Osho on State of Souls in Bodiless State
Question - Osho, you have told us what happens to the Soul during
that timeless interval between two Births. But some points remain
unresolved, regarding the Bodiless Soul: in that bodiless state, does
the Soul remain stationary or can it move about? And how does it
recognize other Souls? In that state, is there any possibility of a
dialogue between Souls?
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.
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 nonmovement 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
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 air waves. 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.
Source : from Osho Book "Dimensions Beyond the Known"
Related Osho Links: