In the beginning, there was no beginning

On Current Affairs

Subhuti shows how Osho’s dismissal of the big bang theory has now been verified.

Anatomy of a black hole

Listening to Osho’s discourses, you can’t help noticing that the mystic’s understanding of science varies wildly, from pinpoint accuracy and clarity to (apparently) extravagant imagination.

Often, Osho doesn’t seem to mind if he is talking fact or fiction, reminding those who are listening not to pay too much attention to his words, but to focus on the meditative silence and stillness behind them.

That’s fine, but once in a while his words prove astonishingly prophetic and just now a statement by Sir Roger Penrose, a Nobel Prize winner for Physics, shows that Osho may be profoundly right.

Let me back up a bit and explain: In 1979, when I was living and working at the Shree Rajneesh Ashram in Pune, I asked Osho a question in his discourse series, The Book of Wisdom [Ch 28].

I’d just read a Time Magazine article claiming that religion and science were brought together by the Big Bang Theory, which asserted that the universe came into being 15 billion years ago in a vast fireball explosion.

Time’s journalists argued that this sounded like the Old Testament story of the universe beginning in a single act of creation, ordained and triggered by God Almighty himself.


I asked Osho, What is wrong with this theory?

He replied, “Subhuti, the first thing to remember is, for three hundred years religion has been losing its territory continuously…”

He explained that, at first, religion tried to destroy science, for example, by persecuting Galileo when he proved the Earth went around the Sun, instead of vice versa.

But now that science has grown to dominate the objective world, religion eagerly jumps on any scientific theory that seems to support its superstitions – such as the Big Bang and the Act of Creation.

Osho continued, “Why do I say that there was no beginning? Subhuti, it is so simple. Even if you believe in the Big Bang Theory, there must have been something that exploded.

“Do you think nothing exploded? If there was something, x, y, z – any name, I am not much interested in such nonsense things, whatsoever it was that exploded – if something was there before the explosion then the explosion is not the beginning.

“It may be ‘a beginning’ but it is not ‘the beginning’.

Osho went on, “Something was always there – whether it exploded or whether it grew slowly, in one day or in six days, or in one single moment, doesn’t matter.

“There must have been something before it, because only something can come out of something. Even if you say there was nothing, and it came out of nothing, then your nothing is full of something, it is not really nothing.

“Hence I say there has never been any beginning and there will never be any end.

“Maybe a beginning, maybe many beginnings and maybe many ends, but never the first and never the last.

“We are always in the middle. Existence is not a creation but a creativity. It is not that it begins one day and ends one day. It goes on and on; it is an ongoing process.”

Sir Roger Penrose

Osho’s view of the universe has been upheld by Sir Roger Penrose, the 89-year-old Nobel laureate who won the honour in 1988 for proving that black holes exist.

Now, in a recent scientific journal, Sir Roger has asserted that an earlier universe existed before the Big Bang and can still be observed today.

He explained that black holes leak radiation and eventually completely decay, but at such a slow pace they last longer than the age of our current universe.

He said that ‘dead’ black holes from earlier universes are observable now.

“The Big Bang was not the beginning,” he explained. “There was something before the Big Bang and that something is what we will have in our future.

“We have a universe that expands and expands, and all mass decays away, and in this theory of mine, that remote future becomes the Big Bang of another aeon.”

Sir Roger’s work is supported by a theory initiated by his colleague, the late Professor Stephen Hawking, who first theorised that black holes leak radiation and eventually disappear.

Related discourse
  • Suddenly a star disappears“My suggestion is that a black hole is like a door: from one side it is a black door, a black hole – things go into it and disappear into nothingness,” says Osho.
Related articles from Shanti’s series ‘Home in the Universe’
  • In Search of a BirthdayPart 3: Homo sapiens has produced a great diversity of wonderful guesswork about the birth of the universe. Or has the universe no distinct starting point? Has each beginning another beginning?
  • Neither Big Nor a BangPart 4: The Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological model of the birth and the expansion of the universe. However, it still is a challenge to modern cosmology to understand that very first ‘lilliputian moment’ of birth
  • Doubters, Agitators, Dissidents and Rebels, e.g. the Cyclic UniversePart 5: According to the dissident Cyclic Universe theory, the Big Bang was not the beginning of time, but the bridge to a past, filled with endlessly repeating cycles of evolution
Related articles on BBC and Independent

Subhuti is a writer, author of many books, including the recent, Wild Wild Guru.


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