Question – Our beloved master, what is our investment in repressing our memory of previous deaths? Is it not true to say that if we could recall our deaths we might lose our fear of death and thus be able to live a fearless life?
Osho – Maneesha, this is certainly one of our great investments in forgetting the past, the previous life. Because if you remember it, you will not be able to be so foolish as to repeat the same game again. You have done it so many times; you have fallen in love, you have fallen out of love, so many times… so many romances! Our great investment is that each time we go to see the same film we forget that we have seen it before. Otherwise you will not go to see the movie, only once is enough.
But in life you don’t complete the work in one time, in one lifetime. Your real work remains postponed and you go on playing games which are simply childish. The great investment is that you should not remember your whole past, otherwise you will feel yourself to be so much an idiot that enjoying life will become impossible. Only suicide will seem to be the right thing to do. But suicide leads nowhere, it simply enters your consciousness into another womb of a lower kind, because you could not manage to live on a higher level.
The investment also includes forgetting that you have ever died. It is always somebody else who dies, you never die. Obviously – you see every day, you hear every day that somebody has died; but you never hear that you have died. Except in this Buddha Hall where you hear every day, ”Now die and don’t hold anything back, die completely.”
People from the outside will think, ”This is a madhouse. People who are fully alive suddenly die and then don’t wait much … as they are called back, immediately they are back, sitting like buddhas!” We are making it clear through our meditations that this is how it has been happening, you have been dying many times and again coming back. Whether you come after nine months … an unnecessary wastage of time, of a woman’s life … then growing up and again playing the same role which you have played before ….
In the East the world is called sansara. Sansara means the great wheel of life and death. It goes on moving, the same wheel, and you are clinging to the wheel and you go on moving with the wheel from one death to another, from one life to another. The investment is that unless you learn the lesson, you cannot come out of this vicious circle of life and death. But you can come out. Every night we try; you jump a little … it is old habit; when you come back you just try to find out where the wheel is. Soon you have forgotten about the center which was beyond life and death – suddenly you remember, ”Where is the canteen?”
One naturally feels hungry after such a strenuous experience of dying and coming back, becoming a buddha … knowing perfectly well that anybody may be a buddha, ”But I am not; I have my wife, I have my children to look after. Just for a moment is okay, but twenty-four hours a buddha will not only be boring, it will be also a torture to others.”
From my very childhood I was interested just to sit and not to do anything. I have never done any homework; my teachers were angry, ”What do you go on doing at home?”
I said, ”I simply sit and enjoy.”
My family, and whoever would be passing by used to say, ”What are you doing?”
I said, ”There is no need to do anything – to be is enough!”
And they would look at me and say, ”You are crazy! Do something, otherwise you will end up in being nothing.”
And they were right, I have ended in being nothing. But I am immensely happy that I started very early to see that the greatest joy is inside, nobody can give it to me. I have never participated in any game, I have never bothered about any work the family needed. Slowly, slowly my family started taking for granted that I was no more – my being or not being made no difference.
I have enjoyed the faces of my family when they looked at me as if they were looking at an insane person; I still enjoy to remember it. Naturally if you are not doing something people think you are wasting your life. The reality is that when you are not doing anything, when you are just being, you are finding the path towards your ultimate destiny.
Source – Osho Book “Dogen, the Zen Master: A Search and a Fulfillment”