Osho, Computer Games and Spirituality, by Nityaprem

Nityaprem writes from his considerable experience of creating and and playing computer games, saying, ”This is maybe more interesting for younger sannyasins, but it’s a topic I care deeply about and would like to see get a bit of exposure.”

“Well, NP, what made you take up programming computer games?”

“It all started with wanting to give something back to a favourite hobby…”


Being a child in the seventies and eighties meant computer games were exciting and fun. I remember playing the likes of ‘Donkey Kong’ on a little handheld on the Ranch, and one of the older kids playing the then-super-cool 3D wireframe game ‘Battle Zone’ on one of the Ranch school’s computers, and a few years later there was ‘Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar’ on my father’s Atari ST computer back in the Netherlands. Those kind of childhood experiences led to me thinking after completing an engineering degree that I would make a career out of it, earning a living and also giving something back, wanting to contribute to that which had given me such pleasure.


Little did I anticipate to what extent it would drag me along. Now I can look back on a (quite lucrative) professional career spanning about 14 years, as a programmer, software architect and technical director for several well known software houses. I enjoyed it, though there were often long hours as I was swept along in the business and climbing the ladder. I had a short period in which you could call me a games addict as well, playing ‘World of Warcraft’ for long periods outside the office. Eventually I had a breakdown and ended up retiring from the industry.


The subsequent peaceful period gave me the time to return to Osho and return to my spiritual roots. In the time following my games development career I had the chance to reflect on the spiritual meaning of being involved in computer games for such a long period. Computer games are a form of fiction, allowing you to take part in the designers’ carefully-orchestrated virtual theatres. But I found they also invaded my dreams and my meditations in the years that I studied Buddhism. There was a hankering in me to return to the game worlds.


Then I came across a quote by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, who said in ‘I Am That’ that any intense craving blocks the spiritual experience. I think that is true, but it is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the effects of computer games on the mind. Computer games are a form of conditioning, in which you are continually chasing the game designers’ mental carrots. You accept the goals that are built into the game as your own, and this becomes a habit. Some of it even becomes a reflex. And it’s ultimately less real even than the average movie.


My conclusion was that instead of following a spiritual path to de-conditioning and clear vision towards truth and freedom, by intensively playing games you end up *adding* conditioning, craving and habits; going in the opposite direction. Your inner vision becomes more clouded, surrounded with the many games’ symbols and expected responses.


“Playfulness is not then and there: it is herenow. Seriousness is goal-oriented. And even when a serious person starts playing, he transforms the quality of the play — it becomes a game; it is no more play. That is the difference between a game and a play. When a play becomes serious, it becomes a game.”

( Osho )


I often wonder what Osho would have made of the current computer game industry. This quote I came across just recently, and I think Osho nails it. Play is an expression of wonder and joy and youth, and that’s something that one should keep alive. Games are when the mind gets involved, with goals and strategies. Some games like board games can be fun to share and experience together on an afternoon. That social aspect can bring people together and is a redeeming feature of games.


It took a few years of peace and quiet, but all ill effects have now disappeared. I no longer dream of games, my meditations are clear. The only thing that remains is that very occasionally I still feel attracted to playing an exceptional new computer game. What can I say, the flashy graphics and familiar mechanisms appeal to me, like a comfy and well-fitting shoe I used to wear years ago. But then I watch some videos of others playing that game on YouTube, and I quickly remember why I don’t play anymore.


My current view is that computer games and spirituality do not go well together. Computer games are an expression of Buddhist samsara, the world of desire and struggle, and they wrap you up in beautiful and epic adventures with the promise of great deeds from the safety of your comfy chair, but in fact they take you into an dreamlike extension of reality where you become acclimatised to grim surroundings, violence and task treadmills — far away from a spiritual experience of the real world and the realisation of inner peace.




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220 Responses to Osho, Computer Games and Spirituality, by Nityaprem

  1. satchit says:

    I can imagine that playing computer games can be fun. One can be the hero.

    But the question is also:
    Is it not avoidance and escape from the real world? Family, kids?

    • Nityaprem says:

      My cousin is a good example. He has a wife and four children (and a fifth on the way, bless him), but also a gaming PC and a habit of playing a couple of hours here and there. It can be done responsibly.

      It is a way of staying safe while experiencing all kinds of adventures. And the average age of a gamer these days is 35 years old.

      • Lokesh says:

        In the good old days we hitchhiked to Kathmandu. Today people can have all kinds of adventures gaming. Sad.

        I’d say the average age of gamers is around 6 or 7. Kid’s stuff. It looks utterly dead to me unless you have a three body problem headset.

        With advances in virtual reality simulations, after human beings have been doing their dance for around 150,000 years, it is not difficult to imagine a civilization that has been around for billions of years creating a simulation for us to inhabit…the matrix…I’ll take the blue pill.

        • Nityaprem says:

          I bet you’ve never slain a Dragon, or invaded the Scholomance, or stood in the depths of Blackrock Mountain…

          It’s about myths, participating in stories. It has its moments for sure, which are peak experiences for those involved. I agree with you it’s not as real as hiking to Kathmandu, which is just as well.

          Most things in games you wouldn’t want to be as real as a 3 Body Problem headset could make them.

          • Lokesh says:

            Peak experiences while playing a computer game. We obviously have different ideas about the nature of a peak experience.
            I watch little kids absorbed in online gaming on phones, giving their parents some space to check out the latest on social media…phone zombies. It is a process of degeneration on the one hand and training for a digital world on the other. I prefer to see the benefits of technology and it is not always easy.

            • Lokesh says:

              How people could appear before the advent of mobile phone technology…

            • satyadeva says:

              I have a similar response. And I recall Barry Long warning over 20 years ago that soon many people would “disappear into their technological devices” (approx. quote) spending far too much time away from their senses, disconnected from their bodies, hence from reality.

              I understand the grip some things have on the mind and emotions, entertainment has its place, but ultimately, as NP found, beyond a certain point some fun can turn into something unhealthy. Besides, the unreality of it all seems so trivial, although undoubtedly a lot more ‘glamorous’ and exciting than the mundane circumstances of most people’s lives, hence the attraction.

              Basically, we’re looking at yet another potential devilishly seductive ‘trap’ laid by ‘the mind-dominated world’ to divert our attention from where it naturally belongs, in order to keep us occupied on the surface (and make its creators plenty of money).

              • Nityaprem says:

                Very true, SD. It is the very nature of “peak experiences on tap” that makes cinematic games so seductive…buy a new game, get a few new experiences.

                But things like Facebook are also intentionally managed to ‘maximise engagement’, to keep you within their virtual environments as long as possible.

                Very prophetic by BL also, to see the phone zombies coming.

                • satyadeva says:

                  BL was referring to the range of electro-magnetic devices that were already there or on the way, not just to phones.

                  He was realistic, simply suggesting people working at computers should take regular breaks and take time to stop and look out of the window, take in any nature that might be visible, get up and stretch, sense the body from within, and so on…He was certainly no ‘Luddite’, knowing ‘progress’ couldn’t be stopped, even prophesying that man would eventually leave Earth to inhabit another world “in epochal time”.

            • Nityaprem says:

              Now to be clear, those are not the kind of games that I was talking about, the kind that can be a peak experience needs a big screen and cinematic audio.

              For me, some of the best experiences of my life were hiking atop the ridges of the Carneddhau mountains in northern Snowdonia, some sex, walking along the high trail out of Oludeniz along the coastal route. But there were also many gaming experiences.

              But phone zombies are a real issue, technology can get out of hand.

              • Lokesh says:

                “Now to be clear, those are not the kind of games that I was talking about, the kind that can be a peak experience needs a big screen and cinematic audio.”

                Isn’t that just like going for a walk in the park? George Orwell coined the expression ‘The Feelies.’

                As Huxley remarked in ‘Brave New World Revisited’, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny “failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.” Computer games are a distraction. People can amuse themselves to death.

                • Nityaprem says:

                  Games are entertainment, but a great movie can also cause everything but the movie screen to vanish from awareness — total focus! Same with a great game.

                  The main difference is in a game you have agency, you have choices to make the story your own, you’re part of the drama.

                  It teaches you about strategy, timing and resource management. But it doesn’t teach you about the real world, truth, what freedom is. It’s a dream, an illusion, not real, and although they make it look real it’s all fake.

                  You can now get games for headsets which give you full binocular vision, which is kinda cool as it is a more complete simulation of one sense of the player.

                • Nityaprem says:

                  It’s certainly true, people can get so caught up in games that they fail to take care of themselves properly. There are people in Japan who game while wearing diapers so that they don’t need to go to the bathroom…

              • Nityaprem says:

                On the subject of peak experiences…

                “If you want a peak experience then you will have to fall again and again into the valley. You will have to repeat the myth of Sisyphus. He takes the rock to the peak and by the time it reaches the peak, the peak is so small and the rock is so big that it rolls back down the other side. He has to rush back into the valley, then he again starts the journey, again hankers for the peak experience. And by the time he reaches to the peak, just reaching, just reaching — and finished! Flat, back to the valley. And that’s what happens to you. Each peak experience is momentary; it is the repetition of the myth of Sisyphus. Forget all about it. Rather, live a more ordinary life. That is the life of a Zen disciple, that is the life of a Sufi disciple — ordinary.” ( Osho )

            • Nityaprem says:

              It’s certainly true that people drawn into their smartphones are often ignoring each other in the here-and-now, passing up opportunities for shared laughter, experiences and fellowship.

              But you know, games can offer some degree of compensation by giving shared experiences within a multiplayer ‘gaming guild’ such as you find in ‘World of Warcraft’. Having your characters in the game explore a dungeon together can generate a real bond of togetherness.

              Of course it’s an illusion, a shared experience that is in a larger sense unreal. But it leaves memories that many find valuable.

  2. Nityaprem says:

    Satyadeva said, “Basically, we’re looking at yet another potential devilishly seductive ‘trap’ laid by ‘the mind-dominated world’ to divert our attention from where it naturally belongs, in order to keep us occupied on the surface (and make its creators plenty of money).”

    That is a very good way of putting it. Games are fantasy fulfilment. You want to have adventures and be a hero, here you go. You want to be able to fly aircraft in a realistic way, here you go. You want to own a starship and visit distant worlds, here you go. For almost any dream there is a game out there, which is why the games industry is now bigger than the movies in terms of money spent.

    That means that they are cleverly crafted dreams, made to give you a taste of that world and way of living. It’s all in the mind — your body is sitting there in front of a screen, listening to music. It’s built to seduce you, to keep you enthralled in the story the game is telling, with action and in-game rewards, for as long as it lasts. But it is all virtual, there is nothing truly of value there, except the memories and myths.

    After a time spent with computer games, you get some great memories. You have the satisfaction of having participated in some great epic stories. But when you turn your eyes towards the real and a pursuit of the truths of existence, you find the time spent in games requires a considerable amount of time to get straight in your head, to sort out the true from the untrue.

  3. Lokesh says:

    I must be honest and confess that I play an online computer game. Texas Hold ‘Em poker. On the current site I play on I have played over 250,000 hands of poker.

    Texas Hold ‘Em is one of the most complex games in the world, and it certainly does not just take luck to win. The world’s best poker players often win tournaments and it is due to a high level of intuition and skill. I have been playing poker since my mid-teens and really enjoy it. After a busy day, I switch off and play for an hour or so. I have been playing so long that I run on automatic. I am not a robot.

  4. Nityaprem says:

    You said the other day, Lokesh, “I think psychedelics are the new gurus.”

    You’re not the only one to think of it in this way. My pal Boni who lives in Belgium is also of that mindset, he thinks you are onto something. Boni is a man of wide experience with substances.

  5. Lokesh says:

    “I think psychedelics are the new gurus.”
    Yes, that is true, but not for everyone.
    Having grown up in the sixties I saw many casualties. I think this was partly due to a lack of education in relation to the use of psychedelics. Today, people are more informed.

    That said, I still go along with what Leary declared:
    “Throughout human history, as our species has faced the frightening, terrorizing fact that we do not know who we are, or where we are going in this ocean of chaos, it has been the authorities, the political, the religious, the educational authorities who attempted to comfort us by giving us order, rules, regulations, informing, forming in our minds their view of reality. To think for yourself you must question authority and learn how to put yourself in a state of vulnerable open-mindedness; chaotic, confused vulnerability to inform yourself.”

    A good way to “learn how to put yourself in a state of vulnerable open-mindedness; chaotic, confused vulnerability to inform yourself” is to take a dose of a strong psychedelic. Again, this is not the rule for everyone, especially not the faint-hearted,

    When I first talked to Osho back in spring ’75 we touched upon LSD. He convinced me to start meditating and drop the psychedelic journey. It was definitely what I needed to hear at the time, having stretched the psychedelic envelope to breaking point, and I benefitted greatly from what he told me.

    Times change and so do we. Now I continue to cultivate a state of vulnerable open-mindedness. I know from experience that is the best way to learn…be it in the presence of a guru or ingesting something full of surprises…many of them informative ones.

    • Nityaprem says:

      Lokesh said, “When I first talked to Osho back in spring ’75 we touched upon LSD. He convinced me to start meditating and drop the psychedelic journey. It was definitely what I needed to hear at the time, having stretched the psychedelic envelope to breaking point, and I benefitted greatly from what he told me.”

      I’ve recently been re-reading Ram Das’s book ‘Be Here Now’ and that also has a section where he talks about psychedelics mixed with spiritual sadhana. Maybe old hat for all you ancient fellows who lived through this in the sixties and seventies but worth revisiting for many of us younglings.

      He also talks about “unresolved karma and commitments”, with as a general view that each generation should leave some of its wisdom in the form of books and videos. Each generation has different problems to deal with, and for this generation some of those things are games and smartphones. But that’s why he wrote ‘Be Here Now’.

    • Nityaprem says:

      Nice! It looks like a kind of African art…

      Today I had a nice discussion about winning in games with my mother, who said, “If you play to win, you may find that you’re sitting at the table by yourself in the end. It is missing the point.” And I thought she was pretty much right, it is missing the point of playing together, and it blinds you from much of the fun social dynamic of play.

      • satyadeva says:

        Which of course, NP, is totally counter to the prevailing spirit of ‘winning is everything’ that runs through our ultra-competitive, money-mad culture. Notably in professional sport, a very serious business, essentially not ‘play’ at all, where you’d be met with derision if you uttered such a sentiment. But that’s egoic life, I guess, where people’s livelihoods, reputations (and self-images) are perceived to be on the line. (Not to mention people’s wish to identify with individual players and teams in order to get excited by the experience of partisan involvement and the consequent pleasure and pain of winning or losing, and the hatred and violence that can sometimes stimulate, none of which I’ll go into here).

        Competitive sport, especially at national and international team levels, is often described as a substitute for war, a way for players and spectators to express primitive, aggressive tribal instincts in a safe way rather than keeping such tendencies hidden away. I’ve more or less gone along with this idea but the other evening I experienced the truth of it more directly than before when, having both thn computer and tv on, one showing live football, the other broadcasting a documentary about the Allied forces’ invasion of Normandy in 1944, I suddenly realised, first on an energetic rather than on an intellectual level, that the two situations were remarkably similar, eliciting similar feelings: competing, struggling, putting out huge amounts of energy, fighting to outwit the opposition, clever strategy, the result really mattering (the football was a Cup Final), bravery, the importance of morale…

        My attention was split between the two programmes, going from one to the other for a few minutes at a time, and it was strange to become aware that there was essentially little or no difference in my energetic responses to them, my system perceived them as carrying a very similar ‘frequency’, or vibe.

        Yet competition has its place in life, wanting to compete with others, at least now and again, is surely natural and there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with it in itself, it inspires us to make efforts to improve and manifest certain potentials and so enjoy more, and the heights talented, dedicated people can reach are often extraordinary, inspiring, demonstrating the wonder of human capabilities, even appearing at times almost ‘god-like’. Besides, it’s fun to perform or watch, or surely should be, as long as one doesn’t view it all as a matter of ‘life or death’ (ie where one’s self-concept, ego is at stake).

        Still, all that beauty mixed up with various forms of ego-driven uglinessn is quite a contradictory brew, another reflection of where our cultural consciousness is at. I suspect the ancient Greeks held competition in a wider, wiser perspective, living as they did in far less complex times than us in our fraught world. Perhaps someone here can shed further light on this?

        • Nityaprem says:

          I just had a bit of a Google… it seems the ancient Greeks had competition engrained in many aspects of the culture, thinking it a way to achieve excellence and add to one’s glory (Kleos) which resonated beyond one’s lifetime. So much for the Greeks knowing better.

          In ancient India there was competition within castes, such as among the best artisans, but there was also caution when some writings like the Mahabharata show what happens due to excess rivalry. Competition across castes or across social boundaries such as between students and householders was forbidden. This seems closer to a spiritual ideal than the Greek solution.

          What modern society wants is competitiveness everywhere: business, education, sports, even in the gym.

        • Nityaprem says:

          Whether there is nothing “intrinsically wrong” with competition and wanting to win, I think that is rather dubious. I think it’s an artefact of social pressure and the ego, and if you want to live a spiritual life free from egoic concerns it is a good thing to not pay them any heed.

          It was also notably absent from life on the Ranch or in the ashram, and I think the sannyasin is a different kind of “godlike” being than the athletic ideal. I don’t recall even as much as a friendly football match — it would have split people into us vs them, and there was only ever us, the ten thousand buddhas.

          • satchit says:

            “I don’t recall even as much as a friendly football match — it would have split people into us vs them, and there was only ever us, the ten thousand buddhas.”

            This is funny, NP.
            Competition is not allowed for sannyasins?

            Ten thousand Buddhas?
            Where are they? Wake up!

          • satyadeva says:

            Well, NP, such an attitude cuts out a large swathe of thoroughly enjoyable activities that create body/mind well-being. Besides, several instances immediately come to mind to contradict your above points:

            During the 1983 summer festival at the Ranch I and a number of other spectators watched a fiercely contested football match betweenn the Ranch residents and Medina (the English sannyasin commune and hq at the time). I recall there were far more than 11 players per team so it was basically a ‘fun’ event but both sides put much energy into it, it was all pretty crowded out there and both sides really went for it, true to the sannyasin spirit of always being ‘total’.

            Then in London, for an number of years during the 70s and 80s, there were sannyasin-based football and cricket teams that played various other teams, including trainee teachers, Hampstead Heathn park staff and others I don’t recall, usually found via adverts in a London events magazine, ‘Time Out’. Once we travelled across London to play the student teachers, accompanied by the ‘leader’ of UK Sannyas, Ma Poonam, whose much younger partner was playing for us.

            It was all most enjoyable and I well recall people returning from the Pune ashram, including Parmartha (co-founder of SN) very much appreciating these events, finding participating in them a great way of reintegrating into life in the West and connecting withn old and new friends.

            No time to add much more except to remind you that Osho himself used to enjoy wrestling as a young man, and tennis (albeit termed ‘zennis’, emphasising what’s known as ‘the inner game’) has been a popular activity at the ashram for many years.

            Final point:
            You say you enjoy watching football on tv. How does that fit with your negative view of competitive sport? Or do you just take the pleasure of it all while mentally excluding it from ‘spiritual life’, in effect saying, “Well, it’s ok for these non-spiritual people to do this, I really like it, it entertains me, but that sort of thing is not really suitable for ‘spiritual’ people like me, it belongs to ‘unaware’ and thus lower levels of humanity.” If so, can you justify such contradiction?

            • Nityaprem says:

              You should ask Osho — it was his quote I gave in the article about ‘play’ versus ‘game’ and the influence of the serious mind.

              The Buddha had a similar attitude, but for him games were not serious enough and would lead to heedlessness among the monks! But then he was also down on theatre.

              The thing is, just because something feels good doesn’t mean that it is beneficial to you. The average American 18 year-old will spend 93% of his life’s free time behind screens, mostly on social media, television and games, if current trends continue.

              Football I still enjoy a little for “o jogo bonito”, the beautiful game. It may still have a few things to teach me about attachment… which is fine. But I don’t watch a lot of it.

              • satyadeva says:

                “The thing is, just because something feels good doesn’t mean that it is beneficial to you.”

                Of course, but are you seriously (or even non-seriously) suggesting that young, healthy sannyasins participating in football and cricket in the 70s and 80s were harming themselves? After you’ve been informed that it was a lot of fun? Likewise Osho in his wrestling days? Perhaps you should let the Pune ashram authorities know of the serious damage playing tennis poses to the enlightenment prospects of residents and visitors? (Neither of which instances you’ve mentioned in your response).

                I trust you’ll steer well clear of the English Cup Final this afternoon, after all one of the best teams ever will be competing (sorry, I had to say the horrible word) against their rivals from the same city, highly likely to drive even one as spiritually advanced as you into a condition of utterly unconscious interest, or even pleasure, not to mention the potential danger of forming far more than a degree of attachment to the result if you’re not ultra-careful.

                However, if you do succumb to such devilish temptation I strongly advise you to switch off the sound, to avoid the distasteful noise of the unconscious masses as they consume their wretched ‘opium’, watching not only the game in silence, but, crucially, making sure you also watch your breathing throughout, in order to mitigate the unspiritual nature of the experience. Finally (pun intended!), please allow yourself to resist supporting either side, that would almost certainly nullify any inner work you’ve done this year.

                In short, don’t enjoy the match, it won’t be beneficial to you.

                • Nityaprem says:

                  I don’t take it that seriously, Satyadeva, I take sugar in my coffee and eat a chocolate biscuit with it, and I know that isn’t that healthy.

                  Thanks for the heads-up about the cup final, I may watch a half hour or so!

                • satyadeva says:

                  So perhaps you ‘didn’t really mean’ what you said in your post of 4.44am yesterday, below?

                  “Whether there is nothing “intrinsically wrong” with competition and wanting to win, I think that is rather dubious. I think it’s an artefact of social pressure and the ego, and if you want to live a spiritual life free from egoic concerns it is a good thing to not pay them any heed.”

                  And you have no comment to make on the instances I mentioned: the Ranch v Medina football match, Osho’s wrestling and the London sannyasins’ sporting activities?

                • Nityaprem says:

                  No, no, I meant it, it’s just that we shouldn’t expect ourselves or others to be perfect…

                  I heard also from my father that there may have been some Magdalena v Zarathustra football matches on the Ranch. Well there you go.

                • satyadeva says:

                  There’s no reason that wanting and playing to win should be ‘spiritually incorrect’. It’s very simple, you do your best, same as in everything else (otherwise why bother?) and accept the outcome, knowing it doesn’t matter at all. And if it does seem to matter then that’s something to watch.

                • Nityaprem says:

                  We do disagree on this I see. That’s too bad. But I suspect neither of us will lose any sleep over it…

                  It’s like the old joke, a man says to his wife, “Hold my dinner for me, I can’t stop now, someone is wrong on the internet!”

                • satyadeva says:

                  I’ve just recalled that when we started the sannyasin football, someone (could have been me, I forget who it was) wrote to ‘Bhagwan’ about it, and the response was something along the lines of “ok, enjoy it and remember that it’s not a game, it’s a play”, ie not to get lost in over-seriousness about the outcome.

                  Which has really made my day, confirming a well-earned victory, I reckon, NP. I was getting very worried about this issue, and worried about being worried, but now I’m really buzzing!

                • satyadeva says:

                  A reminder from Alan Watts of the mystery of where we come from and who and what we’re not…


          • Lokesh says:

            NP writes, “I don’t recall even as much as a friendly football match — it would have split people into us vs them, and there was only ever us, the ten thousand buddhas.”

            Hardly an insightful comment. Sounds a bit daft to me.

            Osho did not promote athletics and sports. He had no interest in them as far as I know. That said, ashram activities often kept you fit. The dance group, Kundalini etc.

            To imagine that competing in sports would have created a social split is pure bullshit. The ten thousand buddhas. Where are they now? It was just another bit of hype to make sannyasins feel special…the chosen few.

            Over the years I have often noticed that non-sannyasin people often think sannyasins have their head stuck up their ass. There is some truth in it. Tens of thousands of people met Osho and some stupid people believe that made you special. It did not. You just had the good fortune to meet the man. He was an inspirational figure. What you ultimately got out of meeting him is up to how inspired you felt to work on yourself. Just meeting Osho was not the do-all and end-all, it was just the beginning.

        • satchit says:

          Every game needs rules.
          Sport and war have similar rules.

          You have to identify yourself with something that you are not.

          You cannot say the other is divine, I am also divine.
          This leads to nothing.

          You have to say, the other is a Brit, the other is a German.
          Let’s beat them!

          • Nityaprem says:

            And there you have what society wants you to think, Satchit. There are so many divisive mechanisms built into what they tell you.

            But it isn’t true, we are all brothers in the end, there is more that unites than divides.

            A little light music…

            • satchit says:

              “But it isn’t true, we are all brothers in the end, there is more that unites than divides.”

              Certainly we are all brothers.
              But this does not mean that we cannot kill each other.

              It started already with Cain and Abel.

              And why?
              Because of thinking that my God is the only God and better than the God of the other.

              This includes also being a sannyasin.

  6. Nityaprem says:

    I can remember the moment when play turned into games for me. I was pretty young, maybe five years old and not yet a sannyasin, and I was going to play marbles with my friend Ivo who was a year or so older. He knew the rules and took full advantage, winning quite a few times in a row. Now, in marbles as we played it, the winner got to keep the loser’s marbles that he played, and so my supply of marbles was steadily dwindling. So there was a consequence to loss.

    I got so mad with Ivo after losing most of my marbles…it was a combination of being greedy for my marbles, losing, not being able to play anymore, anger at him for proving less of a friend than I had thought, a loss of trust. A seminal moment, all for some marbles.

    • satyadeva says:

      “five years old and not yet a sannyasin”, NP? I never realised you were such a slow starter (lol).

      • Nityaprem says:

        I believe I was six when sannyas came on my path. It was by mail the year before we visited the ashram as a family.

        But that does mean that games predate sannyas in my life, and it’s arguable which has had the larger impact.

        • Nityaprem says:

          But really I didn’t become a seeker until I was forty, when I left games. It was the point at which I started regularly listening to discourses again, and I started to actually look with some discernment.

          After a while I started to connect with what was real, what was true. You can’t help but lose interest in fiction and illusionary things when you re-orient yourself to the real. But story and myths still hold my interest, for the shadow of reality we find there.

          • Lokesh says:

            NP claims he didn’t become a seeker until he was forty and that his seeking brought him to listening to Osho’s discourses. Did he find what he was seeking? If so, what did he find?

            His conclusion opens with, “After a while I started to connect with what was real, what was true.”
            Okay. What is real and what is true? How does one reorient oneself to what is real? What is the nature of this ‘self’ and why does it need to reorient itself to what is real? From what is said the real and true are viewed by NP as being separate from the self, otherwise there would be no need of reorientation, which is the action of changing the focus or direction of something, or to familiarize your self with something again, both of which require an element of separation to achieve this. What exactly is he talking about?

            It sounds like ‘spiritual speak’ but conveys little of communicable meaning, more like someone waffling on about only he knows what. Or maybe he does not even know.

            • Nityaprem says:

              Isn’t that always true of wisdom, Lokesh? That it sounds a bit daft until you yourself gain more context, and stuff starts to drop into place…

              What I have found is that our desires are governed by the deeper layers of ourselves. It’s like the quote, “I can make my desires come true, but I can’t change what I desire.” But when it really penetrates to you that what you desire is idiocy, illusory, nonsensical, then you find the desire also dropping away.

              As long as you are not a seeker you’re blissfully ignorant of real or illusory, everything just is. But when you start to care about what is real, then you begin to drop the things that are illusory.

              • Lokesh says:

                NP, you say, “As long as you are not a seeker you’re blissfully ignorant of real or illusory, everything just is.”

                Living in a state wherein ‘everything just is’ sounds like something recommended by a guru. You know, like NOW is the only reality – All else is either memory or imagination.

                • Nityaprem says:

                  Let’s take reading a novel: The page with letters on it is in the ‘now’, the images and impressions it creates in your mind’s eye are taking you away from the ‘now’. They are not real, at best dream-like.

                • satyadeva says:

                  The novel is not to be dismissed so lightly, NP.

                  As you surely know, the gifted novelist’s art, like all high quality creation, has an almost miraculous capacity to awaken sensibility, by stimulating the imagination and provoking profound levels of meditative reflection on aspects of life and the human condition, significantly enriching our inner lives. All that, in addition to and also because of being great entertainment.

                  Fyi, Osho himself (in, I think. one of the ‘Darshan Diaries’), has referred to literature as “a wonderful dimension of study” (approx. quote), highly beneficial for educating our inner world.

                • Nityaprem says:

                  Is it really? What the novel actually does is explain to you the inner workings of other, imaginary people’s minds, customs and times.

                  But they are only the novelist’s constructions, a flight of his imagination. You might not even be seeing a view of how the novelist’s mind works, it’s just a dream… is that a sound basis to be inspired by?

                  I’m not saying a dream cannot arouse the passions, it can, so perhaps it has uses despite being unreal.

                • satyadeva says:

                  This is a superficial view of what creating a worthwhile novel involves, NP. It’s a process of inner exploration and discovery, gifted writers ‘read’ themselves, drawing on experience, understanding, intuition distilled from their life and, more deeply, from the collective experience of their culture and perhaps of the human race.

                  Depending upon the level of intelligence, integrity and skill, the writer can shine a penetrating light on human nature, relationships, conflicts, aspirations, love, hate, life and death, a gift for the reader to also explore, discover, enjoy and reflect upon.

                  I wonder whether you’d express similar views on other modes of expression, Shakespeare’s dramas, for instance. Or Van Gogh’s paintings, Beethoven’s symphonies, or the work of any other profound artists.

                • Nityaprem says:

                  Yes, ultimately all human art and craft is a product of the dreams we hold in our minds, the highs as well as the lows.

                  The question is, can it point to the numinous, the ethereal, the divine? Perhaps it can, music might.

                • Nityaprem says:

                  Of course, a book or a film is also just a part of the world, so perhaps the difference is in how one should approach it.

                  In reading a novel I always totally immerse myself in it, but perhaps this is not the right way to do things. By immersing yourself you place yourself in the novel, the world of the novel becomes part of your experience. I think most people do this.

                  But if you treat a novel as an object of study that someone made, perhaps you can find a different way to it…

                • satyadeva says:

                  Yes, NP, that’s what studying literature involves, and it’s also worth remembering that, although “part of the world”, a novel worthy of close study represents the expression of a profound journey into the human psyche that reflects aspects of experience for us to meditate upon and so be inwardly enriched as well as entertained.

                  Through the writer, one is in relationship with humanity, and noticing and evaluating our responses can illuminate the inside as well as the outside, within and without. A veritable medication in itself!.

                  Sure, it’s not going to lead directly to ‘emlightenment’ (unless it does) but experiencing great art and enhancing our powers of appreciation and discrimination is a wonderful way to open oneself to life, in all its shades of colour.

                  Maybe you already know all this, but I’m just making extra sure you’re not someone who thinks computer games are the peak of the creative powers of the human being.

                • Lokesh says:

                  Suggested reading.
                  The Magus.
                  The Master and Marguerita.

                • Nityaprem says:

                  C’mon guys, I have studied literature before, and have read plenty of fiction. I’m just finding it in recent years of rather more dubious value than before. Yes, it expands the mind, but it fills the expanded space with illusion and dreams.

                  Perhaps the content of the mind doesn’t really matter at all in the greater scheme of things, and we should just take Socrates’s statement that “the only wisdom is in knowing that you know nothing” to heart.

                • satyadeva says:

                  NP, if this is true for you then ok, no problem, although it’s not necessarily inevitably going to be the case for others.

                  You might as well use the same argument to advocate keeping away from much artistic creation: plays, poetry, painting, sculpture…leaving perhaps music and dance as the sole creative modes that don’t threaten to handicap spiritual life, both strong of course in the sannyas world.

                  And are you also saying that actively creating and/or performing certain arts is similarly likely to undermine our inner search? If so, I think you’re on very shaky ground there, shakier than your doubts about the effects of ‘consuming’ others’ work. I’ve never heard of Osho, for instance, ever having warned anyone to keep away from participating in the other creative areas, quite the opposite was the case, he always encouraged such involvement. I, for instance, was appointed as a book editor after having been inspired to write a poem that I’d sent to ‘Bhagwan’ after a few weeks in Pune.

                  After all, man is not only a creation of ‘the universe’, our very nature is to be ‘co-creators’.

                • Nityaprem says:

                  Certainly I think literature has little effect, compared to intensively playing games. But for example, horror genre films produce shocking images that can stay with you a long time, and I avoid those. Similarly, some books are not healthy to read.

                  Maybe the best you can do is rely on your inner sense of what is healthy or beneficial to your path and what is not.

                • satyadeva says:

                  Yes, NP, I was always referring to “worthwhile” novels, and the same goes for other creations. And ultimately, we’re our own arbiters of what’s good for us or not. Hopefully, we develop our discrimination with experience over time.

                • Nityaprem says:

                  But it’s tricky. You can’t just sail by “what feels good” or what your mind can justify as being fine. Both of those can fail you very easily. The best measure I have come across is to see what helps you on the path, and what takes you away from the path even though it might feel good.

                • satyadeva says:

                  That’s part of what I mean by discrimination, NP.

              • Lokesh says:

                That’s a novel idea.

              • Lokesh says:

                “The stupidity of people comes from having an answer to everything. The wisdom of the novel comes from having a question for everything…it seems to me that all over the world people nowadays prefer to judge rather than to understand, to answer rather than to ask, so that the voice of the novel can hardly be heard over the noisy foolishness of human certainties.”
                — Milan Kundera (1929 – 2023)

    • satchit says:

      Would be interesting to know, NP, is writing comments here a game or a play for you?

      • Nityaprem says:

        Definitely a play, Satchit ;)

        I think Osho was right to say that one shouldn’t take anything seriously…In the Chinese Buddhist sutras there is one called the Diamond Sutra, which contains this advice from the Buddha to Subhuti:

        “Regard this phantom world
        As a star at dawn, a bubble in a stream,
        A flash of lightning in a summer cloud
        A flickering lamp – a phantom – and a dream.”

        Just another way of saying, don’t take it seriously!

  7. Nityaprem says:

    I was very much enjoying my garden this morning, and the many birds who come to visit…magpies, sparrows, jays, and some build their nests in the garden. They like the hedge at the back, the shadows of which attract many small insects on which they feed.

    Gardens remind me of Osho, his garden in the Poona ashram in the seventies was well known. Yatri used to tell stories sometimes about having book design meetings with Osho in the garden, where Osho would spend considerable time discussing exactly how he wanted something, and noticing Yatri’s difficult expression would say at the end, “You don’t like it? Just throw it out, you do it your way!”

  8. Nityaprem says:

    So it seemed to me I carry many unreal experiences in my memory, for example all the games I used to immerse myself in. In these games I usually played some sort of heroic figure, who would go around bashing heads to restore order to the world.

    Thus when I ask myself, who am I? in the spiritual tradition, there is a momentary confusion. Am I the hero who killed thousands of monsters in ‘World of Warcraft’, or am I the man who sat in a peaceful flat in front of a computer screen with his hand on a mouse? Of course it is the second, the hero is as unreal as all the monsters — the player of games is what’s really there.

    But there is a real effect. You the player are the one who develops razor-sharp reflexes to shoot the opponent through the head in ‘Counterstrike’ or ‘Overwatch’, and the instincts to match. You the player spend hours strategising over what gear makes the perfect complement to your character build in ‘Fallout 3’. There are definitely skills you learn and instincts you acquire as a player of games. They are just not the ones the games ever mention.

    And if you acquire those things, what about the passions that the games fire up? The wanting to be a hero, the wanting to adventure? It seems to me that these too are unreal… a real hero bears many scars, has to recover from injuries, and can die, while the game version ignores many of these discomforts to give you an easy experience.

    • satchit says:

      NP, in the gameworld you enjoyed playing “the hero”.

      What game you play in the real world?
      “Spiritual searcher”? “Warrior of Truth”?

      • Nityaprem says:

        Certainly no warrior. I thought more to turn within in recent years, withdraw from the world.

        Even in the spiritual search I have sought more from books and videos than I have explored the real world.

        Now I’ve reached the point where I realise that what the mind has to offer is very limited, and that to be in the here-and-now one is better off ignoring it, and focussing on just resting in open awareness.

        • Lokesh says:

          I’m currently reading ‘Zone 23′. Here is a link if interested: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Zone-23-C-J-Hopkins/dp/3000555269/ref=sr_1_1?crid=36EWLA6HX0WVN&dib=eyJ2IjoiMSJ9.xxOdIoi1YEsHLXUfoChN-7iXfJncuHQpkFiuMzoY5hAO-OOL-vl9oy5LA0P6sExpFKNtZGdMuovRJHD7KslYBonDMEk7DQQu8NLL3k68vPCFMCovEXvoaseqDPuWtitDUEipGHptmoPk8TWUGNmBdhUPclWKVDZnjUbf5b0-IBzzKu3uGNXSP3gM-kRpPz7JLEYxVrWeVYboMjNKY_MjuoIi8-7trv_Zux8gPszc2Xw.Ic8RIHmz0s82xmKQEpkDtL37daXpw60SmV3ZFj4tFqU&dib_tag=se&keywords=zone+23&qid=1717687124&sprefix=zone+23%2Caps%2C204&sr=8-1

          NP says, “To be in the here-and-now one is better off ignoring it, and focusing on just resting in open awareness.”

          ‘Zone 23′ paints a picture of a dystopian world where the Normals say things like, “To be in the here-and-now one is better off ignoring it, and focussing on just resting in open awareness.”

          It is interesting to see where the ‘here and now’ philosophy has led us…now here…nowhere. NP seems fixated on the games dimension. Hardly surprising considering how much time he spent in the industry. For me it is boring, uninteresting, just more stuff for the masses to create a bit of distraction to get lost in. Read all about it in the unpublished Osho book, ‘The Journey of the Lost to the Lost’. Amazing grace. I once was lost, but now I’m found. Was blind, but now I see.

          As for gaining skills playing them, I do not seek that kind of skill. It is just more food for the mind and the ways of the mind are more infinite than the grains of sand on a beach.

          NP admits, “Even in the spiritual search I have sought more from books and videos than I have explored the real world.”

          You can search all you want in books and perhaps take what you have read and implement it into your life. Well and good. Real understanding, wisdom and worthwhile experience you will not find in any book, no matter how good it is. In order to find those things of real worth in life, one has to live it. If not,stick with gaming. Whatever floats your boat, even if it appears to be sinking in an ocean of thoughts.

          • Nityaprem says:

            Seems like a fair bit of entertainment, this ‘Zone 23’, and not very different from games. It’s all more food for the mind.

            I’m not a teacher, you don’t have to accept what I say, and I won’t be offended if you choose to go in some other direction.

            But if you have such rich life experience, maybe you’ll offer up some real wisdom, rather than just cracking down on what others have supplied?

            • Lokesh says:

              NP, I do not claim to have rich life experience.
              As for real wisdom I cannot honestly claim to possess that either.

              This thread is titled ‘Osho, Computer Games and Spirituality’.
              I fail to see what computer games have to do with either of those subjects. I understand that gaming has had something to do with your life, a big part of it for some time, I gather. Trying to somehow integrate gaming into the search for truth is really stretching things into the the realm of ‘utter nonsense’. I accept what you say, yet find it impossible to take seriously because it sounds like a joke.

              Stating that what I say will not offend you if I go in another direction means nothing to me. It is up to you what you choose to take offence at and none of my business.

              Suggested reading, ‘The Four Agreements’: ‘Don’t Take Anything Personally’: This agreement liberates us from the tyranny of others’ opinions and actions. The way people treat us is a reflection of their own experiences and beliefs, not a measure of our worth.

              • Nityaprem says:

                I haven’t tried to integrate gaming into the search for truth, quite the opposite.

                I’m saying they run counter to each other, that a gaming habit will make it more difficult to focus on the spiritual search.

                Something like 60% of the American public play computer games, it’s a very common pastime these days. So I thought this observation might be worth discussing.

          • Nityaprem says:

            Ah, you’ve edited your post.

            I find that my own opinion on things only surfaces gradually, after a period of reflection and quiet. My own mind is somewhat of a mystery to me, thoughts just get triggered by living but for the rest my mind is quiet and empty. So if I sit and do nothing, my mind is quiet for a long while, and then a thought might happen. It’s curious.

            Being the witness, observing the thoughts, is difficult because something internal triggers the thoughts. It’s like there is a little spark of an idea, and that then triggers a chain of thought. Ideas usually arise out of memory.

            So a mind is built up out of many years of accumulated triggers in memory, triggers of ideas building on more, some of which get retired and completed, and others lie in wait in the subconscious. When you aren’t busy thinking, the mind surfaces these thoughts connected to the past.

            According to Buddhism, restlessness is one of the last ‘fetters’ to be dropped before enlightenment, and that makes sense to me. The subconscious is like a young dog, wanting to play and bring sticks back from being thrown. Each stick is a thought, that has been chewed over and examined by the subconscious.

            Anyway, my musing for this morning.

        • satchit says:

          “Now I’ve reached the point where I realise that what the mind has to offer is very limited, and that to be in the here-and-now one is better off ignoring it, and focussing on just resting in open awareness.”

          But you have to be a warrior, NP.
          When the mind rises its cunning head, you have to behead him.

          Mind tells you of “here and now” and “open awareness”. Forget it!

          This is spiritual mindfuck.

          • Nityaprem says:

            Nono, when you get close to the body you will find it’s very peaceful. It’s just a chemical factory doing its thing, feed it a banana once in a while and it is totally content.

            No chopping off heads is required.

            • satyadeva says:

              Yes, NP, although this natural equilibrium is easily upset by emotional disturbance – disturbing circumstances, other people – causing troubling thoughts and vice versa. The greater degree of disturbing emotion, the more ‘warrior-like’ effort is required. So I suggest you normally might be relatively untroubled in that respect, while Satchit (and I) might well tend to have more internal ‘battles’ to fight, or other steps to take to maintain or reach an inner balance.

              If I were you (lol) I’d count my blessings as you seem in a pretty good place. But I don’t know whether you’re ever challenged by outer circumstances that threaten your equilibrium, or whether your life is set up to be too easy for that.

              • Nityaprem says:

                Hohum. There have been plenty of challenges in my life but these days it has been going better, indeed.

                • satyadeva says:

                  Good for you, NP.

                  I guess your family background gave you a good foundation?

                • Nityaprem says:

                  My childhood was a mixed bag though. Before sannyas life it was a stable family, then my parents divorced and my dad looked after me in the commune. It was very turbulent, I moved house thirteen times in eight years, which made it difficult to make friends. But I did manage to get my papers to go to university and study. So not sure if you’d call that a good foundation.

                • satyadeva says:

                  Well, that’s definitely turbulent! Perhaps it encouraged (or even forced) you to become more self-reliant, resourceful than if you’d had a more conventional early life?

                • Nityaprem says:

                  To a certain extent, yes. But it also created a great deal of stress, which I ended up paying for with health issues later in life. I was lucky that I lived a modest life and saved some money, because my income for a while has been zero.

            • satchit says:

              I see, Nitya Banana, you have a Taoist approach.

              Book title:
              ‘My Way, The Way of the Banana’.

              • satyadeva says:

                An appetising, ‘a peeling’ title indeed, Oberlieutenant Satchit.

                And here’s one for you:
                ‘My Way, The Way of the Hydrogen Bomb’ (a truly explosive read!).

                • satchit says:

                  Is this your favourite title?

                  Sounds a bit hopeless, like ‘the end is nigh’.

                • satyadeva says:

                  Well, the H-Bomb has its place in a world of extreme emotion, collective hatred and paranoia. We probably owe our longevity to it. Same goes for its internal equivalent in the individual person! (I don’t mean in terms of threatening others).

                • Nityaprem says:

                  Satyadeva said “‘My Way, The Way of the Hydrogen Bomb’.”

                  Hilarious! Spirituality meets Dr Strangelove, and the guru does a Peter Sellers impersonation. Yahoo!

                • satchit says:

                  I would say that there is nothing wrong in playing computer games.

                  But sign is also that attachment disappears, if you come closer to yourself.

                  It can become the same if you win or lose.

  9. Lokesh says:

    NP says, “Thus when I ask myself, ‘who am I?’ in the spiritual tradition, there is a momentary confusion. Am I the hero who killed thousands of monsters in ‘World of Warcraft’, or am I the man who sat in a peaceful flat in front of a computer screen with his hand on a mouse? Of course, it is the second, the hero is as unreal as all the monsters — the player of games is what’s really there.’

    Then he says, “I haven’t tried to integrate gaming into the search for truth, quite the opposite.”


    • Nityaprem says:

      Really. The confusion is what I came across when I started to examine my sense of self, which carried traces of the gamer-me.

      It is a consequence of self-inquiry, which for me was part of the spiritual path of the last twelve years. The first indication that I had that there was something strange happening was this long sequence of dreams I had of me developing games with teams in offices, and also of me in game environments as an actual character.

      Which led to me examining it consciously, I’ve written quite a bit about it. If you embark on the spiritual path, I don’t think you can avoid dealing with your past.

  10. Nityaprem says:

    I was just listening to ‘The Rebellious Spirit’ #3, and there was a question about “missing one’s enlightenment” to which Osho’s response was “take this opportunity to dissolve yourself”. Seems like a good way to go.

    • Nityaprem says:

      In ‘The Rebellious Spirit’ #5 there was a bit where Osho said he was destroying our questions, that our questions were “like wounds in our soul”, but that with a little courage we could do this ourselves as well and become like “pillars of silence”.

      I’m enjoying this lecture series!

  11. Nityaprem says:

    I just recently recalled that I actually visited the ashram during the Poona 2 period with my father and stepmother, this would have been somewhere in 1988-1990. I remember it was during the monsoon period, and I recall a memorable massage from a young and pretty ma, as well as that my stepmother got stung by a scorpion!

    I’d forgotten about that visit, the memories had kind of run together with other visits to Poona.

  12. Chris says:

    @Nityaprem: Can you write more about your retirement from the industry?

    I’m also a software developer, in long contact with games. And man, the industry can be truly robotic and soulless. I’m also preparing for a sabbatical, although not that long. I had thoughts about leaving all of this for some Buddhist monastery in Thailand, but it reminds me too much of a prison.

    Makes you think, by the way, the worlds we create in a computer. It’s like the next level of a fall; the Dreamer dreams a person who creates (codes) another dream and falls into it forgetting himself. The symbolism of the binary system is interesting – the most basic stuff of the worlds we create is zero and one; One falls into two, duality, to create a world. And the life of it is called ‘BIOS’ which is Greek for ‘life’.

    • Nityaprem says:

      Hi Chris, yes, certainly I can flesh out the details a little. I was working for Microsoft Games as a Senior Developer in the UK when they ended up shutting down the department I worked in. This was very stressful and led to me having a breakdown and I negotiated a settlement with them. I left the company in 2012.

      My plan when going to work for MS four years before was to get some idea of how their large teams work, and then founding my own company. But existence threw a monkey wrench into the works and I ended up going for an extended sabbatical, since I had some money. I also ended up returning to the Netherlands.

      Financial planning is key to all this, you have to know how long your ‘runway’ is, the length of time you can take things easy or work on personal projects before cash starts to run short. If you’re paying a high house rent in an expensive location, it’s good to know that beforehand…

      My retrospective on my time in the games industry isn’t really complete, yet. There are some aspects to how the industry has recently evolved which I dislike, like trying to design addictive games, the idea of pay-to-win, but also the general illusory nature of games. A movie can still tell a good story, but a game is a fake experience built to fool the player. I may yet write a book about it.

    • Nityaprem says:

      If you’re interested in Buddhist monasteries and how things are for a monk, I’d recommend reading ‘Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist’ by Stephen Batchelor in which he talks about his decade as first a Tibetan monk and later a Korean Zen monk, and what made him finally disrobe. Most Thai Buddhist monks don’t stay monk for more than a few years, I heard.

      I considered it as well, but I thought in the end it’s a lot of authority to give up over your life, how to live with joy, and what to study and think. I also think Osho was right in saying that if being a Buddhist monk actually put you on the path to being a Buddha, there’d be a lot more enlightened people around.

      I just came across a beautiful question put to Osho in ‘The Hidden Splendor’ from an older sannyasin who was wondering if it was too late for her, and Osho’s response was to tell her to join the dancing and that blissfulness was contagious and that it was never too late.

      Life has led me to living simply and caring for my mother and now-deceased stepfather.

        • Nityaprem says:

          How are you finding life as a software developer these days? I always found it interesting work, always new problems to solve.

          • Chris says:

            Coding itself was for sure always interesting for us both, I see it as a form of creativity. Seeing the “worlds” we create come to life and finding solutions to problems is what attracts us. But the industry itself, all the BS, egos, fakeness, corpo-robots, rat-race, resume-driven development etc. is seriously burning me out. I see it like some kind of karma which tries to get me to the point where I abandon all hope and truly let go, and I think I’m close.

            I can’t even imagine how I’ll find it in me to find another job after my sabbatical will be over (I think I’ll take 1 year). Awareness that all of this is ultimately building castles in the sand doesn’t help of course. Someone said you should build your career before you start seriously practising, meditating, because after you start it will be hard to do and I find it true – with every year trying to go deeper into meditation things like a fintech job for distant shareholders become harder. Maybe I need to find a software job with some meaning? Let’s build a meaningful start-up, Nityaprem! Although we would probably fail horribly :)

            But people burn out and leave the industry to become a carpenter even when they are not interested in meditating, this theme returns all the time on Hacker News.

            • Nityaprem says:

              It certainly can be quite creative, and it’s fun to see your ideas realised in some other form. You write the code, and watch it do something — that’s the magic of programming.

              A meaningful start-up, I have thought about it but that is not so easy as a business proposition. Even if you take something fun like a Zorba the Buddha AI chatbot built out of Osho’s books, is there a market for it? You could build it, but they might not come…

              I can totally understand what you’re saying about meaningless jobs.I ended up burning out and it’s taken me some years to recover. If you really feel you shouldn’t do it anymore then I would follow your feelings before existence forces your hand.

              Being a carpenter is not so bad, I spent six months a while back working in a woodworking shop, making kids toys just for the fun of it.

  13. Nityaprem says:

    It’s interesting, I’m hearing from some sannyasin friends that quite a few fellow-sannyasins have ended up taking on board some conspiracy theorist stances. Anti-vaccination, chemtrails, that kind of thing. Has anyone noticed this in the sannyasin community?

    • satchit says:

      Yes, NP, I have heard of this.
      Seems another proof that sannyasins are crazy.

      • Nityaprem says:

        I think it’s more that sannyasins come from the alternative streams of people, and so are naturally a bit more inclined to take these things on board. I mean in the seventies being alternative meant flower-power and maybe some anarchist tendencies. Today it means conspiracy theories, so are we going forwards?

        • satyadeva says:

          I tend to think it’s also a symptom of a collective feeling that things are getting worse ‘out there’, and that we’re somehow in the grip of forces that are beyond our control, exacerbated by exposure to news media overload and ill thought-out, prejudiced views in social media and elsewhere online. Which is not to say that appaling things aren’t being planned and done behind our backs as they always have been.

          In the midst of all this confusion, with suspicion, mistrust and fear predominant, people are desperate to make sense of the chaos and search for evidence that seemingly provides explanations, villains and scapegoats to satisfy the wish to assign blame and reach some sort of supposedly rational understanding.

          A significant part of the truth might be that no single person or group is responsible for the mess, it’s basically the result of our collective karma, it’s gone too far and we’re stuck with it and its actual and potential perils until or unless enough of us ‘wake up’. Far from an original analysis but it’s about the only thing that makes sense, imho.

          • Nityaprem says:

            Well said. I do think a lot of the problems are due to greed, and especially capitalism’s inherent cultural greed. Which is almost the same as saying it’s karma, lol.

            But people do want something to hold on to, and now that it’s been proven that the mainstream news media are not worthy they go and look at other places to find news. I think people overall are slowly getting a bit sick of the corrupting influence of money and power.

            I think the hijacking of ‘woke’ by various groups like the lhbtq-left and counter-right was a shame, its original spiritual message was a lot more interesting than what it has come to mean now. But US bipartisan politics is a snakepit anyway. Let’s hope enough wakefulness remains.

            What qnd where are “the lhbtq-left and counter-right” please, NP?

            • Nityaprem says:

              What happened with the ‘woke’ movement was that first it meant someone who was ‘spiritually awake’ and also ‘racially awake’. I first heard a black man refer to Jim Carrey as woke, for instance. But later it started to refer to people on the left of the political spectrum who were Lesbian-Homo-Bi-Trans-Queer aware or more generally gender aware as ‘woke’ and then the right side of the political spectrum started using this as a pejorative, totally distorting the meaning of the word.

        • satchit says:

          The difference is, flower-power was positive. Conspiracy theories means you believe in dark forces, in manipulation,
          in the doubting mind. You give your energy to negativity.

          Now one can speculate, why is this the case? Are people fed up with the positive? Fed up with Sannyas?

          Could be. Maybe it did lead nowhere. So better to say: “Make me geat again!”?

          • Nityaprem says:

            I agree with you Satchit, conspiracy theories are largely negative and blaming. Which is why I avoid them, and I don’t really understand why people feel attracted to them.

            My general response when I come across something promoting conspiracy theories is to ignore it.

            • satyadeva says:

              As I suggested, I think it’s a symptom of a sense of powerlessness in the face of never-ending, ever-increasing crises, a search for explanations that make people feel as if they know what’s ‘really going on’ and who to blame, and thus what to do to improve things.

              Which at one level is presumably all very reassuring, as is the fact that the explanations aren’t readily evident, which I suspect can lend a sense of self-importance as well as overwhelming purpose to the ‘ones who really know the truth behind it all’.

              • Nityaprem says:

                That’s a part of the ‘attention economy’ created by the advertising business online. The most persuasive ideas and presenters gather the most clicks and are most likely to go viral. It’s like a machine of user-generated content searching for memes to insert in unsuspecting humans.

                The most successful conspiracy theories are the ones that contain a grain of truth…and quite a few of them do.

                • satyadeva says:

                  “The most successful conspiracy theories are the ones that contain a grain of truth…and quite a few of them do.”

                  Yes indeed, NP, that’s also part of their seductive attraction.

                • Nityaprem says:

                  Yes indeed… but it seems to lead to a kind of partisan thinking. The friend whose comments started this off said some old sannyasin friends had stopped seeing her because she was “so stuck in the mainstream thinking.” That kind of us-and-them thinking is very much part of the conspiracy theory mindset, I just don’t think it is a very sannyasin way of thinking. Sad to see people change this way.

                • satyadeva says:

                  Sounds as if these people have created another ‘identity’ for themselves from these preoccupations. That’s a common effect of obsession found in fanatics of all kinds, not only in ‘politicos’ but also, for instance, in rabid fans of a rock or pop band, or, in a more sinister way, of ‘ultra’ followers of football teams whose main activities involve attacking other teams’ supporters.

                  The irony is that while seemingly viewing themselves as having superior knowledge and insight, and hence as ‘special’ enough to be prepared to disown a former friend, this kind of obsessive attitude is a sign of being unbalanced, immature, adolescent, and involves an inherent violence.

                  I say, give them some of their own medicine: They should all be arrested, herded into a securely guarded room and made to do an enlightenment intensive until they’re begging to be forgiven for their utter unconsciousness!

                • satchit says:

                  For example, if you take this anti-vaccination argument:

                  Certainly people had health problems because of the vaccination.

                  But would it have been better to do no vaccination at all?

                  Would have more or less people died because of this?

                • Nityaprem says:

                  Non-stop enlightenment intensive until they repent, that sounds like a good solution!

                  But seriously, most conspiracy theories start with a “what if” and are built on suspicion. Didn’t Osho say that religion is built on trust? Seems the ideas of suspicion go a long way off-track.

                • satyadeva says:

                  Yes, these are different attitudes for two different dimensions, the outer, ‘the world’, and the inner, of the individual. Osho encouraged his people to participate in the world, not to live in seclusion, but I wonder whether he’d have given his unqualified blessing to the people you mention, NP.

                  Can we successfully integrate a commitment to unearth and fight evils and injustices, under the shadow of the possibility, even perhaps likelihood of the mass destruction of humanity and the planet, with being fully focused on spiritual life, growing in life and love (not to mention earning a living, etc.)? I suspect not many can achieve such a balance, as it seems only too easy to become totally embroiled in ‘conspiracy’ issues and lose perspective, as we see in the example of your friend being abandoned by the ‘sannyasin activists’.

                  To me this sort of compulsion has the feeling of addiction, and do certain types of addictive personalities tend to be drawn towards conspiracy theories, which become another source of addiction? Connected with this might be early life experience of poor family relations or even abandonment, leading to a general mistrust of the world, of ‘authority’, the powers-that-be (the sort of backgrounds that led many to Sannyas in the first place) now with the addition of perceived or imagined ‘hidden forces’ that are up to no good. A deep sense of insecurity, misgiving – and anger – leading to a drive to ‘make things right’.

                  And as you’ve suggested, these issues are not necessarily always ‘black and white’, it’s often a matter of deciding what one chooses to believe rather than there being enough incontrovertible evidence on which to base a judgment.

  14. oltre francesco says:

    NP, when you say “sannyasins” you are describing a reality of “Us” and “Them”, ie non-sannyasins.

    • Nityaprem says:

      Yes that’s true, sannyasins have always had a bit of ‘us and them’ and ‘we are the chosen few’ about them. In a way it’s hard to avoid because of how the language works.

      But you know, I doubt that Bill Gates knows much about how vaccines work.

  15. oltre francesco says:

    @ Satyadeva
    20 June, 2024 at 12:37 pm
    “Can we successfully integrate…?”

    You, SD, answered that “It is not easy”, that in my Google Translate means “not impossible”.
    But then you go on to describe the people who try to integrate the responsibility towards the world outside with the inward one like a headbanger.

    If it is your way to avoid the worldly things that you don’t like at least you should show some respect for the people who have a different point of view on the way the world Is running.

    Only if the world Is running in a good way you’d be right about the craziness of people who see the opposite of what you see, and in this case there would remain only that little sin, actually not so popular amongst (us) sannyasins (but we know you have the b Planet, Mr. Barry), i’m speaking about judging, much easier than integrating what scares you, here you would be right.

    • satyadeva says:

      Veet Francesco, does it make sense to you for sannyasins to renounce friendship with another sannyasin simply because she doesn’t share their obsession with their “point of view on the way the world is running”?

      You are very touchy about “respect” and its opposite, forgetting that it’s perfectly possible to respect others while disagreeing with their views, which in this case seem more akin to being ideologies, or theories that purport to explain everything while explaining nothing.

      And I’m not saying that these people are crazy, I’m attempting to consider fundamental reasons why they are so drawn to so-called ‘conspiracy theories’ that they act in such a disrespectful way, like fanatics of all persuasions.

      • oltre francesco says:

        Satyadeva, maybe we should talk face-to-face (I’m driving a truck on European routes, and writing with my cell phone is not easy for me, like now from home using the PC). I see that you have not responded to my objections to your reasoning about the possibility of integrating politics and zen, in fact you preferred to relaunch with other questions, a symptom of lack of arguments, snobbery towards someone who you have placed in an overly obvious framework, or of paternalism? Or a mix of the three?

        While I do not avoid answering your last question, which I would summarize as follows: Does a spiritual community unite its members more than a political community?

        I attend a small political community where the leader has many intellectual and moral reservations about the sannyasin movement, having for a short period in the 1970s dealing with Osho’s places and people with therapeutic/cathartic techniques, since then he feels he has more things in common with Osho than with his people.

        I don’t feel I have many things in common with him regarding intra-psychic dialogue, ontology or existential wisdom and yet I share many of his political analyses, although the emotional consequences of them sometimes seem to overwhelm him more than me.

        Do I willingly hang out with him in extrapolitical contexts? No.
        Well, this reasoning also applies to sannyasin friends in extra-spiritual contexts.

        Going back to your first comment:
        Can we successfully integrate a commitment to unearth and fight evils and injustices, under the shadow of the possibility, even perhaps likelihood of the mass destruction of humanity and the planet, with being fully focused on spiritual life, growing in life and love – not to mention earning a living, et

        I would add another objection that you are free to ignore as you did with the others (as you also did with my recent invitation to delete the things that some cuckold had added to a comment of mine from months ago, https://sannyasnews.org /now/archives/11651, as I am not a drug user, unlike the old horned hippie), but how is it possible to grow in life and love if first you do not remove any political obstacles (social, economic, racial, etc.). Do they preclude these possibilities, for you or for your neighbour?

        And why, if there were injustices happening before our eyes, would turning the other way be a better contribution to avoiding war than digging in and shedding light on the causes?
        Don’t you see any relationship between injustices and revolutions?
        And between injustices and wars?
        Do you notice any differences, for the purposes of the status quo, between war and revolution?
        Is it only for fear of appearing too close to the description of a conspiracy theorist (a frame attributed by mainstream information, by the watchdogs of political correctness wanted by the oligarchy) that you prefer to avoid politics?

        If you refused my invitation to share face-to-face, would it be for political or spiritual reasons?

        • satyadeva says:

          Veet Francesco, you ask: “how is it possible to grow in life and love if first you do not remove any political obstacles (social, economic, racial, etc.). Do they preclude these possibilities, for you or for your neighbour?”

          No, they don’t, unless you think they do to the point of obsession. And if these outer conditions occupy such a significant part of your attention then that’s surely highly likely to undermine your sense of inner well-being, your efforts to find peace, stillness, joy that arises from within, without an external cause.

          So if removing “political obstacles” is your priority then, if you’re a spiritual seeker, I think you’re ‘putting the cart before the horse’, which is a view that’s contrary to what your logical mind (heavily influenced by emotional outrage at all the injustices set before us every day in the media) and all politicians, social reformers and revolutionaries would advise.

          Nothing wrong in it, if that’s really what you want to do you might as well do it, although I’ve never heard Osho or any other master advising anyone to get heavily involved in politics, have you?

          Perhaps you’re easily influenced by over-exposure to the news and opinions media, as NP suggests, and/or maybe it lends you a sense of worldly purpose, of social self-importance? And maybe you just enjoy a fight…(You might as well at least consider such personal factors before instantly rejecting them).

          As for further such debate, I’m not interested, as neither of us is likely to influence the other it would be a pointless exercise, a waste of energy that I certainly can’t afford these days.

          • Lokesh says:

            From what I gathered from Osho, politics is strictly for the dummies. When I look at politicians, I see that none of them resemble any of my friends. Low-energy games. Power over others. How boring!

          • oltre francesco says:

            Satyadeva, did you change my comment, bad girl?

            You quote my sentence, right the one with changed words.

            Veet F, the above sentence doesn’t make sense, so please clarify it.

            SN doesn’t alter comments unless they don’t make sense and are therefore impossible to understand, or are offensively abusive, or misspelt, or otherwise confusingly ungrammatical (eg as in your latest post, above).

            It would help if you provide the full details of the instance you’re referring to, instead of expecting someone else to be a ‘quote finder’ on your behalf.

    • Nityaprem says:

      Hmm, yes, “tolerance is the highest expression of civilisation.”

  16. oltre francesco says:

    @ satchit says:
    20 June, 2024 at 10:18 am

    Satchit, you should know the funny story about Bunga Bunga, i guess…then, imagine to replace the vaccine with the raping of the joke.

    I think that if you decided to give your body to Bill Gates it was just because you underestimate the consequences of his injections, Eg. you were scared to die by COVID…so, even no Need to estimate something.

    Now the world Is discovering that the teller of the pandemic joke was the same who at your shoulder was practising the Bunga Bunga.

  17. oltre francesco says:

    “In this country we are caught between the rock of those who think that Galileo gave instructions to Christopher Columbus and the hammer of those who think that avoiding these blunders for having ended up kicking and handing out a university means being cultured.

    Blatant ignorance in positions of responsibility is a serious and obvious problem.

    But there is an ignorance more subtle and even worse than the first, which is that of the semi-educated, of those who, accustomed to mocking (perhaps justifiably) the famous functional illiterates, end up believing that the possession of some piece of paper with legal value, and perhaps the reading of cultural inserts in newspapers, confers a guarantee of superior awareness.

    The dramatic problem with this second form of ignorance is that it produces an extremely specific form of obtuseness, which we can call “conformist presumption”.

    Conformist presumption is that mental attitude that dispenses with critical reflection and the search for truth, replacing them with a new form of the principle of authority.

    It’s true because the guy said it.
    It’s true because Repubblica writes it.
    It’s true because it was on Focus.
    It’s true because Piero/Alberto Angela said so.
    It’s true because Bassetti said it.
    It’s true because Wikipedia writes it.

    This form of ignorance is worse than the full-blown and outwardly manifest forms because – to quote the most famous son of a midwife – they don’t know that they don’t know.

    There is the ignorance of those who do not read books or authoritative sources.
    And there is the ignorance of those who think that having read books or consulted so-called authoritative sources allows them to stop using their eyes.

    The ignorance of the semi-educated, that is, the conformist presumption, is that mindset whereby if a fire breaks out under the house you open the ANSA to understand what happens;
    so if your house is robbed you can reassure yourself with a statistic that explains that it has always happened;
    so if you have to live with three people in one room, you can console yourself with the article that explains how it is very fashionable;
    so if you struggle to put together lunch and dinner you can calm yourself down by thinking about how much worse it would be if the ECB didn’t monitor our fate;
    why you believe that America is a great democracy, Biden a gaffeur, Putin the new Hitler, the IDF the most moral army in the world, and that after twenty years of euros we work one day less and earn as if we worked one more day.

    The illiterate can only see a short distance, and this myopia can create problems.
    But the semi-educated project other-directed tall tales over a long distance, imagining themselves to be far-sighted; and this produces catastrophes”. (Professore Andrea Zhok)

    “having ended up kicking and handing out a university” (1st paragraph) – Veet F, please modify so that it makes sense.

    Veet F:
    Idiomatic. Referring to people with no big attitude for learnig, so the teacher must stimulate the student giving the duplicated lecturer’s notes and some kicks.

  18. Nityaprem says:

    I came across a very interesting question-and-answer in ‘The Rebellious Spirit’ #21, where Osho was answering a sannyasin who felt his body, mind, feelings and being were disharmonised. Osho said to him, begin with the body. The mind can be polluted by religion and society, and turned against the body, but the body is natural and the purest thing you have.

    I thought, if such a lot of problems stem from the mind, we should be careful what we let alter our beliefs and thoughts. If you approach most things with a kind of skepticism and disbelief, that is like a natural defence against foreign ideas. I find myself using this stance with lots of suspicious sources, people like David Icke for instance.

    • satchit says:

      Yes, doubting the doubting mind is also a good message.

      • Nityaprem says:

        I find myself having a two-sided relationship with doubt, on the one hand Osho’s voice banishes all doubt I feel, and on the other hand a healthy skepticism has been instilled in me by years of scientific training.

        I remember an Osho discourse saying that doubt is not the religious man’s way, that it is a destructive force. But perhaps there is a difference between doubt and skepticism.

        • Lokesh says:

          NP writes, “I remember an Osho discourse saying that doubt is not the religious man’s way.”
          I don’t doubt it. What I also do not doubt is that “Osho Says” is a mantra strictly for the dummies. It is pure folly to use Osho’s words as some sort of gold standard in relation to what is true, because he constantly contradicted himself. I do not doubt that this was intentional, because he knew the human tendency of parroting and did not want a religion to arise based on his words. Osho was, above all else, an energetic phenomenon, not a verbal one.

          In relation to NP writing, “I remember an Osho discourse saying that doubt is not the religious man’s way”, here is something Osho said that totally contradicts that statement.

          “The difference between doubt and negativity is great. They look alike; on the surface they have the same colour, but deep down the difference is unbridgeable. First, doubt is not negativity; neither is it positivity.

          Doubt is an open mind, without any prejudice. It is an inquiring approach.

          Doubt is not saying anything, it is simply raising a question. That question is to know, to find what the truth is.

          Doubt is a pilgrimage.

          It is one of the most sacred values of human beings.

          Doubt does not mean no. It simply says, “I do not know, and I am prepared to know. I am ready to go as far as possible, but unless I myself come to know, how can I say yes?”

          Negativity has already said no. It is not inquiry. It has come to a conclusion, the same way somebody has come to the conclusion to say yes. One man says God is; his statement is positive. The other says there is no God; his statement is negative. But both are sailing in the same boat, they are not different people. They have not inquired. Neither the theist has doubted nor the atheist has doubted; both have accepted borrowed knowledge.

          Doubt says that, “I myself would like to know, and unless I know for myself, it is not knowledge. Only my experience is going to be decisive.” He is not arrogant, he is not denying anything. He is just open for inquiry.

          Doubt is not disbelief – that’s how religions have been confusing people. They confuse doubt with disbelief. In fact, disbelief and belief are exactly the same. Both accept knowledge from others, from books, from masters. And remember, anything that you do not know, yet you have started believing or disbelieving in it… you have missed a great opportunity for inquiry. You have closed the doors already, by yes or by no. You have not travelled.

          It is easier to say yes, it is easier to say no, because there is nothing you have to do.

          But to doubt needs guts.

          To doubt needs courage to remain in the state of not-knowing, and go on questioning everything till the moment you yourself arrive at the reality. When you come to the reality there is no negativity, no positivity. You simply know – it is your experience. I will not say it is positivity because positivity always has the other pole of negativity. An experience goes beyond both; the whole world of polarities is transcended. That is true wisdom.

          Doubt is the way to truth.

          No or yes are not ways, they prevent you.

          It will look very strange, that yes does the same thing as no. In dictionaries they are opposites, but in reality, they are not. They look opposite only, but both have not asked the question. Both have not tried to find out what the case is.

          The communist believes, exactly as the catholic believes. The communist believes that there is no God. You can call it disbelief, but it is his belief. He has not inquired, he has not meditated; he has done nothing to find out that there is no God. The theist says there IS God. He has also done nothing. Both have chosen without moving an inch towards truth. That’s why a very strange thing happens: the person who is a theist, a believer, can become a disbeliever, an atheist, in a single moment; and vice versa. […]

          Doubt is against both. Doubt is the insistence of the individual that he wants to taste, to experience the truth. He is not ready to accept it from anybody else, this way or that.

          They are very, very rare people who doubt.

          But let me say to you: Blessed are those who doubt, because they shall inherit the kingdom of truth.

          It is arduous to doubt, it is risky, it is dangerous. One is going into the unknown, with no preparation, with no prejudice. He is entering into the dark hole, not even believing that there will be the other end of the tunnel, and he will again come out of Darkness. There is no belief; he simply takes the challenge.

          There is only a quest, a question.

          He himself becomes a question. […]

          Doubt is simply a question, and doubt says, “I want to know.”

          It has no ideology.

          Doubt is absolutely pure quest.

          You have asked, “What is the difference between doubt and negativity?”

          Negativity and positivity are both the same.

          Doubt is different from both.

          It does not make you a theist, it does not make you an atheist.

          Positivity makes you a religious believer, a theist; negativity makes you an unbeliever, irreligious, an atheist.

          Doubt does not make you anything. It simply makes you an inquirer.

          And that is the dignity of man.

          I teach you doubt because I know if you can doubt to the very end, you will realize the truth of your own being, and simultaneously the truth of the whole existence. And that will be liberation, that will be freedom.

          Doubt is neither Christian nor Hindu, nor American nor German. Yes may be Hindu, yes may be Mohammedan, yes may be Christian; no may be communist, no may be fascist – but doubt is simply a quest, an individual quest.

          Yes and no both belong to the crowd.

          Doubt makes you assert your individuality.

          You start finding your path on your own. You don’t accept the maps given you by others. […]

          I would like my sannyasins neither to be negative nor to be positive, but open, available, with a quest, a question mark, and to go on searching.

          Many times, your mind will say it is good to believe – because the journey is arduous, and one never knows where one is going, whether one is going to find anything or not. But don’t listen to the mind.

          Mind has created all these “yes” philosophies, “no” philosophies.

          Doubt has never created any philosophy; doubt has created science.

          And doubt is going to create religion.

          They are exactly the same – the same application of doubt in different fields. About objects, the outside world that spreads to millions of stars, doubt has given tremendous insight just within three hundred years. You are carrying another world within yourself, which is in no way smaller than the world you see outside; perhaps it is bigger.

          Why do I say that perhaps it is bigger? I am including the word ‘perhaps’ so that you should not believe. I know it is bigger, for the simple reason that you know the stars, you know the sun, you know the moon – but the moon does not know you, the sun does not know you. The stars are great, the universe is vast, but you are the only knower. You have something more than the whole universe.

          That’s why I say inside you are carrying something bigger than the universe, more than the universe. Just inquire.

          One of the most beautiful men of this century was Maharishi Raman. He was a simple man, uneducated, but he did not accept the ideology, the religion in which he was born. When he was only seventeen years of age he left his home in search of truth. He meditated for many years in the hills of Arunachal in south India, and finally realized himself.

          After that his whole teaching consisted only of three words, because those three words had revealed to him the whole mystery of existence. His philosophy is the shortest. What are those three words? Whoever came to him – because as he became slowly, slowly known, people started coming to him from all over the world – his whole teaching was to sit silently and ask only one question: “Who am I?” and go on asking that question.

          One day the question will disappear, and only you will be there. That is the answer.

          Not that you will find the answer written somewhere; you will find yourself. You just go on digging with this question – this question is like digging – but do you see the question? It is a doubt: Who am I? It does not accept the spiritualist who says you are a soul. It does not accept the materialist who says there is nobody, don’t waste time; eat, drink and be merry. He doubts. Those three words are followed by a question mark: Who am I?

          And he says this is enough. If you can go on and on and on patiently, one day the question suddenly disappears and what is left is your reality. That is the answer.

          And the moment you know yourself you have known everything that is worth knowing.”


          ‘From Death to Deathlessness’, Discourse #24

          • Nityaprem says:

            Very nice, Lokesh! But I don’t think that means that nothing can be learned from Osho’s words. There is a kind of underlying attitude, that doubt-as-a-quest-for-truth is a good thing for sannyasins, and that doubt-as-a-negative-divisive-force is a bad thing. It depends on where you are going with your doubt, I don’t really see a contradiction there…

            And I find that is true with a lot of cases where Osho supposedly contradicted himself. That it is only the hair-splitters who look at “one word, one concept” that find fault, while in fact if you look closer at what Osho means, that there is a consistent underlying thread of meaning.

          • swamishanti says:

            Osho’s qoutes on doubt can also be used as a convenient excuse for the dissolutioned who left and believe they where in a cult and yet want to cling to Osho.

            “When I am talking about one way, I am that way. Don’t cling to my words, listen to the wordless message. And if it hits your heart, if it sings in your heart, then you have found your way. Then forget everything I have said before or whatsoever I am going to say in future. Then you need not worry. You have found your key. Now you can open the lock.

            Once you fall in love with a Master, remain. I am not saying that even when you are disillusioned remain with him. When you are disillusioned, he is no more your Master. Then there is no point in remaining with him. Then seek another.”

            (Osho: ‘The Art of Dying’, Ch.4, Q.3)

            • Nityaprem says:

              Isn’t it so that the words are a reminder to seek the silence? I always find myself inspired and uplifted by people’s Osho quotes, even if all they say is to seek the silence. The quotes definitely have a use…

              • Lokesh says:

                NP enquires, “Isn’t it so that the words are a reminder to seek the silence?”

                Words have many uses that have nothing to do with reminding you to seek silence.

                I have been listening to people talking about silence for years. They are usually the people who are unable to appreciate silence, because their mind is full of words.

  19. Nityaprem says:

    “You have asked me, “Is there anything that I can do for You out there?”
    Only one thing I expect from all of you: to be yourself, to discover your inner beauty, your purity of consciousness, your hidden splendour — and spread it to as many people as possible. People are miserable. Help them to laugh a little, to sing a little, to dance a little. I don’t want missionaries. You are not to spread my teachings — I don’t have any anyway — but you have to spread the joy, the blissfulness, the silence that you have felt here.”

    ( Osho, ‘The Hidden Splendour’ )

    • satchit says:

      First you have to create a distance to doubt.
      Doubt is there, but it is not you who is doubtful.

      • Nityaprem says:

        You seem to be stuck on the theme of doubt, Satchit. Perhaps it indicates that you feel an inner connection with it?

        I loved this quote by Osho because it says he has no teachings but the feeling of joy, blissfulness and silence that was his presence. We could all try to spread a little more of it….

        • satchit says:

          “You are not to spread my teachings — I don’t have any anyway — but you have to spread the joy, the blissfulness, the silence that you have felt here.”

          You seem to be a bit naive, NP.

          What else is this than a “teaching”?

          • Lokesh says:

            Satchit asks, ‘”What else is this than a “teaching”?”
            It can be viewed in many ways.
            It could be a suggestion.
            Good advice.
            An idea.
            A wish.
            The beat goes on….

          • Nityaprem says:

            Naive…I choose to be less cynical than many, that is true.

            • satchit says:

              Comparing is a pitfall on the path.

              • Lokesh says:

                Maybe on your path comparing is a pitfall, Satchit.

                Comparison is a key element in logic. That said, there is no need to compare oneself to another. It is rightly said that if you wish to be unhappy in your life, compare your life with that of the others around you, especially those who are much more successful than you. Osho was dead against comparing oneself to others and he was right. The problem arises when one gets it in one’s head that comparison is a bad thing in all aspects of life. It is not. It can be a very useful tool.

                For example, when working out a problem, one often needs to compare different aspects of a situation and come up with what one judges to be the best way to proceed.

                New Agers view judging as a negative mental activity, after having judged that it is negative. Such a conclusion is reached by comparison, the positive apparently outweighs the negative. A non-judgmental attitude is ironic because it requires a judgement to adopt such an attitude. Same goes for an attitude that does not host comparisons.

                A life in which no comparisons are made is a life with little choice.

                • satchit says:

                  I see, Lokesh, that NP triggers fatherly feelings in you.

                  I did not say that comparing is bad in general.

                  But on the path it is not a good idea.

                  “I choose to be less cynical than many,”

                  Does it not mean that I am more spiritually advanced than others? Pure Ego.

                  And why judge others as cynical?

                  To be honest, we don’t know why others are as they are.

                • Lokesh says:

                  As we believe, so the world will appear.

                  Satchit writes, “I see, Lokesh, that NP triggers fatherly feelings in you.”
                  Really? I have no idea what you are referring to in order to draw such a strange conclusion. I have no feelings towards NP, especially not paternal ones.

                  Satchit, perhaps you could take the time and explain what you mean, because I have no idea what you are talking about.

                • Nityaprem says:

                  Satchit said “To be honest, we don’t know why others are as they are.”

                  I find this a bit nihilistic. We can make the effort to put ourselves in other people’s shoes.

                • satchit says:

                  “Satchit, perhaps you could take the time and explain what you mean, because I have no idea what you are talking about.”

                  But Lokesh, you are intelligent. Your intuition will tell you what I mean.

                • Lokesh says:

                  My intuition tells me you are talking nonsense as usual, Satchit. You remind me of a throwback to the good old sannyas days, when, if thinking you are being spontaneous, it is perfectly okay to say any old rubbish that passes through your mind because it appears spontaneous. Of course, it is simply being stupid.

                  Anyone with a bit of sense reading your comments will quickly realize that what you write here has absolutely nothing to offer and sends the cringe meter into the red.

                • satchit says:

                  Lokesh wrote:
                  “Satchit said, “To be honest, we don’t know why others are as they are.”

                  “I find this a bit nihilistic. We can make the effort to put ourselves in other people’s shoes.”

                  Yes, we can try.
                  And sometimes we know that the other is angry because of frustration.

                  But his anger may have also other reasons.

                  Do we know why Osho took the laughing gas? No.

                  Our knowing the other is very limited.

                • Lokesh says:

                  This comment shows the level of your focus, Satchit. You are confusing me with NP.

                • satchit says:

                  You are already confused, Lokesh.

                  You confuse intuition with your frustrated ego and then become serious and not playful at all.

                  Certainly one is the father, the other the son.

                  I guess confusion happens because of dark forces or was it the Holy Ghost?

              • Nityaprem says:

                Instead of seeking to find fault, Satchit, perhaps you might see what can be learned from what others say?

                • satchit says:

                  From what others say? NP, I am already brainwashed – finish.

                  Somebody told me, words are fingers pointing to moon.

                  You know who?

                • satyadeva says:

                  It’s very rare that anyone at SN admits to being influenced to give up a ‘position’, a point of view, a belief they hold. Much of the conversations are concerned with self-defence, various levels of ‘outrage’ at ‘attacks’, actual or even imagined. I’m no different of course.

                  I wonder whether anyone here, now or over all of SN’s existence, has ever taken time to genuinely consider what someone else has said about them and/or their views and even privately agree that the other might well be right. Nitya Prem is perhaps one, also Simon D, and that’s about it. Or am I being unfair?

  20. oltre francesco says:

    NP, don’t be so naive, only a conspiracy theorist can believe that spreading the Joy could be the social solution to the “world out there”.

    Again your mind game about the “world here” where We have experienced “the Joy, the blissfulness, the silence” and the world of Them, where for the balanced and wise people, in front of the large, chaotic human situation, the only thing they can do is to close the eyes, going on chanting the mantra: “I am an Island, moving from island1 to island2.”

    • Nityaprem says:

      Francesco, you seem to think we have to find some social solution to the world’s ills. This is caused by watching too much news, it brings the world’s big problems close and makes you think you have to do something. But in fact the world has had problems from times long past, and will continue to have problems in the future… these things can’t be solved by us.

      In a way, I think Ramana Maharshi was right when he said, “the greatest gift you can give the world is your own enlightenment”. It is not about finding the solution to world hunger, or the problems in Palestine, or to capitalism’s insatiable greed for natural resources.

      Osho also said that the world media had made it so difficult for him to reach the wider public that he was now focussing on working with just his people.

      • oltre francesco says:

        NP, which Is your pourpose in spreading joy?
        Do you think the world Is less joyful than you?

        I’m not going to follow you trying to imagine about the causes for you seeing the world in that way, because I don’t know if you drive a truck too, having no contact with TV and newspapers.

        • Nityaprem says:

          I think people at heart like to be happy and peaceful and joyful, and I like to remind them of that.

          Society instils such a lot of goals and barriers and upheavals in people’s minds, many ‘musts’ and ‘shoulds’ that it becomes hard to see the inner truth. Freedom from all that is precious.

          I like to remind myself that everything I see and perceive is not me, that it is not to be taken seriously, that the way is that of the witness. It is good to carry life lightly, as if it is a feather.

  21. Nityaprem says:

    Satchit said: “From what others say? NP, I am already brainwashed – finish.

    It seems obvious to me, Satchit, that you’re not as smart as Lokesh or Satyadeva. But you don’t have to be. Osho talked about many different approaches for his sannyasins, he had advice for everyone. Surely there are things in his discourses that resonate for you? Maybe you could try to be the watcher?

  22. kavita says:

    Was wondering if “being in the flow” is, probably, the first half of the story!

    • satchit says:

      That’s right. The flow brought you back again! :-)

    • Lokesh says:

      Hi Kavita,
      Long time no hear here.
      Sannyas News continues to stumble through the darkness towards…

      “Those who flow as life flows know they need no other force.” (Lao Tzu)


      “Between the banks of pain and pleasure the river of life flows. It is only when the mind refuses to flow with life, and gets stuck at the banks, that it becomes a problem.” (Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj)

      • kavita says:

        Hi Loki, yes, have been off SN since a while.

        Was traveling, this time went to North-Eastern parts of India for the first time in recent years.

        How true these two are, even though they seem to be using different words to convey the same!

        • Nityaprem says:

          Those were the parts where the Buddha did his wandering, if I remember rightly. I was looking at guided tours for all those sites at one time. Hope you had a good trip!

          • kavita says:

            The North Eastern India I travelled was Shillong (Meghalaya) & Guwahati (Assam) which is the upper eastern area.

            While going it was through Calcutta/West Bengal & while coming back it was Banaras/Uttar Prades a bit in the lower eastern area, but Banaras I have visited many times before.

            As far as I know, Buddha’s first sermon was in Sarnath, very close to Banaras.

    • Nityaprem says:

      Hey Kavita, long time no see!

      Going with the flow can totally have something refreshing to it. Probably more the first half than the second, because in the second the defenders are more tired and there are more goals! And Germany is out of Euro 2024. I guess that makes Spain the favourites.

      How have you been?

      • kavita says:

        Hi NP, yes, its been sometime since I peeped here!

        Well, as I see, here in this continent, India has won the T20 Cricket World Cup!

        Guess travelling does help to shake off some monotony and then bounce back to logging wood!

        • Nityaprem says:

          I wonder about these kinds of sports tournaments, it definitely seems to stir nationalist passions. When the Netherlands won against Turkey last night in the Euro Footie Championships there were people cheering in the streets and setting off fireworks and tooting car horns, and it was only the quarter-finals. Next match against England…

          As Osho says, take it as just a play, don’t let it be serious. But I can’t watch these footie games anymore, it makes me tense and I don’t enjoy it, so I just go to bed and listen to the cheering.

          • Lokesh says:

            The games. The ancient Romans always had the games to keep the masses entertained. The ancient Mayans also and probably many other cultures from the past. Things may come and things may go but the games remain a part of any civilization. Spain will win the European Championship.

            • Nityaprem says:

              The games yes, the famous quote about all you needed to do to keep the Roman mob happy was give them “bread and circuses.” In a way still true today, the business of computer games is bigger than the business of movies, although in fact both are entertainment and fall under the modern equivalent of “circuses”.

              But I think in a way the Buddhist saying of letting-go is similar to Osho’s don’t take anything seriously. They both create distance in which the watcher can do his thing. And games just encourage division, not-unity, attachment and nationalism.

              I think any of the four teams in the semis can win the Euros.

            • satyadeva says:

              I hope it’ll be Spain’s trophy as they’re by far the most inspiring team left in the comp. As for England, well, the way the BBC pundits were drooling over yesterday’s penalty shoot-out win you’d have thought that was intrinsically far more important than the disappointment of yet another generally mediocre performance (despite one or two signs of improvement).

              The “who cares as long as we win” mentality was summed up by one radio journalist who declared that however poorly England actually play, if they manage to win the thing it won’t matter as the years go by as “we will still be in the record book as having won.” That’s the ultra-competitive ego for you, the end is everything, the quality of the means is a secondary distraction.

              • Nityaprem says:

                The top national teams are not managed with the same kind of finesse as the top club sides, that much is for sure. Koeman or Southgate don’t hold a candle to the likes of Guardiola or Ancelotti. But I agree with you that the Spanish are a talented and very technical team, just the question is do they have the goal scoring threat to carry the title?

              • Nityaprem says:

                Enjoyed the Spain v France game. Deserved result.

                • satyadeva says:

                  Yes, it was (and I was relieved as I’d backed less than 4 goals to be scored so was convinced I’d lost when it was 2-1 after less than half an hour).

                • satyadeva says:

                  However, winning at football doesn’t necessarily create happiness for all, as an email I received today points out, eg:

                  “Abuse and violence by partners increased by 47% on a day England won a World Cup or European Championship match.

                  When England win, she loses
                  As the England men’s football team takes to the pitch this evening for a memorable semi-final, many women across the UK will be dreading an England win.”

                  Ugly stuff, but is it really that surprising?

                • Lokesh says:

                  Golly! Does Harry Kane know about this?
                  Trust Sannyas News to deliver yet another piece of shocking news. The switchboard at 999 must be on overload.

                • satyadeva says:

                  Well, yes, of course.

                  But if this happens when a team wins, what about when it loses?

          • kavita says:

            Don’t have these nationalistic feelings for Sports tournaments or even otherwise since a while now, though have been a cricket watcher & actively played basketball in my younger days.

            Prefer to watch nature videos, young upcoming singers and sometimes movies, web series on the net!

  23. kavita says:

    Truly speaking, for a change, went against the flow today!

  24. Nityaprem says:

    I was looking through ‘The Essential Teachings of Ramana Maharshi: A Visual Journey’ by Michael Greenblatt, it was an amazing set of photographs of Arunachala, Ramana, his ashram…but also short paragraphs encompassing his most important sayings…a wonderful book.

    • Lokesh says:

      That is a coincidence, NP. I just finished reading a pictorial biography of Ramana, with many photos of Arunachala. Mind you, it is a book I occasionally return to. There is something deeply touching about Ramana’s life, that is for sure.

      • Nityaprem says:

        I like the photographs especially…it’s like they still have something of his energy, and his time.

        But you’re right, his life was special and unusual — his connection to the mountain, the fact that he never felt the need to travel or lecture, that he often just taught from silence.

  25. Lokesh says:

    Here is a link about computer games in The Guardian today. I did not read it because it is of no interest to me. I’m sure NP will appreciate it.


    • Nityaprem says:

      Thanks, Lokesh. The thing is, games are very multi-faceted as an activity, they can be beneficial in some circumstances. The average age of a PC gamer is about 35, and for a lot of people it is a favourite hobby.

      But for addiction it often fills other holes in people’s lives, areas where they are unhappy, are lacking something. On the whole I think it is better to face these things in the real world, and solve the problems there. Games make things easy and keep you mired in illusion.

      • Lokesh says:

        Yes, NP, I hear you. I once had a friend on Ibiza. He lived remote and became hooked on a game and played 12 hours a day for two years. I play online poker. It is fun. If I feel I am overdoing it, I stop.

        • Nityaprem says:

          And that’s fine, my cousin plays games too and he manages a full-time job, being a husband and father to five young kids as well! If you can moderate and plan your time you’re not doing so badly.

          I saw a couple visiting a restaurant the other day, and the only way they could keep their young daughter quiet was to give her a phone with games on it. That was rather sad.

  26. Nityaprem says:

    Joke for the day…

    “Are you going to vote Republican today?” asked a man of his friend.
    “No, I think I’ll vote Democrat. My father was a Democrat, and so was his father.”
    “That’s idiotic reasoning. If your grandfather was a horse thief, what would that make you?”
    “Well, that would make me a Republican.”

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