Osho — Scientific Investigation on Reincarnation

Can we intellectually grasp the nature of the soul and its rebirth without resorting to occult practices? Is there a philosophical foundation for understanding the existence of the soul and the process of reincarnation? How does a disembodied spirit remember its past life, and is this recollection limited to souls with awareness at the time of death?

Typically, when a person dies, it’s only the physical body that perishes, while the mind and consciousness persist beyond the body’s demise. In the immediate aftermath of death, memories of the previous life linger, similar to the remnants of dreams upon waking. However, this memory fades quickly, leaving little trace, much like the evanescent nature of a dream’s recollection by the afternoon.

The transition from life to death is akin to the border between sleeping and waking, where one can recall fragments, particularly from the final dream, due to the emerging wakefulness. Yet, even this memory doesn’t endure; it diminishes as hours pass, much like the fading memory of a deceased person’s friends and relatives, which can be painful as they can no longer be connected with.

To ease this transition, certain rituals, such as swift cremation, are practiced in Hindu culture. Cremation helps sever the link between the departed soul and its past life, breaking the connection facilitated by the deceased body. This approach lessens the attachment and identity that the soul holds onto through the physical body, ultimately benefiting the departed soul.

In sudden deaths or accidents, individuals may initially remain unaware of their demise. There’s often confusion and bewilderment as they realize they’ve separated from their body, wondering if something went awry. This confusion arises because the soul departs from the body, and the majority of souls, not just a few, experience this disconcerting state. Only meditative individuals, those who have delved into deep meditation, escape this confusion as they recognize their separation from the physical vessel.

After the burial or cremation of the body, the soul gradually sheds its past memories and attachments, mirroring the way we forget our dreams. Different souls require varying durations for this process, leading to diverse death rites. Some souls take merely three days to forget their past associations, while others require thirteen days. Rarely, powerful memory souls may take a year, leading to extended death rites. However, most souls, within a short period, are reborn into new bodies, leaving the bodiless state behind.

A person who approaches death with full awareness, remaining conscious and clear, doesn’t truly die; they perceive their transition as shedding an old body, akin to discarding old clothes. Such individuals, rare as they are, are free from attachments, psychological memories, and desires. They are a class apart, born again with awareness, unburdened by their past.

As with memories immediately after death, newborns carry recollections of their previous life as spirits, but these memories gradually fade. Few children retain past-life memories even after developing the ability to communicate, making them unique, often those with extraordinary memory of their previous existence.

Moving beyond mystical experiences, is there philosophical support for reincarnation? This question leads us to the realm of logic. Logic is a double-edged sword, as skilled logicians can effectively argue both for and against a proposition. The question of reincarnation, therefore, is not something that philosophy can definitively prove or disprove, as it can be argued skillfully from either perspective.

The inherent weakness of logic lies in its adaptability to support pre-existing beliefs, acting as a means to reinforce assumptions rather than an impartial investigation. While philosophy has debated reincarnation for millennia, it has failed to reach a conclusive resolution. Believers and skeptics remain in a stalemate, each unable to convince the other of their viewpoint’s validity.

The inability to persuade the unconvinced, revealing logic’s impotence, leads us to a more fruitful question: Can science shed light on this ancient debate? Unlike philosophy, science is an impartial pursuit of truth, unburdened by personal beliefs or preconceptions. It seeks to investigate hypotheses, remaining open to all possibilities that objective inquiry may reveal.

Recently, science has taken a growing interest in topics like reincarnation, thanks to the emergence of psychic societies and research into psychic phenomena. Scientists with a scientific inclination, such as Oliver Lodge, Broad, and Rhine, have delved into uncharted territories of the human mind, yielding valuable insights. Their findings support the concept of reincarnation, bolstered by experiments with bodiless souls, where measures have been taken to prevent deception and fraud.

Notably, advancements in telepathy and clairvoyance have intrigued the scientific community, with implications for space travel. As humanity explores the cosmos, the need for alternative channels of communication in the event of mechanical failures has arisen. Skilled telepaths like Fiodev in Russia have demonstrated the ability to transmit messages over vast distances, suggesting the existence of non-physical connections.

This scientific inquiry into the essence of man, moving beyond the confines of the physical body, could eventually lead us to an understanding of the soul and the process of reincarnation. By examining the mind, science inches closer to the domain of the mystics, validating their insights and opening the door to explaining concepts that have eluded philosophy for centuries.

In this quest, science may accomplish what philosophy has not, providing a scientific foundation for understanding the mysteries of the soul and reincarnation, illuminating this ancient debate through objective exploration and evidence-based discovery.

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