700 Year Gap

Discourses Osho on Past Lives / Reincarnation

Osho talks about what ‘happened’ between his last and his present life


You have said that you remember your former life seven hundred years ago. Can you remember your name at that time and the occasion of your death? What I am interested in is what happened between your last life and your present life.

The question seems meaningful, but it is not. Life means that something is happening, and between two lives, there is nothing happening.

Between two lives there is a gap. If something is happening, then again it is another life. Nothing happens in the gap. You can remember it only as a gap, not filled by anything.

When we say that someone is alive we mean that something is happening in him. Life is the realm of happenings. Without a body, nothing happens: the body is the medium for things to happen. The moment you are beyond the body, or not in the body, nothing happens.

Then you can either be aware or unconscious: these are the two possibilities. If you are unconscious then you cannot remember. If you are conscious then you can remember. But the remembrance is only of the gap; there are no events.

Were you fully conscious of the gap between your last death and this birth?

Yes, I was fully conscious for those seven hundred years. I was fully conscious, but it was a consciousness of the gap, of the vacuum, of the emptiness, of nothing happening. Nothing can happen. “Happening” means being embodied. Only if you are in the body can anything happen.

Isn’t it boring then to be without a body?

No, because the concept of boredom belongs to the realm of happenings. If something is happening continuously then you are bored. Boredom is also a repetitive happening. If you have to eat the same food every day then you are bored. But when nothing happens, boredom is impossible. You cannot be bored by nothing.

During those seven hundred years, was there any desire to be reborn?

In the gap between lives no desire is possible. Desire happens when you are dying. Even for a desire to happen you have to be alive and in the body. The desire happens when you are dying – and the last desire you have in one life becomes the first desire at the beginning of a new life. But in the gap itself, there is no desiring.

For example, when you go to sleep, be aware of your last thought that will be your first thought in the morning. But there is no continuity of the thought in the gap, while you are asleep. Your last thought stops at this barrier, at this checkpoint, and it remains there. When you return to a waking state you have to pass through this same checkpoint again, over this same boundary, and your last thought at night will become your first thought in the morning.

The same thing happens when you are dying: the last desire that you have in one life will become the first desire at the beginning of the next life.

In the gap between two lives, everything that is part of life ceases – even time ceases. So when I say “seven hundred years,” it is not my memory of the gap, it is only a reflection. In the gap itself time is not possible.

So many things are involved. Time is possible only when events are happening, otherwise you cannot create time. That is why, when many things have happened, retrospectively you feel that you have lived a long time. If nothing happens – if nothing happens for a whole day – then the day will seem very long. It seems very long because nothing has filled it; time has dragged on. But if you remember that same day, in retrospect it will seem very short because there were no events in it to make it look long.

On the other hand, if many things happen on a particular day, the day will seem very short. But if you remember that day, retrospectively, it will seem very long, because so many things happened.

Time is basically involved with events. If nothing is happening, you are not time-conscious – you cannot be; and space consciousness too is lost.

There is no dreaming between one life and the next. Dreaming is not possible because even dreaming needs a body. You cannot experience anything without a body – the body contains all the instruments of experiencing.

So if you are conscious between one life and another, you are only conscious of your consciousness. Nothing – no thought, no desire but the last desire – will have any effect on you. And the effect of your last desire is automatic, because to enter a body again was the last suggestion of your mind; nothing has to be done about it. If at the moment of death one dies fully conscious, with no desire, no thought, then rebirth becomes impossible.

If you go to sleep fully conscious, with no desire and no thought, then in the morning on awakening there will be no thought and no desire. In the same way the last thought that you have at the moment of death works like a seed, like a potential. Its working is automatic. Whenever there is an opportunity, a situation in which you can be reborn, you will be reborn. And if you have been conscious in your last life, then you will be conscious in this life also. Your birth will be a conscious birth; you will know what is happening.

Then that will be your last life. If this birth has been a conscious birth, then this death will be a conscious death. Then there can be no further birth possible. Once someone is born with full alertness, then that is his last birth. One more death will happen of course, but after that there will be no more births, no more deaths.

So when I say seven hundred years passed before this birth, it is just a reflection…

Osho, The Great Challenge, Q 1-3

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