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Seeker: Scientists went into space and reached different planets, but they are not yet able to locate heaven and hell. Could you tell me, where is heaven and where is hell?

They will never locate heaven and hell anywhere. They are fictitious, lies told to humanity to keep it enslaved, to console it in its suffering and torture, to prevent it from any revolution that could change the whole scene on the earth. But in a certain sense, those words are significant. 

They are usable but only for your psychology, not for your geography. And you know perfectly well where they are. Everybody knows the moments when he is in hell and the moments when he is in heaven. 

These are states of mind. Most of the time you are in hell. Once in a while, on the weekend, perhaps you have a little bit of heaven, too. Hell is the state of the mind in turmoil, neurosis, psychosis, and schizophrenia — chaos, feeling no meaning, no purpose, and darkness all around. There are moments — you are perfectly acquainted with them, those moments are hell. It is not a reality outside you, it is what you create inside you.

And in the same way, sometimes just tired of the hell — continuous suffering and torture — you cannot take it anymore.

You relax for a moment — and a little breeze, a little coolness — you have a glimpse of heaven: in your love, friendship, in watching a sunrise, sunset, or in just looking at the immensity of the universe, the stars. If you can see beauty, if you can be sensitive to the delicate music of existence, you will have a few moments here and there, scattered, which you can call heaven.

But this is not what religions have been telling you. They say there is heaven above your heads, far away in the clouds, and a hell below you, far below. Religions have been playing upon your greed, fear, and your tremendous need for protection.

Man is in a very precarious condition. All kinds of fear — particularly the fear of death, sickness, disease, old age — go on increasing. It is not only man that is evolving; diseases also go on evolving side by side. The fear of poverty, the fear of dying hungry on the street, the fear that perhaps nobody needs you, that you are just accidental, and that if you are gone nobody will ever miss you… There are layers and layers of fear in your psychology.

They exploited your greed. Who does not want to enjoy? Who does not want to live forever? Who does not want no sickness, no old age, to be always young, fresh? They created a heaven for your greed; it is the projection of your greed. And hell is the projection of your fear.

Religion has exploited people tremendously. Man has to free himself from all this exploitation. But that is possible only if you destroy the fiction of God, heaven and hell.... Life is enough, more than enough. This universe is autonomous, it needs no creation. And this universe is totally one; it needs no division. And you have to live an undivided life; then you will know what paradise is.

(Osho. Abridged from ‘From Death to Deathlessness’)


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