Osho explains what happens on the energetic level at death and how the meditator can prepare for those changes.
What happens in death really? The entire vital energy that is diffused, spread all around – it contracts, returns to its centre. This essential energy that is reaching out to every nook and corner of our bodies withdraws, comes back to its core.
For example, if we go on dimming a diffused light, it will begin to shrink and darkness will gather. At some point the light will be reduced to the point where it comes close to the lamp itself. And were we to dim it even further, the light would be lodged in seed form and darkness would surround you.
So the vital energy of our life shrinks, returns to its own centre. Again it becomes a seed, an atom, ready for a new journey. Because of this very contraction, this very shrinkage of the essential energy, one feels, ‘I am dying! I am dying!’ What one had taken to be life until then begins to slip away; everything begins to drop. A man’s limbs start losing their strength; he begins to become short of breath. His eyesight becomes poorer and his ears become hard of hearing.
In fact all these senses were alive and the whole body too because of the connection with some energy. And once the energy begins to recede, the body, which was essentially lifeless, becomes lifeless once again. The master prepares to leave and the house becomes depressed, desolate. And the man feels, ‘Here I go!’ At the moment of death he comes to feel, ‘I am going. I am sinking, the end is near.’
The nervous feeling that he is dying – the worried and melancholy state, the anguish and anxiety of dying, the feeling that his end is approaching – brings such terrible suffering to a man’s mind that he fails to be aware of the very experience of death. To know death one needs to be peaceful. Instead, a man becomes so restless he never knows what death is.
Death can’t be known at the moment of dying but one can certainly have a planned death. A planned death is meditation, yoga, samadhi. Samadhi means only one thing: bringing about the event that, otherwise, occurs by itself in death. In samadhi, the seeker brings it about with effort by knowingly drawing his entire life energy within. Obviously there is no need for him to feel restless because he is experimenting with pulling, drawing the consciousness in. With a cool mind he contracts the consciousness within. What death does anyway, he does himself. And in that silent state he finds that the life energy and the body are two separate things. The bulb that emanates electricity is one thing, and the electricity that is emanated from it is another. When the electricity contracts totally, the bulb lies there, lifeless.
The body is nothing more than an electric bulb. Life is the electricity, the energy, the vital force that keeps the body alive, warm, excited.
In samadhi, the seeker himself meets death. And because he enters death himself, he comes to know the truth that he is separate from his body. Once it is known that ‘I am separate from the body,’ death is finished. And once the separation between the body and the being is known, the experience of life has begun. The end of death and the experience of life take place at the same point, simultaneously. Know life, death is gone; know death, there is life. If understood correctly, these are just two ways of expressing the same thing. They are two pointers in the same direction.
(Osho: And Now And Here)