WITNESSING – An Incomplete Teaching

Osho emphasised witnessing, a meditative watching of thoughts, emerging emotions and states of being, and here Lokesh maintains there’s a lot more to come beyond that…

“Just remember one thing, just the one thing that is the only quality of the buddha — witnessing. Witness that you are not the body. Witness that you are not the mind. Witness that you are not the other subtle bodies, layer upon layer. You are only a witness, nothing else. 

The moment you are simply a witness, you are a buddha. This buddha has been hiding deep within you for millions of lives. He has to be brought out. He has to change your whole life. He has to bring his grace to your gestures, beauty to your eyes, agelessness to your being, to your feeling. But first make sure that you are simply a witness.”


Witnessing has always been a key element in Osho’s teachings. Due to Osho’s influence I practised witnessing for many years. Then, twenty years ago, I came across a transcript in a Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj book where someone told SNM that he was practising witnessing. The master asked the person, who could have easily been a Rajneesh sannyasin, where he had learnt this from. The man replied that he had been taught this by his guru. SNM then said, “You have been given an incomplete teaching.” 

 An incomplete teaching? That stayed with me and over the years I have studied what it is that makes witnessing an incomplete teaching. Here’s my take on it.

When it comes to mapping out the twisting paths, pitfalls, and whatever is to be encountered on one’s journey through the mountains and valleys of the inner world, I find that Buddhism, in particular Tibetan Buddhism, has drawn up the clearest charts. The foundation of Buddhism is the understanding of ego. How ego is formed is the subject of what are called ‘skandhas’. As far as my understanding goes, there are five skandhas to go through until the ego is fully formed. It is a complex and mechanical process wherein it can be said that the primordial intelligence, which hums along in the background for all eternity, is being employed by the dualistic fixation, ignorance.

What exactly does that mean? You are an ego, a product of ignorance. I do not mean that in a negative way. In a certain sense ignorance is intelligent, albeit a two-way intelligence that reacts to projections rather than seeing what is. 

It appears that we have fallen foul of an illusionary state which makes us believe that we are concrete entities, selves, egos, when in reality we are something beyond that. It is as if a vast flowing river has become frozen solid. Whatever you want to call the nature of our true being it is not the witness, for being a witness requires someone, something, to know that witnessing is taking place. Who or what  might that be? The ego, of course. Very spiritual and beyond it all, but it is still the ego. 

Osho understood this. Nonetheless, he insisted that we become witnesses. Watchers in the hills. I suspect that he did this because he knew that one day something would pop and the real point of witnessing would reveal itself, wherein there is only awareness with no centralized ‘I’. A field of pure awareness with nobody to lay claim to it.     

The doors of the fifth skandha factory rumbles open and rolling off the end of a conveyer belt comes yet another brand new ego, as perfect and glittering as a golden ball-bearing studded in diamonds. Its name is ME NUMBER ONE. The time to party hearty and rock n’ roll has arrived. I know it’s only rock n’ roll. but I like it, like it, yes I do! 

If you are an intelligent and discerning ego you one day tire of the material and sensual pleasures of this world. It’s all so transient. There must be something more to life than this. There must we some way outta here, said the joker to the thief. The good news for the ego is that there is. The world of mental and psychological pleasures beckons, a place where the ego can maintain its solid form, expand its horizons beyond the horizon to include the whole cosmos and maybe go beyond death. Far out! Sounds groovy. Where to begin? 

There are many starting places. The way is one but the paths are many. A common one is Hatha Yoga, sometimes known as sitting bolt upright in the full lotus posture, while remaining fast asleep. I need a good yoga teacher. Or maybe you take some LSD when a hookah-smoking caterpillar gives you the call and disappear down a rabbit hole and reappear in an ashram in India, chanting “Om” in a magic circle and saying “Namaste” to everyone you meet. I need a guru, a fully realized being to steer me on the right course. You hear about Osho and run, run, run to his feet, even if singing the song hurts your teeth.

One of the things you adore about Osho is how easy he makes everything sound. Easy is right, right? Osho says, “The moment you are simply a witness, you are a Buddha.” Wow! The lazy man’s guide to enlightenment. I like the sound of that. Impress your friends with the ultimate accolade. “I am a Buddha.” You start wearing orange clothes, join The Way of  The White Cloud Club and become a diligent watcher on the hills. You begin by watching your thoughts, then on to emotions, tricky because they move much faster than thoughts, and pretty soon you graduate to watching infinite inner space with an all-knowing smile pasted on your face. You can’t get enough of this limitless space shit. It’s pure bliss! 

Osho gives you a spiritual name. ‘Your new name will be Anand…’ The sky is not the limit. Limitless space gives way to limitless consciousness. Yahoo! You, the ego, have become huge, a bit of a beast, but so what? Osho says… You can always find a suitable Osho quote to back you up if you find yourself on shaky ground. The size of your inner empire knows no boundaries. It includes everything and is so unimaginably vast it cannot be defined as this or that. Sound familiar? Let me be who I am and kick out the jams. 

You start to dwell on the idea of not, not this and not, not that. Yes, yes, enlightenment, the ultimate golden carrot, is almost within reach. Follow your feelings. I can feel it, so it must be true. What is really happening is that you have reached the greatest achievement that your confused mind can attain. You are actually so delusional that you have managed to convince yourself that you have attained Buddhahood. Once in a while you get the sneaky suspicion that you are missing something important. You look around and find yourself in a Buddhafield, surrounded by thousands of budding Buddhas wearing white robes, just like you. You have made it. There is so much magnificence…

Meanwhile,  Zorba the Buddha sits in his air-conditioned cave, flicking through the latest Rolls Royce catalogue. He looks up, gazes through a triple-glazed window at the rose garden outside, smiles and thinks to himself, “Nobody can say I didn’t warn them. They did not read the small print, wherein I told them that witnessing is only the beginning and that they must become acquainted with the essence of the witnessing consciousness before they strike real gold. 

Why, just the other day I spoke about how as long as the ‘I’ is growing, as long as you still feel you are the doer, you have made no contact at all with the witness. When one is really empty, there is nothing other than emptiness, not even the awareness of emptiness. 

Maybe, just like my cousin Jesus, I am casting pearls before swine, no matter how lovable the silly creatures are. Don’t they understand I have work to do, that I am endeavouring to bring a new element of spirituality into this dark world? That requires numbers. Big numbers of people to get my crazy wisdom out there. Only those who have gone beyond the world can really change the world for the better. Really, if it were just up to me, I would only have a few disciples and get right down to brass tacks by telling those disciples that there is no witness, because there is nothing to be witness to. Dealing with the masses I have to keep it simple. Oh well, what the fuck!”  

“Mmmmmh”, Osho intones, “Great word, ‘FUCK’. Maybe I should compose an anecdote about the word ‘fuck’ for tomorrow morning’s discourse. That should be good for a few laughs. The master looks away from the window and calls out, “Will somebody hurry up and bring me a cup of hot chai! I’m  freezing my fucking nuts off in here!”             




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204 Responses to WITNESSING – An Incomplete Teaching

  1. shantam prem says:

    Irony, Sarcasm and Intelligence (ISI), these and similar few hallmark qualities mixed with love and meditation makes unique USP of Osho. Without them, Osho is like a snake whose poisonous gland has been removed.

    This piece of Lokesh comes very close to the genius of Osho.

    Opium of devotion has made us forget the humanness of the master; humans are wonderful but fallible.

    • Lokesh says:

      ‘This piece of Lokesh comes very close to the genius of Osho.’

      Thanks for the comment, Shantam.

      Osho really was a genius. Who else do you know with so many published books?
      I have three and so far no real publisher is interested in them.
      That about sums it up.

      • swamishanti says:

        Lokesh has sailed off in his boat into the deep blue sea again and has thrown down a line and some hooks. Let’s see who takes the bait.

        Nisargaddatta taught what he knew, and what his guru had taught him. And what his guru’s guru had taught him too. That All is Brahman. You are That . Tat twam asi. That Art Thou. The book is great and it is a powerful teaching that can open the mind very quickly, if a meditator is ripe.

        In that tradition the self enquiry method is known as ‘the way of the bird’. Because it is fast. As opposed to meditation and witnesssing which they label “the way of the ant”. There was a group in Pune, ‘Satori Intensive’, where meditators sat for days and asked themselves, “Who is in? Who am I?”

        I’ve read some great books from Ramesh Balsekar, who Nisargaddatta Maharaj had personally asked to teach others.

        But personally, I prefer reading from some of the work of Ranjit Maharaj, who Maharaj also refered to as a jnani, who shared the same guru as the the Beedie baba and used to visit him in his little Bombay flat that was conveniently situated close to the red light district, a facility which Nisargaddata was said to have utilised, according to some of those who were close to him.


        Speaking of sannyasins visiting Nisargaddatta, according to David Godman, who had spent time with both Ramana and Nisargadatta , Nis was sometimes quite harsh with them but respected Osho`s state. In fact. Maharaj is quoted as telling some visiting sannyasins:
        “Rajneesh [Osho] is not a small personality or small principal. He is tremendous ‒ he is very big. He is a great sage.

        When you already have a guru [Rajneesh], why do you visit other sages? Since you already have a great sage as your guru, you should not sit here or come here. I do not like those shiftings from gurus to gurus. I do not like wanderers. What is the difference between Maharaj and Rajneesh [Osho]? Once you remove the letters (that is, the names) what is the difference?”
        (From ‘Consciousness and the Absolute’, 1981)

        Osho was not so kind to the Beedie Wallah. He said that in India in every village there is a Beedie Wallah.
        “What the Beedie Wallah taught is a powerful method to open the mind. However, it does have its drawbacks.
        Followers of this method often have awakenings of non-duality and realise that there is only the One, but scores of these people confuse this with enlightenment. If the glimpse fades relatively quickly, then it is easier to judge that the awakening isn’t permanent.“

        However, sometimes followers of the advaita method get confused by a longer-lasting state , known as satori in Zen, where they are able to move in and out of the mind at will, yet the ego has not yet dissolved. Other teachers, including Osho, have referred to these states as the highest state of mind.

        “There is one false samadhi that has to be recognized also. It occurs in the fourth body, but is not samadhi though it seems like it. In Japan the Zen Buddhist term for it is satori. It is false samadhi. It is that state which a painter or a sculptor or a musician reaches when he is completely immersed in his art; he experiences a great bliss. This is a happening on the fourth – the psychic plane. If when looking at the morning sun or listening to a melody or looking at a dance or looking at the opening of a flower the mind is completely drowned in the happening, a false samadhi takes place.”
        (Osho: ‘In Search of The Miraculous’)

        In the `90s Poonja ‘popped’ many visitors out of their heads and helped them realise their consciousness using the self-enquiry method as taught by Ramana Maharishi.

        However, he just sent people away from him, believing they were enlightened. There were scores of them, coming away from Papaji thinking, “This is great! Now I’m enlightened and it’s time to start teaching.” Often these states faded with time and many of those began to doubt themselves or realised that their awakening wasn’t permanent, even if it had lasted for months or years.

        Others got into delusional states.

        I’ve heard good reports about Mooji. He may be one of the ones who was with Poonja whose awakening matured into enlightenment.

        The difference with Osho is that he would always point out when a sannyasin was deluded or confusing satori states with enlightenment. Somendra, Teertha, Santosh, all sannyasins deceived by these states were pointed out by the master. Sometimes they would accept his advice, some of them chose to ignore it.

        But Osho had been very clear in certain talks about the different planes of consciousness that a meditator can pass through:
        “So there are four types of samadhi. Actually there are three authentic samadhis and they happen in a sequence. The fourth is an absolutely false experience that appears like samadhi. In this there is no actual experience – only a feeling of samadhi that is misleading. Many people are misled by satori. This false samadhi occurs in the fourth – the psychic plane. It is not the transitional process between the fourth and the fifth plane; it happens well within the fourth body. The three authentic samadhis occur outside the bodies in a transitional period when we pass on from one plane to another. One samadhi is a door, a passage.

        So there are actually three samadhis. The first you may call atma samadhi, the second brahma samadhi, and the last nirvana samadhi. The very first and false samadhi you may call satori. This is the one you should guard against, because it is very easily attainable.”

        This was very similar to Buddha, who also taught witnessing as his main method and, like Osho, also spoke of different types of enlightenment.

        The first initial awakening of unlimited consciousness is not the same as the Brahman, or permanent enlightenment, according to Buddha and Osho. Both spoke of different types of enlightenment, and both spoke of a state that was beyond even the Brahman, that is the realisation of the Void.

        Buddha called that state Vajrabhed, ‘the piecing of the Diamond Thunderbold’. Osho said it related to the non-being or the Seventh plane.

        While Nisargaddatta Maharaj and other advaita teachers tend to work with words and `I am that`, Osho was more comfortable working in silence, with a heart transmission.

        Devotion, or Bhakti, is a bit of a polluted word but like Krishna’s bhaktas will say, “Krishna exists as the Paramatma in the heart of the devotee.”

        • frank says:

          I`m guessing that every spoken or written teaching must be an “incomplete teaching” if only because words are just not the same as reality….

        • Lokesh says:

          Shanti’s latest post is excellant, highly informative and very well put together. Thanks for that.

          It is interesting to note that unlike most gurus Osho did not belong to a lineage or carry on a tradition.Going by his claims it appears that self-enquiry was the route that brought him home. I reckon Osho invented all his meditation techniques partly because he understood that people, especially Westerners, needed to have something to do…dynamic, kundalini etc. kept people busy. Eventually, it was probably hoped that disciples would reach a point whereby they could sit quietly and do nothing.

          I do not believe for a moment that every village in India has a beedie wallah. If that were true, India would not be in the mess it is today. Osho liked to slag off the competition, even if they were not in competition with him. I kind of feel sorry about that because I allowed Osho to put me off visiting other gurus. I have a few friends who visited the beedie wallah…they all agreed that something very powerful was happening around him, with the minimum of fuss.

          Fortunately, thanks to my wife, I met Poonjaji. What a treat. Yes, it was relatively easy to imagine you were enlightened hanging out with him. Thanks to my training with Osho I did not need to wander down that particular garden path. It was a high point in my life though.

          The beedie wallah’s story has got to be one of the most amazing of all and if I need some form of guidance in relation to something I am going through I inevitably turn to the words of Nisargadatta for help. ‘I am That’ is like the essence of every Osho book squeezed into one. Of course, others will disagree. When the shoe fits!

          • swamishanti says:

            There is a beedie wallah, aka cigarette/pan/beedies/possible others under the counter/seller in every Indian village. If they all have the same understanding as Nisargaddatta Maharaj, I doubt it.

            I have heard, by the way, that the books of his talks have been edited quite a bit from the original Marathi to English by the translators, because as a beedie wallah he was a common man and his language was quite often coarse and vulgar and he used swearwords and sometimes incorporated sexual overtones and slang into his pointers.

            As far as Osho’s own path was concerned, I have heard that he sat for hours every day, I believe that witnessing was his main method, although he probably experimented with many techniques and at some stage quite a bit of self-enquiry, as you point out.

            One of his brothers, Nikalank, has said somewhere that as a youth Osho always appeared to be acting out of a high level of awareness, whether it was folding his handkerchief, taking care of plants in the garden, drawing water from the well, painting a picture or playing on his flute.

        • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

          Thank you for your contribution, Swamishanti. You appear here as such a good chronicler!

          You opened up your post with: “Let´s see who takes the bait.”

          Seeems to me that we all are born into this body with a “bait” already (as a kind of evolutionary and as well as very unique ‘compass’) to seduce us then for all kinds of trial and error stuff to walk our path of life.
          There are some teachers who call it the ´Path of Love´.

          Althouth I´m with Frank (in this case) who says that any spoken or written teaching must be an ´incomplete teaching´, there is no doubt about it (for me) that there exists an ´echolot´ (in the deep blue…) being attached to the quality of Silence from where our words then come into existence.

          Yesterday late evening I listened to a famous Canadian author(ess) Margret Attwood sharing her take on ´religion´ with a friend. It was all familiar for me like some of these ´Love Osho´ podcasts I´m enjoying too.

          It´s amazing how a good echo in the ´deep blue’, as it is called here just now, is working. (By chance is working…if not being disturbed by technical interferences…).

          Thanks again for the effort you took, Swamishanti.
          Good chroniclers are needed.

          (Being in awe about it).

          Madhu, what is an “echolot” (parag. 5), please?

          Mods, I didn´t use the word ´echolot´ (German for ‘echo sounder’) in a scientific way; for me it’s just like a compass in the ´deep blue´by a sound apparently inaudible, if you allow me that kind of nebulous expression.

          You know, I´m always in awe about the whales and other inconceivale creative fellow beings living under water, finding their ways and their lovers too, when they are singing their whale-songs, utterly unique ones…

          …and that´s not the only happening on this ´blue planet’ I´m living on, that puts me in wonder.

          • swamishanti says:

            Thanks, Madhu. I’ve enjoyed listening to some of the Love Osho podcasts too, although I have not listened to every one.

            I reckon Swaram should create a book out of the interviews.

            “Although I´m with Frank (in this case) who says that any spoken or written teaching must be an ´incomplete teaching´, there is no doubt about it (for me) that there exists an ´echolot´ (in the deep blue…) being attached to the quality of Silence from where our words then come into existence.’

            Yes, I also agree that these dimensions beyond the realm of the mind could not be summed up adequately with mental descriptions or words. And as Osho has indicated in some of his more esoteric talks, the further one goes, the harder it becomes to attempt to put it into words. Because ultimately, there is no-one left to articulate it.”The further you go, the less you know” – I can’t remember who sang that.

            I like what you mention about the whales and I am also in awe. Did you hear that the blue whales or other species can communicate with each other from thousands of miles away under the ocean?

            I remember spending an an hour in a floatation tank, floating in the darkness once, whilst listening to a tape of the whalesong.

            • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

              Yes Swamishanti,

              one can listen to the whales songs on audio and there is indeed a lot of other material gathered from lovers of this species, who is in danger ( also by ´´our´´technical´´so called improvements to misuse not only the ´The Ground beneath our feet´`but also the ´Oceans´.
              I´m concerned about it. For quite a while also about the latter.
              As we ourselves (up to now ?) are quite a watery species, aren´t we ? ( 90 percent or so ….)

              It´s party time here where I just came home. I hear a laughing stock in the courtyard.

              Beautiful saturday late evening….
              I had a nice day in the daytime outside here.


              • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

                PS ( to Swamishanti),

                No – I wouldn´t think it is a good idea to make a ´book´out of these podcasts.
                As it is/ was quite important to listen to the ways all – including Swaram – are using their voices ….or are being used by it….

      • bob says:

        “Osho really was a genius. Who else do you know with so many published books?
        I have three and so far no real publisher is interested in them. That about sums it up.”

        But remember, Lokesh, Osho also had a very hard time finding outside publishers for his books. It was the in-house money and publishing set-up that produced the vast quantity of Osho books. That all came from the ashram/commune/resort revenues, ultimately from the base strata of sannyasins – both the working poor ones and the ones with mucho moolah in their purses and wallets.

        And too, the number of books don’t necessarily make them worthy ones…L.Ron Hubbard wrote hundreds of sci-fi novels, most quite forgettable, and the women who write those supermarket romances paperbacks – bad/wild boy tamed and cleaned up by compassionate, loving girl – one after another by the template method, surely are not geniuses in anybody’s book.

        You need to find your people, or more accurately, they need to find you. Good luck.

        Good article on “beyond witnessing”, all in all, and I hope to come back to comment on it, when I have a bit more time, in the next few days.


      • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

        No, Lokesh (13 September 2019 at 1:58 pm), books or no books or three books…that about doesn´t sum anything up, I´d suggest.

        Just wondering what depths it is/was (?) that brought you to spill the following lines into the SN/UK Chat about ´Witnessing´:
        “Meanwhile, Zorba the Buddha sits in his air-conditioned cave, flicking through the latest Rolls Royce catalogue. He looks up, gazes through a triple-glazed window at the rose-garden outside, smiles and thinks to himself. “Nobody can say, I didn´t warn them, they did not read the small print, wherein I told them that witnessing is only the beginning and that they must become acquainted with the essence of witnessing consciousness before they strike real gold.”

        And on and on you further go (before and after these words) in your indeed complex and rather personalized statements re the topic (small lettered chapters changing with chapters of bigger ones included..).

        We all know you weren’t there at the time (phase) your ´creative writing´ I quoted is pointing to. Others were, who have been reading and/or writing sometimes in this special Chat.

        We also came to know sporadically that you seem to have had deeply appreciated what you´ve got by having been able to meet the Mystic occasionally and personally , times and times ago in so-called Pune One.

        Acknowledging this, I simply don´t get it: what is your utter cynicism rooted in (which shows up in the (quoted) lines ?

        I met many who dump it on the Mystic or a just go into ´Guru-hopping’, to cover up pain. Also, cynicism is a masquerade for pain, sometimes for deep pain, in my view.

        Please enlighten me about your arousal of cynicism every now and then, as it aims in the HERE-and-NOW towards many who read and some who write. Incognito – or not. And who may be very interested to understand some authors like you. I am – interested, I mean.


        • Lokesh says:

          Madhu, it sounds to me like you are sadly lacking a sense of humour.

          • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

            Lokesh, if that requires what you call humour, to go with the chapter of your topic text I quoted, then I´m missing humour in your eyes, indeed.

            And btw, you didn´t respond to my question, what is cynicism all about, in your case?



            • Lokesh says:

              Madhu, I am not a cynic, as in believing that people are motivated purely by self-interest; distrustful of human sincerity or integrity. Then again, one does have to take into account that people often are are motivated purely by self-interest. It is therefore that I limit my more personal social contacts to people I have learned to trust and love and respect. As for the rest, well, I tend to like people because it makes life run more smoothly.

              Of course, a cynic will view that as me being motivated purely by self-interest. That’s the thing about seeing others as being cynical, it is often a sign that there is a cynic living inside of you. Ironic, wouldn’t you say?

              • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

                It´s okay, Lokesh, you drew a line here, didn´t you?

                And reminded me of the time where any, any questioning of somebody else’s habits (patterns) to see something has been habitually countered as “projection”. (Was more than less a hidden competition of wannabe ´psychologists´ and simply denying to relate…yawn..).

                No, you´re not ironic in my eyes, as you asked in your last line. You simply draw a line through what you don´t want to relate to. That´s okay, for sure, more so as we are in a viral chat here.

                Could be valid information (for you?) that I´m about same age as our late editor was, having had also similiar ´education´ before sannyas. That may be the reason I never fest disrespected by him (at least on the viral plane).

                We can leave it like that with your response: that we don´t meet sometimes in terms of ´humour´. And that we have a different understanding about it.


                • Lokesh says:

                  Madhu, I think you mean virtual, not viral as in caused by or relating to a virus or viruses. Unless you have the ‘flu. I just tell you that because my German partner likes me to correct her English if she makes a mistake, even though she speaks better English than most Brits.

                • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

                  Yes, yes, Lokesh & and your Beloved; I meant “virtual!”
                  But the kind of mixture of some of my spelling mistakes makes me ´chuckle´…
                  Thanks for the correction.

        • satchit says:

          Madhu, this article seems to be page 13 in a spiritual novel Mr.Lokesh is trying to write. So it’s all his fantasy and not written from the perspective of a devotee or even student.

  2. frank says:

    Witnessing is one of those zen things where the guru gives you an impossible task you keep trying at `till you realise its not possible then…poof! You get it and your ego gets flushed down the bog.

    Trouble is, in reality, one half of people realise it’s a trick but that doesn’t really help and they don`t lose their ego, it`s still there, floating.

    Meanwhile, the other half are desperately trying to flush it away but with no success. They tend to get `religious` and bang on about “the mind” in condemnatory tones etc.

    The occasional geezer claims he`s got a new plunger and out of desperation to get rid of the offending ego, a bunch from both sides join up and so it goes on….

    It`s all a bit daft, really. But, when you think about it, probably a decent distraction from being stuck on a planet with billions of fellow borderline-psycho apes who could kick off and/or top themselves at the drop of a hat.

    Enlightenment probably stems from the realisation of how utterly strange, weird and odd the whole malarkey is in the first place.

    • satchit says:

      From my experience, “witnessing” is incomplete because it is only one side of the coin. The other side is being totally in action without witnessing at all.

      Witnessing is like sitting on the bank of the river, watching things floating by. Nobody can do this for 24 hours and it would be unnatural as well.

      • Lokesh says:

        Satchit shows his unity with sleeping humanity by confessing that he is “totally in action without witnessing at all.”

        Then he quickly moves onto the subject of “watching things floating by” and describes that as unnatural.

        Despite Satchit speaking from what he describes as his experience I have to disagree and wonder what his experience is actually based on and how far it extends. If one watches events come and go, surely that is an aspect of our true nature and it is not in the least bit unnatural.

  3. Kavita says:

    “Really, if it were just up to me, I would only have a few disciples and get right down to brass tacks by telling those disciples that there is no witness, because there is nothing to be witness to. Dealing with the masses I have to keep it simple. Oh well, what the fuck!”

    Lokie, if it was up to me, best would probably be not to have any disciple as perhaps then there would be no Dealing at all!

    But then, now I/we at least can thank Osho and his Sangha, which to me includes you,for being here & now!

  4. Shantam prem says:

    The title itself is misleading as every teaching is incomplete, every technique is flawed.

    If there was really some kind of inner engineering, Earth will have thousands of Oshos and jaggi jis and Moojis etc.

    • satyadeva says:

      That’s not a bad point, Shantam, as far as it goes, although perhaps you and others might well tend to turn such a view into a belief that makes a perfect excuse to do very little ‘inner work’: “All teachings are partial truths, all methods are limited, therefore what’s the point?”

      But one needs enough first-hand experience of teachings and methods to be able to say that with any authenticity. Theories and ideas are one thing, life’s another, surely?

  5. Jivan Alok says:

    ‘I Am That’ by Maharaj, to me, was a great discovery, too. The Advaita Vedanta stuff has become welcome to me recently. It comes as fresh air from different sources, and mentally I kind of accept what is stated as non-dual.

    Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj mentions “earnestness” in the book quite often. Among plenty of brilliant ideas, this term “earnestness” was like a keynote throughout his dialogues. One of the phrases was “It is the earnestness that liberates and not the theory”. All right, but please explain in plain English or Sanskrit what the heck does being earnest imply for one?

    From ‘I Am That’:
    “Q: If all is dreaming, what is waking?
    M: How to describe the waking state in dreamland language? Words do not describe, they are only symbols.”

    Perfectly okay, we have all read Tao Te Ching, at least verse 1, that’s enough. What would Osho answer to this question? Wouldn’t he recommend that before you knew what waking is, realise that you are sleeping, that all you think you do is mechanical. Then watch your thoughts in everyday meditations…emotions…motions…then watch the watcher..?

    Osho’s point, to me, was witnessing not just intellectually, but in meditation as a practice you need to do every day as you brush your teeth, and with time, do it constantly, during sleep and in the market place. There was a method. In fact, many methods, for morning, evening, smoking, walking, eating, dying and whatnot. Perhaps it’s true that witnessing may cause the rise of ego. Then who lets it rise? The teacher? The method? Or the witness?

    Lokesh, your experience of witnessing is of huge interest. Please could you shed more light? You say:
    “Whatever you want to call the nature of our true being it is not the witness, for being a witness requires someone, something, to know that witnessing is taking place. Who or what might that be? The ego, of course.”

    Wait! Will it be that damn ego when I find it? I mean your statement that “the ego, of course”, is someone, something to know that witnessing takes place, must be wrong! Don’t ask me who or what that is, instead of ego. It must be real, not imaginary. Otherwise, why try at all? But let’s see and maybe talk to each other from atop of the two hills, shall we?

    • Arpana says:

      The witness/watcher is your conscience, which judges; but through witnessing, watching, eventually recognises how it is judging, eventually recognizes itself; and so the witnessing/watching becomes, can become, free of condemning, through the ongoing owning of the condemning, so moving towards purer and purer witnessing.

    • Lokesh says:

      Some very good comments. Easy one to respond to is Jivan’s, wherein he enquires, “All right, but please explain in plain English or Sanskrit what the heck does being earnest imply for one?”

      We are complex beings living in an increasingly complex world. It is therefore hardly surprising that we tend to complicate things.

      Being earnest means exactly what Osho meant when he said, “Be total.” It means put your heart, soul and being into what you are applying yourself to. In the beedie wallah’s case I think he meant make your enquiry a wholehearted one.

      In our complex world we oftentimes miss the simple. When focused on the ‘I am’ that the BW talks about it requires a total commitment. It is a very simple technique whereby one has to merge with the fact that you are awareness. It works for me in my daily life. If the chattering mind becomes too much I become the I Am and the mind stills itself and I experience peace. You can take it as far as you want to go to the point of feeling something is going to pop.

      It is that simple.

      I do not think that any wise man’s words will benefit you unless you take what is being communicated to heart and practise what is being taught.

      Each to his or her own. The ways are many but the destination is the same and it’s the journey that counts. Everyday life is the path.

      • Jivan Alok says:

        Lokesh, thank you for your response regarding earnestness and comments about the I am technique. To be total, earnest and wholehearted in one’s commitment is what both Osho and Maharaj taught.

        Still I don’t see any ego trip in witnessing as you travel your journey. Ego may be there along the way, but when witnessed, is it not disabled and vanishes??

        • Lokesh says:

          Jivan, witnessing is something we all do all the time. As long as you are aware of something being witnessed you have to be witness to it. Consciously watching the clouds pass, disolve into nothing etc. is a step in the right direction but it is not the ultimate step by a long shot. It is a mistake to believe that you have stepped into some sort of enlightened state merely because you believe you are witnessing everything.

          I am off to sleep now. I will do my nightly routine of telling my mind to shut up and leave me in peace. Then I lie in the dark just being aware. It is not a state remotely buddhalike. But it usually guarantees a good night’s rest. I also enjoy to wake up during the night and just groove on being nobody…just an aware presence.

        • satyadeva says:

          Here’s American spiritual teacher Byron Katie (in ‘A Mind At Home With Itself’) on witnessing, the elusive nature of the present and the freedom implicit when “no thought is believed”:

          “What’s it like to live without a self? Nothing happens, not even life. Everything you see, hear, touch, smell, taste, and think is already over before the action begins. My foot just moved, and as I watched it, I was only watching the past. It appeared to be happening now, but the now was gone even as I watched it. This is the power and the goodness of mind realized.

          I can’t even swallow my tea; it’s gone before it happens, and there’s nothing I can do about it. I look at the poster on the wall, of my beloved Stephen beside the gold mask on the jacket of his Gilgamesh, and my eyes remain on the poster, the gaze is held, it seems to exist, and yet as much as I love it, it’s an illusion. When there’s no thought, there’s no world. When no thought is believed, there’s no time, no space, no reality. My life is over, and I understand that it never began.”

          “As we do The Work we come to understand that when we are upset, we are either anticipating or remembering.
          Past and future thoughts give the present a bad reputation.
          My strength simply comes from the amazing grace of simply knowing the difference.”

          • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

            JUCHUH, Satyadeva (at 1:07 pm)!

            You knew who to hold the bow and let the arrow fly…and what a joy is that happening!
            Even though – and that for sure – also this very moment (and along with the ‘vid’ of my fantasy about it, is gone, gone, gone beyond, when I follow the joy of responding.

            And again, thank you for THIS.


            • frank says:

              My reading of Bidi Maharaj`s rap is, as briefly as possible:

              There is a sense of “I am” that we all have which is extremely persistent. Maharaj recommended to focus/meditate on this sense of “I am”.

              Now, this sense of “I am” which seems to be part and parcel of being human (whether by nature or nurture can never be completely established) has the effect of giving the impression that it precedes being, that is to say is primary in relation to the existence of the person. This is bolstered by language as every day we say “I am this, I am that etc.”

              In fact, reality is the other way round. The “I am” is really an ‘add-on’, not the source. Like an add-on or an app, it is only really functional in certain situations.

              The meditation or witnessing is simply noticing all this and seeing how much that this is so.

              • Lokesh says:

                Ehm…like…where can you buy the ‘I AM THAT’ app?
                Good post, Frank.

              • Tan says:

                Hiya Frank boy,
                My life coach, Ma Ananda Shoola, always teaches us that the inwardly self is just memories and conditioning.

                The self is just an illusion because we are not individuals, which goes against Osho’s teachings, he always told us that we are individuals.

                So, we are in a pickle, in whom to believe? The best thing would be to sort it out ourselves, right?

                Cheers and kisses to Yogi.

                • frank says:

                  Hi Tan,

                  Maybe we are just a collection of memories and conditioning. But there appears to be a persistent sense of “I am” that holds it all together.

                  How else could it be that every day we wake up and know that we`re the same person as the one that crashed out last night?

                  It might all be an illusion, but who would it be that knows that it is an illusion?

                • Lokesh says:

                  If you believe or doubt it makes no difference if the understanding is not yours.

                  Osho saying that he was all for the individual does not mean to say we are actually individuals when you get down to the nuts and bolts of reality.

                  Shoola saying that the self is just memories and conditioning is true up to a point but who is it that understands that?

                • Tan says:

                  Thanks, Frank and Lokesh.

                  We are conditioned to the very core, since very early age, that we have a soul or we have a Buddha sleeping inside us, or we are God, etc., depending on our background.

                  What about we have only our brains with the mind?

                  Our brain remembers our names, where we live, etc. till Mr. Alzheimer’s comes along.
                  What Shoola says is when the self is not, then something else happens, never before.

                  By the way, Lokesh, not only Osho says we are individuals with a sleeping Buddha, he goes beyond that, he says there is no society at all, only individuals. Why did he say that? It looks like he is mistaken, which is very confusing to me.

                  Cheers, guys!

                • anand yogi says:

                  Perfectly correct, Tan!
                  Did you know that your mentor, Anand Shoola, was Swami Bhorat`s personal secretary many moons ago in Bungbungalore Ashram?

                  She was perfect disciple although a little overzealous! Bhorat remembers she was utterly surrendered to him and catered for his every wish – she purchased him a fleet of bicycles that he used to ride around ashram in and also a Seiko 5 with Argos diamonds in!

                  But it all went too far when she started taking crank and starting fights in local chaishops in Madras and other places!

                  I guess that she is out of jail now and making an honest living convincing people of the unreality of their self!

                  Life is a mystery and the path from here to here has many unexpected turns!

                  Hari Om!

                • Tan says:

                  Hiya, beloved Yogi,
                  Just talked to Shoola and blimey, just in hearing the name of Swami Bhorat she forgot all about selfless crap. Now, she is after the sleeping Buddha of Swami Bhorat. From what I could gather, it’s an elephant size!

                  Cheers, Yogi, love you!
                  Yes, life is a mystery!

                • satchit says:

                  Certainly there is a society, Tan.

                  Even here on SN is a virtual society and people can be frustrated if they don’t get from the other what they want.

                • anand yogi says:

                  Perfectly correct, Scratchit!

                  Certainly, it is important to start sentences with the word `certainly` if one wants to parrot Anand Yogi, Swami Bhorat or any of the other masters of wisdom of mighty East!

                  Certainly, when you don`t get what you want from other people it is better to doze off in front of TV watching football with hand down tracksuit bottoms scratching Arsenal!

                  Hari Om!

                • satchit says:

                  You must also be frustrated, Yogi, chief-disciple of Swami Bhorat, sending repetitive messages into the ocean of the world like a lonely whale.

                  Nobody listens, nobody responds.

                  Sad sad sad!
                  Certainly sad!

                • Kavita says:

                  Certainly there is a society, Tan.

                  Even here on SN is a virtual society and people can be frustrated if they don’t get from the other what they want. -

                  Now, SC, what is it that you want?!

                • Tan says:

                  Thanks, Satchit,
                  The funny thing is that Osho never contradicted his statement that, and I quote, “There is no society, only individuals.”


                • Arpana says:

                  @Satchit. 18 September, 2019 at 4:12 pm
                  Courageous or foolhardy. You decide.

                • satchit says:

                  It depends on what I want from the situation, Kavita. What do you want?

                • satchit says:

                  Maybe the sentence is a device, Tan, for people who are too much on the outer.

                • satchit says:

                  Yes, Arpana, I am trembling….

          • Levina says:

            Thanks, Satya, for the piece on B.K; whenever I get stuck in a belief about myself or “others”, I find the “work” works!

          • Jivan Alok says:

            I am not familiar with this Byron Katie. He seems to emphasise the scientifically proven fact that the human brain always receives a signal with a lag of 0.5 m/sec or so. Then mind takes time to interpret it, so by the way you somehow react, the whole thing you perceive is history. And the way we react is purely mechanical. When to think? It’s already gone to the past. Act!

            It’s in line with Mr. P.D. Ouspensky’s ‘The Fourth Way’. Mr. P.D.O. used to be Gurdjieff’s disciple, and after quitting G. (or left by G.) has established his own teaching of the system as he called it, in London, UK.

            The Work (as you mentioned) is one of the terms referring to your efforts to self-study, self-remember, be self-conscious, to disidentify and find the permanent ‘I’, etc. I do recognsze P.D.O. as one of the greatest teachers of the 20th century. He, to me, has outgrown his teacher, in a way.

            • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

              Well, Byron Katie, Jivan Alok (18 September, 2019 at 7:38 pm) is born into a woman´s body, and it’s surely worthwhile to come to know Her story of ´awakening´ into the Presence, she’s shared for quite a while now worldwide.

              ‘Who’ outgrows ‘Whom’ (as a teacher) is not a relevant question for me as – in my eyes – it’s quite a trap, to keep you busy on ‘comparisons’, while forgetting your own unique growth-Issues, isn’t it?


              • frank says:

                Re. outgrowing teachers:
                It`s all just a matter of changing tastes, isn`t it?
                Much as we all find ‘growth’ very important, how is it really different from other aesthetic tastes, based on feeling, vibes, a difficult-to-express feeling of `this is good`?

                I don`t really vibe with Gurdjieff and Ouspenski any more although I absorbed quite a lot, due to Osho`s influence back in the day.

                I was really into Roxy Music as an early teen and I even got Bryan Ferry`s autograph. Doesn`t really do it for me these days, tho`.

                Here is a section of a critique of Byron Katie`s work I have come across:

                “The Work consists in four questions you have to ask to a problematic thought of yours, and a turnaround technique. The four questions are:

                1. Is it true?

                2. Are you absolutely sure it is true?

                3. How do you react when you think this thought?

                4. Who would you be without this thought?

                These questions can be a good idea to ask yourself if a problematic thought of yours actually is false. And there is nothing new in it. As mentioned they also use such questions in Cognitive Therapy, but not so simplified. So why not use that instead, or take a few lessons in philosophy?

                Because the problem with The Work is that it has a conclusion in advance, namely that the thought is false, and therewith it is in progress, as with other New Age directions, of eliminating peoples´ ability of critical thinking.

                Problematic, because the training of critical thinking is the first step in a true spiritual process, and on the whole a primary condition for a healthy mind. In Cognitive Therapy, for example, they also have questions to ask to problematic thoughts, that actually have some truth in them (examples in the end of this article).

                When the conclusion is given in advance then The Work´s four questions becomes so-called rhetorical questions; that is, questions which are asked purely for effect rather than as requests for answers. In that case the four questions function in precisely the same way as persuader words.”

                Is there some truth in this does anyone think?

                • Levina says:

                  I only use the questions in The Work, when a judgement/belief of myself or somebody else triggers an emotional reaction that I don’t like. In the “judge your neighbour” worksheet you start by accusing somebody else, and you go through the 5 questions, the 5th being a turnaround of the origional judgement/belief.

                  In this way it’s clearly seen that all the beliefs I have about somebody else are about myself. If you are critical about the work,then you could start with, for instance, the belief: the work of B.K. has no truth in it whatsoever. and see what comes out of that, doing the 5 questions.

                • frank says:

                  Hi Levina, you say:
                  “If you are critical about the work,then you could start with for instance the belief: the work of B.K. has no truth in it whatsoever. and see what comes out of that doing the 5 questions.”

                  An obvious response to that is:
                  If you have the judgment that someone needs to be cured of being critical of the work you could then see what comes out of doing the 5 questions on that!

                  By an extraordinary coincidence, I am actually in a disagreement with my neighbour about certain issues, and I think he is lying to me, so I tried the steps:

                  1. Is it true?
                  I actually think it is true that he is trying to deceive me about some matters in which we have a common interest.
                  2. Are you absolutely sure it is true?
                  As sure as I can be, but he is exploiting the fact I have no direct proof as yet.
                  3. How do you react when you think this thought?
                  Pissed off.
                  4. Who would you be without this thought?
                  A guy who is being mugged off and taken for a ride without realising it.

                  The point is that I do think that `the work` can/will work in certain situations. In this it is very much like other forms of therapeutic intervention, particularly cognitive therapy. And like any therapeutic intervention I doubt it will work everywhere at all times as a one size fits all, one problem/one solution thing, which seems to be how it is touted.

                  It reminds me of the idea ‘You create your own reality’. A fine thought when used to either help oneself take responsibility for the situation one finds oneself in, or a boost when you are involved in a creative project.

                  However, as a philosophical, metaphysical truth taken to be true in all situations, it leads to absurdities. What about all the kids in Syria getting blown to bits or the kids in Africa born with AIDS? Do you really believe they are responsible?

                  Every medicine, however effective, has both limits and contra-indications.

                • satchit says:

                  I think it is not a good idea, Frankie, to do some copy & paste from the internet without mentioning the source.

                  And to pretend somebody else’s thoughts are one’s own thoughts is also not so fine. Oh, see how critical I am today!

                  But it’s good to be critical, isn’t it?

                • frank says:

                  Morten Tollboll:
                  When paragraphs are in quotation marks it signifies that it is a quotation from another source.

                • satchit says:

                  Certainly it’s Morton Tollboll, Frank.

                  It would have been easy for you to post the link to his blog here where you find all the arguments you come along with here.

                  No, but you are not parroting, are you?

                • Jivan Alok says:

                  I’ve just read about these 4 questions in Wikipedia. Is that the baseline of the whole teaching?

                  It all sounds so childish…A lady was deeply depressed and successfully got over it. A story for a women’s magazine.

                  If these questions are the core of what is called self-inquiry (hope Mr. O isn’t spinning around in his tomb) then I’d rather sit in zazen and fall in silence.

                  A successful lady, a happy American smile on the cover of a magazine. Are we into mind games or into seeking the questioner of all the questions?

                  Finally, why should we try to escape stressful thoughts? They are a sign of something going wrong in our minds. If you comfort yourself, you may miss the opportunity to see who suffers and why.

                • satyadeva says:

                  Jivan Alok, I suggest you take your own wise advice (in your response to Ritvik, 5.57pm today) and before judging try it for yourself so you can at least speak from some experience.

                  You make certain wrong assumptions, that recovery from deep depression is rather a shallow, superficial process and that The Work seems to be merely a sort of ‘tranquiliser’, saying, “If you comfort yourself, you may miss the opportunity to see who suffers and why.” But the whole point of it is precisely “to see who suffers and why” – and a lot more.

                  Don’t be deceived by the seemingly simple nature of the 4 questions. They are doors opening into a demanding form of self-enquiry that works through self-honesty and a deep respect for the truth we find within.

            • Lokesh says:

              It is interesting to note that Mr O was a somewhat bitter man and an alcoholic in the years preceding his death. I like everything he wrote. Ahead of his time.

              • frank says:

                I recently read ‘In Search of Ouspensky’ by Gary Lachman. It is an interesting counterpoint to the classic Master/disciple line that generally speaking Gurdjieff people and Osho people follow. In some ways, Lachman`s sense is that O lost his unique soul-take after meeting G. Output wise, there could be a point that ‘Tertium Organum’, ‘Ivan Osokin’ and ‘A New Model Of The Universe’ were his best and maybe most readable books although all written before he met Gurdjieff.

                In any case, he had quite a life. an,I think he was probably knackered by the end of it and needed a bit of self-medication. I think, like a lot of drinkers he had lost touch with his sensitive, romantic, fun-loving side. Maybe by endlessly waging war on himself in the name of consciousness. The booze was the only way he had left to chill and talk about the past and hang out like any old person wants to do.

                One thing I learnt is that G and O had something in common -that their sisters were both brutally murdered in the aftermath of the Russian revolution. That, and all the war-ravaged madness that they were both witness to at extremely close quarters must have given them a first-hand sense of what the dangers of `mechanical man` were that I expect us baby-boomers have been pretty much shielded from and could only dream (or have nightmares) about.

                He is one of the key figures in all of our journey from here to here, I have no doubt. I`ve said before and not everyone into O and G have noticed that ‘A New Model Of The Universe’ is seminal occult sci-fi stoner lit.

                And if you`re brought up in the modern left-brain tick-tock world, you most likely need some of that stuff to kickstart the right-brain!

                • Lokesh says:

                  Good post, Frank. ;In Search of the Miraculous’ is a fascinating book. Favourite chapter, ‘The Laws of Manu’.

                • Tan says:

                  Very interesting post, Frank boy.

                  I wonder why all those enlightened blokes – or if not enlightened, at least had plenty of admirers, disciples and so on – why, when near the end of their lives, they become heavy drinkers, drug addicts, etc?

                  Maybe they were gays and didn’t have the guts to come out? Maybe they lied so much and felt extremely guilty? Or maybe they were copying words and truth from somebody else, a sage that didn’t care about fame and vanity like them?

                  What’s your take?


                • frank says:

                  Cheers, Lokesh,

                  Another thing that I didn`t realise before reading Gary Lachman`s book, was how much more `successful` Ouspensky was in the West than Gurdjieff in terms of his country pile in Surrey, communities, fame, people he hobnobbed with, book sales, and so on. Gurdjieff had to hustle much more than O right the way to the end.

                  Ah! It`s that old 20th century Zen koan again:
                  “Why did the dead drunk zen monk fall in a stupor into his immortal grave?”

                  Anthropologists are pretty satisfied that the evidence points to the fact that hunter/gatherers actually settled down to farm primarily so as to be able to produce larger and more organised supplies of alcohol. It sounds like a joke but it`s actually true. So it`s such a human thing that its inevitable that pissheads and dopers will span all walks of like from street winos to the elite and philosophers and gurus!

                  It`s an easy assumption that someone has a reason for being an addict, like, as you say, they are hiding something,keeping up a lie, they had horrific life experiences etc. That kind of putting a narrative to a story is interesting and possibly informative but pretty hit-and-miss.

                  For cleaning up or getting sober it`s not the key to `find out the cause` either, as the real in-the-moment reason that people are alcoholics or addicts is because they keep taking another hit and downing another drink! The stuff takes over.

                  Ouspensky and Trungpa both were escapees from genocide and lifelong refugees never to return to their home countries. That can take its toll. On the other hand, Alan Watts didn`t have such a hard life by those standards at all.

                  I don`t have a definitive answer.

                • Lokesh says:

                  O and G were remarkable men but I do not think that the word ‘enlightened’ applies to them. They were great teachers, that is for sure, pioneers one might say, but enlightened, I doubt it.

                  O’s gripe with G was that he was delivering…wait for it…an incomplete teaching.

                  When it comes down to it how do you recognize if someone is enlightened or not? You just don’t know. I find the word played out.

                • Lokesh says:

                  On the subject of alcoholism, I just can’t relate to it. Due to certain experiences I no longer drink even a glass of wine.

                  It is highly addictive, for sure. I see that it helps people numb themselves to hardship etc. I am not comfortable in the company of drunks, but hold no judgements about it. Whatever floats your boat. Just not my thing. I have exceptions. If someone wants to share a bottle of single malt, I would probably go for it. Same goes for Baron de L sauvignon blanc…an amazing trip.

              • Levina says:

                I can see your point, Frank. Also I see that you did the questions a bit wishy/washy and forgot the turnaround. Also the 1st 2 questions can only be answered with yes or no, to bypass the mind that loves to explain. To make the belief stronger, you could have made it “my neighbour shouldn’t lie.”

                As far as I see, it it is an inquiry whether my beliefs about anything, anybody are really true. For instance: “Frank shouldn’t be so cynical and trample on my/people’s feelings.”
                5 mins. later (did a quickie) the turnaround is: “I shouldn’t be cynical and trample on people’s feelings, but the fact is that I do!”

                In that way I/we see that everything we accuse ‘the so-called other’ of is in ourselves!

                Soon the reactions on SN will drop by half!!

  6. Prem Ritvik says:

    After years of witnessing you realized it was incomplete, having heard it from someone else. That, to put this within perspective, means that you have not somewhere practised it wholly, because if you had, then instead of hearing from a third party, you would have realized it on your own.

    So I will disagree with you of it being incomplete, because you have not spoken on your own authority. I do agree that it might have turned out to be ineffective for a certain individual.

    • Jivan Alok says:

      Prem Ritvik, you seem to have misunderstood. Lokesh did try it himself and shared his experience as he himself judges it, not a third party. The third party you refer to was perhaps a support to the conclusion that the author had arrived at himself.

      • Prem Ritvik says:

        Hello, Jivan Alok,

        My argument is:
        One could have undergone incomplete witnessing, as is the case here, visible, when the thought arises that there is an end unto witnessing; one has to not be attached to it, but to just witness this thought. To attach to it will make witnessing incomplete.

        So it is not that witnessing is an incomplete teaching, but incomplete witnessing will take one to an end where the teaching may appear broken, while it was the experiment which was broken when a thought with respect to an end was encountered and attached to.

        Witnessing may not essentially be someone’s way, but there is evidence that it was not carried out to its own completion, and hence what we see here is the inference that the teaching is incomplete. If it was indeed completed and remarked ineffective then why is a suggestion from third person is needed, while one has already experienced a total failure?
        Because one’s failure in witnessing was not total yet, as it was not completed yet, as one attached to a thought of particular end result, instead of witnessing the thought itself.

        So I say that I do not agree due to lack of authority rooted in one’s own experience, while I agree that witnessing may not be close to one’s essence and hence better take up other teachings which may be more effective, but no teaching is incomplete, as they relate to intensity of observer’s stance (like Sufi’s longing for the lover or Tantra’s opposite energy interaction) based in present rather than an end result. To be incomplete, the condition is to not be complete in present, but somewhere in future, which none of them propose.

        I respect Lokesh’s attempt as a seeker of truth, he is ready to speak his mind about what he feels, and that is as much important as his experiment itself.

        • Jivan Alok says:

          Your argument is very logical, but we both don’t know the truth. It’s only Lokesh who is aware about his own experience and therefore free to express his opinion on the matter. We can only guess.

          My argument is, first try it yourself and then share your real experience before you judge someone else’s standpoint.

  7. Levina says:

    I heard Osho say: ‘Just watch, observe, whatever comes along, whether in the inner or outer world, until the observer becomes the observed.’

    Observing has been my path, and it has gone through many stages, as with all of us I guess. The main obstacle, however, is that I think I do the observing, and therefore it requires some point, chakra, centre in the body to do that. But that is really only a (yoga) technique in order to help the mind to focus and not get identified with its own madness.

    Still, I found and find this observing technique very helpful, but at the same time a burden when ‘the doing myself’ becomes too much. When that happens, all of a sudden there is the realistion that the observing goes by itself, there is no doer anymore, until, alas, the moment comes when the doer rears its head again and says: “Oh no, no, no, we can’t have that, I am in control.”

    It’s beginning to dawn though that perhaps both states, doing observing, and not doing observing, are also being observed, seen, known. That these states are also just experiences. And that the silence and well-being that accompanies the ‘non-doing’ observer are also just experiences.

    I always thought that they were the Divine, not a flavour of the Divine or God or whatever, and was therefore always trying to hold on to them and so disappointed when it all disappeared again.

    • frank says:

      From ‘Witness Protection’
      by Tupak Chakra.

      “If you wanna wake up and cure your sleeping sickness
      Make sure you get your ego high up on your hit-list
      Watch thoughts go by just like some floating numbus
      Cos the witness is the litmus of your spiritual fitness.
      Some moments you feel the sweetness, but then you feel listless
      When you get too religious, you know you got altitude sickness.
      If your mind gets too vicious you can always puff some nitrous
      If the stillness gives you stiffness, smoke a bidi, drink a Guinness.
      But keep on keeping on, don`t stay witless
      Cos a witness is for life, not just Christmas.”

    • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

      YES, Levina,
      How convenient in my eyes, that you are bringing the Wisdom of Truth re ´Impermanence´ into the Chat and re the topic.

      And how we – everyone – in his or her existential trials and errors is played with, as we cannot get hold of a moment to make our ´home’ there, if it is in particular blissful, for instance. (If we are unhappy though, we like to apply it, don´t we?).

      But alas, Truth is not a corruptive element…and so we have to endure it; go through it anyway, as ancient Buddhist Wisdom shared/shares with us.

      And somehow, deep inside, we are in a knowing about this, aren´t we? Impermanence, yet sometimes by practising (paradoxically-wise by remembrance of that Truth – coping better with that knowing), sometimes not so well (we are hooked in the past) the least to say! Even sometimes maybe seeing Impermanence as an enemy.

      Yet it´s simply the Truth of all that comes into existence and disappeares again, not unlike the waves in the ocean.

      And yet, and yet: There have been/are Mystics, Artists, or even everyday-Humans who – by chance – have been or are met by moments: how a fabulous singer did express it in a song: “There are moments”, he sang, “moments when ´Eternity penetrates Time” he composed and shared with us, or we may even say, composing and sharing was happening.

      I agree. One cannot discuss the latter. It will stay very ´private´, even in facebook and times like this. That´s very good news.

      We have to cleanse our inner ´receiving´, Arpana reminds us here. I can relate to that.

      We have to put it right, says Tan here, that Osho wrote no books, but His talks with His Lovers have been published (now compiled…unfortunately)…so many moments with Him and His expressions penetrated time for me. And I was grateful for her coming up with that in this Chat!

      And as it is said also, we have to leave one cosy (familiar) ´family’ after another while walking our Path of Life.

      It’s intrinsic to the Truth of Impermanence. I´m deeply appreciaring that you brought that IN, Levina.
      Grateful for your Being. Here.


  8. Tan says:

    Hi Lokesh,
    Thanks for the new thread! But I don’t think you are being fair with Osho. The man really hammered on witnessing, mainly at the final stage of his work, that’s how he called it.

    Very simple, just go to google and ask for ‘meditation, witnessing and Osho’. He really explained a lot about it. What I gathered is that the witness and the witnessed are the same, both are product of thought. And to perceive that you have to do it intensely, with all your being, till you get the knack. It is just a knack, like swimming: when you get it, you have it and finished! If I am not mistaken, it is in the ‘Rajneesh Bible’.

    Now, I do believe that there are many holy men in each street of India. That’s the explanation of all the shit that is going on there.

    By the way, Osho never, ever, wrote a book! Just his talks were published.


    • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

      Wow! Here you are, Tan. Again. And like a fresh breeze.
      Very welcome-d.


    • Kavita says:

      “By the way, Osho never, ever, wrote a book! Just his talks were published.”

      Cheers Tan!

      • samarpan says:

        Witnessing is not “an incomplete teaching.” Witnessing is not a teaching at all. Witnessing is simply knowing you are here…and that you are here, now, is beyond doubt. You do not need a guru, a mirror, or a book to tell you that you are here. That you are a witness to your own being is beyond doubt. You are always perceiving present moment sounds, sights, tastes, smells, sensations. Witnessing is simple, natural, obvious, inevitable. You cannot go through your day and not perceive. Something so ordinary and natural is not a technique; is not “an incomplete teaching.”

        • satyadeva says:

          “Witnessing is simple, natural, obvious, inevitable.” Which seems to suggest that witnessing is just simply being conscious, self-conscious, ie that capacity that distinguishes us from the rest of the species. Is that what you’re saying, Samarpan?

          If so, then everyone’s ‘doing’ it, aren’t they? So why would Osho have continually emphasised it as a ‘must’?

          You’ve left out self-observation, the capacity to detach from and watch thoughts and feelings, emotions, etc. I don’t think everyone in the world is doing that, because it’s not “inevitable” at all, it requires conscious decision, choice, a deliberate switch of attention, ie a modicum of effort (although essentially ‘effortless’ in itself). Consequently, it’s a ‘practice’ and therefore may be considered a ‘teaching’, or part of a teaching.

          Besides, the state of the world is convincing enough evidence that although relatively “simple, natural” this, unfortunately, is not something that everyone is ‘doing’.

        • satchit says:

          I see, Samarpan, you have a radical approach. This presses some spiritual buttons here.

          One could also ask, why should it be an incomplete teaching? Maybe it was only some rationalisation of Lokesh’s mind to drop doing it. Maybe he was just on the edge that something would explode and he escaped.

          • satyadeva says:

            So what do YOU understand by ‘witnessing’, Satchit? And why do you think Osho emphasised its importance, if, as Samarpan indicates, it’s always effortlessly available to all anyway, as part of everyone’s daily experience?

            • satchit says:

              What I understand of witnessing? That one does things consciously.

              One can pick up an apple from the ground by witnessing one’s bodily behaviour in detail. Or one can just pick it up, finished.

              Personally, I think it takes much effort to witness every thought and feeling and whatever.

              But maybe it is a technique to create inner fire.

              Okay, now I witness having written this comment and push the comment button, which is pressed.

              • satyadeva says:

                What do mean by “inner fire”, Satchit?

                You say, “Personally, I think it takes much effort to witness every thought and feeling and whatever.”
                Perhaps that’s why Osho felt he had to emphasise its importance, knowing how lazy we tend to be, how ‘naturally’ sleepy, unconscious?

                But maybe you don’t feel a need for much of that, with no over-intrusive thoughts or emotions that might threaten to trouble you or others, as you’re pretty much ‘all right’ as you are, ‘comfortable’, as it were? Or, perhaps, “comfortably numb”?!


                • satchit says:

                  Conscious meditative energy.

                  By witnessing you slow things down.

                  Is it not strange that Osho emphasised the importance of witnessing and never spoke of it being incomplete?

                • satchit says:

                  I would not call it “comfortable”, SD.
                  I accept myself.

                  I have no desire to become enlightened.

                • satyadeva says:

                  What do you mean by “myself”? Whatever that is, if ‘you’ are not comfortable with ‘it’ then it seems you’re rather uncomfortably split. Or somewhat uncomfortably numb, maybe?

                  By the way, who is this “I” that has “no desire to become enlightened”? What on earth are you talking about?!

                • satchit says:

                  Sorry that I did confuse you, SD, it was not my desire.

                  You need not make so much thoughts about my-self! Better make thoughts about you.

                  Btw, how is Arsenal going?

                • satyadeva says:

                  Well, my sense was that you were confused, Satchit, confused in rather a superficially ‘self’ (whatever that is)-comforting way Still is in fact.

                  And what is the relevance of Arsenal to this ‘discussion’, please? Are you attempting to inveigle me into admitting to an attachment to the fortunes of something outside myself (whatever ‘myself’ might be) over which ‘I’ (whatever that might be) have absolutely zero influence? Perish the very thought of the thought! Thank God for the Witness!

                  Oh, there’s one at the door right now….

                • satchit says:

                  The relevance of Arsenal is that you can witness how you react to this question, SD.

                  Basically, I am not in the mood to answer high-spiritual questions on this lazy Sunday afternoon.

                  But to have a bit of entertainment and comments ping-pong is fine.

    • veet francesco says:

      Tan, to think that everything is thought is just another thought, not the reality of thought, a mysterious faculty with which we prefer to navigate the mystery of reality.

      About reality, we are just, and we can only be, witnesses of it, reflecting what we perceive, even when we witness our creative strength acting on the deep structures of reality, becoming creators of our world.

      When the mirror becomes dirty with illness or death there is the possibility that someone will continue to reflect what he sees, feels and thinks, aware of his divinity or not.

      Witnessing is our only chance to act responsibly, the rest is being guided by a different thought about ourselves each time, identifying ourselves with the mask it describes.

      • Tan says:

        Thanks, Francesco, but I really don’t understand what you mean. Sorry!

        • sw. veet (francesco) says:

          Tan, if everything depends on the brain, which brain decides if the problem of understanding between us depends on the writer or the reader?

          Mine was an answer to your allusion to the mechanistic hypothesis, which would not take into account the fractal hypothesis, also underestimating brain plasticity.

          • Tan says:

            Sorry, Francesco, still I don’t understand what you mean.
            I am hopeless!

            • satyadeva says:

              You’re not the only one, Tan!

              • swamishanti says:

                BELOVED OSHO,


                No, because the brain has nothing to do with enlightenment. If you put the enlightened man’s brain into some unenlightened man’s body, he will not behave like the enlightened man. He will simply behave the way he had been behaving. Perhaps for a few days he will be in a little difficulty, but soon he will get adjusted.

                The brain has to be adjusted to the soul, not vice versa.

                Osho: ‘From Death to Deathlessness’

                • Tan says:

                  The right question should be: “What’s the difference between a brain of an enlightened being and a brain of a not enlightened being?”
                  And the answers should be: “None”.
                  What does everyone think?

                • swamishanti says:


                  I think Osho was an exceptionally intelligent man. But that was nothing to do with the size of his brain.

                  And I think that a truly enlightened person’s brain is actually quite different from an unenlightened person’s, because the delicate nerves in the brain have to expand to accommodate the frequency of the higher vibration and consciousness and ecstasy of their cosmic light. Some forms of yoga put quite a bit of emphasis on purifying the body and the nervous system with pranayama etc.

                • frank says:

                  That Q and A about brain transplants sounds like the sort of conversation you used to get sitting round the camp fire at a free festival or Goa after a few chillums and a cup or two of mushroom tea had gone round!

                  Bom Shankar!

                • swamishanti says:

                  Bom Shankar, Frank.

                  Yes, I like quite a few of the ‘Death to Deathlessness’ series which was originally published as ‘The Rajneesh Bible’, which Osho decided to title his talks to wind up the local angry Christians fundamentalists who wanted the sannyasins and Osho removed.

                • satyadeva says:

                  “…which Osho decided to title his talks to wind up the local angry Christians fundamentalists who wanted the sannyasins and Osho removed.”

                  The sort of uncompromising, confrontational strategy that was both inspiring and yet encouraged Sheela’s extreme words and actions, contributing significantly to those ‘baddies’ getting what they wanted.

                  (Although perhaps establishing a major commune in the US was bound to end in tears eventually, whatever the ‘PR’ policy).

                • Tan says:

                  SS, are you a brain specialist? How do you know all that stuff about the brain? And how do you know all this about frequency of higher vibration?

                  I know, you are enlightened, right?


                • swamishanti says:

                  By the way, Frank, regarding mushrooms (and chillums), which both have brain-expanding properties and spiritual qualities:
                  They grow near me, yet I just leave them alone. The last trip I had was around nine or ten years ago, when I discovered a crop whilst strolling through a local sheep field.

                  They were very special and potent mushrooms of the psylocybin variety and I laughed my head off the whole night. So much that my neighbour who lived above me also started laughing.

                  Those mushrooms were potent. The next day after my night of laughter and couloured patterns I could still see coloured patterns in the sky and remember feeling my crown chakra literally expanding after I ate just six of eight more, which is usually a very small amount.

                • Lokesh says:

                  Ehm…it is like this….

                • Tan says:

                  Spot on, Lokesh!

                • swamishanti says:

                  “The sort of uncompromising, confrontational strategy that was both inspiring and yet encouraged Sheela’s extreme words and actions, contributing significantly to those ‘baddies’ getting what they wanted.”

                  I’d agreed, SD. Although to be fair, Osho and the sannyasins had been on the receiving end of years of flak and angry confrontations with a local Christians anti-cult group who had been stirring up the locals in Antelope.

                  He only started speaking again in the autumn of 1984, and as soon as the sannyasins had arrived at the Ranch and started building, the locals had been provoked enough to begin destributing leaflets, holding anti-Rajneesh meetings, and ‘let’s ban the Bhagwan’ bumper stickers.

                  And Osho had received death threats from the Ku Klux Klan, an extremist Christian organisation , including letters warning him, “It only took God six days to create the world, but it will only take six minutes for us to destroy your camp.” And warning him to leave by a certain date or else.

                  And this was all before he began speaking again.

                  By the way, the first published volume of the Rajneesh Bible was changed to ‘From Unconsciousness to Consciousness’ , not ‘From Death to Deathlessness’ as I put earlier. That one was a later edition.


                • swamishanti says:

                  Hi Tan,
                  Actually, I am not a brain specialist, nor enlightened, but I went through a phase of sitting silently meditating and witnessing for hours every day for several years, and during that time I have felt my brain expanding. So it fits with the holy texts.

                • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

                  Thank you so much for contributing the quote, Swamishanti (at 3:53 pm) and the very essential in it:
                  “the brain has to be adjusted to the soul and not vice versa.”
                  More than a ring of Truth in it.
                  Glad that you brought that in here.

                  Paths of adjustments though are many, aren´t they?
                  Blessed we have been, and are, to have had and have such a lot of invitations to put that stuff into the right direction, from head to feet, from feet to head, so to say.

                  As most of us have been ‘educated with the wrong number’ (programming).

                  A philosopher once said (forgot his name): “We are born as originals but sad enough that most of us die as copies.”
                  This insight goes in the same direction which Osho brought straight to the point.


              • frank says:

                Hi Shanti,
                Magic mushrooms can definitely expand your clown chakra.

  9. Levina says:

    Frank, blimey, witnessed meself laughing ’bout that all right, no trouble at all, mate!

  10. Shantam prem says:

    Sannyasnews journalist Shantam Iqbal Singh is on the way to India.

    It is a coincidence Sheela is invited by prestigious Media Group during my homeland visit.
    Hopefully, will write a report, most probably meet her also.

  11. Lokesh says:

    Satchit, basically I ask myself why I bother to respond to any of your comments.

    You tend to react on what others say rather than respond to the thread. Even when you do manage to comment on the thread you rarely add anything of worth.

    You seem to be involved in a pretty weak game of spiritual oneupmanship, try to outsmart others, deliver weak jibes and cliches. It is boring, man.

    Of all the bloggers on this site your contribution is virtually zilch. You share nothing about who you actually are, live, circumstances etc.

    I know I would enjoy to meet everyone else on this site, except you, Satchit. I have not a clue who you are and going by what you have to say for yourself I really am not missing anything.

    Take care, man.

  12. satchit says:

    Now this really flatters my ego, Lokesh, that you would like to meet everyone else, except me – makes me special.

    Are you the great judge here to say what is “worth” and what not? Come on, witness your stupid statement!

    I am how I am. I am not the only one here who is a bit “faceless” as old Shantam would say.

  13. veet francesco says:

    “…the real point of witnessing would reveal itself, wherein there is only awareness with no centralized ‘I’. A field of pure awareness with nobody to lay claim to it.”

    Whereof one cannot witness, one must be silent.

    To imagine that there could be a complete teaching, it would presuppose that reality was finite and therefore definable.

    If instead we imagine a reality with infinite dimensions and points of view, then, more than a complete teaching, we would need a navigation method to find out who we are, in what dimension of reality we want to live and what kind of contribution to give, if we wish to give it.

    Applying a method implies a doer, witness of the correct (from his point of view) application of the method, more passion puts the doer in applying the method and the more witnessing will make the doer collapse in its essence: meditation, awareness, mystery, joy…(who has not witnessed these indefinable experiences at least once?).

    If we still talk about Osho it is because there are experiences of deep communion with him that continue to be witnessed, transmitted from heart to heart, dancing, in silence or in words.

    I am a witness of that fragrance.

    I have not read all the comments due to lack of time at the end of stressful seasonal work.

  14. madhu dagmar frantzen says:

    @ Tan and Frank (and re some shades of ´grey, while witnessing and cloud-watching)…

    Every so often ´re witnessing´, one is reminded in so many ways of the parable of ‘The Three Monkeys’, which has existed in east and west versions for Ages.
    Some versions even call it ‘The Three Wise Monkeys’.

    (Sometimes even a fourth monkey is introduced to the other three, hiding his genitals or showing another way of NOT acting version added to those of ‘NOT see’, ‘NOT hear’, ‘NOT speak’ – these three are well known, aren´they?).

    In a mood of the moment, I´ve been looking into other prose. It´s called: ‘Plausible Deniability’. Here´s what wiki showed up with:

    “Plausible deniability of people (typically senior officials in a formal or informal chain of command) to deny knowledge of or resonsibility for any damnable actions committed by others in an organizational hierarchy, because of lack of evidence which can confirm their participation, even if they were personnally involved in or at least wilfully ignorant of the action(s).

    In this case that illegal or otherwise unpopular activities become public, high-ranking ´officials´ may deny any awareness of such acts to insulate themselves and shift blame on the agents to carry on the acts, as their doubters will be unable to prove otherwise….” And so on and so forth, wiki (the source of my quote) goes.

    Cloud Watching re the human spheres.

    Otherwise – by grace – the sky in Nature outside today here in Bavaria shows up in aquamarine, cloudless Light. It´s cool outside and the first flavours of autumn are perceptible.

    And: ´Osho never promised us a rose-garden without thorns.´

    (Madhu´s moody witnessing of the moment re the thread topic and what´s appearing not only on a SN/UK website screen…).

    • frank says:

      Makes a lot of sense, and the weather report is bang on, too!

    • Tan says:

      Thanks Madhu,
      Sorry, I don’t get it!

    • bob says:

      Instead of just throwing in my two cents, my opinions, on “witnessing”, here, I offer some word histories that I found, that may help to shed some light on this topic.

      The word itself seems to have come into use in the English language through Christianity. It is a direct translation of the New Testament Greek word ‘martyr’, which meant ‘to see, observe’, and was used to describe the early believers of the faith, who were so saturated by the truth of what they saw and felt, that they would rather die with that true seeing than recant and save themselves from the punishment of the powered non-believers.

      They were the martyrs, the witnesses of their religion, who would “testify” to that by those ultimate scenarios, which basically was duplicating Jesus’s suffering and crucifixion.

      This ‘testifying’ theme is still hugely extant in the Baptist Churches of the US, where it is common for parishioners to get up during a church service and testify, or publically declare their witnessing of what they have seen and experienced.

      Some etymologies have even taken this Greek word ‘martyr’ all the way back to the Sanskrit word that was the root for Buddha’s final words “samasati”…remember (what you have seen).

      Interesting too is the word itself, which simply means ‘full of wit’, wit having the earlier connotation of ‘knowledge’, or what you have seen. It has taken on in modern times more of a clever, humorous slant of using language with a big reservoir of what the witty one has seen. There are many witty ones on SannyasNews…everyone likes it, if it doesn’t take on too much of a cutting tone to the recipient, if there happens to be one.

      Osho used the word “witnessing” a lot, sure, in his talks on Buddha and Zen in particular…though I can’t really say the Chinese Zen literature used it much or at all, in translation of course. I can’t really recall seeing that word in the books on Chan…but, Osho, and all of us here who use language as a medium, have every right to use or modify words as we see fit to express our own personal experience of this life and its essential underpinnings. One of those much valued freedoms we have.

      • frank says:

        So witness can mean the opposite of witless.
        That’s worth remembering.

      • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

        You´ve been adding yesterday (at 4:57 pm) another of these kaleidoscopic splinters re the topic theme, Bob, which hasn´t been mentioned so far.

        And I loved to read that, coming in touch (again) with my flaw feeling in the stomach: ´How to cope with (´cope´ = survive and transcend!) fanaticism and to find ways to realize that, useful for oneself as for others.

        The aspect of ‘martyrdom’ has not been covered so much – if ever – here, but plays a significant energetic mostly very much) unconscious role and a very fatal one too, as the latter doesn´t help anything nor anyone for the better.

        Thank you for your contribution re that aspect.

        What is ‘witty’ on the witnessing scale, I guess, is interdependent with and on the range/ status of collective consciousness growing and/or diminishing.*

        We call that Human Condition sometimes.

        Thanks, Bob.


        * You know, Bob, what I dicovered during the last days seeing the new advertisements at the bus stations?
        Young women with a coma-trance-like style performance (“eyes wide(st) shut”,´botox-treated lips (and so on) praised a new fashion collection number called “Conscious Collection”. (Fashion usually mostly made in Far East – India, Korea, China etc. – where the poorest people (women) working their ass off for our delusions…

        Well, propaganda has its many ways to praise and sell their business’ads’.

  15. madhu dagmar frantzen says:

    @ Satchit (18 September 2019, 4:12 pm)

    Yes, sad, sad, sad, Satchit but alas, football is happening – so – just the short message of what really is sad, and that´s about YOUR performance here.

    Listening is happening far beyond your perception!

    ´Certainly´ sad that you don´t get it “Mister Jones”, coming in the chatroom (UK/SN) with your keyboard-pencil in your hands….

  16. madhu dagmar frantzen says:

    Re ‘riding’ a virtual wave re witnessing and meeting ´critical´ minds on the top of the wave:
    there may be coming up the need of discernment to get to an understanding of where the wave comes from and where it is disappearing into, even though one might know that riding a wave in Nature, one needs to keep the balance on the surface of a wave, not to get crushed by it.

    Re virtual ´waves´, one can truly say that ´it´ doesn´t exist, does it?

    However, *notorious ´critical minds´ ride (those) waves efficiently , don´t
    they? Keeping all the gazers on the beach in awe, waiting…for what?
    Or just enjoying the spectacle. Glad to be released for a moment or longer time, to forget themselves.

    How about discernment? (Without any junkie’s approach to substances whatsoever).


    * A notorious critical mind is one, in my eyes, which feels an ongoing existential threat; it’s on a survival ´mode; maybe one version of the mind, which knows best, that it is pretty useless re (always) unique and essential (always individual) quests. As long as we are in this body in this lifetime.

  17. Arpana says:

    Frank, Levina,
    Can you both say more about the questions?
    Strikes me as way to be ruthlessly honest with oneself.
    Am I not getting it?

    1. Is it true?

    2. Are you absolutely sure it is true?

    3. How do you react when you think this thought?

    4. Who would you be without this thought?

    • satyadeva says:

      Francoise (formerly Vitrago, a long-time sannyasin) suggests that the criticism of ‘The Work’ (by Morton Tollboll: https://mortentolboll.weebly.com/a-critique-of-byron-katie-and-her-therapeutic-technique-the-work.html) that Frank quoted (Sept.19, 10.46am) is inadequately informed by lack of personal experience and thus lacks understanding of what it actually entails. Here she responds to several points raised:

      “The Work consists in four questions you have to ask to a problematic thought of yours, and a turnaround technique. The four questions are:

      1. Is it true?

      2. Are you absolutely sure it is true?

      3. How do you react when you think this thought?

      4. Who would you be without this thought?

      These questions can be a good idea to ask yourself if a problematic thought of yours actually is false…”

      NO, ‘not false’ you do the Work on a stressful thought, you question it – and find out what is so for you, whatever the outcome may turn out to be.

      One may find the belief that’s behind the stressful thought and understanding of the situation. And then questioning one’s beliefs that are implicit in the stressful thoughts when one comes across them during the process.

      The answer should not come from the mind but rather by taking time, looking deeper, rather than for an automatic/robotic answer that the mind can provide. That’s why BK calls it a questioning and a meditation.

      “And there is nothing new in it. As mentioned they also use such questions in Cognitive Therapy, but not so simplified. So why not use that instead, or take a few lessons in philosophy?”

      I’ll leave that conclusion to Tollboll (and Frank) – I do not know Cognitive Therapy therefore don’t have opinions about it, although I’ve heard this before.

      “Because the problem with The Work is that it has a conclusion in advance and therewith it is in progress, as with other New Age directions, of eliminating peoples´ ability of critical thinking?”

      That’s a misunderstanding, a conclusion of a mind which has not gone through the processes. The thought might be found to be false, but a full understanding of it for oneself might well be the result of the process – one has to find out, someone else’s answer might not work for you.

      As for eliminating “critical thinking”, well, the process could well be termed the very epitome of critical thinking, aimed right at the source of what underpins our thoughts, shining light on our attitudes, beliefs and values: critical thinking on critical thinking!

      The Work is a questioning and everyone finds their own answers. Peeling the onion of beliefs whether of oneself or others, or situations, one opens the veils and gets to a clearer understanding beyond the belief, closer to one’s truth, in my experience.

      “Problematic, because the training of critical thinking is the first step in a true spiritual process and on the whole a primary condition for a healthy mind.”


      “In Cognitive Therapy, for example, they also have questions to ask to problematic thoughts, that actually have some truth in them (examples in the end of this article).

      When the conclusion is given in advance then The Work´s four questions becomes so-called rhetorical questions; that is, questions which are asked purely for effect rather than as requests for answers. In that case the four questions function in precisely the same way as persuader words.”

      Again it depends whether you question your stressful thought with your robotic mind or you let answers come from within as a meditation, and also letting the heart speak – that’s what is being learned in The Work.

      Also, by the way, Tollboll (and Frank, it seems) has forgotten (or perhaps doesn’t know) that questions 3 and 4 have several sub-questions, thus making the process deeper, more thorough than he appears to realise.

      • frank says:

        I presented the quote that is being responded to here by saying: “Here is a section of a critique of Byron Katie`s work I have come across:” and then put the quote in quotation marks.

        At the end of the quotation marks, I asked:
        “Is there some truth in this does anyone think?”

        Now Satchit is calling me a parrot and Francoise (hello Francoise, nice name!) is berating me as the person “with the robotic mind” who has written it!

        Make up your minds, if you`ve still got one!!

        • satyadeva says:

          Ok, Frank, point taken, we missed the quotation marks (etc.). Have taken your name off the response from Francoise.

          Mind you, in an earlier post (Sept. 19, 8.47pm) you (as ‘Frank’) did make one or two sceptical points about ‘The Work’ (mostly damning with faint praise) to which Francoise’s responses are relevant, eg you said:

          “The point is that I do think that ‘The Work’ can/will work in certain situations. In this it is very much like other forms of therapeutic intervention, particularly cognitive therapy. And like any therapeutic intervention I doubt it will work everywhere at all times as a one size fits all, one problem/one solution thing, which seems to be how it is touted.

          It reminds me of the idea ‘You create your own reality’. A fine thought when used to either help oneself take responsibility for the situation one finds oneself in, or a boost when you are involved in a creative project.

          However, as a philosophical, metaphysical truth taken to be true in all situations, it leads to absurdities. What about all the kids in Syria getting blown to bits or the kids in Africa born with AIDS? Do you really believe they are responsible?

          Every medicine, however effective, has both limits and contra-indications.”

          • frank says:

            My point is that any system of therapy, be it considered spiritual or otherwise, must accept that it has limits and times and places where it doesn’t work.

            To claim otherwise (one-size-fits-all) is a form of extremism or fundamentalism and I attempted to illustrate that.

            This is different from Tollboll`s view which is, basically, that it’s all harmful rubbish.

            Btw, I have met new-agers who do indeed believe that the unborn unfortunates of Syria and Africa have “created their own reality”.

            Tollboll seems to claim that Byron Katie has the same view, but I don`t know if that is true.
            Do you or Francoise or anyone know if there is any truth in that?

            • satyadeva says:

              No idea about BK’s views on pre-birth creation of ‘self-and-circumstances’, Frank, and neither does Francoise.

              Although she does point out that such an idea is common in esoteric teachings, eg in Tibetan Buddhism and recently (1984) in BL’s ‘Origins of Man and The Universe’ where he describes how we create the conditions of our next life in between death and rebirth “with the most profound attention” (or similar phrase).

            • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

              Hi Frank (at 3:32 pm)
              ´The new-agers´ you met could be hardly further away from Byron Katie´s take on “getting real” in the work she proposes.

              That´s my personal experience (when I participated in some meetings – long ago (´work´-meetings) with Her Presence (personnally) and/or as well watching vids which are kind of flooding some ´Net-corners´:

              So – it´s quite easy to get acquainted…before judging….


              • Tan says:

                Hi Madhu,
                Her presence, with capital letter?
                It explains it all!

                • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

                  Capital letters? Tan – this explains nothing of your own obvious need to pump yourself up, to ‘know’ (something).

                  Btw, I use capital letters when I want to confer that somebody (a Presence) has left us all an important teaching:
                  In this case, one to investigate ourselves re Ideologies or – all through fixed and fixing patterns of thinking and in course of that – behaviour(s).

                  Loving what is´includes a lot of pain as well as a lot of joy as if you apply the work for yourself (!) you´re getting a lot lighter, losing unnecassary ‘baggage’.

                  Naked we will be after all, when we all – how Frank is puttung it quite rightly – when we are ´dust´again.


            • satyadeva says:

              Frank, a further response from Francoise…

              I can only say that The Work is not a philosophy or metaphysical truth, or therapy; this would be just another belief or a package which needs to be questioned (practised and experienced) by whoever thinks about it or is interested in questioning it for himself (that’s the work of the Work).

              It’s as if I try to explain Tai Chi by saying it’s a physical exercise, an energy development method, a health practice, a meditation etc…It is the sum of all of that and PLUS – and that ‘plus’ you can only know by doing it, by the experience.

              Labelling it with only one of those definitions you can compare it to other methods you know of, such as comparing it as a health practice with running or massage, or as a meditation with Vipassana, for example.

              It’s more than the sum of its parts and so is The Work, it’s to be discovered.

              If one considers it a philosophy or a metaphysical truth or a therapy or a medicine then the limits of these definitions apply, but that would only be related to the person who packages it as such; no need to try and make it a universal truth.

              The mind tries to package it (the Work and everything else) according to its content and experience and (tries to) label everything. My mind is the same as everyone else’s, parroting going on, and when I do the Work the process allows me to open it and sometimes see and present it with (be open to) rising alternatives that I find via the questioning, so beliefs are shaken and situations seen in another way, maybe.

              RE: “However, as a philosophical, metaphysical truth taken to be true in all situations, it leads to absurdities. What about all the kids in Syria getting blown to bits or the kids in Africa born with AIDS? Do you really believe they are responsible? Every medicine, however effective, has both limits and contra-indications.”

              I’m not ‘critical’ of anything in the above, as the perspective of the Work is not actually about judging from the outside the responsibility or not of someone else, but seeing how I ‘create my reality’ through my thoughts is definitely obvious for me, at my level, as part of the Work, and a truth.

              • satyadeva says:

                Also from Francoise, to further clarify her last paragraph in her previous post (today, 6.30pm)…

                The Work is not primarily about finding one’s responsibility (and certainly not about judging from the outside the responsibility of someone else) although one may discover it in the process.

                But when it comes to investigating troublesome thinking (arising from beliefs, values, attitudes, prejudice, etc.),’creating one’s reality’ by my thoughts, for me it’s definitely obvious, at my level, as part of the Work and a truth to be discovered/realised little by little.

                • frank says:

                  I don`t know much about Katie.
                  But anyone who can write a book called ‘Loving What Is’ and then go out and have a facelift…
                  Well…Kudos to the brass cahones!

                • satyadeva says:

                  Francoise responds to Frank’s comment…

                  Well, anything goes when one wants to ‘criticise’.

                  Byron Katie does not have wrinkles, but the explanation is that she is quite plump and fatter people don’t wrinkle hardly.

                  And even if she did have a facelift (which she likely did not)…so what? Is that a measure of the value of the Work?

                  All the outside criticism of Osho and his Rolls Royces – who gave a stuff among sannyasins?

                • frank says:

                  Thanks for the reply, Francoise. Is there something esoteric going on here? Is Francoise actually a disembodied entity that SD is channelling or something? Maybe the Nine Unknown Men of Mighty Bhorat are accepting female members at last?!

                  I have heard Byron Katie had a facelift. I cannot produce the invoice from the plastic surgeon. You could try googling it.

                  Don`t know about you, but I don`t tend to associate plastic surgery with authenticity. No doubt that is a negative judgment, that someone thinks I have to do the Work and turn around (yawn).

                  Or maybe it’s a device like Osho`s RRs to keep horrid critical people like me away?
                  It`s a mystery.

                  While I`m at it, here`s an idea about “critical”.
                  When I read a book, I will look it up on Amazon and check the reviews. I always read the most critical reviews first. Especially with books that I have liked and vibed with. This is because the positive reviews are more likely to say stuff I know already, leading to “confirmation bias”.

                  The `negative` reviews are where you find the unexpected. That`s how me brain works. Like I used to say to my dear old mum and dad, bless their souls, when they used to moan at me, “Could you please direct your complaints to the manufacturers?”

                • satyadeva says:

                  No, I don’t think the facelift (which it seems BK did have) was a “device” to keep people like you away, Frank, even if it’s had that effect.

                  Neither do I think it’s necessarily a sign of ‘inauthenticity’, as looking after one’s personal appearance is a perfectly natural instinct, especially, I tend to think, for women, however ‘conscious’/'enlightened’ they might be.

                  That you should have no personal interest in BK’s ‘Work’ is of no concern to anyone except yourself, of course, except that it’s not exactly impressive that you, like any uninformed tabloid hack, like to damn someone and something with ridicule apparently without having bothered to have any personal experience of them or their particular field of work.*

                  * Which is why, Frank, that a previous post of yours wasn’t put up yesterday.

                • frank says:

                  SD, no worries, the ref`s decision is final. I won`t even appeal for VAR.

                  And it seems I had forgotten the time-honoured Zen saying:
                  “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water, book facelift.
                  After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water, book facelift.”

          • frank says:

            Hi SD,
            Is that what it`s come to?
            People believe that babies in war zones “create their own reality” because they read it in an “esoteric” book.

            Beam me up, Scotty!

            • satyadeva says:

              Perhaps there are dozens of things we find distressing, unacceptable, even obscene, Frank, things that ‘should never be allowed’.

              For instance, how about the sight of wild animals chasing down and mercilessly killing their prey (‘fellow-animals’, as they appear to be)?

              Or people undergoing prolonged intense pain, until they die?

              Or terrible natural disasters, killing and maiming scores or hundreds?

              Famine, hunger, disease, dreadful physical and mental handicaps…the list is endless.

              And that’s without factoring in all the appalling ills perpetrated on us by people.

              Who told us this is such a ‘lovely’ place, and that human life is ‘meant’ to be just ‘tickrty-boo’?!

              • frank says:

                Life is tough.
                Let`s crank it up with a bit of victim shaming with occult rationalisations.

                Brilliant logic, Atman Batman!

                • satyadeva says:

                  Perhaps there are people who know more than you and me about ‘reality’, Frank.

                  You interpret as “shaming” what MIGHT be a ‘simple’ fact. But IF what they say or IMPLY is too horrifying or painful to contemplate then maybe we simply can’t stand the dreadful truth.

                • frank says:

                  SD. Are you saying that you actually believe that kids who are born with AIDS have “created their own reality” ?

                • satyadeva says:

                  “SD, are you saying that you actually believe that kids who are born with AIDS have “created their own reality”?

                  No doubt, Frank, you’d might well love me to say, “Yes, but of course, everyone should”, because we all enjoy a nice hit of righteously indignant outrage, don’t we?

                  But as I’ve intimated earlier this evening, which you don’t appear to have grasped, that’s not what I’m saying. Obviously I don’t know, as you, I assume, don’t. I’m simply open to the possibility as credible (to me) sources have described such between-lives processes to be what takes place.

                  And by the way, please note that I’m not saying anything remotely like,’It’s a punishment for what they’ve done in a past life”.

                • satchit says:

                  Maybe this is what she calls “turnaround”: thinking differently to destroy some mind pattern.

                • frank says:

                  Re my question to you:
                  “Are you saying that you actually believe that kids who are born with AIDS have “created their own reality” ?

                  In fact, I am very pleased that you did NOT say, “Yes, but of course, everyone should”.
                  That means one sick bastard less in the world.
                  Good news.

                  Now, I personally don`t think that mistaking occult sci-fi for reality is really that advisable, so onto more important questions…

                  Did you ever get to have a glass of vino in Kevin Ayers` bar this summer?

                • satyadeva says:

                  Ok, some progress then!

                  Although before moving on to the ‘Kevin Ayers restaurant’ (not “bar”) in sunny Montolieu I would like to ask you whether you have any clues about after-death/pre-birth states and processes, other than dismissing all esoteric teachings as “mistaking occult sci-fi for reality.”

                  Ok, I know you don’t know (do you?) but haven’t you picked up anything in all these years of disciplehood and searching, even the merest relevant whisper of what seems to you to have ‘the ring of truth’ about the eventual fate of us all?

                • frank says:

                  The eventual fate for us all?
                  Dust, my friend.

                  Who was it that said:
                  “The best preparation for the future is to live as if there were none”?

                  That`s as good a theory as any.

                  So far, so good.

                • satchit says:

                  Frankie says:
                  “Dust, my friend”.

                  Fact is: This is also a belief!

                • frank says:

                  Fact is, you saying “Fact is: this is also a belief” is also a belief.
                  Fact is, me saying “Fact is, you saying Fact is: is also a belief” is also a belief.
                  And so on ad infinitum.

                • satchit says:

                  It’s not so simple, Frankie.

                  Either you believe “dust” means everything is finished.

                  Or you believe something leaves the dead body.

                  Which is your favourite?

            • Tan says:

              Isn’t it crazy? It’s difficult to believe that some people believe it!
              It’s the pinnacle of idiocy! Those people make me sick.

    • Levina says:

      Hi Arpana,
      There’s lots of info. on the net, and you can download the worksheets, also videos of B.K in action.

    • Jivan Alok says:

      The first question “is it true?” is wrong. If you knew what is true and what is not, you wouldn’t ask anything. Whatever one responds will be false. The teaching based on four questions, the first of which is wrong, is incomplete (back to the subject of the article).

      Based on an assumption that you can tell truth from lie, Byron Katie gives you a credit you can never return, unless you at least know who you are, in the first place, to fill in the entire questionnaire.

      An experiment: There’s trouble in sorting some financial issues out within days numbered. I am asking: is it true? Yes and no. Or rather: yes, but… no, but…There is no right answer unless I see the whole picture. Otherwise it’s: no worries, I will settle this down, or I’ll drink some more whisky and get lost for now, or everything is just an illusion and the creditors are my imagination (which might be closer, but is not).

      There can be multiple solutions and no valid response as to whether it is real or not. This is an incomplete teaching, isnt’ it?

      • satyadeva says:

        Jivan Alok, your first point alone betrays how little you’ve bothered to investigate BK’s method. If you’re really that interested then you should watch an hour or so of her working directly with individuals, which should help you get the idea. As it is, you’re making yourself appear like a bit of a dummy, which is short-changing yourself.

        Similarly, you still don’t appear to have understood the appropriate contexts for BK’s method, demonstrated by the example you provide, which is a purely practical issue, rather than a matter of emotion-driven thought, eg attitude, belief, assumption, judging self and/or (an)other(s). Unless, that is, you deliberately chose an irrelevant situation in order to provide a cheap put-down?

        • Jivan Alok says:

          Satyadeva, you are right. I am not interested in investigating BK’s method. I agree that I could be too swift to make conclusions wothout going deeper. I trust my intuition. There is a lot to investigate besides. I have discovered Krishnamurti just recently. And this man shines brightly like thousand suns. I can’t see BK anywhere near.

          • satyadeva says:

            BK is not a ‘guru’ or a ‘master’, Jivan Alok, she’s simply providing a practical method of profound self-enquiry for those that are attracted to her work.

            Good luck with Krishnamurti (after a while you might need some…).

            • frank says:

              To say that BK is not a guru shows that you have had limited contact with her scene. Have you had dealings with her followers, I mean to say the regulars at her gigs?

              • satyadeva says:

                No, Frank, I’ve never been to any of her meetings and only met one person who’s doing ‘The Work’ (Francoise). Although I’ve watched quite a few hours of BK work on video, read a fair bit, and had first-hand experience of Francoise’s commitment to and feedback from her own processes using that method.

            • Jivan Alok says:

              Satyadeva, why might I need some Krishnamurti after a while? This man had known and felt much more and deeper than I have ever done or could ever do in future. I feel deep respect for people like him. He is not as easy as Osho or straightforward as Osho to comprehend, but sometimes if intellect fails, intuition helps out.

              I would like to know: are you a man or a woman, please?

              • satyadeva says:

                I meant you might need some luck, not “some Krishnamurti”, Jivan Alok! (LOL!).

                K was great, but I’m not sure whether what he said was enough to radically change people. But you might be an exception, so, again, good luck….

                (Last time I looked I was male, by the way).

  18. Lokesh says:

    Tan declares, “I don’t trust those who claim that they know the secrets about life and death. Because they don’t!”

    First thing that comes to me upon reading that is why limit oneself to such a narrow viewpoint?

    A few comments later Tan claims, “That’s one of many things I have learned from Osho.”

    Osho did not talk much about what happens after death. I suspect that he did this because he understood that what happens after death is very dependent on what happens before death. You have to learn how to live to know how to die kinda scenario.

    That said, I believe Osho said that the Tibetan Book of The Dead is reality. Now, Osho, as far as I know, did not author this ancient manuscript, which means he trusted or agreed with other people who revealed the secrets about life and death.

    Which brings me to the conclusive question, how did Tan learn from Osho not to trust people who claimed to know the secrets about life and death, when Osho himself trusted or agreed with such people?

    Tan, I would appreciate an honest reply from you on this one.

    • Tan says:

      Thanks, Lokesh.

      Exactly what you said, I’ve learned with Osho to not bother about death, live in the now, in the moment, etc…This is the core of his teachings, right? I got that.

      Now, to not trust those people who claim they know the secrets about life and death, it’s my own experience. I don’t need anybody to tell me this.

      If Osho, like you said, trusted a book, it’s his problem. Definitely, I don’t!

      What makes me mad, it’s when those “who know abou death”, start talking bullshit to explain about the horrors of wars, bestiality and much more that is going on now, in the present. Got it?


      • satyadeva says:

        Well, Tan, perhaps you’ve come across too many Christians and other religionists, spiritualists and assorted other ‘believers’ who don’t know anything much themselves. Sure, we’ve got to exercise discrimination, as far as we’re able to, but if you’re determined to shut the door on everything then you might miss something.

        Meanwhile, yes, life is now, and only a fool would argue with that.

      • frank says:

        Hi Lokesh,
        One thing I have asked (without much in the way of reply from believers) is why these ancient esotericists and occultist could discover hidden truth such as how we move from life to life and the details thereof, yet they were not able to divine that men and women were equal, if different, halves in the human story?

        The Tibetan word for woman is ‘keth-men’ which translates as lower-birth. Every Tibetan, except in very recent history, ‘knew’ that to get ‘enlightened’ it was necessary to be born in a man`s body. The guys who wrote the Tibetan Book of the Dead did not question this, ever. For them it was a fact on the same level as their version of transmigration. That was the teaching.

        When I was spending time in the Himalayas at the beginning of the 80s I heard about a high lama who had been Dalai Lama`s chief tutor from the days in Tibet. He was much revered but kept a low profile, living quietly in a little hut on a hillside.

        Twice a year on auspicious days, he received a group of people to ask him questions. He was considered as something of an oracle by the locals and a few westerners went along too. I went along. A quietly spoken old guy, he had a lot of wrinkles, he seemed completely ancient to me. It was mostly in Tibetan but a few questions in English got translated. Dharma stuff from western dharma students as I remember.

        Sometime in the mid 90s,I returned to Mcleod Ganj, where the DLs residence is. I was staying in a roof-top room in the Green Hotel when I was asked to move out as the whole of the top section had been requisitioned for use by a boy lama and his entourage. The boy lama turned out to be the reincarnation of the old DL`S old teacher I had met 12 years earlier. Thus I came, allegedly, to meet the same high soul in two different incarnations.

        The little lad came into our room, he was about 7 or 8, surrounded by a group of monks who did a kind of odd mixture of subservience and ordering him around. Poor little chap, I felt sorry for him, he looked sad to me. Taken away from his mum and dad at that age. The whole thing seemd quite cruel. Let the poor little blighter go out and play, I thought, as they all fussed around with their uptight holy trip while he had to sit still on the bed and act in the right way.

        The reality of the reincarnation malarkey amongst the Tibetans is very different from dropping acid, meditating and reading a translation of the Tibetan Book of the Dead.

        For me, the old monks who came up with that stuff were lucid dreamers. Many of the previously occult teachings that have come to light testify to this. Maybe they did a few drugs too. Their adventures are testament to the amazing plasticity and possibilities of mind and being. Maybe meditation and/or these kind of journeys are a rehearsal for death. That is a very positive attitude. I support that. But it`s a very personal thing. Once it gets to belief and dogma you get weird stuff like where Tibetan religious society.

        It`s not worth trying to claim it`s ‘objectively true’ in any way. That kind of literal thinking doesn`t help the process, in fact it blocks it by letting useless old dogma in through the back door.

        • Lokesh says:

          Interesting post, Frank. Could comment a lot on various aspects of what you say.
          Mr O explained how in the good auld days only famous folk reincarnated etc. It is an endless topic.

          Recent…err…ehm experiences have shown me what I call reincarnational threads, meaning I have been with small groups of people and had it revealed to me how they had a connection from another time and place. Of course, it is difficult to determine if this was projection on my part or not. I have not been looking for this. It just comes to me and I have seen it a few times now.

          When it happens it feels real. I see ancient connections between people that go back a long way. I have seen that some of my closer friends I only know from this life. I experienced directly with new friends that I have a deep connection from some other time and place, but in this life we have different things to do and will not see so much of each other. Soul brothers and sisters. A mystery to be lived.

          I now recognize that all those experiences I had back in the sixties using Leary’s Psychedelic Experience as a manual was pioneering work. Those were amazing times, plus I was crazy and reckless and young enough to wander the bardos and somehow return and manage to retain some form of sanity. At times it was as scary as fuck and terrified the shit out of me.

          I reckon that Tibetan yogis brought a lot back from the other shore, but I don’t think they were mainstream buddhists. In many respects Buddhism carries just as much nonsense as any one of the other mainstream religions. I mean to say. I have seen radical buddhist monks ready to go to war, although in general buddhists are pretty gentle people. Just like sannyas, I suppose, there will always be a few rotten apples in the barrel.

          • frank says:

            Hi Lokesh,
            There is a growing sense that the yogis who brought the stuff back from the other shore weren`t mainstream Buddhists. In fact many researchers are now saying that they weren’t Buddhists at all,they were adherents of Bon, the pre-Buddhist shamanistic religion of Tibet.

            Re. Mr O`s idea that only important people are reincarnated: O was heavily influenced by Freddie Neitzsche`s aristocratic radicalism, which he came across early on. So it seems very likely that he picked out that old idea to propagate his philosophic preferences.

            • Tan says:

              Hiya Frank boy,
              Have you heard any gossip about Mr. O being gay? Is just a hint. Maybe the moustache?
              In his time being a woman or gay was very discriminatory.


              • frank says:

                Hi Tan,
                I`m copy and pasting this from ‘A Brief Overview of Certain Aspects of the Thought of Ouspensky’ by Michael Presley.

                And made a few comments myself at the end.

                “Ouspensky’s statements on sex sometimes appear unusually conservative and other times entirely strange to the modern reader, often either unambiguous in a proscriptive way or, more likely, cryptic.

                Ouspensky then proceeds to describe normal sex in man. Here, he describes the differences between lower sex, i.e., infra-sex, and the sex of higher types or supra-sex. And with infra-sex we have two further division: obvious degeneration and hidden degeneration.

                In the former we find “all obvious sex abnormalities” such as underdeveloped sex, all perversions manifesting in abnormal sexual desires or abstinence.” [Disgust of sex, fear of sex, indifference to sex, interest in one's own sex are examples given by Ouspensky. And it is in this passage where we find the following peculiar and unexplained statement: "…interest in one's own sex…has quite a different meaning in men from what it has in women, and in women it is not necessarily a sign of infra-sex"].

                The second division of infra-sex, hidden degeneration, is further divided into two groups. The first Ouspensky calls sex which is “coloured by the psychology of the lupanar.” Here, sex is surrounded with an atmosphere of uncleanness, something to be derided or joked about. Pornography in its various manifestations are examples. The latter manifestation of this “hidden degeneration of infra-sex” is sex connected with violence and cruelty in man. The figure of Othello is presented as an example in this instance:

                A man of this form of infra-sex seems continually to be walking on the edge of a precipice. Sex and all emotions belonging to sex become in him inevitably connected with irritation, suspicion, and jealousy; at any moment he may find himself completely in the power of a sense of injury, insulted pride, a frightened sense of ownership; and there are no forms of cruelty and violence of which he is not capable in order to avenge his “outraged honour” or “injured feelings.”

                Normal sex is outlined in the theory of types. That is, sex which is co-ordinated with the remainder of man’s life functions and which is mutually complemented by a hierarchy of opposites. Within certain individuals the maximum harmonious expression of sexuality manifests. Next, exists a second but lower category of potential partners whose love is expressed within a more formal and less passionate relationship but which still retains a certain amount of, if not passion, at least compassion. The third and fourth categories are even less interesting to the participants and can only lead to infra-sexual outcomes.”


                Reading that kind of prose is not an aphrodisiac, for sure.

                According to Gary Lachman`s book, Ouspensky spent a lot of his married life separated from his wife who preferred to hang out with Mr G and sounded like a right spiritual battle-axe that everyone was scared of.

                He had one passionate relationship with a woman early on in Russia, when he was hanging out with a bunch of artists in a café called ‘The Stray Dog’, but that fizzled out.

                That`s about it. He wasn`t very sociable by all accounts, many described him as grouchy and aloof.

                I don`t think he had a moustache, did he? That was G with his Walrus.
                Men and women didn`t mix so much in those days.
                G, for example, seems, by the accounts, to have displayed more emotional involvements with his male disciples and male associates than with the women in his life. Not because he was gay, but that`s just how the world was.

                Both of them died decades before James Brown came along with ‘Sex Machine’ and ‘It`s a Man`s World’.

                If transmigration is a reality, I have absolutely no doubt that Mr O will be down at Heaven, under the arches, getting down on the dancefloor and shaking his booty like his possible evolution depends on it!

                • Tan says:

                  Many thanks, Frank boy!

                  Definitely, there was a sexual issue of some kind. If not, why spend so much time theorizing abou it? Anyway, in those times it was expected.

                  Osho had it right! “Don’t think about sex, just do it.”

                  Cheers, love, and many thanks again!

                • frank says:

                  Ta, my pleasure.

          • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

            Such an intense topic thread ongoing here, Lokesh (21 September, 11:04 am); sometimes hard to decide where to respond or how to hold theinner-outer line…

            Even though I never attended Leary´s kind of Psychedelics Experiments/Experiences, I mostly can relate to that which you put into words here as some of the outcomes. (Maybe the inbuilt inner ‘drugstore’ in our physiological inbuilt genetic code that meanwhile some scientists and doctors have written and shared a lot of stuff about?).

            Anyway, your last two chapters (at 11:04 yesterday), I second in particular.

            A pretty much intense and good ´update´ to one of your similar former topics long, long ago, which had quite a very lot of responses, but scattered in a way.

            Thank you for taking the effort for another ´go’ (to set a trigger)!


      • Lokesh says:

        Cool, Tan, that ranks as an honest response.

  19. Levina says:

    Oei, Arpana, nice, big, fat, juicy one to get your truth teeth into!

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