The Myth of the Positive
When I was near about 28 I arrived off the road into Pune One. Even now some of the old songs of that time are deep in my unconscious. I find myself singing them out of joy in the street, in the park, or on the allotments. One of them was “Just say yes”. For someone like me, at the time a recent philosophy student, who even felt that Descartes chickened out of universal doubt by embracing that ridiculous statement “I think, therefore I am” – the lyrics were at odds with the underbelly of joy that seemed to fill the old meditation place when they were sung.
Later when I was a commune member the refrain was the same but much more difficult. Whenever resistance came up those who were further up the hierarchy would say “just say yes” – to any instruction – even if clearly irrational. This attitude I later thought was the core reason why the communes failed… saying yes to non-meditators in the commune hierarchy was the end of it.
So I was interested to see recently that David Icke flirts with Osho and seems to like the old man. But what does he really know? One thing that he quotes from Osho is the danger of positive thinking! – which I also quote below. But what amazes me is that whilst Osho was criticising positive thinking as simplistic, and a con, those of us who took the robe either never seemed to hear his words, or if we did were shown the door when echoing the same vein of criticism to commune leaders… Parmartha
The Osho Quote is below
“The philosophy of positive thinking means being untruthful; it means being dishonest. It means seeing a certain thing and yet denying what you have seen; it means deceiving yourself and others.
Positive thinking is the only bullshit philosophy that America has contributed to human thought – nothing else. Dale Carnegie, Napoleon Hill, and the Christian priest, Vincent Peale – all these people have filled the whole American mind with this absolutely absurd idea of a positive philosophy.
And it appeals particularly to mediocre minds.
Dale Carnegie’s book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, has been sold in numbers just next to the Christian Bible. No other book has been able to reach that popularity.
The Christian Bible should not be a competitor in fact, because it is more or less given free, forced on people. But Dale Carnegie’s book people have been purchasing; it has not been given to you free. And it has created a certain kind of ideology which has given birth to many books of a similar kind. But to me it is nauseating.
Dale Carnegie started this whole school of positive philosophy, positive thinking: Don’t see the negative part, don’t see the darker side. But by your not seeing it, do you think it disappears? You are just befooling yourself. You cannot change reality. The night will still be there; you can think that it is daytime for twenty-four hours, but by your thinking it, it is not going to be light twenty-four hours a day.
The negative is as much part of life as the positive. They balance each other.
After Dale Carnegie, the great name in the tradition of this positive thinking is Napoleon Hill. Think and Grow Rich is his greatest contribution to the world – a beautifully written book, but all crap.
Think and grow rich… you don’t have to do anything, you only have to think in absolutely positive terms and riches will start flowing towards you. If they don’t come, that simply means that you have not been thinking absolutely positively. ”
I think it is an interesting conjecture. A glass half-full of orange juice can be seen as half-full, but it can also be seen as half-empty. Which you choose determines to a great extent your happiness. People who prefer to see the glass half-empty tend more to pessimism, eventually their entire energy can turn negative. Whereas people who embrace seeing the glass half-full find it easier to savour life, celebrate life, be happy with what you have.
So while I think Osho is right to discard things like ‘Think and Grow Rich’, still a positive outlook brings its own treasure of happiness.
It’s odd, because while Osho never made an overall sweeping statement about life direction, the various things he said and how they diffused through the sannyasin community definitely did lead to a uniquely sannyasin life direction. For example, cathartic meditation, openness, things like the Mystic Rose as self-exploration, celebrating life, healthy eating, even the jokes during discourse…it all fits together like a kind of puzzle.
I think how you handle the negative is a personal thing, there are quite a few people who don’t have the tendency you describe, Lokesh. For me, negative thinking does not overcome the positive, and with negative emotions I just apply what Thich Nhat Hanh advised, which is to just witness it, pretty much all negative emotions disappear within about 30 seconds if you don’t get caught in the trap of thinking about them.
Most emotions are actually triggered by thoughts. For example, anger often comes from feeling that ‘you’ have been damaged in some way. If you just drop the thought, you will find the anger disappears too.
It’s just that as you get older you get tired more easily and if you haven’t dealt with your traumas and fears then negative states start to sneak up on you. Got to do that inner work if you want to stay ahead of the curve.
Sorry to see that Lokesh withdrew his piece, it would’ve been fun to discuss it further. Sadness and negativity definitely have a place….
I’m positive about that, even a good writer like Lokesh sometimes feels that the best way to describe something Is not the only responsability of the writer.
Karl Valentin, a Bavarian comedian, once said:
“I am happy when it rains, because if I am not happy, it rains too!”
As I see it, there are two kinds of “positive thinking”:
One is against doubt, suppresses doubt.
The other one includes doubt, says yes to doubt too.
The second one has a higher quality.
I miss Parmartha’s sharings. Many things arise from my Heart…Busy with my job, see you later.
Bad news or good news? An example that positive thinking has its limits when we try to apply It to a matter like Justice, when the law doesn’t go Always with rights:
It seems Indian officialdom is taking an interest in the running of the Resort…I’m sure it’ll all be fine in the end. Thanks for the link.
Sometimes in the past I’ve compared melancholia and sadness to the eating of a potato dish: hearty and earthy, with unspectacular but delicious flavours, modest. It’s kind of a natural counterpoint to exuberant happiness and laughter, something that I want to make room for in my heart for the quiet times, when I don’t feel like dancing and celebrating.
Something like that, a down period, can be healthy. The land is fallow, recovering, the colours might be autumn. It is rest, digestion. But if it goes on for too long it becomes a major theme, and then it is less welcome. So I shape my environment in a positive way, with beautiful things and cheerful colours, to remind me of upbeat things in the moments when life is delicately poised.
I believe that before speaking of the validity of a philosophy such as “positive thinking” we must make a theoretical premise regarding the relationship between the philosophy towards which we tend and the practical effects with respect to the material or spiritual goals we wish to achieve.
A first reflection would concern how an effective application of this philosophy in the world of Osho is compatible, if it is true that it is spiritually oriented…(despite the critics who speak of sex, drugs and Rolex). I believe that the material affairs of most of the seekers I met in the OMCs were suspended, ceased or sold, just to buy the time and a handful of rice to stay in that joyful dimension.
Regarding the material objectives, I have no direct experience, but if the placebo effect or autogenic training exists, I have no preclusions about the effectiveness of this method, whose only requirement, seems to me, is that of not practising metacognitive activities such as Meditation.
Positive and negative thinking could go easily together with positive and negative feeling. In my case, what I feel Is much more important than what I think.
I think it takes a lot of energy to think certain things positive.
Is sickness positive? Is death positive?
At the most you can accept them.
Or maybe you can think them a mystery, not a problem.
Yes, guys like Lokesh need a rest. They have put a lot of energy on SN. It’s autumn time, the leaves are falling.
Satchit, I believe that what has happened in recent years, and still ongoing, has required a great expenditure of energy for all of us, not only for dear Lokesh, and/or any aliases of him.
Consistent with his point of view expressed here many times, now that the going has gotten tough (in Italy the bills have grown by 500%), like many of us perhaps he is looking for strategies for survival or conservation of his status, and this community does not represent for him a resource in which to reorient one’s life in an inspired way and perhaps organize a collective resistance, starting with the deepening of the themes of the individual conscience of the rebel.
Does it make sense to continue writing here, spending time rebelling against a Master that for the mainstream vision is increasingly neutralized by “scandals” or normalized in the representation of his existential manifesto, purified of the political aspects implicit in his teaching?
I would like to know where our friends have gone, the ones who had a negative thought about the master’s farts and a positive thought about mass vaccination.
Their thinking was simple, if something is by Western science it should be true, if it is by a libidinous little Indian drug addict it should be false.
I believe that thinking correctly (even if reality does not always allow us to describe / explain it with the means of logic … the turtle does not always reach the lettuce leaf with the mind, dividing the distance into infinite intermediate points instead of relying on its paws) means applying a method as neutral as possible. In the political field, where thought is at the service of the defense of economic interests, but not only those, it is not secondary to ask which interests are hidden behind the arguments for or against something.
For example, in the case of a virus “created” by the pharmaceutical propaganda of the 1980s, in a period in which one was very naive about conspiracy hypotheses that are palpable today, if it was an occasion for someone to make money with very expensive drugs that worsened the situation, in the case of our community, has certainly meant pain for someone who has been excluded but it has also meant for many others a greater awareness of loving their own body, particularly considering the risks related to drugs and casual sex.
Years later today we can say that both sides were wrong about the scientific data of that pandemic (see Peter Duesberg), nothing new, few scientific beliefs survive their falsification over the years, but what remains is the political / social / spiritual fact that in those years, despite the pandemic outside and some egotrips inside, a community remained tenaciously, honestly, grounded in its dignity as celebratory human beings.
Do I think too much positive?
It has gotten quiet. Its a shame, the discussions were energising! And sometimes there was unusual news. Arpana, Klaus, Lokesh, Simond, where have you all gone?
To Nityaprem and everyone else reading this:
What would you like to ask someone who’s recently returned to Europe after many years living in the Pune ashram, including from when Osho was physically alive?
@ the one who left Pune:
I would ask him/her why he/she left Pune and went to Europe.
I would ask him in what way was he a different man now than when he came to the Pune Ashram, and how does he compare that to what he might have been like if he had stayed in Europe? Basically, what does he think his stay in the Ashram has brought him?”
Hi Nitya and everybody,
Well, I have not disappeared ‘into the void’ in the last few weeks…just fell a bit more quiet and felt a bit more tired intellectually….
The discussions have indeed been ‘energising’. And stimulating.
Possibly due to the circumstances of my life currently, ie daughter at school, few days of covid 19, first camping holidays with my family (after illness since 2014), reading two inspiring C.G. Jung books, I found less energy to ‘argue yes/no/rather more maybe’ – why vaccine and why not rebel, what happened to others, what Osho did etc.
Some questions came:
What is my experience in the forum, at home, in my alone times?
Where am I currently at?
What is substantial for me?
What is my perspective?
Maybe more introspective than in some of the discussions. Reflection takes more time…formulating what is going on (a whole lot)…before hitting the keyboard.
Keep on keeping on.
Satyadeva’s question may inspire someone to write about experience…not opinions….
It’s good to find inspiration in books, they can widen your view and introduce new thoughts. And then those thoughts take time to settle, and bring insights when applied to yourself. Recently I have been reading ‘The Wise Heart’ by Jack Kornfield, a book on buddhist psychology which was beautiful and brought me to tears a few times. Stories of therapy and healing I find very touching.
“Maharaj’s rural upbringing and earlier adult years spent in this district as a beedie merchant have coloured his speech with, I am told confidentially, an earthy and even bawdy manner. After a while, the twinkle in his eyes and the rapid changes in colour of the translators’ faces under the dark Indian skins would hint at the graphic nature of his comments. The translators would gulp and scan their minds for some way to exorcize that comment before passing it on. The contrast between the Krishna of contemporary ultra-puritanical Hinduism and the earthy aspects of the Gopi stories of sensuous abandon and celebration from earlier Hindu tradition is brought to mind in Maharaj’s earthy style. After all, he says with that raunchy twinkle, he and Krishna are one.”
(On Nisargaddata Maharaj from ‘A Day with Maharaj’ by Milo Clark. This particular passage has been hidden from some versions of the text circulating online by puritanical Religious types. )
Why didn’t they get a native speaker to attend? Then they could write about what ‘actually’ happened without having to speculate based on blushing translators.
One of the native speakers and translators , the main translator in fact , was Ramesh Balsekar, the disciple of Nisargaddata Maharaj.
Maharaj asked Ramesh to share his understanding with others before he died.
Maharaj and Ramesh were part of a tantric lineage that goes back to Gorakh, who also happened to be one of Osho’s favourite masters.
According to Ramesh Balsekar, Nisargaddata used to visit a local prostitute. He was not ashamed or concerned with enjoying sex.
Nisargaddata Maharaj is popular amongst many Americans because he didn’t have a pot to piss in, this fits with their Christian expectations of a guru.
Powerful forces are manipulating the internet who work for Christian fundamentalists, government agencies, google/qoura/Facebook/etc , Americans in their diapers and Japanese coders are able to remove passages or text from various platforms if they think no-one will notice.
The piece above from Milo Clark was originally shown on Facebook as part of this piece :
It has now actually had the passage above removed since last time I looked.
It will be available somewhere elsewhere.
But the whole internet is being manipulated in this way.
If you search for ‘enlightened Osho sannyasins’ you might well expect to come across Osho’s enlightened bodyguard Vasant Swaha.
Loveosho podcast: https://youtu.be/AOQrjJ2blzE
However, instead I came across a piece featuring Hugh Milne.
That’s the same forces manipulating the internet, the same people who dislike Nisargaddata Maharaj using swearwords in his speech or making sexual innuendos, having a down to earth side , who have hidden that piece. The same people who destroyed rhe Rajneeshpuram commune.
I have read this story about Nisargadatta’s inuendos too…..
“people who destroyed the Rajneeshpuram commune too….”:
might be this kind of people:
#Pennsylvania ⚠️”God created man have Dominion. If man has heart governed by God, we wouldn’t need govt.
????We need the law to put the fear of God in the sinners to make them behave”
-#Mastriano #NAR Apostle Abby Abildness Sacred Challenge tour
@ #Harrisburg Capitol”
The research of the ‘NeoApostolicReformation’ movement based on the ’7mountains dominionism’ doctrine goes back to….. Ronald Reagan….
Read this on twitter in the last few months…..
Swamishanti, sex is just ordinary, why should we care that Nisargadatta visited a prostitute?
Jesus spent time with prostitutes, tax collectors and lepers. I don’t see anything wrong with that, either.
It feels better to me to listen to or read the man’s words directly as he wrote them, and be content with that. So many other people judge or get morally outraged, but thats just bourgeois sentiment, not truth.
Yes, Klaus, Christian fanatics.
The same fanatics who used to burn people at the stake, the same people who could not tolerate Jesus when he was around.
They are actually quite delusional, battling an invisible enemy, which does not exist. An imaginary devil which has been the cause of unnecessary fear for millennia.
That’s why I appreciate Osho’s contribution, by pointing out some of the nonsense of Christianity, that developed after Christ had left.
Although it could be argued he may have been too hard on Christianity. Although his earlier talks on Jesus were very popular with some Christians.
A line in the qoute in the piece on the link you gave:
“ If man has heart governed by God, we wouldn’t need govt “
This reminds me of a qoute by Tolstoy:
“The Anarchists are right in everything; in the negation of the existing order, and in the assertion that, without Authority, there could not be worse violence than that of Authority under existing conditions. They are mistaken only in thinking that Anarchy can be instituted by a revolution. But it will be instituted only by there being more and more people who do not require the protection of governmental power … There can be only one permanent revolution – a moral one: the regeneration of the inner man.”
Christian anarchism. But a very different vision from the Christian fundamentalist control freaks in the governments.
Yes, Nityaprem, why should we care if Nisargaddata spent time with a prostitute.
As you say sex is ordinary and Jesus also spent time with Mary Magdalene and as Paul Kantner pointed out in ‘The Son Of Jesus’ – this may well have really been a sexual relationship.
“ So you think young Jesus Christ never smiled a lady
And you think young Mary never saw him smile wide and free
You won’t read it in the Bible but if you look you’re liable
To come across the truth about the man from Galilee..”
The real Jesus, the authentic human Buddha were different to the fantasies generated by the religions that developed after them.
And ‘abuse’ has taken on a completely different meaning in more recent times. Even the UK Taoist master the Barefoot Doctor, was accused of ‘sexual predatory behaviour’ by several women just because he chatted some women up and had sexual relationships with several of his ex- patients. But he said that some women had also approached or expressed interest in him. All part of the ‘me too’ victim thing.
And I have found the original text of Milo Clark ‘A Day With Maharaj’ , before the passages that were hidden by the American Roman Catholic moralist who writes all the bullshit version. (And the mysterious alteration of the text on the Facebook page.)
This wasn’t so easy to find, the intitial search engine results for ‘A day with Maharaj’ by Milo Clark’ led to censored versions of the text.
It was originally published as part of Robert Powell (Ed.), ‘The Blissful Life: As Realized through the Teachings of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj’ , Durham, NC: Acorn Press, 1984, pp. 15-27.
And the uncensored version , (which the Google forces have pushed far down out the way), can be read here:
Swamishanti said “all part of the me-too victim thing”
But women have been repressed and taken advantage of a lot in the past, and in some places still are. #MeToo has encouraged women to stand up and accuse their oppressors, thats a good thing because it points out to people what is OK in relationships and what is not OK. Some men are still way too blase about being in a position of privilege.
Yes, NP, that’s the positive part of it.
But there may also be a negative side too, as men are now being accused of abuse or sexual predatory behaviour all kinds of circumstances, even just for chatting up women as in the Barefoot Doctors case, or because he ended up having casual sexual relationships with some of his previous patients. But he said he was approached by women and it looks likely this was because he was a celebrity.
Sex , and the physical merger of yin and yang energies is also considered a very healthy exchange of energy in Taoism , especially also when the man’s sex energy is being conserved most of the time, just like forms of Indian tantra, and very unlike Roman Catholicism.
Ozen Rajneesh was accused of being a sexual predator but when he made his case the situation looked very different.
More recently new expectations are being demanded which may not always be realistic.
Feeling good about the situation at the time and then feeling like a victim 40 years later. We were not there in the room so cannot judge Erin’s case.
Thank God for Osho who helped to move his people out of the puritanical Catholic doctrine of sexual abstinence and ‘secret codes’ that forbade them to have sex with their ‘students’.
Of course traditionally the Catholic monks and nuns would take a vow of strict celibacy and live in same sex monasteries, and we all know what takes place in those monasteries.
Modern American spiritual advaita teachers who visited Pappaji,(HWL Poonja) , Gangaji and Andrew Cohen for example, still have the heavy Christian conditioning and tend to expect their ‘students’ to lead a life of strict monagamous marriage, with a ‘tut-tut’ condemnation of free love.
One of the things I love and respect about the Native American tribal culture and spiritual traditions was their earthiness and their acceptance of their bodies, the bodies and spirits of the animals and respect of nature of the world around them.
Native Americans had no guilt or fear in their attitudes towards sexual relationships , very unlike the holier than thou spirituality of the white Catholic missionaries who later came to convert and repress them, the same type of Catholic spirituality that attempts to deny and censor Maharaj’s sexuality and condemns Osho today.
The spiritual elders and visionaries, the medicine men of the Native American tribes were not placed on the pedestal of Christian or some Buddhist ideology, they lived very down to earth, ordinary lives in harmony with nature and and made music , hunted together, smoked with the rest and had healthy sexual relationships. Still, they had the ancient knowledge of the One and keys whereby they could access the spirit world.
The native Americans recognized sexuality as a great gift from Nature with also the power to heal, to create, and to bring people together. Many Native languages didn’t even have a word for “guilt” , neither “prison” or “jail”.
Not only were natives in their early teens having sex but their parents were actively finding good sexual partners for them.
Among the Pawnee people of Nebraska and Kansas, when a boy reached puberty, his mother’s brother’s wife would take charge of him and initiate him into sex. He would continue having sex with her until he married.
For a period of four or five years the young man, and perhaps his brothers as well, would be a junior husband for this woman, creating a temporary state of polyandry.
When the white Europeans came to the America’s to live and trade among the natives, they were confused by the natives offering them sex. For the natives this was no more strange than offering food to someone who you wish to be cordial with. Sex brought people together.
The Wendat (Huron) are an Native American people whose descendants live in four communities across North America – in Quebec, Michigan, Kansas and Oklahoma.
Their ancestors of the 17th century became well-known in Europe because of the writings of Catholic missionaries who lived with them.
The Wendat practiced collective rituals when someone was sick. Different “curing ceremonies” could be attempted, including one called ‘Ononharoia’, “turning the brain upside down”, and involved the analysis and acting out of dreams.
In practice, it meant that a sick person would describe their dreams, and their community, out of “concern for the welfare” of the sick person, would act them out.
Brother Gabriel Sagard, a member of the Recollect order, not a Jesuit, observed during his stay with the Wendat in 1623-24 a significant healing ceremonial event in the culture.
“In the Huron country there are also assemblies of all the girls in a town at a sick woman’s couch, either at her request according to an imagination [vision] or dream she may have had, or by order of the Oki [shaman] for her health and recovery.
When the girls are thus assembled they are all asked, one after another, which of the young men of the town they would like to sleep with them the next night. Each names one, and these are immediately notified by the masters of the ceremony and all come in the evening to sleep with those who have chosen them, in the presence of the sick woman, from one end of the lodge to the other, and they pass the whole night thus, while the two chiefs at the two ends of the house sing and rattle their tortoise-shells from evening till the following morning, when the ceremony is concluded.”
But Sagard did not speak of the name of this ceremony.
The first one to do so was Jesuit Father Jerome Lalemant, writing in 1639. He wrote of an old man, Taorhenche, who was dying.
Taorhenche wished for sufficient cornmeal to feed the people involved in the festivities, other unnamed ceremonies. At the end there was to be:
“The ceremony of the ‘endakwandet’, a mating of men with girls, which is made at the end of the feast. He specified that there should be 12 girls, and a thirteenth for himself.
“The answer being brought to the council, he was furnished immediately with what could be given at once, and this from the liberality and voluntary contributions of individuals who were present there and heard the matter mentioned, – these peoples glorying, on such occasions, in despoiling themselves of the most precious things they have.
Afterward, the Captains went through the streets and public places, and through the cabins, announcing in a loud voice the desires of the sick man, and exhorting people to satisfy them promptly.
“They are not content to go on this errand once – they repeat it three or four times, using such terms and accents that, indeed, one would think that the welfare of the whole country was at stake. Meanwhile, they take care to note the names of the girls and men who present themselves to carry out the principal desire of the sick man; and in the assembly of the feast these are named aloud, after which follow the congratulations of all those present, and the best pieces … then ensue the thanks of the sick man for the health that has been restored to him, professing himself entirely cured by this remedy.”
The name of the ceremony was ‘endakwandet’, which literally means “they (indefinite) are enveloped in sex.” If you wished for the ceremony, you would say “tayendakwandeten” – be enveloped in sex for me.
The Jesuit missionaries fought to suppress this custom. By 1649, when the Wendat were on the brink of being driven out of their traditional territory, the most Christian of the communities refused to hold this ceremony.
Native americans in the 1800s believed in the idea that power could be transferred from one man to another via sex with a woman. So, for instance, if a powerful warrior had sex with your wife, and then you had sex with her, his power and prowess might transfer to you. Roughly, they called this belief “big medicine”- the idea that a large, powerful man could transfer his ‘big medicine’ through sex.
William Clark (of Lewis and Clark) once documented the following ritual, another ceremony called the Buffalo Dance that he witnessed in the winter of 1805 among the Mandan people of North Dakota:
“The old men arrange themselves in a circle and after smoke a pipe, which handed them by a young man, dress up for a purpose. The young men who have their wives back of the circle go to one of the old men with a whining tone and request the old man to take his wife, who presents naked except a robe.
The girl then takes the old man, and leads him to a convenient place for the Business. We sent a man to this medicine dance last night, they gave him four girls.“
Few may have benefitted quite as much from this ritual as a slave of Lewis and Clark’s named York. York was a tall, large, and powerful black man, and many of the native Americans had never seen a black man before. To them, his skin color, physique, and manhood were indicative of very ‘Big Medicine’. And so, consistently, as Lewis and Clark traveled across America and encountered natives, the natives asked York to have sex with their wives.
In the words of Colin G. Calloway, a professor at Dartmouth, “The sexual exploits of Clark’s black slave, York, became legendary.” In one documented case, a man asked York to have sex with his wife in his hut, while he guarded the outside. When a member of the Lewis and Clark expedition came looking for York, the Native American man would not let the man have York until the deed was finished.
Quite an extensive and fine research you did there!
We indeed should catch our dream(s)…
I have a musical day today (again)…
“Bury me out on the prairie – where the buffalo used to roam…”
And then I found Kaleidoscope, a 60s psychedelic band with David Lindley:
“Keep your mind open -
Thanks, Klaus, I enjoyed writing that last post.
I have also enjoyed Neil Young’s music for many years.
‘Pocahontas’ by Neil Young and Crazy Horse rock version with lyrics:
“…And maybe Marlon Brando
Will be there by the fire
We’ll sit and talk of Hollywood
And the good things there for hire
And the Astrodome
and the first tepee
Marlon Brando, Pocahontas and me
Marlon Brando, Pocahontas and me…
In 1973 Marlon Brando chose not to accept his Oscar award for Best Actor for his role in ‘The Godfather’. He refused to take the stage in protest at Hollywood’s often derogatory and racist portrayal of Native Americans in film. Instead, he sent Native American actress Sacheen Littlefeather to attend the ceremony in his place. On stage, she read a statement by Mr. Brando condemning the entertainment industry for their mockery of Native Americans.
I prefer the original acoustic version of the song sung by Neil Young on ‘Rust never sleeps’:
And while we’re on the subject of Neil Young, the ‘Godfather of Grunge’..
“Hey, hey, my my/ rock and roll will never die/
There’s more to the picture than meets the eye…”
“Hey, hey, my, my,
out of the blue
into the dark…”
SS, I guess this song will never leave me unless I will be demented or alzheimered:
I was sitting in a pie shop on Freak Street in Kathmandu after like 8 months of travelling in India. Totally alone, nobody else in the coffee shop, fully absorbed in myself. Wondering how I got here.
When suddenly from the loudspeakers these words came on:
“Hey hey, my my,
Rock ‘n’ Roll will never die.”
Neil Young’s voice right into my ears. Hearing-feeling-space.
A unique moment.
I have a memory of arriving in Kathmandu after a couple of months in India. After a very long overnight bus journey the bus was crammed full of passengers, I sat on the back seat of the bus, and space in between the wooden seats were too small for my body so my knees were touching the seat in front.
The bus travelled up through the mountains and occasionally stopped at chai shops and shacks where I would sometimes grab a can of beer.
I didn’t get any sleep but somehow ended up cuddled up close to a Chinese girl at the back, who was travelling with her family on the bus, complete with all their belongings. She fell asleep but I didn’t.
People were sleeping on the floor in the centre of the bus. You had to be careful not to step on them when getting off at one of the stops.
There were also animals on the bus and at one point as we were coming closer to the city an old Tibetan tribal woman with colourful ornaments came and sat at the back and smoked a thick rolled cigarette.
Anyway, we arrived in Kathmandhu in the morning and I found a hotel and went to bed for a couple of hours.
When I woke feeling a little grumpy, I switched on my little radio alarm clock and was pleasantly surprised to hear ‘Have You Seen The Saucers?’ by Jefferson Airplane blasting out on Kathmandu radio.
Not the live version but the single version:
I listened to that and from my window I observed the view of the multicoloured sunset with the mountains in the backround of the city.
Here attached is a picture of Joseph Goldstein (2nd left), Jack Kornfield (2nd right), Sharon Salzberg (?) and soemone I do not know who trained as ‘Vipassana teachers’ in the Mahasi Meditation Centre in Rangoon/Burma in the 1970s-1980s.
I watched quite a few (imo lovely) videos of Jack Kornfield
who returned from Asia to the US as a monk; and found out that he had so many quirks going on in himself he should do psychotherapy to adapt himself first…before studying psychology and offering meditation courses (IMS Barre Massachusetts).
Actually, there is a yogi with the name Jhanananda (Jeffrey S. Brooks) who worked at IMS and practised there; he claims attainments and wanted to be an authorised teacher of IMS, too. They declined to authorise him…as he was “lacking credentials of a teacher lineage.” While they watched him practising at IMS. Jhanananda himself says “there is no attainment at IMS”, just career teachers. Make of it what you want.
Two weeks ago I came across the (ex-)yogi Michael Kewley who also has a Burmese connection to the Mahasi method of teaching: he studied 22 years in Birmingham with U Rewata Dhamma (rep of Mahasi in Europe at that time). He made an astonishing journey starting in the West before going East. His biographical book ‘A journey to Awakening’ is a lovely read, too.
I have no negative judgement on Nisorgaddata, rather I was going “Oh, this guy is really going for all of it” under the circumstances in that time’s India.https://sannyasnews.org/now/wp-admin/edit-comments.php#comments-form
I am still around. I check into SN once in a while.
Lokesh, you are good in judging others.
No, it is not enough for you to judge me, you are even better in judging Osho.
You know nothing.
Because one woman talked after 40 years of abuse, you immediately jump on the train, and now he is the great abuser. This is simply crap, mental crap.
Seems you are one of these die-hards.
You know, Lokesh, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about Erin’s story and Osho’s role in it, and how I feel about that. At first it was a shock, and I took some distance from Osho, didn’t listen to lectures for quite a few months.
In a way, with his behaviour he proved himself to be just one of us, subject to desire. He was wonderful in many ways, providing his wisdom in discourses day and night, and for that I respect him and am grateful. I think he did make a real contribution to the mental evolution of humanity.
I wouldn’t have been the same person without the time spent listening to him, and he introduced me to many amazing philosophies of the East. That was who he was to me, and his interactions with Erin don’t change that.
Judging people is hard to do unless you walk a few miles in their shoes, and for someone like Osho it may have been difficult to find a romantic partner any other way. It doesn’t pardon the way he set her up, primed her to accept his requests, but it makes it a little understandable.
I think it was more Erin, who was in search of a romantic partner, Nitya.
Anyway, the Erin-stuff was a good device from Existence. For some it helped to get rid of Osho, for others trust did go deep.
Also for me to consider that the story told by Erin could be true meant a stimulating search for a key to understanding and resolving the slight sense of discomfort that I feel and I have felt all those times that I cannot translate into gospels the gossip heard or imagined about Osho.
Sometimes it can help reductio ad absurdum: if a Master were perfect respecting the expectations of the disciples and did everything to satisfy them, starting with the “walk the talk”, would this dependence on the moral sense of the disciples give value to his teaching?
I believe that one of the possible reasons why a Master maintains a certain public behaviour is due to the need not to confuse that or those disciples who could have addiction problems with respect to the same topic…there is a difference between drinking a beer with a pizza and drink 10 beers while waiting for pizza at the table…if is true that “mental health is the capacity of the gap between the stimulus and response, together with the capacity to use the gap constructively” I think that sometimes sex does not involve a constructive approach in the sense of spiritual growth.
Another reason is that eroticism presupposes a psychic structure that imposes limits (totem / taboo, reality principle / pleasure principle), otherwise, if sex for human beings were only an instinctive procreative fact, by the law of nature, a lot of non-alpha male blood would flow during the love season.
I was very disappointed to learn from a friend that Osho once did not appreciate the excellent spaghetti cooked with love by Sarjano.
I was also surprised to hear that he drank light coke, that he was diabetic, that he snorted exhilarating gas…now, that he fucked at night like a shy Italian instead of going on stage like Rocco does….
Certainly, you are still around.
The judge from the hill. LoL
Perhaps a new site could be created where we have a few people that believe that sannyasins who trust Osho are really gullible, and any experiences with Osho must be suggestibility / self hypnosis, fantasy. Because we haven’t experienced those things the others must be deluded.
Great! Create a site like that and we’ll see how popular it will be with thousands of sannyasins around the globe.
Perhaps some ex-sannyasins and/or Buddhists could fund it.
It would also be popular with Christians who dislike Osho’s tantric books if we talk of sexual abuse. That will keep them happy.
“Judge ye not” re Christians: ‘Jesus had a son, by Mary Magdalene’ (Jefferson Airplane):
It’s funny but there was something hypnotic about Osho’s discourses, something sleep-inducing. For a man who talked so much about awareness, I find that odd. Often what he says in a discourse that’s to the point is just a few sentences, the rest is anecdotes, stories, jokes and fluff.
If you listen to other great speakers, like Terence McKenna, you get a very different sense. McKenna oozes consciousness expanding, intellectually stimulating experience that does away with boundaries and authority and hierarchy. He is an ethnobotanist, interested in shamanic plants, and doesn’t pretend to be a guru or a tantric master.
So perhaps he was using hypnotic tones and that could explain how some sannyasins report feeling his ‘Presence’, his energy. What he said on those phenomena was untrue.
And perhaps he spoke volumes on ‘The Tantra Vision’, ‘Vigyana Bhairava Tantra’, ‘Tantra: the Supreme Understanding’ just so that he could fuck some of his female disciples.
And perhaps he came up with the idea of ‘Zorba the Buddha’ and acceptance of the outer and the inner worlds just so he could eventually amass a large car collection and enjoy some fancy watches. All talk of ‘devices’ were tricks. All ‘tantric masters’ are false unless they carry begging bowls, sometimes carved out of human skulls, or follow a Tibetan Buddhist lineage and adhere to the rules of that tradition. Which in the Tibetan tradition I believe may include involving young girls who would be considered underage by modern standards.
I believe that the owners of the Loveosho podcasts, Chetna and Swaram, have done a ‘u-turn’ just like Liz Truss and have now adopted a similar tactic to the OIMR, with their new project, targeting wealthy capitalist businessmen with Osho techniques disguised in books, whilst hiding all pictures, malas and phenomena associated with Osho. At least until they get home.
Undercover sannyasins, but perhaps like OIMR management, embarrassed or afraid of the ‘cult’ label, which is a shame, I feel.
Until the podcasts return.
When the hype is gone…. what remains?
Not only the hype of and around Osho. But also the hype about the world, money, survival and achievement, attainment etc.?
Having to make a living,
looking for tomorrow,
organising this and that remains.
As the market of ‘Sannyas’ is imo not excessively huge some businesses turn to a (more) neutral approach in order not to turn people off. And use modern style marketing via social media/internet/slick&shiny websites and else.
That is understandable and practical.
Am I glad I don’t have to market anything? Quite so!
That does not take away from lessons learned and things experienced. As Lokesh describes so vividly and as Nitya opens up about his personal view (which I share in many ways, actually!).
Perspective(s) might also change and other paths may be woven into “life’s tapestry”:
‘…. teachers and influences were from Barry Long, Osho, E. Tolle, Rich. Moss, J. Dispenza as well as others ..’
One of my favourite quotes from travelling in India is:
“You can write whatever you choose to write in your book of life. You are also free to tear the pages.”
I think it makes sense to seek sponsorship from people with money to spend, now that the pool of wealthy sannyasins is running rather dry.
Wishing Chetna and Swaram the best of luck in their future ventures. I hope they spread a little more Osho by whatever means possible….
Large amounts of money and very wealthy sannyasins were certainly useful in funding Osho’s projects whether it was the purchase of the Koreageon Park ashram, the millions of dollars that went into the Ranch, the plans for a project in anarcho communism on Marlon Brando’s island, the possible purchasing of an aircraft carrier or a ship for use as a mobile sannyas commune and the rest of Osho’s World Tour five star hotels included.
People found the loveosho podcasts a refreshing antidote to the attacks , bullshit written by crappy media and agitated Christians and general negativity online, and the interviews with longtime sannyasins who have got so much out of Osho were of much interest to many people who had never been involved in sannyas just as much as sannyasins.
I know that many people are waiting for the full collection of podcasts to return, which must be considered an essential part of sannyas history. A transcript of one of the podcasts can be found on Prem Vishrant’s site.
I just had a look, and all 150 episodes of the Love Osho podcast are still listed in the Apple Podcasts app, for those who are interested.
I could be wrong but I believe it looks like they are there, but no longer available to listen to on the Apple app.
My answer to Nityaprem (19 October, 2022 at 9:56 am):
“The worst enemy of life, freedom and the common decencies is total anarchy; their second worst enemy is total efficiency”. (Aldous Huxley)
My hypothesis, implicit in what I have already written, is that they may suffer from cognitive dissonance, after defending, and with what arguments, the global response to the “pandemic”, politically correct (“let us help frail elderly sannyasins and sacrifice freedom and the health of young people”) perhaps today, in light of the effects, they have doubts about the method used.
I believe, however, that their remaining coherent with the motto “fight authority, preferably coming from some former colony of the British Empire and spare the philanthropists like Gates or the national heroes like Fauci”. After a demonstration of efficiency that has managed to vaccinate billions of people today they need a cubic metre of sand, not to store the eggs.
“The ultimate court of appeal is observation and experiment…not authority.” (Thomas Huxley)
Thomas Huxley! 10 points from me.
“Later when I was a commune member the refrain was the same but much more difficult. Whenever resistance came up those who were further up the hierarchy would say “just say yes” – to any instruction – even if clearly irrational. This attitude I later thought was the core reason why the communes failed… saying yes to non-meditators in the commune hierarchy was the end of it.”
I think the main reason why it failed was that surrender was mistaken for obeying.
Good one. I asked myself many times about situations where I later on felt that I should have taken a stance. And I possibly just obeyed.
Yes, stance, Klaus.
Basically it is the courage and trust to follow your energy. May it be the inner rebel or just the inner, silent voice.
It depends on what you’re surrendering to, I think. Surrender to the universe is nice and cosmic and a good feeling, surrendering to Sheela really is obeying and giving up the judging of right from wrong in favour of what someone else in the hierarchy happens to be thinking.
“I think the main reason why it failed was that surrender was mistaken for obeying.”
Satchit, very good!
Ok, sounds a good phrase, but what in practice does it mean?
If you, Veet F and Satchit, were part of the Ranch commune where ‘surrender’ meant accepting taking orders from the people running the place as they were appointed by and, it was believed, following Osho’s guidelines, how could you have ‘surrendered’ without obeying those orders?
Please clarify exactly what you mean by this distinction.
Difficult to answer, Satyadeva, the things I read about those events in those years lead me to make distinctions of linguistic method (diachrony / synchrony), outside my technical knowledge, the English language in itself is already a first obstacle, but the distinction between obeying and surrender seems simple to me: one obeys power when one understands and shares the usefulness of the rules for the purpose of civil coexistence, otherwise it could be an abuse of power, while I surrender to the Master when I understand that his loving and enlightened guide is healing my soul, in that fusion of love it is nice to let oneself be carried like white clouds by the gentle breath of his words.
In this forum the people who most consider the Rajneeshpuram experience little more than a senile egotrip of the master, loved only a few years earlier, have not had direct experience of that period.
Other friends, who do not write here but who had been there, and which I believe to be reliable, speak of that experience made of “Peaks of Heaven and infernal abysses”.
As rebellious as I was (I was 20 in 1984) to my Catholic conditioning, I believe that an unconscious need for atonement was still strong in those years, perhaps I would have felt I deserved it a bit of hell, perhaps I would have trusted the management, especially if I could then access my slice of heaven, inner ecstasy, joy, playfulness, etc.
But I’m speaking after a 30-year process of existential emancipation.
If it were possible, today, with the awareness of my nearly 10 decades of struggles, won and lost, especially with my ego, to break into that same social experiment I would expect to see people without masks hugging, with Sheela and Osho from the same part of the fence with respect to an increasingly less free world.
The way Osho presented himself as Master never made much impact on me, I was not looking for a Master but more for a spiritual friend and guide, someone who could show the way. That’s the way I always listened to his lectures.
Similarly, it seemed to me at the time that surrender was some kind of cosmic imperative, a way to avoid the mind and avoid struggle. The thing is, that blissed-out life leaves you open to abuse by people and organisations. It’s a good thing to experience, not taking on board the troubles.
It depends how you follow the orders.
If you follow them with easiness, in a dancing, playful way, then it is surrender.
If you follow them half-heartedly, with some inner fight, then it is obedience.
By chance I’ve just come across this excellent short extract: ‘Living a Life of Surrender’.
Never heard of Michael Singer before, but apparently he experienced a major spiritual breakthrough in 1971, and has never looked back (as it were):
Yes. Michael Singer, a bit crazy and funny.
Here is something from the Sannyas scene about surrender and obedience:
I thought this one was pretty good actually. “What’s really interesting is when you let yourself be nobody.”
‘A mini-Taoist doodah – the ‘Be nobody meditation’ by the Barefoot Doctor:
Enjoyed the Michael Singer short, never came across him before. Thanks, Satyadeva!
In that former residential only facebook group they discussed Osho having blow jobs by one of his lesbian dancing girls …A psychologist published her sad sighs. Others loved to enhance tons of stories of kids and teens abused by the elders…Others love their fake news on who killed Osho and which jews run the world…
I’d call that the myth of negativity .
Veet Tom, you put many things together in the same frame as the “myth of negativity”.
It seems that in this way you exclude that there is also a “myth of positivity” with a negative sense, where the emphasis goes to the noun (myth) and not to the adjective.
Symmetrically, so, you seem to exclude that there may be a well founded hypothesis that Osho may have been poisoned and that there may be an Elite that along the years may have accumulated the necessary financial power to control national states.
You should also specify what you mean with “Jews who run the world”, because the people chosen by God (Palestinian sefarditis), for logic, cannot be the same people who have chosen the same God, in fact a former Catholic like me cannot become a Jew by choice, I can only have many Sannyasins friends, thanks to Osho, ex-Ashknazi.
Can’t say that I’m ever in favour of enhancing stories. It’s moral outrage that seems to start crusades, and if people were just honest and kept things the right size there wouldn’t be any need for it. A lawsuit, not a jihad.
“If you are to reach the ocean, you will have to become the ocean to a certain extent, because only like can meet like. If God is infinite energy, then de-energized you cannot meet him. If he is vast, and you are depleted you cannot meet him. So at least to some extent become like him. If he is life, how can you journey to him as a corpse? Look around! He is dancing. Flowers are blossoming in him, melodies are pouring from him, and all around life is full of exultation.”
— Osho, .Nowhere To Go But In’, Ch. 3
Here’s the story of a young man granted a lengthy profound insight into what we’re part of/ what we essentially are, ending with the full healing of a severe, otherwise fatal illness.
It’s struck me today that these near-death-experiences, although based on actual personal testimonies, are perhaps the best equivalent we have of ancient tales of universal wonder, of the ‘miraculous’ that apparently underpins our so often problematic existence in this earthly realm.
Suggesting that ultimately “The Positive” is not only a “myth” but also the almost unbelievable truth?
Maybe one should consider the fact that there is a difference between “thinking positive” and “saying yes to life and existence”. The first one is mental, the second is religious.
Clear point. Well said.
One of the ugliest unwritten rules in all communes is the dictate to be positive concernig the group-mind.
This was/is the main destructive point in Sannyas-thinking.