“It Won’t Happen To Me…”

 

As we approach old age it’s hard to escape from realising the eventual fate of our bodtes, of what we ‘normally’ assume to be ‘ourselves’. And yet somehow there seems to be a sort of ‘denial’ mechanism that prevents us from fully embracing  the irrefutable fact, guaranteed at birth, that we are soon going to disappear for ever.

Here, Ian Sample (Science Editor of The Guardian) explores this phenomenon.

Doubting death: how our brains shield us from mortal truth

Warning: This story is about death. You might want to click away now.

The brain seems to categorise death as something that only befalls other people.

That’s because, researchers say, our brains do their best to keep us from dwelling on our inevitable demise. A study found that the brain shields us from existential fear by categorising death as an unfortunate event that only befalls other people.

“The brain does not accept that death is related to us,” said Yair Dor-Ziderman, at Bar Ilan University in Israel. “We have this primal mechanism that means when the brain gets information that links self to death, something tells us it’s not reliable, so we shouldn’t believe it.”

Being shielded from thoughts of our future death could be crucial for us to live in the present. The protection may switch on in early life as our minds develop and we realise death comes to us all.

To investigate how the brain handles thoughts of death, Dor-Ziderman and colleagues developed a test that involved producing signals of surprise in the brain.

They asked volunteers to watch faces flash up on a screen while their brain activity was monitored. The person’s own face or that of a stranger flashed up on screen several times, followed by a different face. On seeing the final face, the brain flickered with surprise because the image clashed with what it had predicted.

Various words appeared above the faces on screen. Half of the time these were death-related words such as “funeral” or “burial”. The scientists found that if a person’s own face flashed up next to deathly words, their brain shut down its prediction system. It refused to link the self with death and no surprise signals were recorded.

Avi Goldstein, a senior author on the paper, said: “This suggests that we shield ourselves from existential threats, or consciously thinking about the idea that we are going to die, by shutting down predictions about the self, or categorising the information as being about other people rather than ourselves.”

Dor-Ziderman added: “We cannot rationally deny that we will die, but we think of it more as something that happens to other people.” The study will be published in NeuroImage next month.

In the not-so-distant past, Zor-Diderman pointed out, our brain’s defences against thoughts of death were balanced out by the reality of death around us. Today, he believes, society is more death-phobic, with sick people confined to hospitals and elderly people to care homes. As a result, he suspects, people know far less about the end of life and perhaps come to fear it more.

Arnaud Wisman, a psychologist at the University of Kent, said people put up numerous defences to stave off thoughts of death. The young in particular may see it as a problem for other people, he said.

His own work had found that in modern societies people embraced what he called the “escape treadmill”, where hard work, pub sessions, checking mobile phones and buying more stuff meant people were simply too busy to worry about death.

“However, it is not a solution to the problem itself,” he said. “So we need to keep escaping.”

(From the Guardian online, Saturday, October 19, 2019)

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/oct/19/doubting-death-how-our-brains-shield-us-from-mortal-truth

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152 Responses to “It Won’t Happen To Me…”

  1. Arpana says:

    I was seriously ill, the only time in my life I’ve been through this, about ten years ago; and I apreciated at the time that death could be a release.

    I don’t mean I wanted to die, and I was aware then of people who would be badly affected if I did, so in a sense I felt a responsibility to keep it together for them, but I would, during the worst part, often wake in the night, before I began to turn a corner, and wish for oblivion at times.

  2. shantam prem says:

    One of most loved books by Osho is called ‘Main Mrityu Sikhata Hun’ (‘I Teach Death’).

    In a way accepting the fact I am going to die sooner than later is the foundation stone of spiritual way of living. Why to become part of cut-throat ambition games when death is going to snatch not just shops and homes but resorts and communes too.

    Problem is those who are in spiritual teaching vocation also forget the inevitable fact under the influence of cuddling chemicals of success.

    • Lokesh says:

      Shantam, sounds to me like you are resentful because of the lack of material success in your life.

      • Shantam prem says:

        In that sense, 99% sannyasins are failures, most probably you too.

        Just the other day, tax people have unearthed billions of rupees worth money from a South Indian Avatara.

        Many times failures are not failures if they adhere to natural principles of life.

        • Lokesh says:

          Shantam, you often come across like you have a chip on your shoulder about people who are more successful than you. I can quite understand if that is the case.

          You say, “Many times failures are not failures if they adhere to natural principles of life.”
          Apart from nature being the last place to look for compassion, what exactly are the natural principles of life in your mind?

          I suspect that different people would supply different answers to such a question, but seeing as how you brought it up, Shantam, perhaps you would be so kind as to tell your definition of the natural principles of life.

          • Shantam prem says:

            There is no alternative to ethics, honesty, truthfullness and empathy.
            With these things in heart, others don’t look like customers or clients but much more.
            With these things in heart one can’t run the marathon but enjoy the race.

            • satchit says:

              “There is no alternative to ethics, honesty, truthfulness and empathy.”

              Did you find these Christian ideals by sitting in church, Shantam?

              • frank says:

                Sounds like he`s been hanging on the street shooting the breeze with the Jehovah`s Witnesses again.

              • Shantam prem says:

                Satchit, your above point proves you know quite well what was lacking in Neo-Sannyas.

                One can’t always have the cake and eat it too. Someone pays the bill when pyramid of Domino chips crumbles.

                • satchit says:

                  Shantam, I see what is lacking in you.

                  You care too much about the outside and your problem lies inside.

                  Forget all about Neo-Sannyas!

                • anand yogi says:

                  Perfectly correct, Shantambhai!

                  99% of sannyasins are failures in spiritual teaching vocation due to influence of cuddling chemicals of success in customers and clients!

                  When cookie crumbles, chocolate chip on shoulder follows natural principles of life of cut-throat ponzi pyramid scheme to buy Domino`s pizza in bardo!

                  Yahoo!

  3. Lokesh says:

    “Arnaud Wisman found that in modern societies people embraced what he called the “escape treadmill”, where hard work, pub sessions, checking mobile phones and buying more stuff meant people were simply too busy to worry about death.”

    I do not work had.
    I do not go to pubs.
    I do not use a mobile phone.
    I do not buy ‘stuff’ that I do not need.
    I am not busy.
    I do not worry about death.

    I don’t see the point in worrying about anything. It does not help to alleviate whatever it is you are worried about.

    I contemplate death daily. I feel alive and am surrounded by life so you have to be stupid to deny that you will one day no longer inhabit a human body. I do not find that to be something to be afraid of. I suppose in a way I find that I want to embrace death. I am not at all flippant about death. It is part of life’s great mystery. Perhaps even the apex of life.

    When I read the above article it makes me think it is written by squares who have never turned on, tuned in and dropped right fucking out. I started quite early with having death near to me. My mother died when I was two months old. My dad died when I was fourteen. Weird holding a hemp rope and lowering my dad into a hole in the ground, and even weirder living in a place where death is treated like a catastrophe, instead of being viewed as an integral part of life.

    I grew up fast in the sixties and had many death experiences in psychedelic sessions. I suppose, in a way, I underwent a psychological death and rebirth process during my years in Poona One. Scary as fuck at times. Like Arpana, I had to deal with severe illness. One of life’s greatest and most severe teachers. I learned a lot during four months in intensive Care and the two years it took to sometimes crawl back to a normal level of good health. Humility is the essence of it.

    There are a lot worse things than personal death in this world and if you do not agree it just means you are missing something in your education. I once reached a point during my illness that it would be a hell of a lot easier to just give up and die. I chose the tougher path and thanks to some great people, professionals and friends, I got my life back and in so doing I learned the value of a human life. Priceless.

    Death is everywhere. He is a friend because he gives the perfect background to help us feel alive. How boring to be in the human realm for eternity. It is a fascinating place but enough will be enough when the time comes and Existence has its timing.

  4. Kavita says:

    Death of anyone’s body is something inevitable, I think.

    The first death I saw at first hand was that of my aunt’s elderly neighbour. I was barely five then, I was playing in their common veranda when I heard this elderly man stammering from his rocking chair, so I went to him, he showed me the glass of water beside him on a table, I gave it to him & I saw him close his eyes after he finished drinking it. Later I was told he had gone to heaven!

    In Poona, me and my boyfriend, along with a few sannyasin friends, would go to the burning at night and sit around a pyre and each of us would try & imagine our self burning (Osho had mentioned this to be a Tibetan technique). At the end of this session it always became very hilarious as none of us could see our self burning!

    Frankly, after seeing close to twenty-five deaths or so & attending about the same amount of rituals/ celebrations, now I don’t think & feel obliged to go to anyone’s death celebration/ritual, not even my own!

    • frank says:

      The first time I ever saw a dead body was when I was 19, on the burning ghats in Varanasi or Benares as it was then.

      I`m grateful to India (despite what Yogi might think(!)) for that opportunity of sitting long hours there, watching and even being part of that extraordinary life/death theatre, which was a whole style of situation so very far away from my upbringing.

      In a way, while we`re still alive, death is about other people and access to death is through another`s death. It`s important to feel that as much as possible, I would say.

      My observation is that the business referred to in the article takes place firstly by people blotting out/denying the effects of the deaths of near and dear ones on themselves, and that makes their own death more difficult to face. That`s how the whole cultural taboo works.

      Kavita, yes, that`s the beauty of your own funeral, you don`t have to do any of the stressful stuff, just lie back and leave it to the others!

      • Kavita says:

        At seventeen, when I saw my father breathe his last breath in my arms, I somehow knew he had died, as by then I had seen my grandparents, younger brother & eldest paternal-uncle’s dead bodies.

        My mother, in her last two and a half years of being bed-ridden, many times probably, in her pain of being physically dependent, told me to give her something that would liberate her from her body. One time I told her, “Neither are you Osho nor am I Amrito”, at which we both laughed!

        • shantam prem says:

          Kavita, you are super in your honesty, innocence and wisdom.

          Thanks to Osho and His creation, one could meet people one never thought to meet.

          • Kavita says:

            Shantam, I think we humans have a few attributes & mostly they are judged relatively!

            Me too grateful to his creation.

      • Kavita says:

        “My observation is that the business referred to in the article takes place firstly by people blotting out/denying the effects of the deaths of near and dear ones on themselves, and that makes their own death more difficult to face. That`s how the whole cultural taboo works.” -

        Frank, these days here in India about evolving culture, it’s changed at least 50% in cities, maybe due to media & mostly educated people coming in contact with spiritual masters on the internet, these masters having mostly read Osho.

        Even my fifty-five year-old widowed house-helper/maid seems quite aware & verbally accepting about her own death & life in general, maybe thanks to the sannyasins she has worked for for forty years-plus.

        Sometimes I wonder IF we are evolving Buddhas?!
        MAYBE even anyone who we come in contact with may at least be evolving Bodhisattvas?!

        Wonder what Yogi’s take on this is?!

        • anand yogi says:

          Perfectly correct, Kavita!

          Certainly, thanks to the time-tested wisdom of mighty Bhorat, it is possible to drop dead in India without anyone batting an eyelid, whereas in West body will be removed immediately by ‘Private ambulance’ to secret location!

          Also, if last night`s daal gives trouble in bowels or too much chai has been taken by one saturated with the wisdom of mighty Bhorat, it is simply enough to drop chuddies in street where one is standing without further ado and let natural principle of life flow! What is problem? For the truly holy, where is need for public toilets when one has temples?

          But if a man and woman hold hand or kiss in the public it is certainly cause for justified moral outrage at revolting habits imported from perverted West by St. Valentine and other depraved gods of the modern world who are promoting homosexuality, bestiality, buggery, sodomy, exogamy and sex outside of marriage for no other reason than the titillation and titivation of sense-pleasure in genital and other vital organs which was unknown in the pure world of mighty Bhorat before arrival of foreign red-faced baboons!

          Yahoo!
          Hari Om!

          • Kavita says:

            So true, Yogi, in this mighty Bhorat, to accept the universal existence of “homosexuality, bestiality, buggery, sodomy, exogamy and sex outside of marriage for no other reason than the titillation and titivation of sense-pleasure in genital and other vital organs” shall take eternity!

            Seems invention of geography is the cause of such conditioning!

            • anand yogi says:

              Beloved Kavita,
              I have spoken to Swami Bhorat about the matter in this morning`s darshan and as per usual he had wise words to say on the matter:
              “West is relaxed about sex, but uptight about going to toilet and dying. East is relaxed about dying and eliminatory functions but uptight about sex.
              When my vision of East meets West comes to pass, the New Man will be one who can pull down pants at any moment when need arises without any inhibition in order to perform any vital function, front and/or back, in a relaxed way whilst discussing death in deeply meditative and accepting way!

              Also, when New Man wipes bottom, following vision of Zorba the Buddha/East meets West, he will use toilet paper with one hand and empty Ouzo bottle filled with water in other!

              This is certainly the only hope for humanity!”

              Yahoo!
              Hari Om!

              • Kavita says:

                AY, please thank Swami Bhorat for showing his ethics, honesty, truthfulness and empathy equally towards East & West!

                • anand yogi says:

                  Perfectly correct, Kavita!

                  Bhorat sends message he is simply following natural principle of life!

                  His blissings!

                  Yahoo!

                • Lokesh says:

                  Wow, amazing vision from his holiness. Kind of puts Osho to shame because nobody knows what his vision was…well, at least going by what is said on SN.

  5. Levina says:

    Interesting subject, Satya, and Lokesh’s response. I have a few ramblings about death…

    The survival part of the brain doesn’t want to die, it’s not in the interest of the survival of the species. So it’s only natural to struggle, as the zebra does in the mouth of a lion. I’m always wondering what it feels at that moment of death struggle, maybe there is a natural anaesthetic to soften the blow, so to speak….

    I have done quite often the death meditation, imagining meself lying in the coffin. That’s quite peaceful actually, nothing to do any longer.

    What I find more difficult is dying to a thought of being right,or dying to thoughts that believe there is a past or future. Or dying to any belief for that matter, even the belief that I’m going to die. ‘Cause up to that last moment before dying I’m alive, and after that who cares???

    Isn’t that the real question/fear/belief: who/what will care after I die? Or will I continue after I die? I guess when the moment comes the extent of the fear will equal the identification with the body/mind, that is still there.

    • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

      Thank you for sharing, Levina ( 20 October 2019 at8:53 am) !
      Need to put that up , before this thread ( topic) might be closed….

      Can relate to what you shared.
      Could also relate to Lokesh´s stance ( 19 October at 9:50 pm)

      The turn the virtual ´chat- wave´ then has been taking – I ´m not able following at the moment.
      Neither can find words for stuff, I´ve to share re the fact that dieing and re-surrecting is happening moment – to – moment.
      When we are able to be concious about it.

      We call such a mystery; sometimes

      with love

      Madhu

  6. shantam prem says:

    Death, it happens to others. Members now declining in numbers of almost non-existing cult called Neo-Sannyas don´t die, they leave the body!

  7. samarpan says:

    If death is disappearing, then I die every night during dreamless sleep in which I have no awareness, no witnessing, in which there is no guarantee of waking the next morning. I’ve experienced this death in sleep more than 25,550 times now.

    I’m off to sleep again now, to die in a dreamless sleep in which no “I” exists, no conscious awareness exists. Now I lay me down to sleep, for the umpteenth thousandth time. If I should die before I wake, who cares?

    I am practising the Osho Bardo meditation to experience “dying” (letting go of the dream) consciously while awake. I recommend it.

    https://oshosammasati.org/products/osho-bardo/

  8. Arpana says:

    @Frank,
    Re yon Irish loon

    The Fireworks Display

    One great Master, Nan In, was on his deathbed. He is one of those people whom I can say was religious, really religious. His whole life is full of incidents, anecdotes, stories, which give a clear indication of a man of tremendous insight.

    He was dying and he had told his disciples, ‘I would not like my death to be mourned because it is not death. You will be unnecessarily wasting your tears and crying and weeping and I will be laughing from the other shore because I will see, “These fools! I have wasted the whole of my life: they have not understood a simple thing.”

    ‘I would like you to dance and sing and laugh and rejoice, because death is not death. I am going, leaving this house because it is no longer useful. This body is now more of a trouble than a convenience – I am just changing it. So there is no need to mourn. You should be happy that your master is going into a new life.’

    To whatever he said they listened but their faces were showing that they were all ready to burst into tears. They were sad – and who would not be sad when a man like Nan In leaves the world?

    But Nan In had made arrangements…. He said, ‘A few things to be remembered… this is my will.’

    In the East it is a tradition, perhaps in the West also, that before you burn or bury a body you wash the body and put new clothes on it. I know the reason in the East is that the person is going on a faraway journey; maybe there will be some chance to have a bath or maybe not. Certainly he will need new clothes, so new clothes are given and a bath is given. This is just a way to say good-bye from this shore: ‘From now onwards we cannot help – you take care of yourself.’

    Nan In said, ‘Don’t give me a bath because I have just taken one. And I don’t like baths in such a cold winter; even if I am dead I don’t want another bath. I have taken one, which was necessary. I have done it myself because I was concerned that if you give me a bath I won’t know how much water you pour in, how cold, and anything else you do. I have taken my bath so that ritual has not to be done.

    ‘And don’t change my clothes. You see, I have already changed because I don’t like clothes that don’t fit, which are too loose or too tight. You know I am fussy about that, so I have my dress ready – you can see it is new.’ And they saw that he had taken a bath and he did have a new robe.

    Nan In said, ‘So these two things are not to be done – this is my will – but anything else you want to do, do. Don’t weep, don’t cry and don’t mourn. That would not be the right kind of good-bye for me’ – and he died.

    Although he had said ‘Don’t cry’ – but what to do? Tears are not in your hands, just to stop or… To lose such a man, such a tremendously alive man, disappearing into who knows what…. ‘And how much he has given! Now towards whom are we going to look? Questions will be torturing us, doubts will be arising and who is going to say, “Don’t be worried, continue: you are on the right track and the goal is not far away?”’ His voice had been enough to bring courage and strength again. Now who was going to help?

    They were crying and they were weeping but they could not manage to do it for long. People like Nan In are really creative geniuses. When his body was put on the funeral pyre they all started laughing in spite of themselves; tears were coming to their eyes. It was a strange situation: that man had hidden in his clothes many things – firecrackers and small bombs!

    That’s why he had prevented them from changing his clothes; that’s why he had taken his own bath. His dress was specially made with many pockets inside where he was hiding an almost three-hour celebration. The people were laughing and crying. The firecrackers were going off – beautiful and colorful because in Japan they make the best. Nothing can be compared with Japanese firecrackers; they make them in such artful ways.

    What Nan In was continually telling these people appeared in the sky, in writing: ‘Beware!’ A firecracker would go up and burst into small flower-like pieces and they all would fall together and make the word, ‘Beware!’

    His disciples were looking at the sky and they forgot completely that it was a funeral; it became a beautiful exhibition of fireworks! They realized only as the fire died out and the body was consumed by the fire… only then did they realize that that man had been doing the same thing for his whole life. He had even made arrangements before dying so that after death also his work would continue in the same way, uninterrupted. Death made no difference: Nan In was still doing the same thing.

    (Osho: ‘From Personality to Individuality’)

    • frank says:

      That was the Osho Neo Tarot card: Laughter

      • Arpana says:

        Right. Isn’t a Tarot card for laughter. Interesting that. Nearest is 3 of Cups, I guess.

        • frank says:

          I think that could be a failing of the Tarot`s Xian roots.
          However, the Fool and the Devil can be pressed into service.
          The Fool for obvious reasons.
          The Devil because he is a parody or send-up of the Pope.

          • frank says:

            See what I mean?

          • Arpana says:

            Baby boomers went to school and sang hymns. Still going on then.

            The second school I went to for a year or so was out of Dickens, including the building and heating system, a church school. Hymns and prayers every day and before we ate the disgusting school dinners.

            A teacher nearly had a fit screaming at me I was a devil child and that I was going to burn in hell for ever. (I was a bit trappy even then).

            • frank says:

              Sounds like `The Exorcist’. No wonder you joined a cult!

              What was that hymn that ended each verse: “Christ the Lord” and you could sing at the top of your lungs “Christ, I`m bored”and get away with it?

              That was fun.

              • Arpana says:

                I’ve met individuals who are into rave and acid who strike me as cultists.

                The best thing about the Osho cult, for me anyway, is being part of it and doing my own thing, certainly not worrying about disapproval from orthodoxists of various kind.

                P.S:
                A prime number is represented in this image, three times, and an inverted prime, and the card is 3. What do you make of that?

  9. satchit says:

    The question is: For whom is this statement, “Never Born, Never Died. Only visiting this Planet Earth”. valid?

    Is it only for Osho or is it for everyone?

    If it is for everyone, then certainly there can be no knowing of death inside and it is not a denial either.

  10. Levina says:

    Satchit, perhaps it’s not about understanding, but knowing without a shadow of doubt that it is so.

  11. Kavita says:

    “The question is: For whom is this statement, “Never Born, Never Died. Only visiting this Planet Earth”. valid?”

    For English-educated aliens?!

  12. sw. veet (francesco) says:

    When my father died, I was 23 years old, the anguish that accompanied his last days, revealing his unsuspected fragility, aroused me from the spell of a feared and distant father.

    That change of perspective triggered in me a rage towards what had been my defensive strategy against his authority.

    Then, there were adrenaline-filled years, “I will die!” the caption.

    That anger was my understanding, due to the limit that death places between me and my fellow men, in not being able to express my love anymore, in the certainty that I myself would not want to live without love.

    • Klaus says:

      Veet Francesco,

      I find your’s a highly impressive realization, i.e. a deep understanding of your life’s motivations.

      My thumbs up!

  13. shantam prem says:

    ‘Leaving the body’ or ‘this is my last life’, ‘my master is my saviour’ kind of bravados are psychological armour to sidetrack fear from death, hell and heaven and evolution as well as retribution of Nature.

    What is the need to be overly special?
    Is there some need to hire a lawyer in Nature´s court?

    • satyadeva says:

      Shantam, people like Osho have introduced phrases like ‘leaving the body’ and ‘this is my last life’. Are you suggesting they say such things out of personal fear, and/or to protect their people from fear?

      • shantam prem says:

        It is not fair from my side to comment on Osho.

        When I see religious founders, Osho is at top of the first nine in top ten lists.

        My domain is followers and their Indian gurus in generic terms.

    • satchit says:

      There are many near-death experiences that show that ‘leaving the body’ is reality.

      • frank says:

        Depends what sort of `reality` you are talking about.

        OBEs are not the same type of reality as the reality of, for example, that combustion engines run on fossil fuel. Which, of course, they will at any place, any time, and driven by anybody (barring the occasional breakdown).

        Not that long ago, I had a very vivid dream that I was living in another body than mine. It was scarily real.

        It`s necessary to distinguish different types of reality so as to not get confused.

        • satchit says:

          Certainly, at the end it is belief.

          I know someone who worked in a hospice. She said there is always a presence that leaves the dead body, sometimes quick, sometimes stays longer.

          But truth is also that maybe not everybodysenses this ‘reality’.

          • Lokesh says:

            The brain can create many different types of experience, including leaving the body. Whether or not this constitutes reality is an age-old argument.

            • satyadeva says:

              It certainly is, Lokesh, although if masters are wrong about this then why should they be trusted about anything else?

              • shantam prem says:

                “if masters are wrong about this then why should they be trusted about anything else?”

                You are too innocent or too Indian in your thinking, SD.

                • satyadeva says:

                  Masters are supposed to know and explain the mysteries of life, love and death, aren’t they so that their people can live with more understanding, authenticity, joy, wisdom and courage?

                  Or do you think their main job is to provide a nice multi-national holiday camp set-up where people who can’t do much else can sit around speculating about it all (while having as much sex as possible, of course)?

                • frank says:

                  That`s what it would be like to get your teeth pulled out by Joe Satriani.

                  Nice one!

                • shantam prem says:

                  Spiritual masters are, as well as humans, entrepreneurs and geniuses of various other fields. Ehis is not a difficult fact to see and accept in this age and time.

                  With this understanding, spiritual search will shine and can touch more horizons. Hero worshipping is too much childish, anti-religion, anti-everything.

                • Lokesh says:

                  Joe’s earlier albums are the best. Like many artists his music has suffered due to a lack of good new material. Like Santana, he never surpassed his earlier recordings. Santana brought out a new album a few weeks ago, ‘African Spirits’. It is terrible.

                • frank says:

                  Lokesh,

                  You`re right, and it all goes to prove that Sickboy from ‘Trainspotting`s all-embracing theory of life was spot on…
                  “Ye have it, then ye lose it….”!

              • Lokesh says:

                That brings in how do you determine who is an authentic master?

                Even the most holy of holy ones are sometimes exposed as fakes and conmen or conwomen.
                Can you honestly say Osho was a true spiritual master? Truth is, nobody knows. Otherwise, it is just that spinning two-sided coin, belief and doubt.

                Or am I mistaken?

                Was just talking to a sannyasin friend today. She thought Osho was like an alien. I never ever saw the old boy like that. Projection is a flexible reality.

                • satyadeva says:

                  Well, one chooses “by one’s lights”, I guess. And if it turns out badly then put it down to experience!

                • frank says:

                  If you believe that a spiritual master has perfect knowledge, that`s your choice. Same as billions believe that Koran, Bible, Gita, Torah etc. are the last word in truth.

                  It`s hard to see that it`s your choice if you are convinced that the truth is objective and non-negotiable as in Xianity, Islam etc.

                • Jivan Alok says:

                  Lokesh, you say, “Can you honestly say Osho was a true spiritual master? Truth is, nobody knows. Otherwise, it is just that spinning two-sided coin, belief and doubt.”

                  I can confirm that Osho was (and remains) a true spiritual master. For me. If I were you, and had lived with Osho and talked to him eye to eye, who knows what I woould have said about him?

                  But I am not you, and I am saying again that Osho is my true spiritual master. He is still teaching me. Every time I do Dynamic or any other meditation, or just read or watch related media, the heartfelt connection is on.

              • satchit says:

                Don’t remember that Osho said “trust me.”

                But he said “trust yourself.”

                • Lokesh says:

                  Osho said a lot of things and not all of them were true.

                • satchit says:

                  Yes, Lokesh, he also said that all Masters are great liars.

                  Was this a lie too?

                • shantam prem says:

                  If masters are great liars, enlightenment like G spot is a lie or a myth or a freaky nature.

                • satchit says:

                  If you are stressed in life, a master will tell you: “Relax, there are many lives!”

                  If you are lazy, he will say: “Hurry, there is only one life!”

                  Do you really believe he knows more about these things than you?

                • satyadeva says:

                  Er, yes, I do, Satchit.

                • satyadeva says:

                  Now then, Satchit, here’s someone who reckons he knows, “the ancient discarnate spirit communicator Joseph”…

                  “Death holds nothing to fear when its mysteries are demystified and every aspect of the afterlife is revealed, examined and explained…Joseph does just that , replacing fear with comfort, uncertainty with knowledge.

                  Read this acclaimed, highly spiritual best-seller and you’ll never look at the afterlife, or indeed your life here, in quite the same way again.”

                  Glowing review from Pauline Hutchins:
                  “Thanks to Joseph I am having a fabulous old age – hope is one thing, knowledge another.”

                  My God, I’m feeling much better already!

                  Paperback from thejosephcommunications.co.uk (or from amazon.co.uk).
                  e-book from Amazon, audiobook from http://www.bit.ly/yladaudio

                  P.S:
                  This ad appeared in a recent edition of ‘The Big Issue’, a bi-weekly UK magazine largely focusing on homelessness and related topics, and sold in the streets by the homeless in the UK.

                • Lokesh says:

                  Osho is your true spiritual master. What a load of bollocks. You never even met the man.

                • satchit says:

                  Is it true that you never met the man, SD, or is he confused?

                • satyadeva says:

                  I think Lokesh is referring to you, Satchit.

                  (Btw, I met Osho nine times).

                • satchit says:

                  No, this cannot be that he is referring to me.

                  Where did you meet him? In darshan or on the train station?

                  Btw. I don’t respond to guys who are too arrogant to use names.

      • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

        Yes, you are right here, Satchit ( at 1:15pm)

        Does not only happen on an operation table or in deathly sickness.
        Such also happens to victims of torture wahtsoever or to victims of black magic processings in order to get hold of a soul and the spirit of the targeted victims.

        There are shamans ( worth their salt), who go on a
        ” SOUL_HUNTING” Healing journey , to re-unite the souls with the body of the perpetrated or deadly shocked , who lost their ´integrity so to say.

        And Frank is also right, very right, when suggesting the necesscity of differentiation !

        Anyway, it´s nothing for a sensational virtual chat or these innumerous talk-shows , which are meanwhile happening.

        ´Bragging about stuff, which is experiential-wise not at all known. Yet often claimed to be known, by people, who don´t know a ´thing.

        Treating such stuff as sensational ´entertainment-material´
        ( for others, an audience).

        What it is NOT.

        Madhu

      • swami anand anubodh says:

        Satchit,

        You say: “There are many near-death experiences that show that ‘leaving the body’ is reality.”

        I have had ‘out of the body’ experiences on numerous occasions, and can say with confidence they are not real (in the sense that you actually leave your body) but they are created by the subconscious.

        So I offer you a simple challenge to pit your belief against my scepticism.

        I did a quick trawl through YouTube and found a NDE that appears to offer physical proof of ‘leaving the body’. It’s only a short video, unfortunately the audio quality is very poor. So it’s best to hit the captions button:

        https://youtu.be/NSbU-CdwVEk

        The video has been up for several years, with many views and plenty of supportive comments. Yet nobody has noticed a glaring anomaly in this guy’s story which betrays the fact that he has made a huge mistake.

        (It’s also worth reading a transcript of his experience as it makes clearer what he is claiming):

        https://www.nderf.org/Experiences/1jeffrey_s_nde.html

        So my challenge to you, Satchit, is: Can you spot why this NDE quickly unravels or do you accept it on face value?

        If you’re not up for the challenge, that’s okay, I understand.

        • satchit says:

          To be honest, Anubodh, the guy in the video looks a bit weird for me.

          We create our reality by our mind and feelings. So we have the choice if we want to say ‘we leave our body’ or we say ‘we are simply dead’.

          For me ‘leaving the body’ is simply more poetic, that’s all – and it is not escaping death as some stupid scientists say.

          • swami anand anubodh says:

            Yes, Satchit, i’m not surprised you are ‘out of your depth’ with my challenge.

        • Levina says:

          Anubodh, is it not that mind (mind that creates creation) can use the brain as a medium to create, but is not dependend on it, as in an o.b.e or death, when it can see the body from a distance?

          In o.b.e it is that the mind momentarily doesn’t use the brain but comes back again, and in death the connection is totally broken? I don’t really know but I find it interesting to speculate.

          Curious if there was an incident that brought on your experience!

          • satyadeva says:

            When you say “mind” here, Levina, do you mean ‘consciousness’?

            Problem with the word ‘mind’ is that it can mean different things, eg the brain, intellect, consciousness and the whole thought/feeling spectrum, so let’s be clear what we’re discussing, please!

            • Jivan Alok says:

              Yes, mind is not a plain thing to comprehend. Let’s make it more complex so our mind is not understood so easily by itself:

            • Jivan Alok says:

              To make it worse even, mind can suggest that it is something like that (agree or disagree, it’s all mind’s speculations talking to each other):

              • frank says:

                The Mind
                by A. Buddha

                Meditators try to refuse it,
                Spiritual types tend to accuse it,
                Intellectuals they overuse it,
                Common people try to amuse it,
                Charlatans try to confuse it,
                Enlightened ones try to defuse it.

                But whichever way you views it,
                As long as you still have to choose it:
                It`s gotta be use it or lose it!

                • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

                  Fabulous summary, Frank ( at 8:43 am) !
                  And one can say, that you are performing in many of the roles and in-between, you capture herewith.

                  My response yesterday re some response of´Lokesh´s
                  ( 26 October 2019 at 3:36 pm) disappeared into the ´void) and some of the more general response(s) to your takes disappeared all the way.
                  The latter refering to a public saying , like :
                  ” …the longer you´re gazing into an abyss, the more probable it is, that the abyss starts gazing at you”.

                  And then, what ?….
                  Awareness ?
                  Awareness !

                  An option, and may be, the only one….

                  One of the stories, told about the ´Buddha was, that He was asked by disciples in a nagging way : ” Who are you ?” ( with added multiple choice- answering ´suggestions).

                  He is said ( story-wise) to have answered:
                  ” I´m awareness ”
                  ( getting rid of the questioners , to invite them for a U-turn! ).

                  That´s what one can call a Heart´s Intelligence take, isn´t it ?
                  _

                  Sky is sapphir blue today
                  Wind is playing with falling leaves

                  One of the very good news of yesterday´s or the day before fo me , was – that the Australien Aboriginees managed to keep their holy montain in the desert free from human ´tourists, who – from now-on are prohibited to take their selfies while climbing that montain and leaving their garbage there.

                  Such a joy at my place here so far away from there – and yet – believe it – or not – so near.

                  May you all have a beautiful day / night/ in the Here-Now., friends, I ´d like to express.

                  Madhu

                • satyadeva says:

                  Francoise says, “That’s really quite good” (she’s a Gemini, you know!).

                • frank says:

                  SD,
                  If she`s a Gemini,she`ll probably have changed her mind by now!!

            • Levina says:

              Satya, I meant big mind, intelligence, consciousness, names for the nothingness, source that has no name. So the brain, like every organ, is a vessel infused with that nameless source in every cell and molecule to make it alive, as everything else is in this uni-verse. That’s my model for someting totally incomprehensible!

              • satyadeva says:

                You mean, something like this, perhaps, Levina?

                From ‘A Mind at Home with Itself’ by Byron Katie

                “The mind is prior to whatever it perceives. It is pure and lucid and completely open to everything: the apparently ugly just as much as the apparently beautiful, rejection as much as acceptance, disaster as much as success. It knows it is always safe. It experiences life as an uninterrupted flow. It doesn’t land anywhere, because it doesn’t need to; besides, it sees that landing somewhere would be a limitation.

                It notices each thought it thinks, but it doesn’t believe any of them. It realizes that there is never any solid ground to stand on. What flows out of its realization is freedom. “No place to stand” is where it stands; that’s where its delight is.

                When inquiry is alive inside you, every thought you think ends with a question mark, not a period. And that is the end of suffering.”

          • Kavita says:

            In o.b.e it is that the mind momentarily doesn’t use the brain but comes back again, and in death the connection is totally broken? I don’t really know but I find it interesting to speculate. I somehow agree with this.

            Ironing clothes was my hobby in those days, I was about eighteen then, while engrossed in ironing, suddenly for a fraction of a moment I saw my body from up, as soon as I thought “that’s me”, I was back.

            I just sat down, this o.b.e made me wonder what had just happened. By chance, my paternal uncle (he was into Theosophy & JK since his student days) came over, he probably sensed something was bothering me and on asking me I told him what had happened. He futher asked what I thought and I said, “I am wondering who am I & from where I have come?” He asked me not to tell anyone about this, then he talked casually & I got back to ironing but I was not fully okay.

            He later gave me a book, ‘Coming of Age in Samoa’ by Magaret Mead; this book made me study Anthropology.

            • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

              You have had quite a friendly paternal uncle, Kavita; and congratulation for that.
              I´ve been wondering, where your then studies of Antropology took you later on?
              Thank you for sharing this and that re the topic here. as- not surpisingly – it´s going quite ‘off the rudder’, isn´t it?

              However fitting to the spiritual rhythm and time of the year (at least in our particular cultural area) and its rituals, where and when we honour our ancestors: in accordance to the rhythms of nature, reminding us of disappearing-appearing and disappearing again…and…

              Ever so grateful again that I´ve been able to visit some of the Spirit of India and meeting Osho, to open up re more consciousness re coming into appearance, the rhythms of coming and going, vanishing (our truly personal unimportance and the Silence at the core bottom of that) which – indeed – is peace itself.

              Sometimes we call it love but I´d prefere just now, it´s TRUST.

              Words don´t capture such ´Suchness’.
              But once again, I give it a try…

              A smile addressing you from my side, hopefully finding its way – (even on a virtual – artificial – line).

              Madhu

              • Kavita says:

                Yes Madhu , I have been very open & friendly with mostly both sides of my family but due to living in a joint paternal family in my formative years ,was more familiar with them .

                Actually by chance Anthropology was first time introduced in the Bombay University in 1986 , the same year I got read this book , So I took it up in college .

                I mentioned about the book as somehow my uncle probably gave it to me to divert my attention from this o.b.e incident , which in hindsight was good for me !

                About ”that re the topic here. as- not surpisingly – it´s going quite ‘off the rudder’, isn´t it?”
                I think its okay for some distraction when we get a bit serious !

                Btw the monsoon seems still on here in Poona !

  14. Arpana says:

    ‘Your Brain ‘Shields’ Itself from the Existential Threat of Death’, by Yasemin Saplakoglu.

    https://www.livescience.com/brain-shields-idea-death.html

  15. Kavita says:

    “Masters are supposed to know and explain the mysteries of life, love and death, aren’t they so that their people can live with more understanding, authenticity, joy, wisdom and courage? ”

    Authenticity includes saying “it’s a mystery” when something can’t be explored further.

  16. Lokesh says:

    Will you have another life after this one?

    It has often intrigued me how some Buddhist masters I know ask one simple question of people who approach them for teaching: “Do you believe in a life after this one?” They are not being asked whether they believe in it as a philosophical proposition but whether they feel it deeply in their hearts.

    The master knows that if a man believes in a life after this one, his whole outlook on life will be different, and he will have a distinct sense of personal responsibility and morality. What the masters must suspect is that there is a danger that people who have no strong belief in a life after this one will create a society fixated on short-term results, without much thought for the consequences of their actions.

    Could this be the major reason why we have created a world like the one we are now living in, a world with hardly any real compassion?

    Tsogyal Lokar

    • frank says:

      Is this the same guy?
      Sogyal Lakar alias Sogyal Rinpoche?

      https://www.lionsroar.com/independent-investigation-confirms-physical-sexual-emotional-abuse-by-sogyal-rinpoche/

      To be frank, some of the people I have had the misfortune to meet recently, I would just love it if `real compassion` meant giving them a good kick, punch, slap or whatever. That would make life much easier.

      But sadly……..

    • shantam prem says:

      Buddhists take too much moral high ground without any solid contribution to the world, almost in the same league as philosophical readers.

      Who has stopped these smugs to create better compassionate prototype of the world?

      • Kavita says:

        Wondering, how can anyone create better compassionate prototype of the world?!

        • shantam prem says:

          As i remember the not so distinct past, late Prof. Jain of Osho fame were trying to create such model. The prototype could not sustain its success because of ego tussles.

          Without doubt, it is more difficult than to create robotics.

    • Jivan Alok says:

      Reading Tuesday Lobsang Rampa now, his ‘Chapters Of Life’. I’ve found his book in a used booksstore intrigued by the Meditation chapter.

      It’s about Overself, multiple mansions and dimensions, parallel worlds, and of course, meditation in a black robe. I am totally blown away by the guy. The whole mystification story of a transmigrated soul of a Tibetan monk into a British plumber’s son intensifies the magic. I’ve been charmed by this mystic, indeed, whoever he really was.

      The question of life after life does not arise, according to Rampa. You as Overslelf already exist in many parallel worlds, and the world is timeless and not only four- but multidimensional. Time is illusion of five senses, death is a change of garments, our mind utilises just one-tenth of its capacity consciously, with nine-tenths of subconcious tremendous power not utilised fully.

      What do you think of this mysterious T. Lobsang Rampa?

      • Jivan Alok says:

        But Rampa says, pupils who fail exams must try better again and again:
        “…people grow better in the natural course of evolution, they get more experience, and if they do not make a success of their life in one stage of evolution they come back to that stage as a schoolboy who cannot pass the end-of-term exam often has to go back to the same classroom, or same grade, instead of being promoted.”

        Quite reminiscent of ‘The Strange life of Ivan Osokin’ by P.D. Ouspensky, isn’t it?

      • frank says:

        Someone`s opinion:

        skepdic.com/rampa.html

        • frank says:

          I love the falling out of a tree bit:
          “He (Rampa) told the press that he’d been knocked out when he had fallen out of a tree in Surrey and when he came to the Tibetan monk took over his body.”

          He`s in good company there with the tree thing, mind, with Osho and Keith Richards!!

      • Lokesh says:

        Rampa was big in the sixties and, because of all the acid people were dropping, his books had a certain appeal. People will believe anything.

        ‘You as Overself already exist in many parallel worlds, and the world is timeless and not only four – but multidimensional. Time is illusion of five senses, death is a change of garments, our mind utilises just one-tenth of its capacity consciously, with nine-tenths of subconcious tremendous power not utilised fully.”

        No big news there today.

        Jivan, what do you know of the Overself? Same goes for the rest of it. If you do not actually know these things yourself they are just fantasies for you. Spiritual fantasies maybe but that does not make them real or true for you…just something you read.

        Same goes for the whole enlightenment trip. Osho spoke about it being impossible to understand unless it has happened to you. So, you have no idea what enlightenment actually is. To imagine it is some kind of higher state where you feel blissed out all the time is bullshit…going by many reports delivered by people that it actually happened to. I suggest you stick to more mature spiritual books. Rampa is kids’ stuff.

        • frank says:

          Personally, I prefer ‘Tintin in Tibet’.

          So does he….

        • Jivan Alok says:

          First, I would like to reply to your above comment of 28 October, 2019 at 2:38 pm saying that:
          “Osho is your true spiritual master. What a load of bollocks. You never even met the man.”

          Satyadeva must have been wrong thinking that “Lokesh is referring to you, Satchit.” **

          I have never met the man, and still he is my true sprirtual master, as good as many millions worldwide. How come? It had been a journey, as I was travelling long enough and finally arrived at that man. The journey continues. My heart is open. I’ve met a living master lately, whom I feel I can call my master some day. Still Osho will always remain that man who made me take the first step, and I feel immensely grateful for that.

          Next, you say, “Jivan, what do you know of the Overself?”
          Nothing. I am trying to learn from things I encounter in everyday life, not only from books. Everybody can laugh today at that outdated 60s guru Rampa. He was a laughing stock, but I doubt he was a charlatan. Had he even been one, I’d have been impressed by him all the same.

          It’s kids’ stuff for you, not for me. In the 60s I was not (at least I don’t recall myself being then). It’s late 10s of the next century now, and meditation is still the Way. We are all on that way and will meet some day and have a good laugh at the whole thing together. Rampa will be there as well, disguised in a black robe with a wrench in the clenched fist.

          ** MOD:
          Lokesh’s post was a direct reply to Satchit.

          • Lokesh says:

            Jivan, the fact that you are attracted to the writings of Lobsang Rampa and find them inspirational betrays the fact that you are prone to entertaining spiritual fantasies. I can understand that Osho is a source of inspiration for you, as he is for many others. To describe him as your true spiritual master may also be a fantasy. That is the problem with trying to get somewhere with a dead guru, you can project anything you desire on to them.

            Sitting at Osho’s feet while alive projecting your desires on to him might not have been so easy, even taking into account that Osho was not a very hard master to work with, in the sense that if he hit you with a zen stick it was not liable to kill you, by a long shot.

            I will give you an example of what I am driving at.
            Back in ’91, under the urging of my wife, I went to visit Poonjaji in Lucknow. My wife had already been there and I had a number of friends who had been living there for years. I had only been there a few days when my friends pushed me to write a letter to Poonjaji, completely unaware that people who had been there for years had never done this. I thought, why not? And wrote the old boy a kind of flippant and jokey letter.

            The next morning, the old boy read out my letter in satsang and then asked who Lokesh was. Next thing I know I am sitting at the master’s feet looking up into the psychological equivalent of a loaded sawn-off shotgun. Poonjaji took my letter dead serious and I was sitting on the red hot seat.

            From a distance, Poonjaji looked like a harmless old fellow. Close up, he was blow you out of your socks, spiritual dynamite. I had bitten off more than I could chew without masticating for a few weeks and he let me know it. He let me have it. Both barrels. There is no need to go into what was said. My point is that if you want to play the master and disciple game at least find a master who is alive. Even better, just drop the whole idea and wise up to the fact that all external masters are a projection of the inner master that is everyone’s best friend, although so few realize it.

            Having said that, it is all very well for me to say that, because I have been most fortunate in these matters for no obvious reason, so you must go your own way. If I were you, which I am in a way, I would focus more on your beautiful family, because they have the potential to bring you home to who you really are, a potential that far outstrips that of dead gurus.

            The truth hides itself very well…right under our nose. The last place that we will be tempted to look, imaging that truth is something distant, something hard to grasp, when really it is your natural birthright, just sitting in front of you waiting for you to claim it.

            • Jivan Alok says:

              Lokesh, let’s have a laugh, a Scottish one….

              • Lokesh says:

                Jivan, telling us that you are really blown away by Lobsang Rampa is a pretty good one for a start…even if it is Russian.

                Nonetheless, I do appreciate your enthusiasm. Osho was so on the money when he warned us about seriousness.

            • satchit says:

              Lokesh mentions:
              “Back in ’81, under the urging of my wife, I went to visit Poonjaji in Lucknow.”

              Why this information?
              I guess to tell us that you did do something you did not want.
              No wonder that you had trouble there.

              It is not important to have physical contact with a master because it is a heart-to-heart thing. Anyway, everyone walks his journey alone.

              • Lokesh says:

                Satchit says, “It is not important to have physical contact with a master because it is a heart-to-heart thing.”

                Really, man, who is this guy trying to kid?

      • swami anand anubodh says:

        Jivan,

        I made a post earlier in this topic about my ‘out of the body’ experiences in response to Satchit’s erroneous belief that they are real, coincidently your mention of Lobsang Rampa reminded me of something that I had totally forgotten.

        My OBEs first started in the early 70s, when I was quite young, and in an effort to find out more I started reading books on the occult and mysticism. One book I was leafing through in a bookstore described ‘Astral Projection’ which seemed to explain everything. So I bought the book which was ‘You Forever’ by Lobsang Rampa.

        The book seemed spot-on, so I actually wrote to him and received a very nice reply.

        He told me that once outside the body always concentrate on the ‘higher planes’. He also sent me a copy of his vinyl LP called: ‘MEDITATION’, which got me thinking maybe that’s what I need to do.

        Soon after, I noticed in the listings magazine ‘Time Out’, a small advertisement for an introductory evening to meditation. So I went along to this house in north London, expecting to be sitting silently cross legged for an hour or so, and the house turned out to be one of the early Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (whom I’d never heard of, and you know as Osho) meditation centres.

        I didn’t even notice a number of people wearing orange until it was all explain to me. The meditation we did was the dynamic and my interest in Lobsang Rampa was quickly forgotten.

        Even if Lobsang Rampa is a fraud, I still owe him.

  17. Bong says:

    Such is the physical body, but what of the need to appease the etheric, astral, mind, spirit, cosmic and nirvanic bodies? This requires self-control.

    • Levina says:

      Hello Bong,
      Have you read Satyadeva’s response of 10.39 today? And what do you mean by the need to appease, and which self needs self-control?

  18. Lokesh says:

    Here’s a wee jam that me and the boys in the band recorded last summer.
    https://soundcloud.com/user-479839525/subway-by-tan-tan-tanit