The ‘Tombstone Exercise’: Have You Lived From The Heart?

Nityaprem considers what ‘living from the heart’ means for him and wonders what it might mean for SN readers.

One of the things I came across recently was the ‘Tombstone Exercise’. This is a simple thought experiment where you imagine you have heard that you’re going to die in a year’s time, and you’re asked what text you would like to have on your tombstone. It’s a question that confronts you with whether you are happy with the way you have lived your life.

For me, the question it raises is have I lived enough from my heart? I’ve done some good things, some difficult things, fulfilled some ambitions. On the career front I haven’t left much undone. But on the personal front, there has been a certain sparseness to my life. Even when there was the opportunity to create a family, I ended up not doing it and instead lived alone for many years.

Even more so, it causes me to ask myself if I even understand what it is to live from the heart? You could say it has to do with relating, and ultimately with those special moments which make a relationship ‘heartful’. It has to do with trust, being open, exploring the areas where you are most vulnerable. Those are the things which, when they are shared, create a vibrant togetherness.

When I look at Osho, I wouldn’t want to be like him. I’ve loved him as a wise grandfatherly figure, a deeply trusted spiritual guide, and now I find out he is as flawed as my real grandfathers. The thing I can’t help but recall is him saying any relationship between him and a sannyasin is one- sided, exists from the side of the sannyasin but not from his. How can you live from the heart when you cannot relate?

I think there are spiritual figures who can relate — like Ram Dass, who later in his life cared for his elderly father. He was a very heartful figure, and more a teacher than a guru. It speaks to his enduring popularity that late in life a community formed around him in Hawaii to take care of him.

The other thing I feel compelled to write about when considering living from the heart is control. The only way I know how to live is with the mind in control, and then consciously listening to the impulses of the heart and responding to them. My heart likes cats, for example. It also likes babies. And mountains. I’m not an impulsive person, not easily spontaneous, I tend to plan and strategize. So living from the heart is not easy for me.

Do you feel you have lived from the heart in your life? What do you think the Tombstone Exercise would show about you?


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199 Responses to The ‘Tombstone Exercise’: Have You Lived From The Heart?

  1. swamishanti says:

    NP, your ‘tombstone exercise’ sounds interesting.
    Tantrics have traditionally meditated on and fully accepted both death and sex.
    Acceptance and awareness of death can be helpful to recognise the transitionary nature of this world, the ‘maya’.
    Consciousness expanding towards the deathless.
    Tantric sadhus will meditate amongst the corpses in the cremation ground. This helps them to towards the transcendental.

    You wrote:

    “When I look at Osho, I wouldn’t want to be like him. I’ve loved him as a wise grandfatherly figure, a deeply trusted spiritual guide, and now I find out he is as flawed as my real grandfathers. The thing I can’t help but recall is him saying any relationship between him and a sannyasin is one-sided, exists from the side of the sannyasin but not from his. How can you live from the heart when you cannot relate?”

    I wrote something similar a while back but basically what I would say is this:
    If you go deeply into meditation, sooner or later you will come across heart. Everyone likes talk of the heart and of love, but when it happens it is not an intellectual happening but rather an unconditional love.

    In the East the power of sound vibration has been known for millennia. There are certain sound vibrations, mantras, which can resonate with an open the heart centre in human beings.

    ‘Om’ is such a mantra, and it is always placed at the beginning of all other mantras. Chanting ‘Om’ can have a very powerful effect. I have been present in various groups where Om is chanted to evoke the heart vibration.

    Before I went deep into meditation, I remembered a short phase of chanting the Tibetan Mantra ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’.

    I found that beneficial, and also unexpectedly that opened my heart a bit too at that time.
    NP, if your heart was really open, you would perceive Osho in a very different way. Personally, I have never seen him as a father-figure, nor grandfather figure, someone to be followed.

    But the more I got out of meditation, the more gratitude I felt towards Osho, and I could see that his words and teaching on meditation are spot on. He knows his stuff, and was one of a kind, an enlightened master who was able to just teach meditation in a clear, accurate and powerful way, without any of the trappings and unnecessary fear trips of religion.

    As far as judging him as being flawed is concerned, it is really going to depend on what you consider as flawed.

    I wouldn’t take Erin’s story too seriously, after all, you have not heard Osho’s take on the matter, and, there will be other women who will likely give very different perspectives if you were to hear their stories or views on the matter.

    • swamishanti says:

      Inspiring music from Caitlin Welsh.

      ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’:

      From the album ‘Laxmi’s Dream’ which I would highly recommend.

      The cd can be found here:

      • swamishanti says:

        Back to the thread topic.

        The greatest principle of Sufism is: ‘Ishq Allah Ma’bud Allah’. (God is love, lover, and beloved).

        ‘Ishq Allah Ma’bud Allah’.
        ‘The ocean refuses no river’:
        “ The Sufis say that the reason of the whole creation is that the perfect Being wished to know Himself, and did so by awakening the love of His nature and creating out of it His object of love, which is beauty. Dervishes, with this meaning, salute each other by saying, ‘Ishq Allah Ma’bud Allah’ – ‘God is love and God is the beloved “. 
 from   “Volume V,  Love, Human and Divine”, p144

        • Klaus says:

          Recommended reading:

          ‘The Alchemy of Happiness’ – Al-Ghasali
          Describing his own inner journey to God, starting as a Muslim, then adding Sufi practices.

          • Klaus says:

            Al-Ghasali stresses that the actual experience and realisation of the states step-by-step is more important than “the elevation of the words into concepts” (which might lead the practitioner astray…).


          • Nityaprem says:

            I read the Wikipedia page, Klaus, it seems interesting that Al-Ghasali mentions abstinence…

            “God has sent on Earth a hundred and twenty-four thousand prophets to teach men the prescription of this alchemy, and how to purify their hearts from baser qualities in the crucible of abstinence.”

            It seems to have been the ancient world’s preferred method, from Buddhist monks to the Christian ones. I didn’t know there was a Sufi tradition that went that way as well.

            • satyadeva says:

              I suspect such a path would be impractical these days, NP, we’ve gone way too far into the so-called ‘lower’ realms, so that we’re all more or less ‘sexually loaded’. What seems to be required is to unite sex with love rather than renounce sex altogether. Easy to say, far harder to manage….

            • swamishanti says:

              Christianity, and its offshoot Islam, and Buddhism (at least non-tantric forms of Buddhism) preached abstinence from sex. At least the later forms of these religions.

              Nevertheless, the founder of Islam himself took thirteen wives, one of them was older than him and one of them was just nine years old.

              As far as a Buddha’s love life is concerned, abstinence from sex is not necessary.
              Celibacy may be useful on certain phases of the journey, but for a fully enlightened one such as Osho, the sex energy has finished its work of opening the higher centres.

              • Nityaprem says:

                It’s interesting then that the Buddha himself seems to have stayed celibate after his enlightenment, as did his monks and nuns obeying the rules of the vinaya, the code of conduct for monastics.

                My own experience is that abstinence lends an extra energy to the spirit, a kind of heightened awareness happens. It kicks in after a few weeks of celibacy, and could be mistaken for a feeling of restlessness.

                It’s not a bad thing, to live your life with periods of celibacy included.

                • swamishanti says:

                  I have also found conservation of sex energy useful for meditation, Nityaprem, and healthy.

                  As far as Gautama the Buddha was concerned, he appears to have taken the traditional vows of celibacy when he became a seeker, a renunciate, and then stuck with that after enlightenment.

                  However, the story goes that when he returned to visit his wife (who he had abandoned years before), she asked him angrily why he couldn’t have attained enlightenment at home, and he had no answer for that.

                  Of course, there is also the possibility that he was not actually entirely celibate after enlightenment – or even before. As we have only the stories of Buddhists written later. He was a wondering sadhu, and it is possible that he did indulge himself at some point.

                • swamishanti says:

                  Osho did also encourage periods of celibacy in certain individuals if he considered it helpful for them.

                  From Patipada’s account of the period at the castle with Osho in New Jersey:

                  “Two days later, I was called in to see him again. By this time, I could not believe anything that was happening to me anymore. Everything was so far beyond my wildest dreams…that my dreams could not even carry me to the places I was visiting.

                  I walked in his room and he told me to close my eyes. He moved his hands around my body – not touching my body but only touching the air around the body. He then touched my third eye. He told me to open my eyes. He began telling me that my sexual desire would be leaving me soon and that I could help it move by feeling a white light moving up from my sex centre out through the top of my head. I was flabbergasted. I was shocked. The last thing in the world I wanted was for my sexuality to leave me. What was happening to me? I didn’t say anything to him…looking back I am sure my thoughts were being transmitted like a stereo system on full volume. He told me that I was doing beautifully. Before I left, Bhagwan said to me that if I ever needed him, I should send a message to see him.”

                  Prem Patipada – ‘Forever is Not Long Enough’

    • Nityaprem says:

      It seems to me, SS, that you’re taking Erin Robbins’s story pretty seriously if you feel every post needs to make extensive reference to it. I’m happy to just let every individual sannyasin give it due consideration.

      But I think the idea of the Tombstone Exercise is about something different. It asks you to make a serious attempt to see if you’re happy with the guiding principles by which you’ve lived your life, a one-line summary for your life.

      Me, I noticed that in different periods of my life there were different themes developing. Early on, things were in the theme of the imagination, every book I read was like a new world that would open up to me. I had a very rich inner life. Later I discovered I loved making things, which connected me to the world of work.

      This all comes back to doing what you love, whether that’s reading, making software, ceramics or working on yourself through the spiritual search. So in some ways you could say I have lived from the heart, although there are other aspects where I haven’t done so well.

      • swamishanti says:

        NP, I have not taken Erin’s story seriously at all.
        I mentioned it because it seems like a big deal to you, and how you perceive Osho.

        ‘Erin gate’ has finished. Perhaps someone nwill point out errors in how she has related it at some point, who knows? Who cares? Time to move on to more important topics and better pastures.

        Recently I have been reading a very interesting book by Prem Patipada, ‘Forever Is Not Long Enough’. Patipada was one of Sheela’s ‘gang’ at the Ranch, who was involved in the criminal activities.

        Patipada returned to the Ranch, and later to Pune Two. I knew that Osho had asked her to apologise for being aware of and involved in the criminal activity and for not coming forward and alerting him or others earlier.

        I had read that discourse but, reading Patipada’s account is very revealing, she describes being pushed into a mindblowing satori which lasted for several days, whilst Osho was focusing his energy and fire on her in Buddha Hall and delivering his Zen hit.

        According to Patipada, only Indian friends could sense that something deep had happened to her afterwards.

        • Nityaprem says:

          Swamishanti, you are such a hoot with all the stories bigging up the Indian influence. I think Erin deserves respect for coming forward, it’s good that this stuff is made public.

          • satyadeva says:

            Is Erin the only woman to have revealed this sort of story?

            • Nityaprem says:

              Well, Hugh Milne in his book ‘Bhagwan: The God that Failed’ discusses Osho’s sexual encounters with female disciples, citing several conversations without naming names from the Bombay time prior to Poona 1. He talks of being warned by people in the street that “his guru was not the right guru, and had sex with female disciples.”

              It seems to have been well known at the time, although Osho became more secretive about it after the move to Poona.

              • swamishanti says:

                I don’t doubt that Osho was having sex with some of his female disciples, for me that has not been an issue. As we discussed before, he was very open about that, even telling the world press in Oregon. There were no complaints at that time.

                I see absolutely nothing wrong with an enlightened man/woman having sex with a disciple, in fact I believe it can be potentially helpful.

                There is no need for an enlightened one to remain celibate as all of the higher centres are open. Nisargaddata Maharaj was relaxed enough to visit a Bombay prostitute for sex, a fact that shocks innocent North Americans with all of their Christian conditioning, who view Nisargaddata as a model saint.

                Osho wanted his ‘new man’ to be loose and natural.

                As we discussed before, Subhuti mentions the issue in his book, and wrote that he spoke with two women who enjoyed playful sex with Osho.

                Being secretive about his sex life, at least up until the Ranch, would have been the most sensible thing to do in Osho’s case. There were literally thousands of women who would have wanted to be sexually intimate with him, and naturally he did not want to create jealousy or any hassle.

                The other thing is that, as testified by many women who were physically close to him and saw him on a regular basis, he was not a man who was full of lust, he lived in the moment and most women actually believed he was celibate. They felt safe in his presence.

                He was not a slave to the body, yet was not against enjoyment.

                Hugh Milne’s book was not all untruths but contained lies and distortions, and also appeared to have been partly ghost-written.

                He had been offered a deal by the US authorities and became an agent, and the editor of the anti-Rajneeshpuram propaganda machine at the time, ‘The Oregonian’, Les Vaitz, had a hand in the book. Milne was later sued for content in the book.

              • Nityaprem says:

                My impression was that Hugh Milne’s book was told as he remembered the facts, with little, if any, embellishment. I’d suggest forming your own opinion by just reading it, if you’re interested.

                • swamishanti says:

                  I have already read it, NP, many years ago. And I also know that he worked as an agent for the US authorities and Tom Casey, the chief of the INS, in charge of the mission to get Osho deported and Rajneeshpuram destroyed as soon as possible, flew to England especially just to meet Hugh Milne after he had left the Ranch. Tom Casey also approached other sannyasins who had left and offerede them deals.

                  There are records in the FBI files of ex-sannyasins who were now US agents, some of whom were tasked with going back to Rajneeshpuram. Although the exact mission they were given isn’t clear. Deeksha also worked as an agent. Sheela’s fourth in command, Vidya, was known to have ended up working as an informant for the US authorities. For more, read the book, ‘Was Bhagwan Shree Poisoned by Ronald Reagan’s America’, by Sue Appleton.

                  Many sannyasins who lived close to Osho have pointed out some of the innacuracies and lies in the book.

                  The US authorities were extremely concerned about Osho becoming too popular at the time. The CIA offered mercenaries cash to assassinate Osho at the Ranch. I would suggest reading Max Brecher’s ‘A Passage to America’. Later the CIA spent a lot of energy trying to prevent Osho from starting a new commune on his World Tour, following his group around the world, even bribing one country, Uruguay, whose President was about to grant Osho permanent residence.

                  Osho’s plane and his small group were greeted with armed police at most airports they stopped at, because Tom Casey had sent memos around the World, with the FBI file which admitted there was no direct evidence that existed of Osho’s involvement in Sheelas crimes, yet describing Osho and his small group as “armed and dangerous” . Of course, they were not armed . Osho had exposed the crimes as he became aware of them and was responsible for putting Sheela in prison!

                • satyadeva says:

                  I recall suspecting a couple of guys I came across at the Ranch at the summer festival, ’83, of being ‘agents’. I’d say they were in their 30s, dressed in the ‘regulation’ attire, but wearing no mala, and overhearing their conversation while on a boat trip on a lake it very much seemed they were ‘outsiders’ pretending the opposite, which was just obvious to anyone with a bit of sannyas experience. Of course they might have been there for the ride – the promise of ‘free sex’ etc. – but I had a gut feeling they were ‘spies’, up to no good.

                • Nityaprem says:

                  I find it surprising, SS, that you’re so involved with the ancient history of who did what. It doesn’t seem very spiritual to bear grudges.

                  I just read Hugh Milne’s book and find that the sections where he is reporting from memory sound authentic. And some of the things he mentions such as the nitrous oxide have been confirmed many times.

                • swamishanti says:

                  I don’t bear any grudges towards Hugh Milne. I felt sorry for him that he got the doubts he did, but I have no resentment towards him at all. At least he had his catharsis and got his anger out, whereas other ex-sannyasins who think it was all a con like to hang around and keep complaining for years.
                  I feel also sorry for so many sannyasins who got doubts from reading the book. I know that doubts can arise in the mind until one has a connection with Osho and some have never recovered from doubts. Yet Osho was also into encouraging some doubts in people.

                  Yes, I do find the history interesting. I would suggest reading ‘Life of Osho’ by Sam. A bit outdated, but still a good book:

                  I like the way Sam points out Osho’s deliberate publication of himself under the influence of nitrous oxide, calling a photo-shoot and including the line..’I have to pretend to be enlightened..’ a classic Gurdgieffian device. Sannyasins and readers of Osho’s books will be well aware of Osho mentioning masters creating various ‘devices’ to clear space around them, often referencing Gurdgieff. Yet this was the first book on Osho that I am aware of that specifically mentioned that incident.

                • satyadeva says:

                  Sam, aka Paritosh, the author of ‘Life of Osho’, was one of the founders of Sannyas News, together with Parmartha and Dharmen, all of whom are sadly no longer with us.

                • Nityaprem says:

                  SS, I meant the whole thing of who was an agent for who, and what person was leading what agency, which should have been obvious. Most of them are retired now, and I don’t think people care about the peripheral details.

                  I was just responding to SD’s question about Osho’s sex life, and Hugh Milne’s two paragraphs about Osho’s early reputation as the ‘sex guru’ are relevant.

                • swamishanti says:

                  It was Paritosh who told me about this site. That was back in 2000, and the site was really very different indeed.

                • swamishanti says:


                  Osho’s reputation in India as the ‘sex guru’ was absolutely nothing to do with any rumours of Osho having sex with his disciples as Hugh Milne implied.

                  Actually, the yellow press coined the phrase after Osho gave a series of talks ‘From Sex to Superconsciousness’ in Bombay in 1968.

                • swamishanti says:

                  A book I enjoyed was ‘In the Eye of the Hurricane – the Inside Story of a Disciple’s Journey’, by Devakant, Osho’s bodyguard.

                  Another guard, Buddha, is said to be currently writing a book, according to his loveosho podcast.

    • veet francesco says:

      Let the gossip about Osho become gospel. I’ll take seriously a jew who speaks of sexual abuse when he/she will start to mention the brit milah.

      Veet Francesco, what is “the brit milah”, please?

      • Nityaprem says:

        Yeah, but VF, what is gossip and what is gospel anyway? Some of the gossip about Osh0, like how people in Poona were encouraged to think of his psychic powers, doesn’t seem worth promoting to gospel, while some of the other things we are only now finding out may have been more true than we thought at the time.

        In the end it’s all just words, and words are often untruthful. A lot of mankind’s troubles stem from people telling stories seeking to gain advantage in some way.

        I’m reminded of Ramana, who said the most powerful teaching he had was in silence, and that he spoke only to those who could not hear his silence.

        • veet francesco says:

          NP, don’t make too many investments in celibate masters, one day you might get scandalized to find that they were taking big cumshots, discovering all the nuances about right- or left-handed ways.

        • veet francesco says:

          Yes, NP, my opinion is that when I am in a state of grace, joyful, energetically fluid, going inside, into the mystery, even for me many other secondary phenomena become possible. When the container expands to accommodate the content (beauty / wisdom / truth) it becomes difficult to distinguish between gossip and gospel, what is divine from what is worldly.

          Who is Osho? I do not know. What gave him an orgasm? It’s his business. I just participated in a collective process of liberation, empowerment, awareness, etc. all of this seemed to have Osho at the centre of it. But there is also the possibility that he was only, or, at the same time, the periphery (container), when in certain historical moments the collective consciousness pushes for a profound existential request to be fulfilled. Then perhaps the role of the Master is “only” to recognize and encourage that process that he has already experienced individually…

          This does not mean that his senses are no longer solicited by life or that his mind does not flow in the background, with all its software, cultural and familiar, as happened before the awakening, because a complete resetting would mean deleting many things starting from the language, for Osho one of the places, not only object, of gospel. But since in addition to deep demands we have even more superficial ones, we will never all agree on good or bad taste, on who plays the role of the Masterm in the matter of eroticism.

          If he decided that he had no reason to reset that particular software, perhaps it is also due to the hypocrisy of those who thought of gratifying him without giving him reason to suspect that there was a different software with which to orient his libido…think of the shock for a middle-aged Indian born in the 30s if a disciple asked him that she loved wearing the strap on, and thinks of her disappointment when he mediated by offering a handjob from behind.

          To me, if a Master met my sexual tastes, I would be happy to have my cock sucked.

      • veet francesco says:

        It is the masculine equivalent of infibulation. A barbaric, but unofficial, practice in the Muslim belief system about how to make women invulnerable from sin.

        In Italy this practice is prohibited while the other is official and celebrated in the light of the sun… i mean of the menorah.

  2. satchit says:

    And what would you like to write on your tombstone, NP?

    Something like, “He tried to control life, but he failed utterly”?

    I think you should allow yourself some ‘crazy’ thoughts, something like, “Erin deserved what happened to her.”

    • Nityaprem says:

      Let’s see, maybe “his passion and imagination led him to make things that were enjoyed by millions.” Or maybe, “he tried to plan life, and succeeded too well.”

      What about you, Satchit?

      What use would such crazy thoughts be? At least the truth can bring clarity to the past and help rectify the future.

      • satchit says:

        For my tombstone this would be fine:

        “He had much fun in his life, but it did not help him to survive.”

        NP, I have the impression that you are not really happy.
        Maybe you suppress dark/male energy.
        Having dark, crazy thoughts would balance this a bit.

        And because you are experienced in watching thoughts, there is no danger in this for you.

        • Nityaprem says:

          Lately I have been going through a tricky period, not sleeping that well, it is true.

          Whether I have been suppressing male energy I am not entirely certain. Maybe it would be good to do some more gibberish, just to free up whatever needs to be freed up.

          • simond says:

            Reading much of Satchit’s comments is quite enough gibberish for you, NP. Don’t be taken in by his sly judgments of you and others.

            His degree of certainty on most matters perfectly expresses how clever he is at being smart and wise.

            Ask him to quantify any point, to explain his ideas, or to be humble about what he doesn’t know and he will tell you to have a bit more “fun” or be open to your “crazy thoughts” or most repetitively to describe his comments as a “joke” when he’s asked to justify or explain himself .

            Alternatively, he will reply that your “heart” isn’t open enough – just another clever ploy to send doubt into you.

            It’s all a game to him, all just mindful playfulness. Not unlike the sly devil of the Christian Bible, whose purpose is always to instil self-doubt and confusion in others.

            I see right through him. Whether he is aware of this side of his character I can’t fully say, but the effects of his type of mind is utterly poisonous. My gut feeling is that he knows only too well how his devious mind works.

            To be sure like the devil, he will deny everything and try to turn it all back on me.

            • simond says:

              Reading an earlier comment from Satchit, wondering aloud how you “may suppress dark male energy”, is a further example of how he invites you to join his ‘club’, where we can express the very energy he values and needs.

              Whereas I’d say there’s no need to express dark male energy, that’s the energy that goes round forever, instilling doubt and unhappiness.

              In contrast, you, NP, express vulnerability, a real questioning mind, a subtle innocence, a delight, a wonder at life, and in and about others. You’re brave, willing to ask innocent questions.

              The contrast with Satchit is that he only knows how to instal doubt in others, to talk about “fun”, to quote meaningless koans that appear to show us his wisdom.

              There is no truth in any of it. It’s just a disguise after a disguise.

              • Nityaprem says:

                Well, I shall consider myself warned about his nefarious schemes and methods then! I may be a bit innocent, but am not usually a fool.

              • Nityaprem says:

                I would love to hear if you have anything to say about the article, @simond.

                • simond says:

                  You asked, Nityaprem, whether I have lived from my heart and to comment on this ‘Tombstone’ experiment. I had avoided making any comments, partly as I was on holiday when your piece was posted, but also I had no real initial connection to the question.

                  However, it is worthy of an exploration and I’m happy to provide my pennyworth.

                  With regard to the tombstone and what words I’d want written there, I have no desire for a tombstone at all. I’d prefer my ashes were thrown to the wind. In terms of how I would look at my life, knowing I was to die in a year or tomorrow, this is a question I do look at with a regularity.

                  It always pins me to seeing how I feel in this very moment. Do I feel regret or wish I’d done this or that? If for any reason my mood is unforgiving I do feel a sense of sadness that I’ve knowingly and unknowingly avoided difficult decisions. I know I’ve been dishonest many times, I’ve betrayed my truth, lived in fear.

                  This sadness is most often momentary as I also recognise that all of this behaviour was also part of the lessons I needed in order to grow. So my present state of mind arose out of all the mistakes and mishaps of my past. It was unavoidable and I can’t blame myself or live with regret for my actions.

                  As a consequence of recognising this, I feel fine, I feel no sense of regret or pain. If there is any lingering sadness I know that this too is just an overload of reflection on my part. I let it go. There is a knowledge within me always guiding me to acceptance or surrender, even if there are times when it’s challenging.

                  With regards to the question as to living from my heart. It’s not one I really consider. It seems a rather eastern term, one that Osho may have played with at times. My emotions have led me astray. My needing and longing, my desire for justice, my desire to be loved, my awful misunderstanding about the power of emotions has been an essential part of my journey. It’s been a long, arduous process to learn about emotions and to discover the limitations of Love.

                  The idea of living from my heart seems rather fanciful. If it means by being open, honest, vulnerable, able to listen, able to drop one’s opinions then I’m able to embrace the concept in more detail.

                  I’ve more commonly seen it used as a means by which we are somehow asked to be more sweet and gentle or generous; yet to ask us to do this without applying our minds and our intelligence to any question has never worked for me.

                  Why, for example, should I be kind or generous, heartfelt, forgiving or kind to those who are acting (either consciously or unconsciously) in a destructive manner to me or to someone else? Whilst people talk of a place of unconditional love, it seems an impossible task to me. It’s just theory. Yes, people experience a sense of oneness in their meditations or on drugs, but these are experiences, they come and go. There is no one who lives in a state of oneness in any lasting way, whatever the so-called masters tell you. Osho certainly didn’t, did he? He wasn’t heartfelt and sweet, he rose to anger and to a sexual need in the same way as you or I do.

                  You also mentioned that the only way you know how to live is with the mind in control. This is the function of the mind. I use as much intelligence or will to put it in its rightful place, as the servant of a higher truth, not as my master. It takes a lot of practice!

                  Thanks for asking difficult questions, Nityaprem. It takes courage and vulnerability to ask of others, to listen and to think for oneself. Most people follow the crowd, follow their guru, all the time taking in more beliefs and structures by which they can feel safe and in the known. You’re going against such robotic minds.

                • Nityaprem says:

                  simond, that’s a very insightful piece of writing. Yes, the robotic minds are not easily moved to introspection or vulnerability by confessing their uncertainties. But you never know when someone will experience a moment of clarity.

                  You talk about the limitations of love. It’s interesting because I have been making a list of my passions in life, and i have been coming to the conclusion that that has almost always been what has motivated me, while reason and fear have stopped me from doing things.

              • satchit says:

                Ah, the Reverend is back!

                Did you make holidays with the twelve apostles?

                Yes, maybe you can save his soul from the power of evil.

            • Lokesh says:

              Satchit “clever”? That’s a good one.

            • satchit says:

              Good sermon, preacherman!

              I wonder why you apply as Daddy for NP. As far as I remember he has already one.

              • satyadeva says:

                Perhaps you haven’t noticed that NP willingly invited Simond’s comments, Satchit (June 28, 9.11pm, 9.15pm)

                • satchit says:

                  Perhaps you have not noticed, SD, that the Rev. started preaching already before invitation.

                  Look 28 June 6:23 and
                  28 June 5:55.

                • satyadeva says:

                  Perhaps you have not yet realised, Satchit, that childish name-calling is hardly an adequate response to such detailed, rational criticism?

                  Or is it that you’re just too lazy, too complacemtly stuck in your ways to bother? I swear I just heard you muttering, “Easy is right!”….

                • satchit says:

                  Where did you find “detailed, rational criticism”? You make me laugh, SD.

                  He simply jumped in a communication between NP and me and had his fun. Basically the matter was not his business.

                  As a moderator you should see both sides, is it not?

                  Tell him, he shall stop writing “Sachit”, maybe I stop calling him names.

                  Who is childish here?

                • satyadeva says:

                  Look in the mirror, Satchit: You’re behaving precisely as predicted (June 28, 6.23pm).

                  And btw, this is an open blog, there’s no such thing as ‘private’ communication here. If you post something anyone can respond.

                • satchit says:

                  I see you are a bit bored and want a bit of fun, when I look into mirror, SD.

                  Predicted by whom?

                  Certainly anyone can respond. And anyone can say the response is crap.

                • satyadeva says:

                  You’ve justified Simond’s critical points.

                  But don’t worry, relax, the tennis has started….Easy is right, after all, isn’t it?!

                • frank says:

                  Pleading that he was having a private conversation on a public blog is characteristic of Satchit`s doltish lack of intelligence which runs so `wild and free` that it swamps every aspect of his cretinous contributions here.

                  This guy tries to hide his imbecilic dullness of mind and spirit by coating his excrementally fatuous and inept posts with the honey of parroted `spiritual` sayings in the hope that it will make him look more smart.
                  It doesn`t.
                  He fails every time.
                  The result is that he just further reveals himself as progressively more ignorant, asinine and shallow. In short, the guy is caught in an infinite regress of stupidity.

                  On the positive side, he is a reminder of how the lure of pretending to be spiritual by tossing off cliches can be irresistible to many saddos who simply have nothing interesting or worthwhile to offer.

                • satchit says:

                  SD, do you really think I bother what Simond predicts?

                  He wanted me to be self-critical.

                  Something like “Oh, I should not have written this to NP. This with the “dark male energy” was not good! Sorry.”

                  How stupid is this?

                • satyadeva says:

                  Self-critical? You? Utterly nonsensical, Satchit. I reckon a lengthy ban for Simond is the only proprtionate response, don’t you?

                • dominic says:

                  Satchit gets tombstoned, that’s pretty grave!
                  Finally, he knows something you don’t….

                • satchit says:

                  You should be more serious, SD.

                  Is self-critical not always related to the past that one should have done things differently?

                • satyadeva says:

                  Ok, Satchit, if you really want a bit of “serious”…

                  Being self-critical is not necessarily always related to the past. But maybe a more appropriate term is self-aware, from a willingness to look at critical remarks and see whether there might be at least some truth in them? Even if one does this privately, in secret as it were, with no intention to admit anything to anyone else, least of all one’s ‘critics’.

                  Although then, of course – IF sincere – eventually one would have to look into this wish to not give anything away, which might be a fear of appearing or of being ‘weak’, to others and also to oneself, and hence feeling ‘defeated’, even humiliated.

                  All good, dirty old painful-to-the-egoic-self’s-self-image stuff, but many have had to be pressured, ‘broken down’ in heavy groups, or by life itself, to reach that point of open awareness, unable, because unwilling, to get there on their own.

                  I don’t know, you might well be similarly afflicted (but I don’t expect you to admit it).

                • satchit says:

                  SD, I don’t think being self-critical and being self-aware is the same.

                  Self-critical includes having doubt about oneself and judging oneself about right or wrong.

                  Self-awareness means just being aware of one’s doing, without judgement.

                • satyadeva says:

                  Ok, Satchit, that’s a fair point, so let’s substitute ‘using discrimination and discernment through self-awareness’ for ‘self-criticism’. The point is, though, that the process of seeing your self as you are requires self-honesty, which necessitates seeing the effects of one’s beliefs, attitudes and actions.

                  One may not like to judge these as right or wrong, the very concept of ‘judgment’ might be anathema, considered ‘unspiritual’, but nevertheless one does have the facility to discern such consequences (for oneself and/or others) and decide whether they’re worth holding on to or dropping.

                  Without such powers of discrimination there’d be no self-consciousness, so no foundation for ‘living the spiritual life’, and no such thing as ‘personal growth’.

                  Nothing revelatory about all that, surely, it’s pretty basic stuff, isn’t it?

                • Nityaprem says:

                  It is said that in the spiritual search one is unlikely to make progress if one is lacking in honesty and sincerity. Maybe a good pointer for some….

                • satchit says:

                  Honestly, SD, I tried hard to understand your sophisticated text, but I utterly failed.

                  Maybe you can try again for a simpleton like me?

                • satyadeva says:

                  Maybe you don’t really want to understand, Satchit. Which is why you make such a point of emphasising “Honestly” (lol)!

                  But If you think you do, then just say what exactly you don’t grasp and I’ll do my best to, er, ‘enlighten’ you….

                • satchit says:

                  Yes, honesty seems to be a big theme here.

                  If one is honest, then one will grow. If one is more honest then one will grow more!

                  Sorry this is crap for me, maybe even Christian conditioning.

                  And what shall this be, “living a spiritual life”?
                  Is there another life?

                  Maybe these words make a newbie excited, not me.


                • satyadeva says:

                  True to form, Satchit avoids the issues, first by claiming he doesn’t understand (while being unwilling to provide specific details), then by disparaging honesty. Such duplicity endorses recent criticisms from several SN contributors and in effect disqualifies him from any chance of engaging in a genuine dialogue here.

                  Satchit, without honesty, especially to oneself, any pretensions one might have re being a ‘seeker’ are delusory. Seems you have huge trouble grasping this basic prerequisite.

                • satchit says:

                  I am already ‘beyond seeking’.

                  And it’s true, SD, Satchit has an ugly character.

                • Nityaprem says:

                  That’s been my experience as well, SD. Basically, without honesty any attempt at belief or faith or attempts to make inner changes lose their strength. Honesty and sincerity are what give these things their power.

        • Nityaprem says:

          Satchit, when you say, ‘it did not help you to survive’, do you mean:
          1) Fun does not help you to earn money?
          2) A joke, because ultimately no one survives?
          3) AQ serious comment that fun does not help?

          When I think back to the things that make me happy that I have done them, they are often concerned with earning, making or appreciating beautiful things. Fun tends to be quickly forgotten. Or are we talking about sex rather than plain fun?

          • satchit says:

            It was 2) A joke, NP.

            But fact is also that fun is related to the heart. No fun – No heart. If things are too serious, life becomes dry.

            So for me it is never a question of success in the outside world. If you move with the inner you can be a beggar and be happy.

  3. Nityaprem says:

    Simond said, “It takes courage and vulnerability to ask of others, to listen and to think for oneself. Most people follow the crowd, follow their guru, all the time taking in more beliefs and structures by which they can feel safe and in the known. You’re going against such robotic minds.”

    This has provided some food for thought. Maybe articles like this one, which encourage people to examine their lives, think, and share, are not so much what sannyasins want today?

    What kind of articles do you like to read and talk about?

    • frank says:


      I would say one approach to what you and Simond are talking about here is to be wary of the whole scene of framing your experience in various metaphysical terms all the time which is what `spiritual` folks have a habit of doing.

      For example, in Sannyas-speak people might say: “I feel bad that wasn`t coming from my heart this morning”. This is too vague, specifics are needed re the actual situation. What did it mean to “not come from your heart`”? Did you just harbour a fleeting bad thought about someone in meditation or did you deliberately trip an old blind lady up on a pedestrian crossing and walk off laughing? The actual story is important, the vague metaphysical account blurs the narrative into meaninglessness.

      Hanging round with sannyasins and nuagers, there are so many variants.
      “It is just your mind” is usually a way of saying “you are wrong” or “I don`t like your opinion, it is offensive.” Then why not just speak it clearly? Of course, this kind of talk gives the speaker a sense of validation by the authority of the metaphysical/spiritual system that he/she identifies with.

      “Some old anger stuff came up today.”
      Did you just have a brief cross word with your girlfriend or did you headbutt the neighbour in a dispute about your hedge and then stamp on his throat so he had to be taken to A and E?
      Again, the detail kind of makes all the difference.

      “There was a big lunar eclipse this morning and Mercury is going retrograde in Gemini, I`m really feeling this one because I`m a Manifesting Generator in Human Design.”
      Do you mean you are suffering from depression, worried about paying your mortgage or maybe just trying to sound knowledgeable about the occult? Out with it!

      Vignettes are a better guide to what is happening with people than metaphysical re-framings. Every time.

      In that sense the answer to your question about reading could be to ration the religio/spiritual texts and throw in a bit of poetry, short stories, human interest, anthropology, classic lit., sci-fi, Viz, you name it….

      • simond says:

        Spot on. Frank, 100%

      • dominic says:

        Perfectly attuned, Frank!

        Your transcendent channelling brought healing energy, aligned my chakras, and raised my vibration.
        I’m in my happy place now!

        Speaking of chakras, are you saying ‘spiritual’ folks need to open up their root chakra and take their crown chakra out of it, especially now that Mars has confidently entered Uranus? I resonate with that.

        Synchronicity or what, btw, mentioning Viz?!
        Following my safe sects post, Viz offers some godly tips….

      • dominic says:

        This one’s a bit more newagey and bona fido….

        • frank says:

          Cheers, guys.

          Until I subscribed to Sannyas News I had no idea what a strong spiritual connection there was between Eastern wisdom and Viz. Especially wur Sid the Sexist and the Upanishads:
          “Do you fancy a shag, luv?
          “Well, do you mind lying down while I have one?”
          Not a lot of people know that gurus in India have already been using that chat-up line for at least 5000 years!

          Yours sincerely,

          S.Bhorat, Bridlington

          • dominic says:

            I remember Sid from a previous incarnation, always up for a bit of leela with some passing spiritual tourist.

            Seriously though, scholars studying guru privilege and critical guru theory, at the University of Hydunderabed, show they stopped bothering with the formalities after the early years, as an attitude of karmic fatalism crept in.
            Even to this day, the internalised gurunormativity and gender bias on the subcontinent, means a lack of access to Viz’s affordable solutions.

            Yours sincerely,

            Dr Barry Prodnipple, Scunthorpe

          • dominic says:

            Silly me, I should remember to be more inclusive.
            For any of you youngsters going to Mass or a Sai Baba celebration, we’ve got you covered as well!

      • Nityaprem says:

        Well, look, to talk entirely in anecdotes makes me think I’m talking to a bunch of people who are totally incapable of abstraction.

        And you know, I did explain somewhat what I meant by “living from the heart” in this paragraph:

        “Even more so, it causes me to ask myself if I even understand what it is to live from the heart? You could say it has to do with relating, and ultimately with those special moments which make a relationship ‘heartful’. It has to do with trust, being open, exploring the areas where you are most vulnerable. Those are the things which, when they are shared, create a vibrant togetherness.”

        I’m surprised no-one picked it out to talk about.

        • satchit says:

          Well, NP, I think you should ask yourself if “living from the heart” is not the same as ‘living from a meditative space’.

          Or do you think these are two different things?

          • Nityaprem says:

            I think they are different, yes. Meditation is about being in silence, at peace and in presence. Living from the heart is about the decisions you make.

            A friend I was walking with asked me, what is the difference between an impulse and a matter of the heart? I told her, being impulsive is like eating a bag of Walker’s crisps, while a matter of the heart is like tucking into a hearty potato stew. The one is good food, the other is a trivial snack.

            • satchit says:

              I understand what you mean.

              The problem is only if you make “right eating” a goal and suppress impulses, you miss the juice of life.

              And you suppress also spontaneity as result.

              • frank says:

                Perfectly correct, Satchit!

                Following time-honoured tantric methods of Sahaj (spontaneity) it is absolutely necessary to avoid spiritual trap and suppression of spontaneity of “right eating” by remaining utterly free, crazy, juicy and wild whilst sitting on heavily-stained sofa spontaneously and mindlessly drinking Alzheimer Pils, eating pretzels and Ritter jumbo sports chocolate bars with one hand down soiled tracksuit trousers scratching base chakra until one freely and naturally passes out in front of TV whilst watching old VHS: ‘Franz Beckenbauer`s greatest tackles’!

                Your meditation is deepening. Mmmm. good.


                • satchit says:

                  Perfectly correct, Frankie!

                  Fact is your fun is also deepening on some mysterious way of synchronicity.

                  Seems you are very close on the jump to the 6th chakra, congrats!

                  Proof is you develop some mind-reading qualities. How you know that Ritter Sport is my favourite?

                  Maybe soon we can call you the Blessed One.

                  Om Shanti Om.

                • dominic says:

                  Tantrically pure and trustworthy!

                  Everything is allowed on a heavily-stained sofa, if it is done from a “meditative space” as Satchit suggests.

                  It’s spooky how well the master knows you, Satchit!
                  In which case he could be bi-locating!

                  If he materialises a cobra or some bratwurst, at your asshram, after a few glasses of schnapps, remember to be gracious and accept his offering, for your Shiva Shakti!

                  Hari Om Tat Sat

              • Nityaprem says:

                Satchit, my experience is that if you focus on “right eating” you will find joy manifesting itself spontaneously, more so than the superficial satisfactions gained from snack food!

  4. dominic says:

    To be ‘honest’, NP, a “living from the heart” ideal feels like an unnecessary pressure to put on oneself or others, though it might be an intention or goal for you.

    Similarly, a life review doesn’t arouse much response, except that it feels like a rabbit hole for the mind and a bit artificial and workshopey, while reinforcing the sense of personal identity. More baggage to drop.

    What happened happened, what will be will be, in spite of my thoughts about it. Could things have been any other way? Who’s really in control here? Am I the rider or the ride? Acceptance…peace…aaahh….

    People like Osho and Ram Das seem like projections to idealize, mythologize, characters in one’s movie. You wouldn’t have known them as ‘real people’ anyway.

    The quest for tombstone inscriptions, life reviews, gurus, workshops, figuring out which path or teaching to subscribe to, having a family, feels like a general mood of longing. Looking outside of oneself for that elusive happiness, even if it’s in a more refined, ‘spiritual’ way.

    Having said all that, I do reflect on things as they pop up like, “Oh, I wish I’d been less of an asshole in that situation etc.”, perhaps in the hope that I’ll be less of one in the future. Hope springs!

  5. satchit says:

    Basic law on the path:

    It’s not relevant what others think of you.

    Some may like you, some may dislike you.

    You are not here to fulfil the expectations from others.

  6. Nityaprem says:

    Yesterday I listened to my first Osho discourse since I read Erin’s letter. It was ‘The Perfect Master, discourse 1’, and the subject under discussion was a Sufi story about a man who goes in search of the perfect master. After a long search he hears of one such, but he takes on no disciples because he is in search of the perfect disciple.

    Perhaps perfection is too much to ask…

    • Nityaprem,

      Do you have a working definition for ‘perfect’?

      Mine is: Anything which is adequate for my needs. Like for example, Osho.

      • Nityaprem says:

        Perfection is adhering to the highest ideal, in all ways free from blame or criticism.

        Osho was not perfect, sometimes he would touch off against politicians or priests or Ronald Reagan. His sexual exploits we have explored. His tendency to experiment with nitrous oxide, or his yen for luxury we have not talked about.

        My needs are not perfection, that’s far too high a bar. Merely a good friend who might help along the journey is enough.

        • swamishanti says:

          Well, many young seekers would just say, “Thank God for Osho.” He freed many of us from some of the old programmings, constraints and ideals that were imposed on spiritual seekers and finders. That gurus and seekers from various traditions were collectively hypnotised, brainwashed into following, sheep-like, for centuries.

          Now, gurus are fully entitled to sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Of course, they were before. But no guru did so openly and on a large scale and will not have as much of an impact on planetary consciousness and evolution in the future.

          • Klaus says:

            Yes, there are Ayatollahs in every direction.

            Mostly one thinks that these peeps haven’t seen for themselves, but are using “the infrastructure available”.

            Very neutrally put: it is some kind of marketing – taking ‘it’ to the market(s).

          • frank says:

            “Thank god for Osho”?
            Oops, your Jehovah`s Witness programming that you haven`t managed to free yourself from is slipping out there, Shanti.

            As for your warped and twisted beliefs that Sai Baba, the predatory paedophile, was a holy man with magic powers: get some help before it`s too late, bro.

            • swamishanti says:

              `Bed Jamming`: “Sweet fucking is a must.” – Lee Scratch Perry:


              Frank, I never said that I endorsed any particular sexual activity, whatever that actually entailed, from Satya Sai Baba. Nor that he was a `holy man`. I simply know that there is more to Sai Baba than what your doubting minds likes to believe, or has led itself to believe. Similar to Osho.

              Perhaps time to get your wrinkly old balls oiled and your kundalini awakened, buddy.

    • dominic says:

      Is ‘right mastering’ not part of the knoble eightfold path after ‘right eating’ and right ‘living from the heart’? It should be.

      Sounds like another get-out-of-jail-free card discourse, masquerading as a goofy Sufi bedtime story.

      Perfection is a projection. We are all creatures of shadow and light, including the ‘enlightened ones’.
      I don’t believe in Santa Claus, I don’t believe in a ‘perfect master’, let alone master!
      Just a good enough one would do…if I gave a sh*t

      Most of the behaviour of last century’s famous gurus is pretty extreme and often abusive, by ordinary standards.

      Boundaries and limits, as to what you’re prepared to accept, if you’re looking to put your trust in someone, is going to be different for everybody.

      Most people I find pretty ‘decent’, people who have never heard of gurus or enlightenment, but power corrupts, so who knows what we’d get up to in that context?

      As well as ‘living from the heart’ one can ‘live from the gut’ (aka the bullsh*t detector) and ‘live from the head’, in the positive sense of informed critical thinking.

      And yes, ‘perfection’ is not only too much to ask, it doesn’t exist….

      • Klaus says:

        “Perfection is projection” – working on attitudes, being and relationships (current and possibly previous) goes on and on.

        I had a “Sannyas / Osho dream” today, which may speak a little about ‘my heart’s status’ or inner conditions at the moment:

        Dream of 4 July, 2022

        I am visiting a Sannyas centre somewhere where there is a kind of coffee-shop library. There is a device where one can read Osho books by scrolling through a screen. There was a nice clear and open and unobtrusive style atmosphere with lots of light and the floor covered in white marble-style tiles.

        After I had been scrolling through some text with a lot of back and forth somebody near me says: “Well, why don’t you go join the men’s workshop starting just now?” Actually, that was what I came here for but didn’t dare go directly without a little pushing…

        So, I walked through a door on the left-hand side and entered an auditorium which was more in dark colouuuuuuuuuuurs: the walls with brown wood coverings, dark blue curtains. It was spacious with not many people there yet – 4-5 people in the back facing a one-step, low-level stage. And one person on the stage facing the participants.

        After I walked in from the left side and approached towards the person standing on the stage so I could see his face he spoke to me directly in a normal voice: “So your name is R?” I was kind of astonished, surprised: how does he know my family name when I am here for the first time? He answers: “That’s the name that came through.” Oh, so that is how. I am not feeling shy or intimidated as I’d expected I might feel. Rather I have a sense of awe and feeling impressed that there is such a capable person here and I am filled with optimism with regard to the workshop. Oh: No Red Clothes anywhere!

        Next he asks me: “Who owns you?” I take a little time to reflect and sort this out and say: “My wife.” He: “You don’t like that much?” Uhhh, I feel quite contrite. Thoughts and feelings regarding our relationship are passing through my head quite clear and reflective.

        Some more people are coming in. The guy in front is saying a few things to the audience, we do some movements and I feel stillness and absorption coming over me. Then I feel like being taken on a journey through consciousness, flying like a rocket through energy and space circling up and down and around.

        When coming back from this trip I find myself lying on the floor on my back, throwing my legs up in the air and loudly shouting: “Ya-Hoooooooo!”
        Very soberly, a voice near me says: “Osho is dead.” Which makes me stretch quietly on all fours from me.

        After I returned to the coffee-shop, a beautiful blond girl in a red dress asks me: “Would you like to come with me?” I go: “Oh, yeeessssssss! Oh, shall we have some coffee here and talk a little?”

        The thought crosses my mind that there has at the same time been the same workshop for females in the other auditorium where my wife also participated. I have impressions of her being asked similar relationship questions and her answers and reactions to them running through my mind.

        I feel happy about the learning, being confronted and honestly working with the questions we both could experience. It feels freeing and helpful. And all happening in a totally unobtrusive, non-pushy way! Which gives me a sense of relief and my breath is moving very freely through my system.


        Then I woke up with a sense of having dreamed “a small book” – so dense and multi-layered has been the experience of the dream. I felt very integrated, harmonized, peaceful, attentive, good.

        And then I had a quite crazy Monday. Ah, well.

      • Nityaprem says:

        Well, would you say “doing no harm” is part of the definition of being a master? That maybe that is the bar which can disqualify one completely.

        The case of Erin Robbins is difficult, because in a way she could have refused, but in another she could not have, and from that second point of view you could argue that there was harm too.

        • swamishanti says:

          “master is not like a body”:
          Baba Purnanand:

        • satchit says:

          Master “doing no harm”?

          Seems you have still the idea that a Master is like a good grandfather, NP.
          It’s your attachment.

          Is life doing no harm?
          Master doing no harm is a moral attitude.

        • dominic says:

          I would say you are the formless Master within NP, and there is no regulatory master debating body to qualify or disqualify you.
          You don’t know what you’re next thought or action will be, so who knows what harm you may do?!

          Like everybody else, it seems, masters get tempted and succumb to their lower selves and the narcissism that the role can intensify.
          Otherwise, ‘Gurus Behaving Badly’ is just an ongoing series on the Godflix channel.

          At the human level, follow what speaks to you…but not those crazy voices in your head!

          • satchit says:

            Dom, the Master is the meeting of the opposites. He is not only good, he is also bad. He is the sinner and the saint.

            • dominic says:

              The formless self of the master is the same being in everyone.
              It has no form, so it cannot be named, and transcends form and all the opposites, good/bad, sinner/saint.
              Its qualities are peace, happiness, love, light, clarity, wholeness, awareness, etc.

              It seems to me the human ‘master’ is still capable of egoic dysfunction and identification (the vasanas), of falling back and doing ‘bad’ shit.

              For the follower, he is a projection in the mind wrapped up with his psyche’s needs, compensations, biases, preferences etc.
              It keeps him small and the master big, although identification with the master and his group gives him a temporary lift.

              But ultimately, all forms are impermanent, which returns him back to the master within, as the only reliable place to hang his hat.

            • frank says:

              Everybody I have ever met is a meeting of the opposites. Good and bad. Sinner and saint.
              C`est la vie.

              At the extreme ends, recognised saints behave badly and Hitler loved his dogs.
              And so it goes….

              • dominic says:

                Hitler was vegetarian.
                Imagine the devastation if he’d been vegan….

                • frank says:

                  Dominic, terrifying….

                  Actually, historians now say that although Hitler certainly advocated vegetarianism, he himself did not hold to it very strictly. The Nazis were supporters of animal welfare and passed a lot of laws for it, including outlawing vivisection. An amazing cognitive dissonance when you consider what else they were up to.

              • satchit says:

                Normally everybody defines himself ‘against’ something, inner meeting is seldom happening.

                You define yourself as ‘Guru-hunter’.

                • frank says:

                  It`s true, Scratchy, it is indeed rare to create an inner meeting between beer drinking, no-mind, watching football, true discipleship, psittaculture* and non-sequitur commentary in one holistic package.

                  Well done!


                • dominic says:

                  Itchy and Scratchy from the Simpsons.
                  Spoiler alert, Itchy almost always wins…

                • satchit says:

                  No need to be so hysterical, Itchy.

                  There is no winner, no loser.

                • dominic says:

                  It’s just a cartoon, Scratchy, sometimes they play nice together….

  7. Klaus says:

    Well, then, at least we are not complaining, are we?

    ‘Ain’t Complaining’ – Status Quo

    ‘How Did I Get There?;
    “Bill Murray as Rodney Dangerfield’s Psychiatrist”

  8. samarpan says:

    “I have heard that somewhere on the earth there are two graves with two tombstones. On one is written:
    “God is dead,” signed,”Friedrich Nietzsche”; and on the other is written: “Nietzsche is dead,” signed,”God.”

    –Osho, ‘Guida Espirituale’, chapter 14

    • frank says:

      “The way I look at things, God has never been there, so how can he be dead? He was never born in the first place.”
      Osho, ‘God is Dead, Now Zen is the Only Living Truth’
      6 February 1989 pm in Gautam the Buddha Auditorium

      Anyone can toss an Osho quote, Samarpan.
      And it proves what?
      Other than you have never grown out of your fundamentalist Christian brainwashing and the old habit of quoting the scriptures as the final word.

      • Nityaprem says:

        I always thought the best way to listen to discourses was in as relaxed a way as possible, just letting the words go through you. You end up remembering and re-chewing the things that made an impression on you, and the rest just disappears. It’s not necessary to remember it if in the moment of hearing the words have their effect.

      • swamishanti says:

        Thank God for Osho, for cutting the God’s head.

        He was God-realised, he had attained Bhagwan, and beyond, yet he was the most godless yet the most godly man.

        God is no-where, Life is now-here.

        • Klaus says:


          I wish for you and everyone who took effort and risks on their respective trajectories that you and all others have this realisation, too.

    • dominic says:

      Perfectly penetrating and amusing, Samarpan!

      A great Master deserves a great devotee who can endlessly repeat the master’s words, without contamination from his own personality, to achieve a state of complete mindlessness!

      These quotes from the Master’s Bumper Book of Hilarious Jokes, appearing on every university lavatory, are even older than the Vedas!

      These decadent western bonobo monkeys and their egoic brain farts, cannot comprehend the bliss of a devotee sitting on a cold marble floor for hours on end, with exploding bladder, waiting for blessed joke to signal the end of the Master’s discourse, so they can go to the Bar Temple to meditate.

      Master is very pleased with you!

      His blessings.

  9. Lokesh says:

    On the subject of Sai Baba with the afro hairdo:

    During 1991 in Lucknow, I came across a scathing expose of Sai Baba. A film crew were in the process of editing a documentary about his holiness. They were into the fine details, zoomed in and noticed that Sai Baba was palming necklaces and watches, which he then proceeded to produce in front of his amazed audience’s miracle-seeking eyes. No surprises there.

    Why would anyone in an elevated state of consciousness resort to such cheap theatrics? Like a Tommy Cooper gag gone wrong, except Tommy Cooper was much more authentic. Just like that!

    • frank says:

      It is sacrilege to mention Pedo Baba in the same breath as Tommy Cooper.
      TC was a really good magician. Sai Baba was pretty crap, he didn`t have to be good, I mean his audience were so primed and brainwashed that if he had got his dick out and got kids to massage it people would have thought it was divine magic…

      Er, hang on….

    • dominic says:

      As an Avatar you’re supposed to have superpowers and perform miracles. Gotta keep the punters happy…

    • swamishanti says:

      You`re probably talking about the BBC documentary `The Secret Swami`, Lokesh. In their eyes, SSB was a fraud and they featured a couple of reports of men who claimed abuse.

      There were rumours that Sai Baba was engaging sexually with teenage men for years before that.

      The problem with the documentary on any guru is, obviously, the BBC is well out of its depth in spiritual matters, and you`d have to be pretty gullible to judge any guru or master based purely on watching one of their one hour programmes. I think the BBC made several documetaries on `The Bhagwan` – ie Osho, and how they perceived and portrayed him, they were pretty laughable and crap.

      If it was not the BBC, there was also one made in Denmark, apparently, just looked that up.

      I know you are a bit gullible, yet not as gullible as poor Frank who will believe anything he watches/reads as long as it supports his faith that all gurus are frauds/power freaks.

      The programme as I remember it featured a story by a teenage man Alaya Rahm, the son of American Sai Baba devotees, who claimed he was abused at age 16 by SSB. Age 16 doesn’t quality as a paedophile in my understanding of the word. “Pedophilia (alternatively spelt paedophilia) is a psychiatric disorder in which an adult or older adolescent experiences a primary or exclusive sexual attraction to prepubescent children.” (Marriam- Webster dictionary.)

      I don`t know the full details of the case, but I remember reading a counter- argument that this young man was apparently sending Sai Baba love letters around the time the alleged abuse was taking place.

      There were other arguments, I don`t remember, I don’t know what happened, and anyhow, I am really not interested much in the whole matter, and the arguments on Sai Baba are probably out of place on here.

      • Lokesh says:

        Nothing to do with BBC. It was an Indian production that was pro-Sai Baba to begin with.

        • swamishanti says:

          Hmm. No Indian documentary mentioned on the wiki page. The Danish one and ‘The Secret Swami’ are mentioned as the first documentary exposes.

          • Lokesh says:

            It was not an expose, as I already stated. It happened in 1991 and made a splash in Indian news. I knew about it because I was living in Lucknow. Nothing more to add.

            • swamishanti says:

              Stop bullshitting, Lokesh.
              Otherwise you might be locked in a room with multiple Sai Babas….

              • swamishanti says:

                “You won’t shout as I fiddle about…”
                The Who: ‘Fiddle About’: *


                * ‘Fiddle about’ is a track from the rock opera ‘Tommy’, by the British band ‘The Who’- one of their finest albums. The music and story was written by guitarist Pete Townsend, after being influenced by the Indian mystic Meher Baba. Tommy is also available to watch as a musical film version.

                • frank says:

                  This guy had a lot of the same siddhis as Sai Baba.
                  Funding hospitals, courting the rich, powerful and famous, spinning a massive maya on the whole country and getting away with it.

                  He would probably deny it but I bet Guru Shanti has a pic of him on his wall and prays to him to fix it for him to have some siddhis as poor Shanti hasn`t got any himself, just reads about them in books.

                • swamishanti says:

                  “ It happened: One of the most beautiful persons of this past century was Sai Baba of Shirdi. He had a friend and a follower. Sai Baba was a Mohammedan. Or no one knows whether he was a Mohammedan or a Hindu, but he lived in a mosque, so it was believed he was a Mohammedan. And a Hindu follower was there, who loved, respected, has much faith in Sai Baba. Every day he will come for his darshan, and without seeing him he will not go. Sometimes it will happen that for the whole day he will have to wait, but without seeing he will not go, and he will not take food unless he has seen Sai Baba.

                  Once it happened the whole day passed, there was much gathering and much crowd – he couldn’t enter. When everybody has gone, just in the night he touched the feet.

                  Sai Baba said to him, “Why you unnecessarily wait? There is no need to see me here, I can come there. And drop this from tomorrow. Now I will do. Before you take your food you will see me every day.”

                  The disciple was very happy. So next day he was waiting and waiting; nothing happened. Many things happened really, but nothing happened according to his conception. By the evening he was very angry. He has not taken the food, and Sai Baba has not appeared so he went again. He said, “You promise and you don’t fulfil?”

                  Sai Baba said, “But I appeared thrice, not even once. First time I came, I was a beggar and you said to me, ‘Move away! Don’t come here!’ Second time I came I was an old woman, and you just won’t look at me; you closed your eyes-because the disciple had the habit of not seeing women; he was practicing not seeing women, so he closed the eyes. Sai Baba said, “I had come, but what do you expect? Should I enter your eyes, closed eyes? I was standing there, but you closed the eyes. The moment you saw me, you closed the eyes. Then third time I reached as a dog, and you won’t allow me in. With a stick you were standing in the door.”

                  And these three things had happened. And these things have been happening to whole humanity. The divine comes in many forms, but you have a prejudice; you have a pre-formulated conception; you cannot see. He must appear according to you, and he never appears according to you. And he will never appear according to you. You cannot be the rule for him and you cannot put any conditions.

                  When all imagination falls, only then truth appears. Otherwise, imagination goes on making conditions and truth cannot appear. Only in a naked mind, in a nude, empty mind, truth appears, because you cannot distort it.”

                  OSHO: ‘Yoga: Alpha and the Omega’ Vol 1

                • swamishanti says:


                  “You perform a miracle, you produce ashes out of your hand and become a Satya Sai Baba; you produce a talisman from nowhere – to what avail? Supernatural powers are second-rate products for they only nourish your ego. It strengthens your arrogance. You feel you are somebody special.

                  The only power that applies to religion arises out of: “I am nobody, nothing!” He who realizes and knows that he is nothing becomes everything. He who annihilates himself completely on earth, becomes God Himself. Do not be satisfied with anything less; if you do then you have opted for the powers of lesser quality.

                  What will you gain by producing a few amulets? How will your magic help you? You help neither yourself nor others thereby. You may gain a little popularity in the world, but that is all. Is the honour of this world any real honour? What is the value of all this magic before God? Of what worth the ashes that you produce, or the talisman, before Him who has created the universe? Your tricks may fool people and satisfy your ego, but it will not lead anywhere towards self-realization. Therefore Nanak has said that attaining supernatural powers are second-rate results.”

                  OSHO: ‘The True Name’, Volume 2

                • swamishanti says:

                  “When I say something against Satya Sai Baba, I am not saying something against Satya Sai Baba. What do I have to do with Satya Sai Baba? I have no business… But I am hitting all those who think they are related to Satya Sai Baba. Remember this.”

                  OSHO: ‘Sufis: People Of The Path’

                • swamishanti says:

                  As I suspect Frank’s ‘Anand Yogi’ has a lot of repressed homosexuality I think I might pray for Satya Sai Baba to teleport into Frank’s home. Frank could take a choice of Satya Sai Baba spreading his legs and displaying a vagina or taking his gold-plated lingam. That could be therapeutic for Frank I believe as he could receive a blast of Sai Baba’s shaktipat.

                  That may help Frank to achieve enlightenment in future lifetimes.

  10. samarpan says:

    “Inscription on the tombstone of Peter the Pessimist: I knew this would happen one day.”

    Osho, ‘The Invitation,’ chapter 30

  11. samarpan says:

    From the Master of Masters:

    “One woman hypochondriac died. The whole town felt relieved, the whole medical profession felt relieved, because she was a constant trouble to many people’s heads, everywhere, all around. The family, the doctors, the physicians — she had troubled everybody and nobody was of any help. And she relished the idea that nobody knew anything about the sort of disease she was suffering from — it was an extraordinary disease. In fact there was no disease.

    Then she died, and it was almost a celebration in the town. But when they opened the will, she had written in her will that her request had positively to be fulfilled. Her request was that a carved tombstone had to be put on her tomb with these words inscribed on it: “Now will you believe I was sick?”
    In this way she would haunt the whole town again.”

    Osho, ‘Ancient Music in the Pines’, chapter 2

    • dominic says:

      Summerpants’ grave deadication has dug up another old corpse of a joke, and it’s a killer!
      Seems there were reapercussions, and everyone died laughing.
      Death by mans-laughter!

  12. samarpan says:

    From the ‘Master of Masters’:

    “Let me tell you one anecdote: A politician named Strange lay dying. A friend asked him what he would like inscribed on his tombstone. “Just put,” said the politician: “‘Here lies an honest politician.’”

    “But,” said the friend,”that doesn’t tell who it is.”

    “Oh yes,” replied the politician, “the passer-by will say, “That is strange — a politician, and honest?” No need to say the name. Passers-by will by themselves say, “That is strange.”

    Osho, ‘Come Follow To You,’ Vol 4, Chapter 10

    • frank says:

      Swami Bhorat says:
      “Let me tell you one anecdote: A comedian named Lame lay dying. A friend asked him what he would like inscribed on his tombstone. “Just put,” said the comedian:”Here lies an honest politician.’”
      “But,” said the friend,”that doesn’t tell who it is.”
      “Oh yes,” replied the comedian, “the passer-by will say, “That is lame” No need to say the name. Passers-by will by themselves say, “That is lame.”

      Bhorat, ‘Come Blow Me, commentaries on the Readers` Digest humour section’ Vol 6, Chapter 9.

    • dominic says:

      Ha ha, you guys crack me up, and I can’t resist a hommage!

      From the ‘Complete Fundie Collection’:

      “Let me tell you one anecdote: A born-again fundie evangelist named Deranged lay dying. A friend asked him what he would like inscribed on his tombstone. “Just put,” said the politician: “‘Here lies an honest politician.’”

      “But,” said the friend,”that doesn’t tell who it is.”

      “Oh yes,” replied the politician, “the passer-by will say, “That is deranged — a politician, and honest?” No need to say the name. Passers-by will by themselves say, “That is deranged.” ”

      ‘Come Borrow Me’ – A shit load of totally original, gut-busting guru gags while you poo on the loo.

  13. samarpan says:


    “Q: What do you want set on your tombstone?

    A: No. Nothing. Once I am gone, I am gone. Then whatsoever my people want to do, they can do.”

    Osho, ‘The Last Testament’, vol. 1, chapter 30

    • frank says:

      5 years later though, and it was a different story, wasn`t it?
      (“never born, never died” etc.).

      Btw, “Master of masters” is redolent of “King of kings” and “Lord of lords”, names for God and Jesus Christ that derive from ancient Assyrian and Babylonian authoritarian theocratic social hierarchies. Who, in their right mind in the 21st century would invoke these kind of structures into their life other than some kind of fundamentalists?

      As I see it, Osho and his movement generated a massive wave of experiences, through both communitas and individual happenings, of freedom from the tick-tock world and the maya derived from society with its absurd values, obsession with rank, inherited insanity, bogus ids, status anxiety, arranged crises, manufactured conflicts, ideological dead-ends and their existence within our minds and spirits.

      In this context, stories of Osho sticking his willy where it wasn`t really wanted, blasting his head off with gas and all the rest of the many, many scandals is problematic, not so much in a moral sense as in the revelation of an existence of a power structure that was itself just as riven with rank-obsession, status-trips, deference, behavioural obligations, double-binds, obfuscation, pyramidal control, denial, deception, delusion etc. as the original ego and society that we folks were trying to free from.

      All perfectly correct if you still identify as a devotee.
      Bad stuff and incorrect if you`re an anti-cultist.

      At least, oddly, both agree that it`s about lessons to be learned.
      Probably stick with that, then.

      Cheraiveti, cheraiveti.

  14. samarpan says:

    Just for the journey: A young American couple who were touring England went to Canterbury Cathedral, where they could not resist making love on one of the historic marble tombstones. The next day the girl complained of back pain and went to see a local doctor. After the doctor examined her, he told her that he could find nothing wrong.

    “But by the way,” he asked, “how old are you?”

    “Twenty-four,” she answered. “Why?”

    “Well,” said the doctor, “it says on your ass that you died in 1787.”

    Okay, Maneesha?
    Yes, Beloved Master.”

    Osho, ‘The Rebel’, chapter 8

  15. samarpan says:

    From the Master of Masters, the Lord of the Full Moon, Maitreya:

    “Freedom remains untouched — no definition covers it. But people try to cover themselves with definitions. They feel protected by a definition. Behind a definition they feel perfectly okay, complacent, comfortable. Life is no more an adventure. They are dead people — they are already in their graves. In fact when a man dies, only then can you define him — never before.

    If you want to know the definition, go to the graveyard, and there on the tombstones you will find definitions. Now those men who are in their graves cannot do anything to be changed; they can be defined. They are now almost like rocks. But you are alive — and remain alive! Nobody has given you any role. The whole idea that somebody has given you a role, that you have a fixed purpose, that you are here to do something in particular, is very humiliating. That means that you are born with a script and you have to follow that script. Then life will not have enthusiasm: it will be a very dull and monotonous affair.

    No, this is good. This is the right space I would like you to be in. This is the space that I am creating for you here. I am trying to take all the definitions away. You are a Christian, you are a Hindu, you are a Jew — I am trying to take away all your definitions. You are a man or a woman — I am trying to even take away that. You are young or old, educated, uneducated…I am trying to take everything away from you so that you remain just an openness…a freedom to be anything you wish to be in any moment. Nothing holds you, nothing prevents you.

    This is what I call a real man — who has nothing to prevent him from doing anything, who has no considerations and who is not bothered to be consistent with his past. Only a rock is consistent with his past, a dog is consistent with his past. You can never say to a dog that he looks inconsistent — he’s always consistent. His life is a routine, a repetition.

    The bigger the man, the bigger are his contradictions. The greater the man, the greater are his paradoxes. Nothing can hold him, he goes on moving — every time he leaves the past and goes on searching in new fields. He is an explorer.”

    Osho, ‘The Shadow of the Whip’, Chapter 4: ‘You Are Freedom’

  16. dominic says:

    From the Bloke Down the Pub, Bit of a Lunartic, Oi You There:

    Samarpan means dedication, and he is nothing if not dead-icated, and as ‘consistent’ as a rock, in digging up old bones during the graveyard shift (3.50 am).

    Has he left the past behind and continued exploring?

    The contradictions and paradoxes are big, he must be a very big man!

  17. samarpan says:

    Check out NASA’s high-resolution colour images from its James Webb Space Telescope for further proof of contradictions and paradoxes.

    Ya-hoo! Osho!

    • dominic says:

      Perfectly pertinent, Yahooligan!

      Looking at highly edited, synthetic, colourized images of long dead stars is just like looking at images of diddling guru stars, dressed up to look picture-perfect enlightened, while high on drugs, Rollers, and shagging devotees!

      Yahoo Wahoo Om!

      • Klaus says:


        We have to admit, however maybe, that:

        “Sometimes the light goes on -
        and somtimes the light goes out…”
        David Lindley & G.E. Smith – the strings gurus

        “Uhhh, that makes a lot of aluminium foil!” That’s true.

        I have spent the last weeks reading a lot…like C.G.Jung about the “compensatory reactiveness of the yes/no mind”. Yes, that’s true. Too.

        • Klaus says:

          What I like about the psychology of C.G. Jung is his individualistic approach:

          Individuation is an inner process, which has to be observed closely – via noting and understanding of dreams – ‘translating’ emotions and sensations into the individual story and experience.

          It is a bit of a ‘Western’ approach as there is no direct jump ‘into transcendence’ (although this seems possible). Jung had a friendship with Sigmund Freud. And they split over the idea that “all expressions of the un/conscious are singularly based on sexual energy.”

          Jung had been to India; he had a chance/opportunity/slight intention of seeing Ramana Maharshi in Tiruvanamalai…but did not go there.

          Interesting. Watching your dreams, the sensations in the body in daily life, your artistic expression….

          Attached cover of the book in German.

          P.S: The book of Al-Ghasali I am reading in parallel…that is aiming at transcendence directly…so it comes later. Haha.

  18. Klaus says:

    ‘The tombstone exercise’ might also be in other words a question:

    ‘What do you know about yourself?’
    ‘Where are you currently at?’
    ‘How would you describe your outlook?’

    Or something like that more suitable….


    • Nityaprem says:

      @Klaus, seeing tombstoning as a question…

      In its simplest form, yes, it is a question. Perhaps, “what have you achieved?” or “what are you most proud of?” But the thing is, a tombstone doesn’t leave you a lot of room, so the trick is to formulate an answer using just a few words….

      • Klaus says:

        Been there:

        Klaus says:
        3 July, 2022 at 8:47 pm

        On my tombstone today there could be written:

        “Whatever you want”.

        • Nityaprem says:

          Alternatively, you could write,

          “Living surrendered”.

        • swamishanti says:

          How about “Dig my bones out. Study ‘em.”

          • swamishanti says:

            Sogen Kato was thought to be Tokyo’s oldest man (aged 111)….

            • Klaus says:

              This guy is not suffering. Anymore….

              • swamishanti says:

                How about this for a tombstone epitaph?

                “No one’s slave I am
                no one’s master
                no one’s slave I am
                no one’s master
                on my grave they will
                write this after I am gone…
                I will be gone
                and my flesh will go to the earth it lived on
                breath will go to the air it lived from
                I am through with the pain of my lying
                had my fill of the cruelty and crying
                paid my dues
                in the land where the dying desert grows
                & now I know
                I am looking out for a new perspective
                listening out for a new directive
                going back to the land of my mothers
                I will walk with my sisters and brothers
                we will share what is good for each other in our love
                it is a love
                it is a love that brings you the invitation
                listen now to my invocation
                mother earth I was nearly the end of you
                please accept my desire to be friends with you
                now I know just how much I depend on you for life
                you are my life
                you are that life that grows in the flesh I’m weaving
                life that blows in the air I’m breathing
                I’m as strong as a tree on a mountain
                free and full as a fresh flowing fountain
                bright and clear as the stars beyond
                shining in the night
                I am that light
                I am the light that shines in a million people
                in my sight every life is equal
                no one’s slave I am no ones master
                no one’s slave I am no one’s master
                on my grave
                they will write this
                after I am gone
                I will be gone.”

                Theo Simon: ‘No One’s Slave’:


                • Nityaprem says:

                  You’d need a very large and ostentatious tombstone. It would be rather showy, I think.

                  I would prefer:

                  “I am Ozymandias, King of Kings, Look upon my works and despair!”

                  On a tombstone by itself somewhere in the desert.

                • swamishanti says:

                  Be sure to listen to the track on YouTube above.

                  I remember hearing this song played live many years ago, then recently stumbled across it unexpectedly on Spotify, where there is a whole album from the band Seize the Day, ‘Making Waves’. Not bad.

                  Spotify is good at providing unexpected surprises as it generates mixes based on similar genres of music to whatever you happened to be listening to before.

                  Like all apps including YouTube though, make sure they don’t take any liberties and get access to your mic, camera etc. Which apps will do if not dealt with.

                  I would recommend, using the Brave browser which gives good protection from the trackers which follow you around the internet as well as blocking the adds on YouTube and other sites.

                • swamishanti says:

                  And a small clip of the ‘Lord of the Full Moon’, Maitreya Buddha arriving for discourse/press conference at the Ranch here…

  19. satchit says:

    “Never born, never died” would also be a nice piece on a tombstone.

    • satyadeva says:

      Yes indeed – if it were actually true for the dead person and not some borrowed delusion.

      • satchit says:

        Certainly, only a spiritually experienced person is allowed to have this statement on his tombstone.

        • satyadeva says:

          That surely depends on what one understands “spiritually experienced” to mean. We’ve all had what might be called ‘spiritual experience’, whether or not we’re meditators or disciples, or whatever. But ‘Never Born, Never Died’ refers to the unquestionable realisation of immortality, which is apparently extremely rare (unless very many are keeping quiet about it) and should be applied with appropriate discrimination, not degenerate into yet another pseudo-spiritual catchphrase.

          Maybe that’s what you mean, Satchit, but I thought it’s worth clarifying.

          • satchit says:


            As long there is mind, there will always be questions. You can have glimpses of immortality on different occasions but later the mind will always doubt and ask: was it true?

            But still these little satoris give you a glimpse of your real nature.

            • satyadeva says:

              Yes, unquestionable, Satchit – that’s if you care to believe what masters report. As I indicated, I’m not talking about “little satoris”, glimpses, I’m referring to an ultimate ‘real(ised) deal’, where they say they know with every fibre of their being there is no death, and after which there’s no going back.

              • satchit says:

                Is it not all a matter of belief? If I believe in reincarnation there is a going back.

                Maybe there is no going back anyway.

                • satyadeva says:

                  Yes, in the sense that it’s up to us whether we believe what masters say about such things or not.

                  And by saying “there’s no going back” I wasn’t referring to reincarnation (which seems to be a lot more complex than how it’s normally understood) but to an ongoing (and, it’s said, ever-expanding) level of awareness.

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