things that the ocean throws up.
The ocean and subject are known or referred by the word ‘Soul’ and hence invariably interconnected, interrelated, interspersed ,inter changeably used, sometimes also superimposed along with a host of many other terminologies like self, divinity, awareness, actuality, reality, universal principle, spirit, universal spirit , reincarnation etc
Even Voltaire said, “Four thousand volumes of metaphysics will not teach us what the soul is”.
“True religion is real living; living with all one's soul, with all one's goodness and righteousness.” “My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.” Albert Einstein (1879-1955-Theoretical Physicist, Philosopher, Nobel Prize Winner)
We shall gradually immerse in the ocean of many such definitions, descriptions, detailed discussions by wise souls slowly but before getting into churning I would like to mention what motivated me to get into churning into this ocean, curiously it was because of some materials which are not normally associated with it as would you can discern from the many interconnected words and terms referred above this ocean is invariably frequented by religious, spiritual, philosophical and at the most literary people but recently I came across some materials of scientific study, including some measurement based ones, I am not passing any judgments here as to how valid, good or useful they are. These also instigated some group discussions some of which also I have reproduced at the end of the write up so that let the churning continue and throw up all it can.
Here I would like to touch lightly picking out just a few sentences from Osho, “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”.- from OSHO : Dimensions Beyond the Known, Chapter 4 what a wonderful chapter it is? I shall be failing miserably in this churning process if I do not reproduce the whole chapter which I shall, of course, do later on.
"We live in succession, in division, in parts, in particles. Meantime within man is the soul of the whole: the wise silence, the universal beauty, to which every part and particle is equally related, the eternal ONE. And this deep power in which we exist and whose beatitude is all accessible to us, is not only self-sufficing and perfect in every hour, but the act of seeing and the thing seen, the seer and the spectacle, the subject and the object, are one. We see the world piece by piece, as the sun, the moon, the animal, the tree; but the whole, of which these are shining parts, is the soul."Excerpt from The Over-Soul, by Ralph Waldo Emerson, first published in 1841.
“Nobody doubts that he exists, though he may doubt the existence of God. If he finds out the truth about himself and discovers his own source, this is all that is required.” –Bhagawan Sri Ramana Maharishi http://peacefulrivers.homestead.com/Maharshi.html
“You are not just a meaningless fragment in an alien universe, briefly suspended between life and death, allowed a few short-lived pleasures followed by pain and ultimate annihilation. Underneath your outer form, you are connected with something so vast, so immeasurable and sacred, that it cannot be spoken of - yet I am speaking of it now. I am speaking of it now not to give you something to believe in but to show you how you can know it for yourself.”- EckhartTolle
“Having access to that formless realm is truly liberating. It frees you from bondage to form and identification with form. It is life in its undifferentiated state prior to its fragmentation into multiplicity. We may call it the Unmanifested, the invisible Source of all things, the Being within all beings. It is a realm of deep stillness and peace, but also of joy and intense aliveness. Whenever you are present, you become "transparent" to some extent to the light, the pure consciousness that emanates from this Source. You also realize that the light is not separate from who you are but constitutes your very essence.” – EckhartTolle
“Many expressions that are in common usage, and sometimes the structure of language itself, reveal the fact that people don't know who they are. You say: "He lost his life" or "my life," as if life were something that you can possess or lose. The truth is: you don't have a life, you are life. The One Life, the one consciousness that pervades the entire universe and takes temporary form to experience itself as a stone or blade of grass, as an animal, a person, a star or a galaxy.
Can you sense deep within that you already know that? Can you sense that you already are That?”- EckhartTolle
''That inner Self, as the primeval Spirit, Eternal, full and infinite Bliss, Shines in everyone...."-Selected quotes from his work. Forty Verses On Reality is included in its entirety.- Bhagawan Sri Ramana Maharishi
“One of the marvels of the world is the sight of a soul sitting in prison with the key in its hand! Covered with dust,- From Book 5 of the Masnawi Translated by Coleman Barks in The Soul of Rumi
The Wisdom of Swami Vivekananda
“The soul of man is like a piece of crystal, but it takes the color of whatever is near it. Whatever the soul touches... it has to take its color. That is the difficulty. That constitutes bondage. The color is so strong, the crystal forgets itself and identifies itself with the color. Suppose a red flower is near the crystal: the crystal takes the color and forgets itself, thinks it is red. We have taken the color of the body and have forgotten what we are. All the difficulties that follow come from that one dead body. All our fears, all worries, anxieties, troubles, mistakes, weakness, evil, are from that one great blunder-- that we are bodies. This is the ordinary person. It is the person taking the color of the flower near to it. We are no more bodies than the crystal is the red flower.”- Swami Vivekananda
“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them”.- Henry David Thoreau
“Identification with your mind creates an opaque screen of concepts, labels, images, words, judgments, and definitions that blocks all true relationship. It comes between you and yourself, between you and your fellow man and woman, between you and nature, between you and God. It is this screen of thought that creates the illusion of separateness, the illusion that there is you and a totally separate "other." You then forget the essential fact that, underneath the level of physical appearances and separate forms, you are one with all that is.”- The Wisdom of Eckhart Tolle
Here again Osho very clearly explains mind is intellect and therefore it by itself is never real ‘Intelligence
“Mind is not your intelligence. It may sound strange but this is a truth, that mind is not your intelligence. Mind can be intellectual, which is a very poor substitute for intelligence. Intellectuality is mechanical. You can become a great scholar, a great professor, a great philosopher, just playing with words which are all borrowed, arranging and rearranging thoughts, none of which are your own.
The intellect is absolutely bankrupt. It has nothing of its own, all is borrowed. And that´s the difference between intelligence and intellect. Intelligence has an eyesight of its own, a capacity to see into things, into problems. Intelligence is your born quality.”-Osho
“I simply believe that some part of the human Self or Soul is not subject to the laws of space and time.”-Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961)-Founder Of Analytical Psychology
“The downside, of course, is that over time religions become encrusted with precepts and ideas that are the antithesis of soul, as each faith tries to protect its doctrines and institution instead of nurturing the evolution of consciousness. If one is not careful to distinguish the genuine insights of a religion from its irrelevant accretions, one can go through life following an inappropriate moral compass.”~ Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Quotes from Good Business
“Being is not only beyond but also deep within every form as its innermost invisible and indestructible essence. This means that it is accessible to you now as your own deepest self, your true nature. But don't seek to grasp it with your mind. Don't try to understand it. You can know it only when the mind is still. When you are present, when your attention is fully and intensely in the Now, Being can be felt, but it can never be understood mentally. To regain awareness of Being and to abide in that state of "feeling-realization" is enlightenment.” -The Wisdom of Eckhart Tolle
“The seeker is he who is in search of himself. Give up all questions except one: 'Who am I?' After all, the only fact you are sure of is that you are. The 'I am' is certain. The 'I am this' is not. Struggle to find out what you are in reality. To know what you are, you must first investigate and know what you are not. Discover all that you are not - body, feelings, thoughts, time, space, this or that - nothing, concrete or abstract, which you perceive can be you. The very act of perceiving shows that you are not what you perceive. The clearer you understand that on the level of mind you can be described in negative terms only, the quicker will you come to the end of your search and realize that you are the limitless being.”- NisargadattaMaharaj
“Soul is reflected in appearance, that unique expression of you that is forever expanding and growing based on your life choices. Soul evolves through physical experience to move beyond the judgment and fear of the mind. Soul transcends self-created limitations to come to recognize itself as eternal and ultimately, unites with the oneness of Spirit.” From the wonderful link http://www.dreambuilders.com.au/inspirations/about-soul
Also another link worth referring to quotes on soul
Soul as depicted in Bhagwat Gita
Excerpted from the Compilation "Reality, Soul and the Worlds of God"[From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh:]
The Reality of the Soul — Understanding Your True Self
Conversely and really the soul can also be ameliorated as Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900);
Scholar, Writer, Philosopher says about SOUL,
“There is one thing one has to have: either a soul that is cheerful by nature or a soul made cheerful by work, love, art, and knowledge.”
Or as Oscar Wilde says,
“Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.”
Or as Wallace D. Wattles Quotes from The Science of Being Great
“Genius is the union of man and God in the acts of the soul. Great men are always greater than their deeds. They are in connection with a reserve power that is without limit.
You must always learn to see yourself as a great advancing soul.
Begin to do small things in a great way…You must put the whole power of your great soul into every act.”
Or as Neal Donald Walsch says in his work ‘ Conversations with God ‘
“There is only one purpose for all of life, and that is for you and all that lives to experience fullest glory…everything else you say, think, or do is attendant to that function. There is nothing else for your soul to do, and nothing else your soul wants to do.”
“To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.”-Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (1922-2007);Writer
“There is no chance, no fate, no destiny that can circumvent, or hinder, or control a firm resolve of a determined soul”.~ Unknown Quotes
“Each man has his own vocation. The talent is the call. There is one direction in which all space is open to him. He has faculties silently inviting him thither to endless exertion. He is like a ship in a river; he runs against obstructions on every side but one; on that side all obstruction is taken away, and he sweeps serenely over a deepening channel into an infinite sea. This talent and this call depend on his organization, or the mode in which the general soul incarnates itself in him. He inclines to do something which is easy to him, and good when it is done, but which no other man can do. He has no rival. For the more truly he consults his own powers, the more difference will his work exhibit from the work of any other. His ambition is exactly proportioned to his powers. The height of the pinnacle is determined by the breadth of the base. Every man has this call of the power to do somewhat unique, and no man has any other call. The pretence that he has another call, a summons by name and personal election and outward "signs that mark him extraordinary, and not in the roll of common men," is fanaticism, and betrays obtuseness to perceive that there is one mind in all the individuals, and no respect of persons therein.”~ Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes from The Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles.”-Alex Karras (born 1935);Athlete, Actor
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart.”-Helen Keller (1880-1968);Author, Lecturer, Activist
“Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul. And those three things are going to carry on forever.”-
Jimmy Valvano (1946-1993);College Basketball Coach
“The soul is born old but grows young. That is the comedy of life. And the body is born young and grows old. That is life's tragedy.”~ Oscar Wilde Quotes from A Woman of No Importance, 1894
“The soul--which I'm defining as our capacity for these deeply positive human qualities--is something that, in most of us, desperately needs to be developed. Too many of us live in a fractured state, deeply divided against ourselves--often far more so than we are aware of or able to feel. We exist in a self-generated vacuum of moral ambiguity, where everything is relative and our attention is focused mainly on our emotional state. Most of us know a lot more about what really matters than we are willing to live up to. Indeed, we are attracted to that which is beautiful, profound, and meaningful but find ourselves lacking the soul strength to really struggle, to engage in a life-and-death wrestling match with our own division, cynicism, and inertia. The awful truth is that it is just easier for us not to care that much. In order to care that much, we have to be willing to feel a connection with life that is so deep that it hurts. We have to be ready to step onto the field of our own experience in a way that is authentic, unconditional, and deeply committed--to embrace a kind of fearless vulnerability where our transparency is our strength and the living experience of connection is permanent, unbroken, and inescapable”.~ Andrew Cohen Quotes
Past Lives and the Science of the Soul
OSHO : Dimensions Beyond the Known, Chapter 4
“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 hantameans 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 ~ends.
“Inside us there is something that has no name, that something is what we are.”
― José Saramago, Blindness
“Life is an endless cycle of souls, swirling along the path of the universe, being reborn, but never truly dying before being reborn again.
As long as this cycle continues, we will never really die.” ― Ameila Wolfe
“Your soul doesn't care what you do for a living - and when your life is over, neither will you. Your soul cares only about what you are being while you are doing whatever you are doing. ”― Neale Donald Walsch
“There is no truth except the truth that exists within you. Everything else is what someone is telling you.” ― Neale Donald Walsch, Home with God: In a Life That Never Ends
“A Soul Knowing: You are the sum total of the Body, Mind, and Soul, and each of these aspects of you has a purpose and a function, but only one has an agenda: the Soul.”
― Neale Donald Walsch
“If you want guarantees in life, then you don't want life. You want rehearsals for a script that's already been written. Life by its nature cannot have guarantees, or its whole purpose is thwarted.” ― Neale Donald Walsch
“There is no particular way that God wants you to worship God. Nor, in fact, does God need to be worshipped at all. God's ego is not so fragile that She must require you to bow down to Her in fearful reverence, or grovel before Him in earnest supplication, in order to find you worthy of receiving blessings. What kind of Supreme Being would need to do this? What kind of God would this be?”- NEALE DONALD WALSCH, The New Revelations: A Conversation with God
“God--the force, the energy, the design, the experience that some call Divinity--shows itself in your life in the way that is exactly and perfectly suited to the time, place, and situation at hand. You either call that experience "God" or you call it something else--coincidence, synchronicity, "random event," whatever. Yet what you call it does not change what it is--it merely indicates your belief system.” -NEALE DONALD WALSCH, Tomorrow's God
Self-Enquiry – What exists in truth – the One or the many?
“All religions postulate the three fundamentals, the world, the soul, and God, but it is only the one Reality that manifests Itself as these three. One can say, “The three are really three only so long as the ego lasts.” Therefore, to inhere in one's own Being, where the “I,” or ego, is dead, is the perfect State.” (Ramana Maharshi, FVR, verse 2.)
“Self-Enquiry – Three senses of self must be understood: Jiva, Atman, and Paramatman
As the ego, which is the direct and immediate sense of “I,” is centred and figured in each of the distinct and separate individuals in a subtle movement of life-force and mind-stuff, it is termed Jiva here. This sense of “I” is separate in each individual being and preserving the distinctness of the individual, behaves in a manner that would strengthen the individual's distinct character. But, such a movement of the ego or the apparent self has its root and support in something that is the real basis of individuality and that does not move with or lose itself in the movement of the apparent self, a something that is a continuous conscious principle related to the past, present and future; that is the Real Self signified, the Lakshyartha, in the individual, of which the ego is the apparent self. This latter is different in different individuals and is loosely called the Jivatman . But Atman, the Self, is really one; the Self of all individuals as of all existence is one. But Jivas or living beings are many, as many as the individuals are formed. These are soul-formations that are dissoluble in time, unlike their supporting Self which is eternal, being identical with the Infinite Eternal which maintains its many-centred existence in an endless movement of formation and dissolution.
Thus, we see that there are three distinct senses in which “I” is used. The supreme meaning of “I,” its Paramartha , is the Purusha who becomes the Lakshyartha (the signified sense) in the individual, as it is the same self that presides over individual existence and the immediate or apparent sense of “I” (Vachyarta ) is the ego or the apparent self formed temporarily for purposes of individuation. Threefold then is the sense of the Self, the “I,” and in its threefold sense it is to be understood. (Ramana Maharshi, SDB, 20-1.)
Do you have a soul? by Christopher Calder
“To know truth you must have a deep desire to see it, and a willingness to let go of the old lies.
When I was a child, I was an atheist and only believed in what I could see and touch. By age 19 I started to believe in the existence of souls and reincarnation as a result of my exposure to a number of famous Indian yogis and the majestic J. Krishnamurti, who once claimed to have remembered all of his past lives. At age 21 my belief in soul was dramatically reinforced by explosive experiences I had with Acharya Rajneesh, later known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and Osho. I never believed in any "God," but for 35 years I lived under the shadow of the great meditation masters and was fairly certain that we all possessed souls that would survive our physical death. [This essay was written in 2004.]
Unlike Hindus, most Buddhists believe in some mysterious and poorly defined soulless form of personal karma which survives death. I never believed in the Buddhist concept of immortal personal karma without soul, because when you reject the idea of a soul you lose the only credible vehicle for the transference of karma from one lifetime to the next. To my mind, if there is no soul then there is no possibility of immortal personal karma and reincarnation.
When I met Acharya Rajneesh in 1970, he not only spoke of souls and reincarnation, but also claimed to have the power of astral projection. I believed his claim because of what I thought were authentic experiences I had with this "master" astrally projecting himself, not just into my room, but into my body while he was physically several miles away. After reading Matthew Alper's book, The "God" Part of the Brain, I wonder if those amazing experiences were really what I thought they were. Alper summarizes the latest scientific research into how the human brain functions while having religious experiences. In this essay I have added additional neurological data obtained from medical journals, and my own observations and theories regarding several of the main points of Alper's book.
Medical research has shown that if you stimulate certain areas of the brain with a small electric current, you can give people the experience of spiritual visitation. You may feel that Jesus is touching your heart, or that the soul of a dead relative is near you. There is no evidence to support a belief in authentic soul travel, however, as all studies indicate that consciousness only exists in the brain cells which create it. You cannot remove consciousness from the physical body because consciousness is a physical phenomena created by chemistry, just as a firefly's light is created by chemical reactions. That is why you can turn consciousness on or off by injecting a person with drugs to wake them up or to put them to sleep.
Near death experiences and even certain drugs, such as ketamine and sodium pentothal, can give you the feeling of being outside of your body, but researchers say that is just an illusion of the holographic nature of human consciousness, which is produced by the physical human brain. When neural communications between the body and brain are reduced, the brain is free to project your sense of self anywhere it chooses, and this can happen while under partial anesthesia, while partially asleep, or even during the preliminary (and reversible) stages of death. Prolonged fasting and isolation can also produce hallucinations and other distortions of reality, and such ascetic practices are a major source of the Asian myths of astral projection.
While true astral projection may be impossible, there is credible scientific evidence to suggest that telepathic communication is possible between human beings. The human brain is an organic electrochemical computer so complex that no existing silicon based supercomputer can approach its capabilities. Think of all the things your relatively simple cell phone can do. There is plenty of computer power in the human brain to imagine that some portion of its circuitry could be allocated to broadcasting and receiving messages, or at least sensing basic electromagnetic radiation from other human brains. Such an ability would have obvious survival value for the species, and thus would be understandable in terms of evolution and survival of the fittest. A rudimentary telepathic communicative ability may be the reason disciples feel the presence of their spiritual teachers so strongly.
The brain is the most metabolically active human organ, and requires a steady supply of oxygen and glucose as fuel. Although the brain represents less than 2% of the body's mass, it utilizes 20% of the body's oxygen consumption and 15% of its cardiac output, thus our brains produce an extraordinary amount of energy in relationship to the rest of the body. The human body uses chemical reactions to produce both mechanical movements and electrical currents, which flow through all of our living cells. Our brain acts as both an analog and digital computer, and the DNA code which creates our brains is digital. Brain cells communicate through electricity, and the average human brain contains approximately 100 billion neurons connected by trillions of synapses, which can be viewed as naturally occurring transistors. Consciousness is born of the intricately woven flow of electrons created by brain cells, and this is true for all of earth's animals that have significant consciousness, from elephants to ants. It is not difficult to imagine that the fantastically complex human brain could have mysterious capabilities beyond our current level of understanding.
Perhaps what I thought was astral projection was simply Rajneesh concentrating on me, sending me his super-mental energy long distance. That powerful jolt of energy may have caused my brain to supply the added illusion of personal visitation on top of the strong telepathic transmission. There is no doubt that Rajneesh had tremendous mental powers, but was that power really supernatural or just a product of his own unique brain structure and meditative skill?
If you inject any human being with enough sedative, enlightened or not, they will become unconsciousness. If you damage certain areas of the brain you can drastically alter human behavior. You can turn a conservative bank president into a garbage eating bum just by killing off some of the brain cells that contain the biocomputer program for his personality. If you damage other areas of the brain, you can erase all memory.
If consciousness, personality, and memory are all physical phenomena of brain cells, then when your brain dies there is nothing left of your individual identity. Your permanent identity of time-energy-space (see The TES Hypothesis) continues unharmed, but there is no soul, no reincarnation, and no Buddhist transference of personal karma. If this is true, it means that all of the major world religions are wrong. It also means that we all achieve "moksha" (liberation) at the time of our death because there is no personal cycle of birth and death to escape from, and no magical afterlife. You are born once and you die once, and you will never come back.
One theory states that we have souls and/or personal karma which transmigrates from one life to the next, and another theory states that nothing survives death and only DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and the will of the living determines the future of our species. Which theory is correct? I once believed in reincarnation with a high level of certainty. After many years of seeing the rampant corruption of gurus, "enlightened" or not, the idiocy of disciples, cults, and organized religion, and with the new scientific evidence in hand, I find the soul-reincarnation-karma theory far less plausible.
You do not have to believe in anything supernatural to believe in cosmic consciousness (satori). Anyone can take the drug psilocybin and get a dramatic imitation of the natural religious experience. Clinical research shows that our brains are built to have religious experiences. As time-energy-space is one singular phenomena, it is only natural that we occasionally experience the grand cosmic unity. I personally suspect that even animals have satoris, though they apparently have no ability to give it a name or understand its implications.
One of the most interesting concepts of Matthew Alper's book concerns the rise of self-consciousness in human animal, and how knowledge of our impending death has affected our brains and even our DNA code. If you put a dog in front of a mirror, he will never figure out that he is looking at his own reflection. If you put a higher primate in front of a mirror, such as a chimpanzee or human child, the higher primate will eventually use the mirror for grooming purposes because he recognizes himself in the reflection. Man's self-consciousness is so highly developed that humans have come to realize that our life expectancy is short, and that our personal demise is inevitable.
Other animals fear death, danger, and pain, but most have no real understanding of time and the inevitability of their own destruction. Non-human higher primates and elephants may have some perception of the time-death equation, but that has not been proven scientifically. Our human understanding of the inevitability of death can become a constant source of anguish. A strong survival instinct is built into our DNA code from our long evolutionary journey from bacteria to man. When the survival instinct collides with the self-conscious knowledge of impending death, the human brain needs both a psychological and a neurological barrier to block the conflict and tension. That barrier we call religious belief and "the God part of the brain." The theory states that man has invented myths of God, soul, reincarnation, karma, and afterlife as a way to provide the brain with mental opium, a buffer to the constant ticking clock inside our heads that tells us that our inevitable destruction and decomposition is getting closer every day.
The psychological need for a feeling of immortality is so great that our religious tendencies have become part of our DNA code. Humans who believe in the supernatural religions tend to be calmer, healthier, and thus live longer than the nonreligious. Believers also tend to show more bravery when courage is needed to protect their tribe. Genetic tendencies to have religious feelings are fortified over thousands of years of evolution through survival of the religiously fittest.
If your religious beliefs feel exactly right to you, it may be because your subconscious mind wants you to believe them so that you will have a better chance for health and a long lifespan. If you intuitively sense that you have been alive on planet earth before, perhaps that feeling of déja vu comes from your DNA code, not from a reincarnating soul, because DNA has been active on planet earth for at least 3.8 billion years, and we are all created and united by its existence.
Scientists know that there is only one real life form on planet earth, and that is DNA itself. DNA is like a giant vine that has taken over the world. Through the never ending chain of DNA code we are not only closely related to other mammals, but also intimately related to insects, plants, and even bacteria. Many times in earth history the higher life forms have been wiped out by impacts of asteroids and comets, and by massive volcanic eruptions which made our atmosphere toxic, yet the surviving bacteria have always evolved upward into more complex plants and animals. DNA is not just a helpful chemical substance that resides inside us. DNA is our biological level identity, our three dimensional physical 'soul.'
All over the world, wherever you find man, you will find supernatural religions promising some form of life after death. Muslim extremists gladly kill themselves in the name of their religion. American war heroes have died fighting Japanese and Germans in the name of Jesus, and no doubt many felt they were going to heaven for their heroic efforts. God is a pretty handy device to have when your tribe is in trouble. Almost all of us, atheist and theist alike, instinctively call out to God for help when we are in grave personal danger.
Man's philosophical beliefs have also been shaped by a survival contest of world religions to see which religion can most completely satisfy our emotional needs for a feeling of comfort and safety. Organized religion is a business and must have money and public support to survive. If your spouse or child dies, you want a priest, rabbi, monk, or swami to tell you that your loved one's soul is going to a better place. Can you imagine a funeral service where a holy man bluntly states that the deceased has no soul and is gone forever? That would seem cruel, and any religion that provided such a terse death ritual would not last long in the religious marketplace.
Why do so many enlightened teachers believe in souls and karma? It has been my observation that even the enlightened are affected by cultural conditioning and have a tendency to pass on the religious teachings of those who came before them with only minor modifications. For example, the famous enlightened teachers from meat eating societies in Tibet, China, and Japan also ate meat, while the great sages from strictly vegetarian India believe that eating meat is a horrible unspiritual practice. So I ask, did Rajneesh and J. Krishnamurti believe in souls because of some direct experience, or simply because they grew up in soul oriented India? Rajneesh once stated that even plants have souls, and that if an enlightened man (Rajneesh himself) sat next to a plant, that plant would be so graced that in its next incarnation it might be born as a human being. I find that grandiose and self-serving statement difficult to believe, and I suspect a significant amount of the time Rajneesh was simply shooting his mouth off without even thinking about what he was saying.
On another occasion, Rajneesh stated that we are attracted to beautiful people because their outer beauty represents the inner beauty of their souls, as it is the soul which creates the physical body and mind. Science has proven conclusively that DNA creates the body and brain, not any mysterious and immaterial "soul." Outward beauty does not always mean inward beauty, or even a sane mind. The infamous serial killer Ted Bundy was quite handsome physically, yet he is estimated to have murdered between 35 and 50 women just for the thrill of it. If the great "enlightened" Rajneesh could be mistaken about something this basic, then couldn't he be wrong about anything?
The "master" Rajneesh presented many idiotic theories about life right here and now, so why should anyone believe his theories about souls and reincarnation? It is only because of his great psychic presence that his disciples refrained from laughing out loud at some of his ridiculous ideas. Rajneesh was living proof that enlightenment, intelligence, and honesty are separate phenomena. You can be a fool, a liar, and a criminal, and also become a great energy channeler (enlightened) if that is your predisposition and desire. Freedom means free choice to be good or bad, and you have that choice no matter how powerful your meditation skills have become. George Gurdjieff, the famous Greek-Armenian mystic, was an alcoholic. Rajneesh became a drug addict, yet both men could channel great cosmic presence that inspired thousands of spiritual seekers.
Rajneesh's use of drugs, especially Valium, nitrous oxide, and LSD, also casts doubt on his soul theory of enlightenment. Rajneesh once stated that from his own personal experience, LSD can produce the same consciousness as a Buddha. During his younger sober days, Rajneesh stated that LSD produced a "false samadhi" and that consciousness was the product of "soul," not just physical chemistry. Rajneesh changed his teaching to rationalize his drug use by stating that "You are nothing but chemistry." He thus implied that it is acceptable to use chemicals to alter consciousness because you are chemicals bonded together in an organic biological machine. One could ask that if Rajneesh really had the power of astral projection as claimed, wouldn't flying around the world in his soul body be more entertaining than getting cheap thrills from taking LSD and nitrous oxide?
Rajneesh claimed to be as enlightened as the historic Buddha, and I believe that he was, but why does a Buddha need to take hallucinogenic drugs? My answer is that Rajneesh became bored with the Void because the Void can only provide peacefulness long term, but not an eternal buzz of blissfulness. Judging from my own meditative practice and reading of science, the buzz and bliss of meditation comes from a buildup of excess neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine in the brain. When you meditate in formal sessions, you are conserving the chemical energy of your brain by not wasting it on thoughts and sensory distraction. Thus, you become blissful and may experience nonsexual orgasms during meditation sessions, but that ecstasy gradually dissipates after you return to your normal work routine. The feeling of spaciousness and peacefulness continue, but the buzz settles down to a feeling of neutrality and quiet emptiness. There is no eternal orgasm-ecstasy-buzz-bliss possible because any human feeling that has a beginning must also have an end due to the inherent chemical nature of the brain.
The Buddha is reported to have said that there is "no bliss." Rajneesh at times admitted that he himself felt "no energy," though those around him felt awash in his energy. U.G. Krishnamurti stated that there is "no bliss." When I meditate in formal sessions, I experience bliss and nonsexual orgasms felt in the hara (belly center), the heart center, the forehead center, and in the center of the head directly behind the eyes. The problem is, the orgasmic feelings never lasts. I have to go back to my meditation room and sit to regain the neurochemical energy that dissipates during the daily routine of work. Using my brain for utilitarian proposes eats up those neurotransmitters rather quickly. It may also be that the brain itself wants to bring us back to a state of neutrality, because a neutral brain has the greatest ability to ensure our physical survival. A man distracted with a blissed-out brain is likely to be the first member of the tribe eaten by the lion, not the last. Meditation and enlightenment may be a neuro-chemical experience, not a magical soul experience outside the laws of chemistry and physics.
Rajneesh changed his name to "Osho" and ended his life in a state of dementia due to illness and drug addiction. J. Krishnamurti avoided major scandals, stayed sober, and is still highly revered long after his death. But was J. Krishnamurti really a saint and somehow better ethically than any normal human being? I know many people who lead virtuous lives who don't meditate at all. What made J. Krishnamurti different was not how he lived, which was ordinary, but his tremendous presence of being. You stood next to him and felt flooded in cosmic energy which pushed you high into the sky, destroying all feelings of limitation. Was J. Krishnamurti's grand presence the result of many past lifetimes of spiritual effort, or was it the result of modest effort in meditation combined with a genetic gift for cosmic consciousness?
Matthew Alper points out in his book that some forms of epilepsy cause hyper-religiousness and mystical experiences. J. Krishnamurti's mother was an epileptic, and we know epilepsy can be genetically transferred. J. Krishnamurti never had fits, but he often mysteriously passed out, giving those near him warning that he was about to lose consciousness. The Indian sage Ramakrishna was reported to have had fits in which he thrashed on the ground uncontrollably. The universally revered Ramana Maharshi claimed that his emotional heart center was located in the "right side" of his chest, which I suspect represents a brain abnormality. In normal human beings the emotional heart center is located in the exact center of the chest.
Is it possible that natural variations in our genetic code could produce in each century a handful of people with brains perfectly adapted for enlightenment, thus making meditative practice so easy that they reached the goal with little effort? Ramana Maharshi is reported to have achieved "God consciousness" at the tender age of 17! Rajneesh claims to have become enlightened at age 21. J. Krishnamurti was in his early twenties when people around him started to feel that he was fully enlightened. Ramakrishna was reported to have been "born enlightened," as was the ancient Chinese mystic, Lao-Tse.
Are the spiritually gifted among us the rare but naturally occurring result of genetic variation? Of the 20,000 to 25,000 genes that make up a human being, roughly half are suspected of being devoted to blueprinting our central nervous system. Thus, with 10,000 to 12,500 individual genes controlling the formation of our brain and spinal cord, the potential for major variations in the level of human consciousness is enormous. For example, scientists have found that changes in just a few human genes can have a dramatic affect on the level of our intelligence. Is it therefore logical that human gene combinations exist that control the amount of raw consciousness we possess as well.
Few humans have the artistic talent of Michelangelo, or the mathematical genius of Albert Einstein. If there is a natural genetic "bell curve" for intelligence, then why not a natural genetically driven bell curve for psychic power as well? [See The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life, by Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray.] Research has shown that identical twins tend to have the same level of interest in religion and/or mystical experience. This suggests that there is a strong genetic component to our personal meditative potential. If DNA can explain the vast differences between a mosquito and a man, then why can't genetic variations also explain the vast mental differences between a Hitler and a Buddha?
Are the enlightened simply those few individuals at the extreme forward edge of the bell curve, with the masses of the world population stuck near the middle? If there are child prodigy pianists, artists, and even child prodigy golfers, then why not child prodigy meditators as well? The Asian cultures may have simply mistaken naturally occurring genetic variations in the human brain for evidence of a romanticized past life history that does not exist in fact. The group conditioning became so strong that the myths of reincarnation fooled even the enlightened ones. History shows that the easiest explanation for a phenomena that has the most supporting evidence is usually correct. Grand claims require grand evidence to justify a belief in them, and there is currently no scientifically valid evidence of reincarnation or a magical transference of personal karma.
If the spiritual bell curve theory is true, it could help explain the obvious corruption of gurus. Rajneesh was a convicted felon and a proven liar of historic proportions. George Gurdjieff was also a chronic liar and a loud and often rude alcoholic. The genetics based view of enlightenment helps explain why there are so few enlightened ones at any given time. If every soul has multiple chances to improve its meditation skills over lifetimes of effort, then surely the world would produce more than the meager handful of enlightened sages that are born each century. Since at least the dawn of Hinduism (about 1500 BC), long before the historic Buddha was born (about 563 BC), millions of human beings have been making sincere effort at meditation, so where are the results of these lifetimes of effort? The mathematical logistics of the soul-karma theory just do not add up.
The argument for souls and/or immortal karma is that enlightenment is a process that takes many lifetimes of effort, and the fruition of our long journey through time is the eventual payoff of "moksha" (final spiritual freedom), infinite ecstasy, and liberation from all suffering. This highly romantic idea appeals because it brings a sense of warmth and justice into a cold and often pointlessly cruel world. It intuitively seems fair that right action is eventually rewarded with positive results, but this belief in inevitable karma has also caused negative results. In Tibet it produced a kind of fatalistic inaction which aided the Communist Chinese in their military takeover in 1950. To quote Drupon Samten Rinpoche, "They can be taking this life, but they cannot take the next life." This feeling of immortality has brought Tibetan Buddhists a great sense of peace and compassion in the face of invasion and genocide, but is it based or real-world fact or just wishful thinking?
Belief in souls and immortal karma has had many negative effects in India, where the theory of reincarnation helped establish the ancient Hindu caste system. The caste system was abolished by law in 1949, but lives on as an unfair social class structure which is considerably worse than the traditional class snobbery practiced in Europe. The lower caste, the Shudras, are considered inferior to the higher castes of Brahmins, Kshatriyas, and Vaishyas. Even below the Shudras are the outcasts, known as the "untouchables," who have no caste at all. The untouchables are looked down upon as being spiritually unworthy due to past life sins, and are limited to performing the most unpleasant jobs, such as disposing of dead bodies and cleaning toilets. The theory of reincarnation has been used in India as a convenient rationalization to exploit those who are poor and uneducated. Skin diseases, such as leprosy, are considered signs of punishment for evil deeds committed in past lives. Medical science has proven that leprosy is just an ordinary bacterial infection that anyone can contract given sufficient exposure to the bacillus: Mycobacterium leprae. Even the great Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh promoted the inhumane karmic explanation for leprosy.
Reincarnation and immortal karma were a way ancient peoples could explain and rationalize the inherent inequities of life, death, disease, riches, and poverty in religious terms that had no basis in fact. All of the major world religions are relics of the prescientific era, and all have negative biases woven into their teachings. I therefore suggest that it is time to embrace a pro-science meditative attitude that does not promote irrational belief in magic and the supernatural, things which exist in our imagination, but which have no real existence in fact.
Rejecting the soul theory negates any need to answer such impossible questions as where do souls come from and why do they exist. The rebellious sage U.G. Krishnamurti stated "There is no such thing as enlightenment," and that his state of continuous cosmic consciousness was without cause, or "acausal." Could it be that the real cause of enlightenment is rarefied DNA combined with modest effort? Perhaps the ancient Hindus and Buddhists invented myths of souls and immortal karma simply because they were uneducated observers of the natural phenomena around them and inside them. Siddhartha Gautama never knew about neurons or DNA, so how could he be expected come up with any explanations for life that were not based on inherited cultural myths of the supernatural?
I dismiss claims of past life memories because of the projective nature of the human brain. The brain can project any image or feeling, and it is exactly the same neurological mechanism that projects fantasies of the subconscious that also projects authentic memories stored in brain cells. What comes out of that one singular projector may be real memory or real fantasy, but no one can tell the difference with certainty, not even the late J. Krishnamurti or the Dalai Lama.
False memories are a common occurrence in courtrooms and have sent many innocent men to their deaths for crimes they never committed. Just imagine a monk walking into a courtroom claiming to remember all of his past lives. Then imagine the monk being grilled under cross-examination and he cannot even remember what he had for lunch just a few days before. Even the enlightened sages have memory problems and need to write down important dates and facts so they won't forget.
If a high Tibetan lama or Hindu yogi enters a medical laboratory full of skeptical scientists and proves through testing that he can transfer his consciousness out of his body, then belief in souls and reincarnation would be easier for everyone. To date that has not happened, and hospital tests designed to prove out-of-body episodes during near death experiences have yielded no positive results. As far as scientifically valid evidence of soul is concerned, the well is completely dry. Human beings exist as footprints in the sand. One day the footprints will be erased and only the sand will be left behind. There is no reincarnation and there is no personal continuity of karma.
I use to dismiss U.G. Krishnamurti's claim that there is no enlightenment, no soul, and no reincarnation as just his negative way of teaching. Perhaps, however, he was just trying to tell us the truth no matter how shocking that truth may be. Instead of becoming attached to the small personal identity of a mythical human soul, or to the very real human body, it is apparent that we must identify with nothing less than infinity itself to find authentic immortality. That is a pretty tall order for a human brain that only weighs about 3 pounds (1,300 to 1,400 grams). All of the great religions of the world may be wrong and just a product of our own fear of dying. That possibility is electrically shocking to me, but it may well be true.”
A summary of the main issues
a) There is no positive proof for the existence of souls, immortal karma, reincarnation, or any spiritual afterlife. It is interesting to note that in their last years even Rajneesh/Osho and J. Krishnamurti reversed themselves and stated that there was no reincarnation and thus, presumably, no soul. If there is no reincarnation and no heaven or hell, then the question of soul is moot.
b) There are legitimate science based alternate explanations for phenomena attributed to souls and immortal karma. The enlightened teachers seem to confuse the effects of DNA for the effects of soul. For example, people with higher intelligence and a more finely articulated DNA code are perceived by them as being older and higher souls.
c) There are obvious profit and political power motives for those who promote belief in the supernatural. How many gurus have made fortunes off the idea of souls and reincarnation? How many monasteries, ashrams, churches, mosques, and synagogues would go out of business if people found out there is no soul or immortal karma? How can governments and the religious hierarchies control the masses if word leaks out that we all end up in the same state of eternal unconsciousness after we die, no matter how we behave while we are alive? Would there be a Vatican City or Tibetan Portola Palace without a belief in souls and/or immortal karma? The idea of soul has historically been as much a matter of politics as it has been an issue of personal religious belief.
d) It is highly probable that human animals have a built-in genetic predisposition to avoid the inevitable fact of our future death in order to reduce fear and stress. Our brains create myths of God, soul, immortal karma, reincarnation, and afterlife as a buffer against the hurtful knowledge of the inevitable demise of ourselves and everyone we love. By inventing myths of afterlife and/or reincarnation, the brain can exist comfortably without the highly charged survival instinct electrically connecting to the newfound knowledge of the inevitability of our own death. The supernatural myths thus act as resistive electrical insulation, blocking a dangerous short circuit between two parts of the brain.
e) The wild and colorful supernatural myths of Hinduism and Buddhism were created by the human brain mixing up the very real phenomena of cosmic consciousness with the romantic, fiction producing part of the brain that makes us fall in love. Humans have an inbuilt biological need for love so we can sexually reproduce the species. This urge for romance becomes embedded in our DNA code through the evolutionary process, just as our need for strong bones and sharp teeth. Love is a survival requirement for the human species, and it is the very same internal brain wiring and euphoric brain chemistry which also creates fantastic myths of reincarnated religious superheroes. The flawless Godly guru becomes our non-sexual, fantasy spiritual lover. Many Asian and Western gurus have taken advantage of this brain phenomena, and used their own females disciples as a personal harem. Sexual scandals follow gurus almost as regularly as summer follows spring.
f) The soul-karma-reincarnation theory has no reasonable explanation as to how disincarnate souls enter a mother's womb and merge with a newly formed fetus. The traditional Asian myths state that low souls get less auspicious bodies, and higher souls get better looking, healthier bodies with more intelligent brains. Few true believers of reincarnation have ever asked themselves how low souls are rejected from better quality fetuses, and how high souls avoid the trap of getting attached to poor quality fetuses. The theory implies that souls have consciousness that lets them figure out which wombs to enter and which to avoid, and fetuses and/or wombs have built-in restrictions as to what type of soul may apply to enter. Certainly, even low souls would like to enter better quality fetuses, because everyone wants to be good looking, healthy, and wise. There are a thousand and one Hindu and Buddhist explanations for this process, which sounds allot like house shopping and applying for a home mortgage. None of the traditional theories meet even marginal standards of believability in explaining such an impossibly complex theoretical process.
g) Life on earth was created through the nonhuman laws of chemistry, physics, and probability. Strands of chemicals (DNA) were created by sheer accident and replicated themselves faster than they could be destroyed. By further accident, some DNA strands became encased in protective shells which increased their survivability dramatically, creating the first bacteria. From simple bacteria more complexity was added until a myriad of multi celled creatures were produced. Through this slow process of evolution over billions of years, there was never any need for soul except as a myth to help human animals deal with their growing consciousness of the inevitable time-death equation. Scientists have produced the genetic heart of active bacteria from their base chemical components, and they did so without concocting any "soul."
h) The logistical mathematics of the soul theory do not add up. Does every new bacteria, seed, egg, spider, minnow, or cockroach that appears in the world demand a soul to go along with its already sufficient DNA code? We know that humans evolved from bacteria. When did soul come into the picture and why? Is there a printing press somewhere stamping out trillions of new souls every second to keep up with the demand? The soul theory lacks logical credibility, and science has shown that the universe is extremely logical in its structure, formation, and evolution.
i) The famous film director, Alfred Hitchcock, often added a theatrical ploy to his movies called a "MacGuffin." The MacGuffin distracted the audience long enough so that suspense could be created and the plot could develop without giving away the true course of the story. In the end, the MacGuffin has no meaning in itself. Likewise, Hindus and Buddhists have invented complicated myths of reincarnation and/or immortal karma, declaring that we are all trapped in a cycle of birth and death and only our eventual enlightenment can set us free. The Eastern traditions have created a highly sophisticated myth structure, but the underlying function of their myths is identical to the more childlike myths of Christianity, with its almighty God, angels, and heaven. The belief in karma and reincarnation is the MacGuffin that keeps our minds diverted from the inevitability and finality of our own death.
No one can honestly say that it is impossible that human beings have souls or immortal karma. You cannot prove an absolute negative against such a big and complex issue. One can only say that given the proven facts of life and nature, the possibility of soul is unlikely. On one side of the scale you have an almost infinite preponderance of evidence that the supernatural does not exist, and on the other side of the scale you have rumors, myths, and wishful thinking.
J] "We live in succession, in division, in parts, in particles. Meantime within man is the soul of the whole: the wise silence, the universal beauty, to which every part and particle is equally related, the eternal ONE. And this deep power in which we exist and whose beatitude is all accessible to us, is not only self-sufficing and perfect in every hour, but the act of seeing and the thing seen, the seer and the spectacle, the subject and the object, are one. We see the world piece by piece, as the sun, the moon, the animal, the tree; but the whole, of which these are shining parts, is the soul."
Excerpt from The Over-Soul, by Ralph Waldo Emerson, first published in 1841.
Christopher Calder Note* Christopher Calder's website no longer exists.
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The "God" Part of the Brain, by Matthew Alper. Alper details the logical scientific argument that spirituality is the product of genetics and biochemistry, and that God, soul, and reincarnation are inventions of the human brain, used as a device to relieve the tremendous stress of death awareness.
Note Opinions expressed on this page must be viewed as the ideas of an ordinary student of meditation. While I truly believe everything I say, you should not believe anything unless you see it, feel it, and know it for yourself. I make no claims of infallibility. In fact I absolutely claim fallibility. Also, this author suffers from dyslexia. If you find any spelling or punctuation mistakes in any of my essays, please let me know.
Is There Such a Thing as a Soul?
So to understand this question of death, we must be rid of fear, which invents the various theories of afterlife or immortality or reincarnation. So we say, those in the East say, that there is reincarnation, there is a rebirth, a constant renewal going on and on and on the soul, the so-called soul. Now please listen carefully.
Is there such a thing? We like to think there is such a thing, because it gives us pleasure, because that is something that we have set beyond thought, beyond words, beyond; it is something eternal, spiritual, that can never die, and so thought clings to it. But is there such a thing, as a soul, which is something beyond time, something beyond thought, something which is not invented by man, something which is beyond the nature of man, something that is not put together by the cunning mind? Because the mind sees such enormous uncertainty, confusion, nothing permanent in life, nothing. Your relationship to your wife, your husband, your job, nothing is permanent. And so the mind invents a something which is permanent, which it calls the soul. But since the mind can think about it, thought can think about it; as thought can think about it, it is still within the field of time, naturally. If I can think about something, it is part of my thought. And my thought is the result of time, of experience, of knowledge. So, the soul is still within the field of time.
So the idea of a continuity of a soul that will be reborn over and over and over again has no meaning because it is the invention of a mind that is frightened, of a mind that wants, that seeks a duration through permanency, that wants certainty, because in that there is hope.
J. Krishnamurti, The Book of Life
Even your soul is not permanent
How eager we are to have everything permanent! We want permanent relationships, don’t we?, a permanent wife, a permanent husband, a permanent relationship with regard to ideas, action, everything. It must be permanent, which is mechanical—all the time being certain. Is there anything permanent in life, your ideas, your relationships, anything? Perhaps your house is permanent; even that may not be; there are earthquakes. Is there anything psychologically permanent, including your gods, your beliefs, your amusements? Surely, there is nothing permanent, and yet the mind demands permanency, security, because it is frightened to live in a state of uncertainty. To live in such a state requires a great deal of balance, understanding; otherwise one becomes neurotic. Only when the mind is not caught in the desire for permanency is it free, because there is nothing on God’s earth, or inwardly, that is permanent. Even your soul is not permanent; it’s an invention of the priests.
The Collected Works vol XVI, p 193
Detailed account with evidences for reincarnation are available aplenty in
Neale Donlad Walsch’s Conversations with God- volume –III- a must read book.
“Each person has an ideal, a hope, a dream which represents the soul. We must give to it the warmth of love, the light of understanding and the essence of encouragement.”
Colby Dorr Dam
For more academic debates on soul especially as depicted in western analytical approach read the link http://gramata.univ-paris1.fr/Plato/spip.php?article101=
Swami Vivekananda uses the term Soul to refer to various manifestations of the inherent, intrinsic and inevitable divinity, universal spirit etc in different contexts and therefore to the purely analytical and academic mind it would throw up lot of meanings each if observed in the specific context would reveal the many facets of what the soul represents.
Here are some of the sayings of Swami Vivekananda
Sometimes it is used to mean the intrinsic value or essence or pulse of something as it here,
“All who have actually attained any real religious experience never wrangle over the form in which the different religions are expressed. They know that the soul of all religions is the same and so they have no quarrel with anybody just because he or she does not speak in the same tongue.”
If we glean through his writings we can also infer that he refers to the two the individual soul sometimes and the universal soul and he uses the same word soul without linguistically specifying r differentiating it as individual soul and universal soul etc knowing well that or hoping that the context in which the word is used would do the explanation.
For example he says in place, “As body, mind, or soul, you are a dream; you really are Being, Consciousness, Bliss (satchidananda). You are the God of this universe” here soul refers perhaps to individual soul which is tuned more to the frequency of the mind and body and not to the frequency of Consciousness
“The animal has its happiness in the senses, the human beings in their intellect, and the gods in spiritual contemplation. It is only to the soul that has attained to this contemplative state that the world really becomes beautiful.” Here the word soul refers to the Universal Soul.
He also acknowledges that the individual soul as part of the universal soul and is the only aspect of infinitude in a human , “In this external world, which is full of finite things, it is impossible to see and find the Infinite. The Infinite must be sought in that alone which is infinite, and the only thing infinite about us is that which is within us, our own soul. Neither the body, nor the mind, nor even our thoughts, nor the world we see around us, is infinite.” He also further emphasizes, “The essence of Vedanta is that there is but one Being and that every soul is that Being in full, not a part of that Being.” “The Kingdom of Heaven is within us. God is within us. He is the Soul of our souls. See Him in your own soul. That is practical religion. That is freedom.”
“The Self when it appears behind the universe is called God. The same Self when it appears behind this little universe—the body—is the soul”.
“The Soul is not composed of any materials. It is unity indivisible. Therefore it must be indestructible”.
“This life is a hard fact; work your way through it boldly, though it may be adamantine; no matter, the soul is stronger”.
“There is only one sin—and that sin is weakness. When I was a boy, I read Milton’s Paradise Lost. The only good man I had any respect for was Satan. The only saint is the soul who never weakens, faces everything, and determines to die game”.
“To believe blindly is to degenerate the human soul. Be an atheist if you want, but do not believe in anything unquestioningly.”
“True religion is not talk, or doctrines, or theories, nor is it sectarianism. It is the relation between soul and God. Religion does not consist in erecting temples, or building churches, or attending public worship. It is not to be found in books, or in words, or in lectures, or in organizations. Religion consists in realization. We must realize God, feel God, see God, talk to God. That is religion.- Swami Vivekananda
Mythological, religious, and contemporary pseudoscientific ideas about the human soul
Someone has interpreted like this Soul need to be core-self and as defined by Shankaracharya as CHIT ANAND RUPA SHIVOHAM SHIVOHAM. Thus soul is consciousness which is a continuum filled with bliss and is pure (seraphic).
This is surrounded by five KOSHA while one is alive and one identifies oneself with these KOSHAs by ignorance of self. We are not these PANCHAKOSHAs (annamaya, pranmay, dnyanmay, vidnyanmay or anandmay), we are beyond these.
Soul is beyond these, while what we call as spirit as something that leaves body at the time of death has to be deprived of anna and prana and thus remaining three KOSHAs with soul is the remaining spirit. These three remaining KOSHAs preserve knowledge to reconstruct another body and partial knowledge.
Thus, soul is a central core of our being, while spirit consists of soul and three KOSHAs with an ability to reconstruct body and this reenters suitable body and is reborn with part knowledge (of previous birth) sealed like a zip file, which is not easy to reopen
This is surrounded by five KOSHA while one is alive and one identifies oneself with these KOSHAs by ignorance of self. We are not these PANCHAKOSHAs (annamaya, pranmay, dnyanmay, vidnyanmay or anandmay), we are beyond these.
Soul is beyond these, while what we call as spirit as something that leaves body at the time of death has to be deprived of anna and prana and thus remaining three KOSHAs with soul is the remaining spirit. These three remaining KOSHAs preserve knowledge to reconstruct another body and partial knowledge.
Thus, soul is a central core of our being, while spirit consists of soul and three KOSHAs with an ability to reconstruct body and this reenters suitable body and is reborn with part knowledge (of previous birth) sealed like a zip file, which is not easy to reopen
From S.Kumar On Thursday, 2 January 2014, 3:53, S kumar <email@example.com> wrote:
“a. When Dr.Banerjee of Jaipur researched on rebirths and many cases of small children remembering the previous birth, disowning their own parents of present birth and yearning for the house, relatives of previous birth, with many cases proving true to exact details of the child's previous birth locations..etc., the question was raised how the soul enters another foetus and in rare cases the memories of previous birth continues.
b. In many such cases when Dr.Banerjee himself accompanied the child to the house claimed to be his/her own, the child identified the streets, reached the house and hugged elderly members as her sisters or brothers including their names, their playmates..etc.
c. This confirms the possibility of some form of energy/matter entering the foetus at the appropriate time (Garbham Pushyathi Sapthamey) and activating the brain of the memory.
d.Scientifically, it could be assumed that neurons of the brain do not die either in cremation or decomposition in the graves, but move around in space waiting to enter another body esp. in the foetus, and the memory too is carried by some of these neurons while triggering the brain.
e. Indeed neurons do not have any shape, size or weight that could be identified but float in space, perhaps out into space away from the Earth and to other inhabited planets or clusters.”
This topic of human soul and its weight was discussed few months ago on the forum.
Personally speaking.....I have a theory about it. Since I am not a Medical Doctor and don't have access to necessary equipment. Perhaps....some able Medical Doctor/s may like to think about my theory.
We have air all around us and it weighs. Since air weighs.....therefore air in our Lungs must have some weight, too. Before going further.....like to tell you about a British TV Documentary. They Videoed Dying Patients. As they took their Last Breath. An Orb of LIGHT came out of the body and floated in the room. Medical staff opened the windows
and Orb went out.
Back to my Theory..Since air has got weight and Air in the Lungs must have got weight, too. Perhaps..perhaps....Last Breath of Air Exhaled was 21oz.
Here I am Lost.....was Orb a SOUL and weighed 21oz.......or......the last breath exhaled weighed 21oz ???????
Personally, I believe in SPRITUALITY.I am NOT in Bondage to ANY Religious
affiliation. But....do have Great Respect for Each and Every Religion. Hasten to
add some is/are Pure Divisive and Destructive.