Lokesh reflects on his personal experience, on Osho’s teaching and on living in a violent world on the brink of self-destruction..
Anger has never been a particularly big issue in my life, which does not mean I have not had to deal with it. I have. It was during the seventies group process in Poona that I was forced to look at and deal with my anger. Up until then I was running on my hippy peace and love code, which was wearing a bit thin by then.
It came to a head in Teertha’s notorious encounter group, when Poonam focused her astute attention upon me. ‘Oh dear,’ she said, somewhat sarcastically, ‘Not another one of those poor boys who grew up in Glasgow. And you were such a sensitive child.’ It was true. And Poonam nailed it for me that afternoon in a padded room. What eventually transpired was a thick veil being lifted from my eyes, a screen that had until then made me view all males as potential threats. The reptilian brain fight or flight programme. What a relief it was to have that curtain lifted from my eyes so that I could view men not as potential threats, but as possible brothers and friends on the path of life.
Once I got into my anger I found that doing Dynamic Meditation daily for several years helped tremendously…to a point. Anger is energy and blowing it out of your system is healthy, but I do not believe hyperventilating and jumping up and down going “hoo, hoo, hoo” every morning for the rest of your life is. Dynamic faded and I moved into the ‘work is worship’ phase.
I have had a long-lasting relationship and when you let another person into your heart to a great extent anger will inevitably arise, because the other knows you and lets you know that. The mirror. Such an intimate reflection can bring up anger. I worked through those uncomfortable reflections and, for the most part, led a peaceful, adventurous and fun-filled life with a couple of trips into the abyss just to remind me life is not all fun and games.
I have reached a point in my life where I do not like to experience intense anger. I see it as a destructive force. I work on being a wholesome human being. I keep my energy positive, without denying the negative. I endeavour to be kind and loving and sensitive with as many people as I can. I adore animals. I like to keep it high and let those good vibes flow. A sudden flash of anger can ruin weeks of positive and constructive work on keeping my vibe pure. It can also take me days to process an angry outburst with the accompanying inner disturbance anger brings. Osho is right. Anger is poison.
I only once witnessed Osho being angry, at a darshan on the back porch, when an Italian woman threw a shoe at him. The shoe missed Osho by inches and hit Laxmi on the head. Osho was, quite justifiably, pissed off. He was cool about it. Stone cold. You could see it in his eyes. The mad Italian was forcibly removed, kicking and screaming.
I have heard Osho talk about how if you become aware when angry the anger will soon diminish and transform into compassion etc.. Sounds good in a perfect world, but I do not entirely agree. I have been aware when angry with someone and all I felt was anger towards that person. Plain and simple. What to do? Feeling guilty about expressing one´s anger is no solution. My favourite tool for working on my personal aggression is a six pound axe. Last time I had an angry episode I chopped a lot of firewood during the following days. I also moved a pile of rubble that I had been getting around to clearing for the past year.
As I see it, modern-day society is becoming more aggressive by the day. We live in a violent civilization. Yet, speaking for all of us here on SN, we are peace-loving people at heart. What to do when you run into an aggressive social situation?
When I look at the final days of Rajneeshpuram, for instance, I think a violent confrontation with the American authorities was just around the corner. Osho was not Jesus. He did not believe in turning the other cheek. Back in the Poona One days, Laxmi sent a platoon of martial arts experts round to Cafe Delight to beat the shit out of a gang of Iranian students who had raped a young sannyasin women. There are many instances where it was made very clear that sannyasins knew how to stand up for themselves. How to be in the world but not of it, when faced by an aggressor?
This very body the Buddha, this very place the Lotus Paradise. Well, yes, some days sitting in my beautiful garden on Ibiza, talking to my Siamese cats as the sun goes down, life seems perfect. Then again, I am very much aware that our species is on the brink of a global environmental catastrophe brought on by greed and selfishness. In spite of man´s remarkable breakthroughs in the field of medicine, our incredible music, works of art, dividing the atom, developing computers, landing on the moon etc. this world still seems to me to be pretty dense, primitive. Maybe the Earth is a prison planet since we seem to be a naturally violent species and we are here until we learn to conduct ourselves in a more peaceful manner.
It is not difficult to imagine a better world. Yet, this is the only world we have right now. How to keep our spirit pure in such a sometimes violent, troubling and confusing world?