Alan Watts – The Mind and Worry

Alan Watts speaks convincingly here.  And with particular English assurance.  This can be rightly confusing as he definitely had his own problems.

It is a short video,  so easily viewed.  Does a teacher have to be free of his own problems to be helpful to others?

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116 Responses to Alan Watts – The Mind and Worry

  1. Arpana says:

    That’s an interesting question.

    Seems to me the bigger the gap there is between what someone is and what they think they are the less help, certainly over personal ‘big stuff’ they are going to be be.*

    Definitely keep your distance from rescuers, although they can be helpful in the short term, but don’t take kindly to attempts to stand on one’s own two feet.

    “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for life.”

    I saw an old lady trip and fall whilst I was sitting on a bus recently, and two really rough looking lads couldn’t have been more helpful and kind to her.


    • Arpana says:

      Which part?


    • Arpana says:

      The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which low-ability individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their ability as much higher than it really is. Dunning and Kruger attributed this bias to a meta-cognitive incapacity, on the part of those with low ability, to recognize their ineptitude and evaluate their competence accurately. Their research also suggests corollaries: high-ability individuals may underestimate their relative competence and may erroneously assume that tasks which are easy for them are also easy for others.

      A thick individual with illusions of superiority will be of no help to anyone. The ‘spiritual’ journey is about, in part, developing a healthy feet on the ground view of of one’s place in the world, a sense of perspective.

      If an individual has a massively over-inflated sense of his or her own worth, seems to me they have nothing to offer anyone.

      Also depends what help’s on offer for what.

      • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

        I am wondering, Arpana, what quote or own thoughts you have about the vast, increasing number of those technical talents who love nowadays living on the work of others by clone-copying stuff?

        How would you be able to apply the Dunning-Kruger effect then, which you brought up already at another historical spot of the UK Chat here?

        As far as I am concerned, I am always looking – when reading – if relating to other aspects of other contributors is happening in the midst of the stuff, in which is recognisable that the author relates to his or her inner world. Being suspicious of those entities who hide in abundance behind quotes or apps, or using quotes ongoing and in abundance for fighting other contributions.

        What you think of the ´Dunning-Kruger´ effect nowadays in Digital Age?


        • Arpana says:

          I can’t work out if you’re having a go at me, or asking me something.

          I only ever use a quote as a way of saying something I understand. The quote is always using someone else’s words to say something I want to say that comes from my understanding.

          I find communicating using a keyboard exhausting, not something that comes easily to me, and I write a couple of A4 pages a day anyway, along with painting.

          So I don’t use quotes because I am a cunt, or a worthless piece of depraved shit. It’s because it’s the best I’ve got.

          • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

            Thanks for your response at 12.58 pm, Arpana.

            As far as I remember, these last years, nobody here threw this kind of tantrum against you, and your quotes are mostly quite welcomed.

            However, these kind of tantrums have been happening every now and then here, haven´t they?

            Guess, when you say, “It’s because it’s the best I’ve got…” it may appeal for each and everybody contributing here (supposing that they are sentient beings and not algorhythm-play).

            Being intentionally deprived of trustworthy contact ´face to face´ on a great measure,
            Byron Katie´s suggestion, “Loving, what is” sometimes appeared/appears as an inner guidance through turbulent times.

            Have a beautiful day, Arpana.


  2. sw. veet (francesco) says:

    Yes, he/she could, if honest about his/her problems.



  3. frank says:

    “Does a teacher have to be free of his own problems to be helpful to others?”

    Sounds like perfectionist thinking, to me. Like waiting for Mr. or Mrs. Right to show up. It`s a sure way to end up on the shelf!

    “I will only take help from someone who is 100% proven wise” sounds to me like “I will only bet on a horse if I know it`s going to win!”

    I don`t think the game works like that! Take it where you find it, I say.

    • satyadeva says:

      Sure, any ‘wise man’ (or ‘wise woman’) can be helpful about a few, maybe many things, but if he has unresolved problems then he can surely never be totally trustworthy?

      Seems to me that Alan Watts might well have benefited from having a living master.

      • frank says:

        I trust Alan Watts enough to really relax and let go into meditation when I listen to his stuff.

        But, as he was an alky, I probably would have thought twice about lending him a fiver!

        Life is the oddest thing!

      • shantam prem says:

        SD, from where you got such an idea, “Seems to me that Alan Watts might well have benefited from having a living master.”?

        If you have some surplus cash, we can start a new venture, ‘Rent a Living Master’.

        • satyadeva says:

          Perhaps, Shantam, you don’t realise that Alan Watts was an alcoholic (and also suffered from a heart condition) who died early, aged 58?

          • frank says:

            I would qualify that a little, in the sense that he wasn`t, for example, a brew-crew type of guy sitting on a bench panhandling passers-by. Alan Watts was a ‘high-functioning alcoholic’ who managed to give talks, write books and live a highly sociable life until the end. In his last year alive he worked closely with Al Huang, who was the guy who was largely responsible for introducing Tai Chi to the West, mentoring him and co-writing the seminal text thereof.

            He obviously had a bit of a gap that needed filling. It`s a pity that he couldn`t kick it and live for a few more years clean – that would, I imagine, have been interesting, but there you go.

            It`s back to that old as yet unanswered question:
            Why were so many significant gurus and teachers and figures of the ’20th century consciousness movement’ so much into substances? Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, Alan Watts, Trungpa, Osho, to name a few.

            And there were the ones who, once they got a bit of a group, couldn`t keep their willies in their trousers – that`s another thing.

            Birth pangs of the new man?
            Kali yuga, sign o` the times?
            Crazy wisdom, a device for your awakening?
            Staying ‘with-it’ and keeping their mojo working in a fast-changing world?
            ‘Conscious’ drinkers, dopers, shaggers?
            Inventors of the most imaginative denial script for substance abuse of all time?
            Needed therapy?
            Staying anchored and earthed on the material plane?
            A zen-koan?

            • frank says:

              Maybe all of the above and more.
              In the end, does it matter?
              Probably not.

              • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

                I would vote for a Zen Koan here, Frank, including all your questions, which do matter as long as they do matter.

                Was reminded of the Valley with wooden A Frames in Oregon, named after Alan Watts, and saw myself again walking through that mysterious landscape with a laundry trolley.

                Am reminded to look again into ‘The Wisdom of Insecurity’ and what Alan Watts shared thereabouts in the edition with the same title.

                We´re standing ´on the shoulders´ of many, as one says, aren’t we?


                • Arpana says:

                  @ Madhu

                  “We´re standing ´on the shoulders´ of many, as one says, aren’t we?”

                  Good to remember that is. ( ᐛ ),

                  We don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Thanks, Osho.

              • prem martyn says:

                That Alan Watts and Frank meeting in full…


                “I juz wanna say”…(sound of whimpering and the slamming of glass on kitchen plastic formica-topped table)…

                “Fraank…yuuuuu…are a…no, listen to me, Fraaank…just listen,” (sound of chrome-legged kitchen chair legs scraping across tiled floor)…

                “Here Fraank…no, shhhhh, ssssH. Yo! Frank…Yu know it’s not the al cohol talking…it’s this!” (rips open booze- soaked T-shirt to reveal tattoo…

                “See that, Fraankkkkk…that’s my heart (large heart with silver rose harpooned through the centre with word ‘MUM’ emblazoned in royal blue by flying cherub angel with enormous quill pen)…

                “That’s why I drink, Frank, cos wivvout our Muvvers (starts to raise voice louder and louder with each syllable)…wivv–ooouutt…ourr…MUVVERS…none of us wud be ‘ere – right, Frank???!!”

                Mumbling to himself, “Fuck Tai Chi, effing flat-faced cunts.”

  4. Kavita says:

    The teacher/anyone is not free from all of it, but if anyone sees light through them and light is of any significance to them, it’s worth it to go on exploring until one is satisfied/bored, whatever the case may be.

    I guess as long as one has eyes one shall go on seeing the play of light and somehow it is best to enjoy it while one can because in any case life as such is out of anyone’s control.

  5. madhu dagmar frantzen says:

    Dear SN folks,

    Who else can speak with authority but those who really went through/are going through with as much awareness as possible through that which Frank calls an “odd” life? And has the gift of putting it simply, as Alan Watts does it in this here presented quote.

    It´s an offer, an invitation – as to himself – as to an audience listening. Sharing. Nothing more and nothing less.

    Whosoever takes that offer, and when and how and realising it for him or herself, one does not really know from the outside. Although there are at any time lots of people so eager to prove that the human, sharing such, is here and there not successful himself or herself to live up above in some imagined ´perfect sky in a perfect Lotus Position.

    The latter, a majority, it seems in my view, didn´t take sincerely the offer for themselves in the first place.

    Alan Watts, one of the many ancestors who left their valuable traces. And very, very rare are those who don´t leave footprints in the SKY.

    But that´s no story.

    The first snow in this year
    Time to take a tip-taste on the tongue
    Of that fragile, crystallised white nothing…
    The kids are thrilled outside….


  6. Arpana says:

    Occurs to me anyone can help anyone, as long as the ‘helper’ has no identity invested in helping.

    As long as the helper can say, “Here’s a suggestion. Might this work for you? You don’t have to bother with this. Use it. Don’t use it. Whatever you feel comfortable with.”

  7. frank says:

    An Interview with Gia-fu Feng.
    Q: You’ve mentioned Alan Watts several times and I know that you’ve been with him when he was teaching. What was he like to be with?
    A: You see Alan Watts was very creative. When he drinks he’s very clever. He was in a class, you know, at night time, he was all drunk. But his lectures were never boring. He was a tremendous entertainer. He said, “I’m an entertainer, I’m no Buddhist philosopher.”
    Q: Alan Watts actually died from alcohol, didn’t he?
    A: Oh yeah. At that time he drank whisky by the bottle.
    Q: But how could that tie in with the Tao?
    A: That’s from the Tao! The fact that he drank is totally in tune with the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove-his utter disregard for convention. One of the sages, a famous poet called Liu Ling, had a servant who followed him carrying a jug of wine and a spade. In this way he always had some wine to drink and his servant would be ready to bury him if he dropped dead during a drinking bout! It’s in the Tao. So Alan Watts’ drinking is quite Taoistic.

    • satyadeva says:

      “Q: Alan Watts actually died from alcohol, didn’t he?
      A: Oh yeah. At that time he drank whisky by the bottle.
      Q: But how could that tie in with the Tao?
      A: That’s from the Tao! The fact that he drank is totally in tune with the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove – his utter disregard for convention.”

      I’ve heard some spurious rubbish over the years but rarely have I come across such utter tripe.

  8. Sammasati says:

    Who cares if the teacher is intoxicated, crazy or even appears like death incarnate ready to kill all your delusions in one cut as long as he touches your being? You are judging the vessel and ignoring the contents that are being poured for your benefit. If you concentrate on appearances, you miss the point.

    The classic ‘Judge not lest ye be judged’, it does not refer to an external judging entity, it only refers to oneself excluding oneself from unity. Take for instance Ikkyu, beautiful insight from a total drunkard who liked to spend his time in whorehouses. :)

  9. prem martyn says:

    Come on, Guys, it’s obvious…
    It was a simple spelling mistake in the ancient self-help Home-Brewddha Texts. The Chinese are past masters at printing – and printing errors.

    It’s obvious that Alan Watts must have ordered his copy of the ‘Ta Chi Mi Drin-king’ with those difficult to read translated instructions from a cheap oriental supplier.

    Don’t be so hooked on the literal words – how many times do I have to repeat myself? – it’s enough to drive a man to drink…

    Lesson 1:
    Curious or just a spiritual nomad? Discuss.

    Lesson 2:
    When joining the morning Sesshin remember:


    Lesson 3:
    Upon leaving the morning discourse, remember India is the source of religious understanding:

    Lesson 4:

    Lesson 5:
    Just avoid the alcohol-fuelled munchies and table snacks in China:

  10. sw. veet (francesco) says:

    “If I had not known Osho (love/meditation) I would never dropped heroin” (one of my friends).

    Imho, and thanks to meditation that allows me to go beyond my meta-cognitive bias, at the base of each theory there is always a choice of axioms (subjective), with the laws and hierarchies that keep them more or less coherently together.

    Viewed from outside, Arpana, the theory of mind, one of the many from which the Dunning–Kruger effect comes, would make sense, according to my ontology of the mind, if it provides a criterion or a law to decide what is a normal condition (measurable) where a normal communication could happen, undisturbed by this effect (maybe Popper doesn’t care about soft science).

    Not knowing the universal psychometric parameters of normality, if they exist, I can exclude also that to get into any omc or spiritual context I had never seen any requesting mind test, at most one of blood. Rather, I was requested before entering to leave my head near the shoes; btw, only then I noticed the most beautiful minds of my previous generations to be very reluctant in that.

    From here follows that Teachers/Masters, with a wide and meta-cognitively varied audience, can always be suspected of being afflicted by some bias, every time he/she ventures into a field not his own, or every time he/she becomes too technical in his field with respect to his audience.

    Coming to the topic, not knowing Alan Watts but taking as true what I read in the comments, if I were an alcoholic trying indulgence with my vice maybe he could be my teacher, if it’s true about the qualities attributed to him despite his addiction.

    Instead, if I would look for a teacher to teach me how to become performing and at the same time save my liver I’d stay away from Mr. Watts.

    In my case, the question of what makes a Master, unlike a Teacher, is not in His capacity to free someone FROM something but in freeing someone FOR something (that I love Fromm I wrote already).



  11. Lokesh says:

    Worrying is like praying for what you don’t want to happen.

    Alan Watts must have influenced me, because he was one of my favourite reads when I was coming down from acid trips back in the ancient times.

    “Does a teacher have to be free of his own problems to be helpful to others?”
    What a stupid question! Lots of people taught you things you needed to learn and no doubt had plenty of personal problems. You would not be reading this had not someone taught you to do so. Was your English teacher at school a Buddha?

    Who cares if Alan Watts was an alkie? What business is that of anyone’s? He did good works in the pioneering days. What more does one need to know about him? Osho became addicted to some strange substances, yet he still managed to do good work that assisted many in their journey through life. What more can one ask for?

    I do not particularly enjoy alcohol and get drunk once every twenty years or so. I hate hangovers. Oddly enough, I have a strong constitution for alcohol. My son gave me a bottle of expensive cognac for my birthday and kicked up a fuss because I drank the whole bottle the following day because I caught a cold. It did not relive my cold symptoms but I reached an inner state wherein I did not give a fuck.

    Remember Osho’s Zen Bulls? In the end the enlightened guy is back in the market place with a bottle of booze. Great stuff!

    • Sammasati says:

      Lokesh says:
      “Remember Osho’s Zen Bulls? In the end the enlightened guy is back in the market place with a bottle of booze. Great stuff!”

      Have you got a take why he’s got that bottle of booze? In Alan Watts’s case, beating the bush all day in and out, I bet it takes its toll. Being in the world and not of it gives me a headache at least. From the enlightened point of view: surrounded by fools who think they know or that there is something to know in the first place.

    • satyadeva says:

      Sure, anyone with skills and knowledge to impart can help others in their particular area(s) of expertise and might well be a positive influence in other ways, whether they’re, for instance, schoolteacher, plumber, driving instructor, parish priest or spiritual teacher/mentor.

      But for me, despite lurid tales of “crazy wisdom” and masters declaring they can be “anything” they “choose to be” without losing their inner freedom, if a spiritual teacher can’t face reality without the aid of large quantities of booze (particularly when it ends up destroying his health and even helping to kill him) then he still has a serious problem and thus whatever he might have realised (made real in himself) is self-evidently inadequate, he’s not yet ‘the real deal’.

      Which is why I suggest Alan Watts was unfortunate in not having a master to guide him. Pity, as a year or two later he just might have found Osho, for example….

      • Sammasati says:

        Meet Osho and trade alcohol for laughing gas…Is that it?

      • Sammasati says:

        Masters and teachers come in all flavours, whether you like it or not.

        • Arpana says:

          Are you a master or a teacher, Sammasati?

          • Sammasati says:

            I guess I become a teacher if someone wants to listen, otherwise I just am. Masters are teachers who have a following, which I am not keen on acquiring. A true master, in my opinion, kicks you in the butt instead of changing your diapers and telling you soothing tales that make you hang around.

            Now that you bring it up, I was in Pune in March 1991 (never even entered the ashram grounds) and a couple of black robed guys tried to recruit me as a zen teacher after a bit of mouthwhipping with some sannyasins I encountered, who thanked me in the end and after the shock, left Pune for good.

            The result: I could not have my morning coffee and croissant in peace anymore at the German bakery without having a stranger with a philosophical question interrupting from a close by table. :)

        • satyadeva says:

          No doubt they do, although – with the possible exception of those whose health is failing, like Osho, for example – any teacher finding difficulty facing reality without the aid of drink or drugs or pills is, to me, suspect, as they’re not ‘walking their talk’.

          Such teachers probably too easily let their people off the hook, as it were, by their example tacitly giving permission to self-indulge or even become addicted as something ‘ok’, even ‘spiritual’, when nothing could be further from the truth (or even the Truth).

          Still, as I’ve said, Alan Watts had/has much to offer, as a young man I greatly enjoyed one or two of his books and now his online talks.

          And, on reflection, I’m open to Simond’s take on the “loneliness” of such people, especially in the West, although it’s disappointing that such intelligence, such insightful wisdom should have succumbed to such very large doses of ‘the wrong spirit’.

          • Sammasati says:

            Do you realise that in almost all ancient and current shamanistic societies mostly psychedelics were/are used with spiritual guidance as ways of introspection? Of course, this has nothing to do with addiction.

            To define that a true teacher has to have certain outward attributes or codes of behaviour is what I am disputing here. I am not justifying ‘excess’ use of anything, even if that cannot be quantified on an individual basis. A lot of gurus also have pot bellies if we are to discuss moderation and self-indulgence here. Shall we continue next with celibacy?

            • satyadeva says:

              Yes, of course, Sammasati, I’m well aware of shamanistic traditions, but I have reservations about their relevance to contemporary, westernised people, who are all too eager to run towards anything that seems ‘glamorous’, exciting, radically different from what they’ve been exposed to in their conditioning, especially where drugs are a key part of the process…


              I suspect delusion finds fertile ground among the adherents of such practices and perhaps its professional practitioners, and personally, I wouldn’t necessarily trust any so-called shaman from a third world, traditional culture to be really able to understand and help a westerner like me.

              As for the attributes of a true teacher (not to mention a master), I’d cite the absence of unhappiness (eg in the form of emotional ups and downs) to be a major factor (Alan Watts seems to have fallen short on that score, although I agree that simond does a good job outlining mitigating factors).

              Also, it would seem obvious that each individual master is not for ‘everyone’, they all have their own ‘catchment areas’ amongst humanity. Which is partly, perhaps, why so many criticise and contradict each other, so that potential and actual disciples or ‘interested parties’ are clear who’s offering what, as it were.

              As I’ve just indicated, shamanism seems like a blind alley to me, and ultimately, so are any teachers whose lifestyle is or was over-filled with unhealthy practices.

              • Sammasati says:

                No quarrel here with what you said in general. However, on the emotional ups and downs, I have to disagree. An enlightened person can have ups and downs, the difference is just that he/she recognizes this as it is happening and takes full responsibility, ownership and acceptance of the experience, but is not caught by it. Nobody is perfect, otherwise you would be dead and an enlightened person is very much alive.

                You also make a good point with every master not being for everyone, I totally agree. Why spend time around people that don’t resonate with your being?

          • frank says:

            SD saying “disappointing…such insightful wisdom should have succumbed to such very large doses of ‘the wrong spirit’.”

            This reminds me of a poem wot I wrote when I stopped drinking:

            The True Spirit of Zen

            My master told me that to drink tea
            is the most sacred thing.
            And now,
            After so many years
            Of communicating deeply
            With various spirit guides
            Eg. the famous Madame Smirnoff,
            I finally get the point
            And brew myself a fresh pot.

      • shantam prem says:

        Seems like SD lives in fool´s paradise created by Hindu priests.

        Does he knows how much is the daily intake booze by those who were around Osho till His last breath?

        • satyadeva says:

          Another mixture of the blindingly stupid and the personal agenda-driven irrelevant from Shantam.

          First, what have “Hindu priests” got to do with it?!

          Second, in this context, we’re discussing teachers and masters here. Who gives a stuff about what disciples or lay people do or don’t do? Only you, driven as you are to always attempt to twist everything to suit your anti-ashram-regime agenda.

          • shantam prem says:

            First of all, there is no ashram, therefore my agenda.

            Moreover, why this presumption, Alan Watts should have a living master? He played his role wonderfully.

            • satyadeva says:

              Your first paragraph is sheer lying bullshine (to yourself, in the first instance).

              Yes, Alan Watts was a fine, inspirational teacher, in writing and ‘onstage’. But not such a fine teacher in his actual life, despite any sympathy one might have for his predicament in the West.

              I suggest it’s likely that if Alan Watts had had a living master then he could have moved on, overcome addiction and eventually become a master (in the first instance, of himself) in his own right.

  12. sw. veet (francesco) says:

    “It did not relieve my cold symptoms but I reached an inner state wherein I did not give a fuck”.

    Man, not only tears, thanks to you.


  13. simond says:

    I read Alan Watts many years ago, as a teenager. He was one of the first teachers I had come across. And recently, I skimmed a load of his books, as my partner had kept many of his books, also collected many years ago. Her father had collected them way back in the early 1960s.

    It matters not that he became an alcoholic, he still imparted a great deal of knowledge and insight to me. And he led the way for many in the West to explore his own heritage, from the East, as well as creating a teaching that was more firmly rooted in the practical West.

    I don’t know his circumstances or his background but I can speculate that his life may have been quite lonely, given that he was speaking at a time when so few in the West would have really understood him. I know I didn’t at the time. He provided new information but I needed life experience to bring his understanding to real life.

    Teachers are bound to their students by their understanding or lack of understanding. No one is an island, teachers and students alike are affected by each other. We are all learning, all part of a great experiment. If we examine the lives of many so-called teachers, from East or West, there are moments when the roles have swapped and teacher has become student and the student has become the teacher. This shows me how deeply embedded we are in each other.

    It seems to me there are many reasons why teachers lose their way, or become addicted to drugs, women or drink. It’s no easy path, being the initiator or instigator or forerunner. It must at time be very lonely and depressing to be misunderstood and maligned. The history of great thinkers, inventors and the like is often paralleled with isolation and misunderstandings. And leaders can also become big-headed and self-righteous.

    I might speculate that Osho suffered in times from the same isolation and he certainly lost confidence in his own people at times. From what we know, he needed the aid of drugs at times.

    Ideally, we might wish our teachers to be perfect, but does it matter if they are not? I’ve learned from all sorts of people and no one is perfect. Whilst I also suffered from guru-itis, in that I was looking for perfection or a father figure, so too I’ve been humbled to discover that in many ways my gurus were also ‘human’ and fallible. This helped me to accept my own failings and fallibility. The ‘distance’ between me and they was not as great as I’d once believed. My longing for a perfect teacher waned as I recognised their humanity, and they become more humble and real by open vulnerability.

    Of course there are teachers who don’t like to admit they’re fallible, or for whom the path is made more difficult by their lack of vulnerability. Look at Da free John, Andrew Cohen, and in the East there have been many so-called gurus, caught up in sexual and financial crisis. The root of these scandals is the guru teacher who has become over-identified with their role as the so-called perfect teacher, the fount of wisdom and therefore ‘perfect’.

    And of course, we as students have wanted this so-called perfection to exist, when it clearly isn’t the case. That surely is part our learning…

    The debate on this site is often expresssed between those who no longer need the perfect father figure of Osho, or any teacher, and those diehards who have yet to appreciate that he doesn’t need to be perfect and infallible. He gave his all, in the same way that Alan Watts did.

    • Arpana says:

      Did you go to Christian theological college, Rev. Simond, and train to be a priest?

      • frank says:

        I wouldn`t compare Alan Watts to either Andrew Cohen or the super-sized Ramana wannabe Baba Freelunch and that idiot Ken Wilber who supported both of them.

        These guys compared to Alan Watts remind me of one of my favourite Bukowski quotes:

        “An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way.
        An artist says a hard thing in a simple way.”

        • simond says:

          I too, Frank, wouldn’t compare Alan Watts with either of those guys in terms of their value to me. Alan has always felt sincere, and by God, he offered something new in what he said.

          Alan does seem somewhat dated, however, some of his writings are very intellectual, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t a pioneer, he clearly was.

          He helped set me on a path….

      • simond says:

        No, Arpana, I didn’t train to be a priest, I was busy studying ‘The Mustard Seed’, one of your favourites, if memory serves me right.

        • Arpana says:

          So how did you develop that sermonising style of writing?

          What’s behind that?

          • simond says:

            Hi Arpana,
            Perhaps if you could explain why it bothers you and in what way you see it as sermonising, that would help me.
            In your post at 12.29 yesterday I thought you put very well:

            “As long as the helper can say, “Here’s a suggestion. Might this work for you? You don’t have to bother with this. Use it. Don’t use it. Whatever you feel comfortable with.” ”

            Perhaps if you wrote in more detail what it is that offends you, and instead of just writing one line replies you gave positive and negative feedback, that might help me and others.

            When I write I take some time to ponder what it is I wish to say, and try and explain my thinking using my experience and also what I have understood intellectually.

            Sometimes people disagree with me, usually on one point or another, but rarely do other contributors belittle my efforts and just amuse themselves with laughing at me. They offer an alternative thinking, which may begin a real debate.

            I see from your post today at 12.29 that you can do this too. So please, if you wish to explore with me, offer me the help. From your perspective, I clearly need it.

      • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

        Hi Arpana,
        Yesterday you said here:

        4 January, 2017 at 3:41 pm
        “We get a lot of would-be gurus pimping for acolytes here at sannyas news. Couple around at the moment. Always ends in tears.

        4 January, 2017 at 3:42 pm
        Sulking, I should say, rather than tears.”

        My question is:
        Do you yourself include yourself in any of the categories you made up?

        Or not?


        • Arpana says:

          I’m not here for followers. I’m too abrasive to get followers. Why would anyone want to be my follower?

          I am here to participate. Rough and smooth. Whatever.

          • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

            Very good to know, Arpana, thanks for the response.

            And yet, as a matter of fact, how come that you quite often have pointed with your fingers (projecting verbally) suspiciously at others here, who might have had or have the same intention as you declare to have?

            You know, in the beginning of joining here, I quite often saw you as a kind of ´guardian angel`, finding with a gifted instinct and with researcher skills in the IT business, especially with Osho quote material – so often, inspiring quotes for the thread dynamic.

            And thank you for this.

            However, as time went by and being (as a reader and writing contributor) so often confronted with ever-repetitive ongoing fights, in which you played and play a major role then, my view has changed.

            Would be very nice if you just could take that as feedback.


            • Arpana says:

              “And yet, as a matter of fact, how come that you quite often have pointed with your fingers (projecting verbally) suspiciously at others here, who might have had or have the same intention as you declare to have?”

              I don’t try to be perfect anymore, Madhu. I am as capable of misinterpreting as everyone who posts here. I don’t try to live up to the ideas others have of what is perfect. I neither seek approval nor do I avoid disapproval

              “However, as time went by and being (as a reader and writing contributor) so often confronted with ever-repetitive ongoing fights, in which you played and play a major role then, my view has changed.”

              I can understand why you would say that, but in any long-term situation tensions emerge. Just life really.

              Interesting though that Sannyas News has never become moribund. Is so lively most of the time. As far as I know there is not another Sannyas site which has so much going on. This is not despite the friction, in my view. Friction plays a part in keeping Sannyas News so alive.

              To go with the flow doesn’t mean everything is nice and smooth all the time. Sometimes going with the flow requires effort. A part of life is drawing lines in the sand.

              Life is never ideal, Madhu. Never. If you ever think it is then it’s a coincidence that your ideal is matching up with what’s going on.

              • Lokesh says:

                Arpana declares, “I neither seek approval nor do I avoid disapproval.”

                I do not see that as being true and I am certain about that. I do not know if Arpana is aware of this. There are a number of instances here on SN that show that Arpana wants to be seen as being on the same wavelength as Frank.

                For instance, Arpana has stated at least half a dozen times on SN that I am an ex-sannyasin, whatever that is supposed to mean. A few days back, Frank makes it perfectly clear that the concept of being an ex-sannyasin is a misguided one. Arpana goes all quiet about ex-sannyasins, why?

                Because he somehow, consciously or unconsciously, sees there is something about Frank’s style he admires. He seeks peer recognition. It is kind of obvious but, unless I am mistaken, Arpana is the last person on earth who will admit this.

                I agree with Arpana when he states, “As far as I know there is not another Sannyas site which has so much going on.”

                SN is a very interesting forum. I have to admit that some of the reflections I write or receive here make me pause and reflect. One aspect that fascinates me is how we all live with multiple personalities, who often contradict each other. One day you say this, the next day you say that. We live with images of ourselves that are often at odds with the ways others perceive us.

                • Arpana says:

                  Frank is ‘awesome’. I most definitely do admire him and respect him. Unlike you, Frank doesn’t appear to believe the sun rises and sets because he exists. He seems to me to be pretty down-to-earth.

                  I am pretty sure the feeling isn’t mutual. There you go. Such is life.

                • Arpana says:

                  By the way, I don’t have much respect for the way Frank takes a pop at everyone but you, Lokesh. Even if you were everything you delude yourself you are, by the law of averages you would still provide someone like Frank with opportunities for him to take a pop, and he never does.

                • Lokesh says:

                  Oh, Arpana admits, in a very roundabout way, that by saying, “I neither seek approval nor do I avoid disapproval.”, he was telling whoppers to Madhu. That is a turn-up for the books.

                • Arpana says:

                  6 January, 2017 at 12:29 pm

                  A pretty classic example of clutching at straws.

                • frank says:

                  I would never have a pop at a Scottish skinhead who by his own account could drink your average Ned under the table and still go the distance with famous Lucknow skinhead LBW Punjaji in an ego-crunching once-in-a-lifetime skin-head-to-head spiritual encounter.

                  I learnt my lesson when I was 13 or so. I was out on my bike when a young woman rode past. Being a bit of a gobshite, I shouted some incredibly witty comment along the lines of “Your back wheel`s going round.”
                  What I didn`t notice was, following her on his bike, her boyfriend – a huge, ugly, adult skinhead with a cranium like a potato.

                  Suddenly, his face was a few inches from mine. The swollen veins protruding from his shaven pate signalled that things weren`t going well.

                  “What are you laffing at?” he asked
                  “I`m not laffing,” I offered weakly
                  “Well, don`t,” he retorted with marvellous zen sense of paradox as he smashed me full in the face and kicked me as I crumpled to the ground with my bike landing on top of me in a heap.

                  Once bitten, twice shy.

                • Arpana says:

                  @ Frank.

                  I am, as always, thoroughly impressed at your capacity to wriggle your way out of anything.

                • Tan says:

                  It amazes me how important it is for nearly everybody to be perceived by others in a nice way. I don’t understand how it matters! Osho commenting on Sartre, once, agreed with him, when he said: “The other is hell.”

                  It is, really! Wasting our valuable time with this hell is very childish and stupid. But, what to do? Osho said, as well, that stupidity catches easily in our bloodstream. Again, how right he was.


                • Arpana says:

                  @Tan. 6 January, 2017 at 2:25 pm.

                  Humans are slaves to the opinions of others, Tan. Habits we get into when we are young and vulnerable and need approval to survive, I guess. (I don’t mean you, Lokesh, so don’t get a wag on).

                • Tan says:

                  Thanks, Arps! Totally agree! XXX

              • Lokesh says:

                Dear Frank,
                I can assure you that any resemblance I bear in common with a skinhead is purely physical. I am at heart a peace-loving fellow who often stops to chat with snails in the cabbage patch. Have not been in a scrap in years. Last time a guy swung a punch at me, I broke his jaw. At 65, I still work out in the gym six times a week and chat up the chicks in the sauna afterwards.

                Growing up in Charing Cross, Glasgow, during the fifties, I learned to run better than I could fight. I had the head stuck on me at the tender age of fourteen by one of the Calpton tongs, in his idea of fun.

                It was in the Encounter Group in Poona and due to counselling with Poonam that I finally put paid to the aggressive demons of my youth. My father was a professional soldier, company sergeant major in the Gordon Highlanders, who dreamt of me going to Sandhurst. Thank fuck Jimi Hendrix and LSD came along and set me on the right track.

                Peace, love and harmony, man.

        • Tan says:

          The only guru here, in SN, is Yogi. Totally enlightened, one with the universe, and he doesn’t give a damn about any follower. Isn’t it?


  14. shantam prem says:

    Matter of the fact is, Swamis don´t need masters, don´t need teachers, they need ‘wife or girlfriend’ who melt like butter with the utterance of holy wisdom.

    • satyadeva says:

      Alan Watts was married several times. Do your research.

      And while you’re about it, see that, as so often, you’re referring to your own situation, projecting that on to another.

      • shantam prem says:

        SD, my time spent at Osho Commune International can be sum total of all the time of all the gentlemen here at sannyasnews.

        I cannot say what women want but I know the mind of Swamis. Being lawyer and astrologer, I know quite well not to mix different sections of different branches and to have understanding about individual as well as collective mind.

        It means mirror projects only the factual picture.

  15. kusum says:

    It seems most people are doing nothing but Gibberish meditation on sannyas news.

  16. shantam prem says:

    Downside of discussing deceased persons is they cannot get flattered with appreciation, neither can feel offended by the nonsense, nor can say anything in their defence when accused.

  17. madhu dagmar frantzen says:

    Hi Friends,

    Like to share with you what I enjoyed early this very frosty winter morning, looking deliberately and yet quite anarchically in the ´net´ to sweeten up my cappucino-and-no-croissant breakfast. Looking for a bit of warmth amidst all these icy north winds, snow and ice happening. Stirring lots of stuff up, but mostly leaves us freezing.

    Ended up in a conversation of two friends, of whom both one can write with a capital ´F´. One of them with a beaming facial smile all the way from one side to the other, and most important: that was a natural grown smile, even recognisable through a Skype-medium!

    The latter shared an ancient Greek fable with the other Friend and with the world at large. The fable goes about the north wind and the sun having an argument and a fight about who is more powerful to influence and to get hold of something they want.

    Both decided to se upt a challenge on Earth and to get into the gears of this competition they chose a wandering shepherd wrapped in his cloak and the cloak was that which these two were up to (superficially speaking):
    “Who is the first to rip that cloak off the shepherd’s shoulders?” – that was the bet.

    So the north wind started, and blew hard and frosty and even harder to get hold of the cloak, but wasn´t successful at all. The more he blew. the more the shepherd wrapped his cloak around his shoulders.

    Then it was the turn of the sun with quite a different approach. sending the earth a warm breeze…and another and another one. Up to the moment where the shepherd decided to lay down in the grass and took his cloak off.

    Looking at the broad smile of this narrator, a Hotei´s smile for me in my eyes, found myself smiling back to the screen here, knowing that I dreamt in a dream, most real, ‘Being amongst Friends’ – just around the next caravanserai table and truly more than interested to listen to their voices in having a conversation.

    If you also like to be inspired of a worthwhile SMILE with content , you may look at the very recommendable youtube edit ( of December 27, 2016) showing a meeting of William Ury and Thomas Hübl on ´Negotation in Conflict(s)’.

    Sharing with Love,


  18. sw. veet (francesco) says:


    Dear friend,
    I’m new here and it is possible that it is not original what I’m about to say, I do not know even why someone calls you ‘Reverend’, given correct my idea of ​​how should a Reverend speak:

    For me, until now the verbal conflicts were due to the approach for me a little arrogant to discuss by the Exegetes, those who have or claim to have a more prolonged and direct knowledge of the world of Osho, and the people most humbly, or at least that’s the initial attitude, who raise the question of a Hermeneutic perspective vice, which is the same of the ants that tell the elephant.

    At this first polarization of the conflict overlaps the claim to match the scientific method with the arguments of each group, from Popper to Kuhn, through Ockham’s Razor.

    Imho, the question is if this dozen of black crows against that dozen of white swans is representative of the total of the visitors of this forum: how what happens in these dialectical exchanges remember That fragrance, on average experienced by millions of Osho lovers (I include my sisters or my nephews, who are not sannyasins, never entered in an omc, never made a group or kundalini but that put the Master sentences on facebook).

    I agree that we can not keep out of the teacher/master picture his students/disciples. If it is true, whiskey or grass, either.

    But I would not take for granted that the answer is always “thanks” to or always “despite” the use of these substances teachers/masters are considered as such. (Also this maybe you will have already read in the forum).



  19. swami anand anubodh says:

    I remember talking to a guy once who was very critical of Osho. I asked him why. And it was because he didn’t approve of somebody who claimed to be ‘spiritual’ yet owned a fleet of luxury cars in a world full of poverty. Which for him was unequivocal evidence that Osho was a fraud.

    I said, “Ok, fair enough…but, I knew Osho before he had all that wealth, was he a fraud back then?” He didn’t seem to have an answer.

    So I asked him to look at it from Osho’s point of view: He has a fleet of Rolls-Royces and is surrounded by 10,000 devoted followers. If he disposes of all his cars he will then have 10,001 devotees.

    Is that a proposition he is likely to be keen on?

    And if he was, he may well find that once the cars had gone, this would-be disciple may make further demands. And so Osho makes further concessions until he conforms to required expectations. But by then there is no point as it would have been shown that the disciple was already a master. So why the need to bother with Osho?

    I reckon you have to accept someone like Alan Watts (or Osho) as you find them, or move on.
    AW is clearly not stupid and must have been aware of any self-harm (similar to Osho). And maybe this can happen for no other reason then a growing realisation that ‘enlightenment’ is overrated.

  20. sw. veet (francesco) says:


    Ok, but I quote Madhu because until now I don’t see Simond in the same platoon of the so-called red ass baboons, conformists of the anti-conformism, who take seriously only their game: play the iconoclast game against the most iconoclast Master.

    This reason seems more than enough not to feed other divisions, especially if one is aware of the divisions waiting for us out of this forum, which seems for ‘them’ to be the only dimension that matters, the literary one.




    • Arpana says:

      @sw. veet (francesco)


    • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

      Veet Francesco, re your comment addressed to Arpana:

      What´s really going on here?
      How about a bit of clarifying this kinds of a Berlusconi way(s) of ´take(s) on issues?
      And who could clarify that better than a native Italian?

      sw. veet (francesco) says:
      6 January, 2017 at 9:00 pm

      “Ok, but I quote Madhu* because until now I don’t see Simond in the same platoon of the so-called red ass baboons, conformists of the anti-conformism, who take seriously only their game: play the iconoclast game against the most iconoclast Master.

      This reason seems more than enough not to feed other divisions, especially if one is aware of the divisions waiting for us out of this forum, which seems for ‘them’ to be the only dimension that matters, the literary one.”

      Disgusted from such takes on issues is – sincerely – me,


      Didn´t see you quoting me in the open frame of the SN Chat, btw, Veet Francesco, and if you did (somewhere else and hidden), I object herewith.


      • Lokesh says:

        Awwwww…I missed that. Something not quite right about Veet’s writing style. Difficult to figure out what he is on about a lot of the time.

        POST EDITED.

        • shantam prem says:

          Sw.Veet and Madhu,
          Before you post on public platform read your posts two, three times. Think from readers’ eyes, and feel are they funny, are they witty, are they wise or provocative?

          If not, get email address of each other and communicate privately.



          • Arpana says:

            Before you post on public platform read your posts two, three times. Think from readers’ eyes, and feel are they funny, are they witty, are they wise or provocative?

            POST EDITED.

  21. sw. veet (francesco) says:

    @madhu dagmar frantzen

    “However, as time went by and being (as a reader and writing contributor) so often confronted with ever-repetitive ongoing fights, in which you played and play a major role then, my view has changed.”

    Relax, I said just “quote”. What disgusted you in your words?
    You react like it was an ‘Anschluss’. Ask the fat ass of your boss for that.

    I’m sorry but when you write “oh” at the core of the Roman Empire it sounds like one of these things: pain, anger, boredom, wonder, pleasure, desire, etc.

    If after it is followed by “!” it means that you really wanted to say one of those things.




  22. sw. veet (francesco) says:

    @Shantam Prem
    Sorry, you are right. I will try to be inspired by the things that you write.



  23. sw. veet (francesco) says:

    If you have listened to the Osho talk on the next page, he explains how to be assertive in loving way, which was misunderstood by the hostile waitress by whom many of you were bullied.

    So, my comment on the way you relate with Simond is about that.

    Naturally, between you and a hostile waitress there are many degrees of baboon separation, but there remains the lack of assertiveness.

    But if it was there, as in your “oh!” and “hmm!”, and I have not noticed it, I am ready to apologise, as soon as you are able to show it.



    • Arpana says:

      “…which was misunderstood by the hostile waitress by whom many of you were bullied.”
      Who are you referring to here?

      I am sure you would agree that if I spoke Italian as a second language, there are nuances of meaning which are not available to me in the same way as when Italian-born individuals, especially of a similar class, speak to each other.

      In just the same way, Reverend Simond and I are both English, of a certain class, likely both ex-grammar school, and there is something going on between us that you’re not going to get hold of, given English is not your primary language.

      Given the way you can go off into abusive tirades, and have, I am getting the impression (correct me if I am wrong) of a fierce temper. I’m not entirely convinced you should be lecturing anyone here, apart from Shantam, about how to be loving, or when to be loving, or to whom to be loving.

  24. sw. veet (francesco) says:


    Are you kidding?

    Weren’t you who have commented below the Osho discourse on the next page? Did you write that stuff without listening to what He said about the waitress, excellent cutter of heads but with hostile attitude? Do you not remember about the waitress and her Inferno, despite Bhagwan? Ah, ok “bullying” maybe is too much…

    “Christ, but this event shattered me.
    I felt like a ghost. That I was not corporeal for weeks afterwards. Really freaky; and then I gradually became aware of a sense of myself as a sannyasin.” (Arpana)

    “Who was living “in the world”, as he put it, and not in communes etc., that there was a spirit of celebration amongst street sannyasins in London on That Day!” (Parmartha)

    Yes, actually I have to thank some of you because you are helping to bring out the fierce side of my temper. I said “side” but I would not lecture you about anthropology.

    For example, according to your grammar school class, which side of me do you think might come out if, after the third attempt to get a clarification from you about the at least ambiguous things you’ve written, commenting on my hypothesis of your lack of assertiveness, you answer me with another question and give to me an etiquette lesson?

    It was due to his fierce temperament that Osho gave the mission as heads cutter to Sheila? Or she was missing the love that would have made her assertive? Consequently, Arpana, can you, me or anybody else “be loving” without being assertive?

    But if I scare you I can get out of the forum, leaving you alone in the Cleansing of the Temple, using all the implied assertiveness of your perfect grammar school class running after the baboons.

    In this mission, perhaps you will not have on your side any support from martial Teutonic accent people, though they are so good at setting the rules for the others, like Greeks and Berluscones (a little less in their own home, e.g. Siemens & Volkswagen).

    No, ‘expelling the merchants’ is not the best of Angela Dorothea’s ‘people’ but I love Germany…to the point that I would like to have two.



    • Arpana says:

      @ VF
      Sorry about that. I hadn’t realised you were the ultimate Osho expert and I had to conform, in every way possible, to the smallest degree, to your viewpoint. That what you hear and feel and see is the template against which my behaviour, responses are measured.

  25. sw. veet (francesco) says:


    Thanks, I appreciate your sincerity. But do not forget to do the homework that I assigned you, the same, for the fourth time.

    Just a little exercise and between us there will be no language barriers, where to hide lack of assertiveness.




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