Osho Through the Eyes of Gemini Chat AI – Nityaprem reports on and assesses an experiment

Nityaprem writes:

In order to see what today’s hip professionals may find out about Osho, I thought I’d ask Google’s Gemini Chat Artificial Intelligence a few questions about his views. Chat AIs are built from an enormous text database to have an understanding of language, and can do onerous tasks for you such as independently researching multiple web pages and writing summaries of large bodies of text.

Chat AIs are another way to explore the internet, and may well end up replacing search engines! They can also write letters and essays on any subject, you just ask them a question or give them an order and off they go. My scores on how good the various replies are, are in italics, feel free to take issue with any of it.

N.B:  If you want to play around a little with the Gemini Chat AI, it lives at this URL…

 

Q: What was Osho’s view on personal growth?

 

A: Osho’s view on personal growth was quite unique. Here are some key points:

  • Being vs. Becoming: Osho challenged the traditional notion of self-improvement. He argued that we are already whole and perfect beings, not projects needing fixing. Growth, for him, wasn’t about becoming someone better, but rather awakening to your true nature.
  • De-conditioning: Osho believed we’re conditioned by society, creating a false sense of self. This conditioning blocks our authentic being. Growth, then, becomes a process of unlearning these limitations and rediscovering our true potential.
  • Celebration, not Striving: Personal growth shouldn’t be a struggle. Osho emphasized a playful, celebratory approach. It’s about enjoying the journey of self-discovery, embracing all experiences –  joyful and sorrowful – as opportunities for growth.
  • Meditation as Key: Osho saw meditation as the key to unlocking personal growth. Through meditation, we can shed mental chatter and access our inner silence, leading to a state of awareness and inner peace.

In essence, Osho offered a perspective on growth that focused on inner transformation and shedding illusions, rather than external achievements or self-improvement efforts.

 

Score: A. It’s a fair set of highlights culled from many discourses.

 

Q: What are Osho’s views on renouncing the world?

 

A: Osho differed from traditional views on renouncing the world. Here’s a breakdown of his perspective:

  • Escape vs. Transformation: Osho saw renunciation as escapism. Fleeing the world to find peace, he argued, doesn’t lead to genuine growth. It’s like finding silence in the Himalayas because everything is already quiet there – that silence isn’t yours. True peace comes from being centred within yourself, even amidst life’s challenges.
  • Change the World, Don’t Abandon It: Osho believed the world needs people who are awake and conscious to transform it. With millions suffering, turning your back on it feels inhuman. He advocated for staying engaged and working to make the world a better place.
  • Inner vs. Outer Renunciation: Osho suggested a different kind of renunciation – letting go of inner attachments to desires, egos, and negativity. This allows you to be in the world without being of it, using your experiences for growth. True renunciation, he argued, arises from inner abundance, not lack.

In short, Osho challenged the idea of physical withdrawal and proposed an inner transformation that empowers you to be a positive force in the world.

 

Score: A-. It sounds reasonable, but I don’t recall Osho ever telling us to go change the world.

 

Q: What is Osho’s view on enlightenment?

 

A: Osho’s view on enlightenment was unconventional and differed from traditional interpretations. Here are some key aspects of his perspective:

  • Natural State, Not Achievement: Unlike the idea of enlightenment as a distant goal, Osho saw it as our inherent nature. We are already enlightened, but unaware of it. Enlightenment, for him, is simply the realisation of this truth.
  • Letting Go, Not Gaining: Osho emphasised that enlightenment isn’t about acquiring something new. It’s about shedding the illusions and ego that cloud our true nature. It’s a process of letting go of attachments, desires, and the constant mental chatter.
  • Being Here Now: Enlightenment, according to Osho, is about being fully present in the moment. It’s about experiencing life with a childlike wonder and accepting things as they are, without judgment.
  • Celebration and Playfulness: Osho didn’t see enlightenment as a serious or solemn state. He advocated for approaching it with a sense of joy and playfulness. It’s about celebrating life in all its richness and embracing the beauty of existence.
  • Questioning, Not Following: Osho discouraged blind faith in spiritual traditions or gurus. He believed that the path to enlightenment is a personal journey of exploration and questioning.

In essence, Osho offered a view of enlightenment that emphasised self-discovery, living authentically, and shedding illusions that prevent us from experiencing our true nature.

 

Score: B. It’s pretty close, I remember him saying stuff pretty close to this.

 

On the whole, I find this really encouraging. If people choose to learn about Osho from Chat AI they may well get a much less biased view than if they read old lifestyle magazine articles. The AI seems knowledgeable and clear, and provides lucid summaries of Osho’s ideas in relatively few words.

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189 Responses to Osho Through the Eyes of Gemini Chat AI – Nityaprem reports on and assesses an experiment

  1. Nityaprem says:

    It’s interesting that the AI seems to be somewhat judgmental towards some people, but not others. If you ask for a summary of Adolf Hitler’s views, for example, it describes them as “toxic” and “hateful”, while Osho’s views are presented in a clear and unbiased way.

    So from the point of future generations who will learn from AI they will probably give Osho a lot more respect, when looking at the ideas that shaped the world. I think learning from AI has a big future… there is a sci-fi novel by Neal Stephenson called ‘The Diamond Age’ in which an intelligent book that functions as an educator for children plays a big role.

    They are saying these Chat AIs will evolve into more general, human-equivalent artificial intelligences within a year or two, and you may have them running on your smartphone quite soon.

    • Nityaprem says:

      So I thought I’d ask the Gemini AI what views it considered toxic…it gave the following reply (clever machine!):

      Q: Are there any views which are considered toxic?

      A: “Absolutely, there are views considered toxic. Here’s what makes a view toxic:

      Promotes Harm:
      Toxic views typically encourage or justify actions that cause harm to others, either physically or emotionally. This could include prejudice, discrimination, or violence based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or any other group affiliation.

      Breeds Intolerance:
      Toxic views often demonize or belittle those with different beliefs or lifestyles. They create an “us vs. them” mentality that hinders understanding and respectful dialogue.

      Undermines Well-Being:
      Toxic views can also be harmful to those who hold them. They can create anxiety, negativity, and a sense of isolation.

      Here are some examples of toxic views:

      Racism and Supremacy: Believing one race or ethnicity is superior to others.
      Misogyny and Sexism: Hatred or prejudice towards women or devaluation of their experiences and capabilities.
      Homophobia and Transphobia: Dislike or prejudice towards gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender people.
      Violence as Solution: Believing violence is the answer to disagreements or problems.
      Conspiracy Theories: Promoting unfounded beliefs that stoke fear and distrust.

      It’s important to critically evaluate views and challenge those that promote harm, intolerance, or negativity.”

  2. Nityaprem says:

    During my explorations of good and evil, Nietzsche and Osho on Nietzsche, I found Gemini starting to give direct links into the Osho Online Library, directly to sections of the books. That impressed me, because it showed the research was not limited to just the featured articles on the website. It might well have quite a deep view of Osho.

    • satyadeva says:

      Of Osho’s words, yes, but I doubt very much whether the bot (or whatever it is) has ever experienced his presence…or exchanged letters with him…or travelled 6000 miles to be with him…or done one of his meditations…(lol).

      Although yes, Gemini might well have a key role to improve the public perception of Osho…eventually…if enough time’s left….

      • Nityaprem says:

        No, you’re right, it won’t ever be able to bring you close to Osho as a darshan might. Or give you the experience of the ashram or of the Oregon commune.

        But I think for a first contact it is a lot better than many media articles that are out there, and that certainly is encouraging.

        Another area where the Chat AI is useful is in summarising. Osho’s discourses and books are lengthy and to get to know his ideas requires a substantial investment in time, and instead you can ask the AI to give you an outline of the most significant ideas.

  3. Nityaprem says:

    Q: What was Osho’s attitude to devotion?

    A: Osho’s view on devotion differed from traditional concepts. Here are some key aspects:

    Beyond Blind Following:
    Osho criticized blind devotion to gurus, religious figures, or ideologies. He believed true devotion was a journey of self-discovery, not following someone else’s path.

    Love and Celebration:
    For Osho, devotion wasn’t about fear, guilt, or obligation. It was about celebrating the beauty and wonder of existence, a feeling of awe and love for the universe or a spiritual teacher who inspires you.

    The Importance of Rebellion:
    He encouraged a healthy skepticism towards authority figures and a willingness to question established beliefs. True devotion, in his view, involved rebellion against the limitations of the mind and a search for one’s own truth.

    Meditation as the Path:
    Osho saw meditation as the key to true devotion. Through meditation techniques, individuals could break free from conditioning and limiting beliefs, leading to a deeper connection with their inner selves and a sense of wholeness.

    The Master as a Mirror:
    He viewed spiritual teachers not as objects of worship, but as mirrors reflecting one’s own potential. A true teacher helps students discover their own inner light, not become dependent followers.

    Here are some additional points to consider:

    The Importance of Playfulness:
    Osho often emphasized the importance of playfulness and joy in devotion. It shouldn’t be a burden or a chore, but a joyful exploration of life’s mysteries.

    A Means to Liberation:
    Ultimately, devotion, for Osho, was a means to liberation. It was about breaking free from the ego, self-imposed limitations, and ultimately realizing one’s true potential.

    Here’s a comparison with traditional devotion:

    Traditional View:
    Focuses on obedience, reverence, and following the teachings of a guru or religious figure.
    Osho’s View: Emphasizes self-discovery, questioning, meditation, and a joyful exploration of existence.

    In essence, Osho advocated for a more individualistic and experiential form of devotion, a path of self-discovery fuelled by love, awe, and a desire for inner transformation.

    • satchit says:

      NP, the AI stuff may be all true, but at the end it is all knowledge. And knowledge does not satisfy you.

      Why not go for a living master?

      • Nityaprem says:

        I’m sure a disciple as ready as you finds one behind every tree and under every stone, Satchit ;)

        But seriously, I think the AI may well turn out to be the first spiritual teacher for many people.

      • Lokesh says:

        Satchit suggests, “Why not go for a living master?”

        Satchit, what living master would you direct someone to and why?

        • satchit says:

          But Lokesh, you are a living master!

          Why – why not?

          Btw, I read your Vol.2 – good work!

          • Nityaprem says:

            Haha ;) Lokesh as the living master, a hardcore Scottish mystic living in party-central Ibiza, I can see it happening, all he needs is his own ashram…very much in the spirit of rebel Osho.

          • Lokesh says:

            Good news that you read the book, Satchit. I’m nobody’s master. Can’t honestly say that I am even master of myself.

            Quite by accident, I had an experience recently that showed me how I am still in the grip of the mind…quite unsettling.

            As for AI, I think that is moving in the opposite direction from the spirit of Sannyas.

            Anyway, good to see that a few of the regulars are still online with SN.

            • Nityaprem says:

              Lokesh said, “I had an experience recently that showed me how I am still in the grip of the mind.”

              Isn’t that always the way of things? You think you are making progress and then you notice how unconscious you actually still are. It’s like Ouspensky’s story where he is into “noticing”: Ouspensky is walking on the pavement…Ouspensky is crossing the street…o.h there is my favourite tobacconist, I musn’t forget…and three hours later he remembers he was “noticing”.

              Lokesh said, “as for AI, I think it is moving in the opposite way of sannyas.”

              I suppose it depends how you define sannyas…I think once the dust has settled it could free human beings from an awful lot of work, instead opening up time for dance, meditation, celebration.

              • Lokesh says:

                NP, I don’t have it with me, but there is an Osho quote on the back of the new book that mentions robot-like existence.

                Ah ha, I found it.

                • Nityaprem says:

                  I’m doing my best to rebel, honestly. I’ve tuned in, turned on and dropped out.

                  But some things we have to negotiate on: the Saturday trip to the market to buy proper Dutch cheese and fresh fried fish, for example. It’s a routine and robotlike, but it’s soo delicious.

              • satchit says:

                “You think you are making progress and then you notice how unconscious you actually still are.”

                Progress is part of the illusion, of the self.

                But there is no self, so there is no progress either.

                Joke!

            • simond says:

              The honesty and the vulnerability with which you describe your “grip of the mind” displays how deep is your mastery, Lokesh. No one is above the occasional grip of the mind, it’s how we learn and accept this fact that is a reflection of our self-knowledge.

              So don’t be, if you are, hard on yourself.

              • Lokesh says:

                Well, Simond, I did feel very vulnerable after accidentally ingesting three very strong marijuana cookies. I fell asleep and awoke to find myself on a surrealistic trip. I thought I might have had a stroke or something until my wife came home and discovered I’d ingested three cookies some cosmic granny had gifted her. Welcome to Ibiza. Never a dull moment.

  4. Nityaprem says:

    Happy Easter Monday, everybody!

  5. Nityaprem says:

    I’ve been reading some of Nisargadatta’s final talks from 1981, which were published in the book ‘The Ultimate Reality’. It’s interesting that he says that his knowledge in the end didn’t make a difference. It’s somewhat similar to what Jiddu Krishnamurti declared at the end of his life, that he had been speaking his whole life with no results.

    It makes you wonder whether any spiritual teacher would be happy with the progress of his students at the end of his life.

  6. simond says:

    AI has an ability to summarise ideas in an academic sort of manner. It is, after all, simply collating information that has been otherwise collected by human beings. It has no intelligence of its own, it’s merely an effective processor.

    • Nityaprem says:

      That is true for the current chat AIs which are based on Large Language Models (LLMs) but not necessarily for all forms of AI, SimonD. I’ve heard it said that we will have generalised artificial intelligence by the end of the year…that’d be quite something if true.

      • simond says:

        Something to ask yourself is how AI, which is simply a computer, can ever become “intelligent”? The scientists might call a computer intelligent, only because it reflects their own minds – which they think are intelligent. There is no intelligence in the mind.

        • Nityaprem says:

          Certainly you can gift an artificial intelligence with things such as desire or a purpose, which is perhaps more than human beings have.

          The idea of artificial intelligence is to create a human-level intelligence, something that is able to recognise things that it sees or hears, think about them, reason, consider their meaning. They have already demonstrated something pretty close to that in the new robot prototypes, where there was a robot capable of tidying dishes and feeding hungry humans.

          The thing to consider is every robot chef might be able to make Michelin Star-level cuisine, just from reading a cookbook. And would be able to make different world foods from recipes.

          • satyadeva says:

            An osteopath who treated me a week ago told me he was researching AI for a PhD and said “the genie is out of the bottle”, it’s here to stay but is far from a 100% blessing: for example, providing the means for people, eg students, journalists, writers, to pass off work, articles, research papers etc. as ‘all their own work’, only having to alter the text to more their own style to prevent it from being recognisable as plagiarised.

            Consequently, such writers will have to acknowledge any debt to AI (which, to be realistic, many probably won’t bother to do) or perhaps ‘plagiarism’ will have to be redefined.

            But he also foresaw AI being used for more sinister purposes, which would hardly be a surprise, given that we are past masters (ie ‘mastered by the past’!) at turning any new knowledge, technology into a force for the negative, serving ideologies, vested interests, conflict, hatred, ultimately destruction and death.

            • Lokesh says:

              Ah ha, a quote from my first book is in order:

              “Emotion is the genie that is bottled up in our senses. The genie is by nature an excitable and callow force, seeking to experience itself in the world through our eyes. Extremely vain and narcissistic, it looks for its reflection in the mirror of emotional reaction. From almost innocuous actions, such as a small child crying and making a fuss to capture its mother’s attention, to large-scale acts of violence, like flying passenger planes into buildings full of people or declaring war on a country, these are all examples of what happens when the genie of uncontrolled emotion escapes into the world to wreak havoc, and in so doing draw the energy it needs to sustain its existence.’

            • Nityaprem says:

              It’s certainly far from a 100% blessing indeed.

              Scam artists are putting it to good use, phishing emails have suddenly become much better written. Instagram is filling up with AI generated influencers and models. Scientific magazines are carrying articles where the text suddenly says, “As an AI model I cannot say for sure…” where a careless hack has forgotten to cover their tracks. YouTube is carrying AI ‘lookbooks’ of real-looking fashion and models that don’t exist in the real world.

              There is a definite possibility that the internet will end up full of AI generated schlock.

              • satyadeva says:

                Yes, NP, the human mind will exploit anything if it possibly can in its incessant search for advantage in the money and power games.

                • Nityaprem says:

                  Yes, I hear there are now as many “fake news” websites as legitimate local news websites in the US, because of right-wing political groups trying to influence the 2024 election. These websites generate all kinds of articles by AI, and then a few pieces by hand which are the whole point in trying to smear a person or group.

              • satchit says:

                “generated schlock”

                The AI can even take over the power.

                Reminds me of this old movie ‘Terminator’.

    • Nityaprem says:

      Come to think of it, Lokesh asked a chat bot on a previous page about the new Sannyas News book, which wouldn’t have been out when the AI was trained on its data set. Its response showed some measure of reasoning, ability to associate and generalise and so on.

  7. Nityaprem says:

    Simond said, “the real questions of the so-called spiritual life revolve around the causes of our unhappiness, our struggle with meaning, with the profound lack of self and self-worth we all feel. You can package up the spiritual life around “awareness” etc. or you can delve into the issues that you yourself feel, or in some ways that you fear. Like talking about pain, loss, death, sex or your lack of it.”

    You know, even Shakespeare provided an answer to those questions by saying in ‘As You Like It’,

    “All the world’s a stage,
    And all the men and women merely Players;
    They have their exits and their entrances,
    And one man in his time plays many parts…”

    He did not go so far as some gurus who said all of life is a dream, but I think even that is true. It’s like Osho talking on non-seriousness, on being a little foolish, that too is a way to take distance from the world whereas Western thought says it all matters so much.

    “So don’t be serious about seriousness. Laugh about it, be a little foolish. Don’t condemn foolishness; it has its own beauties. If you can be both, you will have a quality of transcendence within you. The world has become more and more serious. Hence so much cancer, so much heart disease, so much high blood pressure, so much madness. The world has been moved, forced, towards one extreme too much. Be a little foolish also. Laugh a little, be like a child. Enjoy a little, don’t carry a serious face everywhere, and suddenly you will find a deeper health arising in you — deeper sources of your health become available.”

    ( Osho, ‘Come Follow To You’ Vol. 1 )

    MOD:
    Should that be ‘Come Follow Me’(above), NP?

    • Nityaprem says:

      Apparently ‘Come Follow Me’ was the original title of the book, which has been renamed ‘Come Follow to You’ on the Osho.com website. I’m comfortable with either, myself.

      MOD:
      Seems an odd title, not sure what it means!

  8. Lokesh says:

    Osho says, “The world has become more and more serious. Hence so much cancer, so much heart disease, so much high blood pressure, so much madness.”

    Although it is easy to understand what Osho means by saying this, I think only the latter might be caused by an overdose of seriousness in some cases. As for so much cancer, so much heart disease, so much high blood pressure, surely this has more to do with environmental factors, diet and lifestyle. Many serious people live long lives because they are very serious about their diet, environment and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

    Of course, it is psychologically healthy to have a playful attitude, but it won’t keep you healthy if you sit around in a basement all day, eating hamburgers and watching TV, even if you like watching comedy and laughing about it.

    • Nityaprem says:

      Actually, there has been research to show that a positive outlook has a significant positive effect on health, which compounds with other factors.

      • Nityaprem says:

        I think the world’s seriousness has much to do with the rising tide of mental health problems. It’s all down to living space, these days in order to keep a roof over your head you are often looking at a rent of 1000 euros a month, it makes people worry about money and jobs. Depression and anxiety are only a short step away.

        Osho was not far wrong when he said, “seriousness is a disease”, when in fact life should allow us to be light-hearted and joyful. Perhaps eventually we will be able to leave all the worrying to AIs who help us run our lives, each person’s life being run in partnership with AI. You are born, you are given an AI which becomes your constant companion, helping you learn, grow and work.

        • satchit says:

          NP declares:

          “Osho was not far wrong when he said, “seriousness is a disease”, when in fact life should allow us to be light-hearted and joyful.”

          The other disease is “should”.

          Life is simply what it is:
          Sometimes it is serious, sometimes not.

          • satyadeva says:

            Yes, ideally, Satchit, but I suggest that NP was referring to a current imbalance where the ‘serious’ pressures have become far too great, out of reasonable proportion. Perhaps you’re immune to such adverse conditions if you’re living a pretty ‘comfortable’ life?

            • satchit says:

              As far as I see, NP talks in general.

              My impression is that NP is living a pretty ‘comfortable’ life. Sitting silently, doing nothing.

              • satyadeva says:

                Whatever kind of life NP is living he’s making a point about the growing tide of serious mental health issues which he attributes to seriously adverse economic conditions. Merely resorting to a concept of an ideal balance fails to address this problem. Thus your ‘solution’ is over-simplistic, reducing this ideal to an irrelevant cliche.

        • satyadeva says:

          I wouldn’t be over-optimistic about the use of AI to transform the population’s lives, NP, simply because everything can be misused for negative purposes, eg the technology we’re using for communication.

          Btw, in what practical ways could AI make ‘ordinary’ people’s lives a lot easier?

          • Nityaprem says:

            Well, at the moment 54% of the world’s population has a smartphone. If those devices were to run a truly smart AI assistant you could leave them to do a lot of general tasks for you, like booking a doctor’s appointment or selecting a recipe for tonight’s dinner and making a shopping list from it or describing the contents of your email inbox to you.

            • Lokesh says:

              Wow! Imagine a world where AI could book a doctor’s appointment or selecting a recipe for tonight’s dinner and making a shopping list from it or describing the contents of your email inbox to you. That sounds like heaven and would leave me with so much extra time on my hands. I can only dream that one day this will become a reality.

              NP, did somebody drop you on your head when you were a baby?

        • satchit says:

          “You are born, you are given an AI which becomes your constant companion, helping you learn, grow and work.”

          Maybe you can explain, NP, how an AI can help you to grow?

          • Nityaprem says:

            Well, for instance by recommending books for you to read. When I was young I was into fiction, but not all fiction is equal in terms of how much it helps you grow up.

            For me, one of the seminal works that stuck by me was ‘The Count of Monte Christo’ by Alexandre Dumas. It teaches history, psychology, life skills, the value of luck, all at once.

  9. Lokesh says:

    “Fizzy drinks are not helpful for our health in any way, the science is very clear on this.” (Julius Caesar)

  10. Nityaprem says:

    I’ve never really gotten to grips with Jiddu Krishnamurti because of the prose style of his books, I found them very hard to read. So last night I had a session with the Gemini AI all about JK, his teachings and his books, and I have to say I was surprised at the number of similarities with what I’d already figured out on my own. There were a few surprises as well, such as the role he gave to inquiry. But on the whole, very good.

    • Lokesh says:

      And the question on thousands of SN readers’ lips is…What exactly has NP already figured out on his own?

      P.S:
      I noticed the site is running and responding slowly, which might have something to do with exceeding its limits, even though the sky is not the limit.

      • Nityaprem says:

        Oh, I don’t know, Lokesh. Maybe I will get into my life’s journey in some more detail in future articles, it was kinda eventful.

        But I did discover several self-observation techniques independently, even before knowing that JK had placed the process of self-observation near the centre of his teachings, as a key to inner transformation. The idea of reviewing at the end of each day what the physical self had done, and what that could teach you about the person, was one.

        I was considering a selection of old quotes yesterday, and this one stayed with me…

        “There is no teacher. There is no student. There is no teaching.”
        ( Papaji )

        It’s interesting how short quotes can be a distillation of wisdom, that you can slowly unfold in your mind.

      • satchit says:

        “exeeding its limits”

        Well, one can be the watcher on the hill.

  11. Lokesh says:

    After all is said and done, my life has reached a point where I live each day as it happens. I’ve read all the books and they have their place on the shelf.

    On the subject of reading, I recently read an article about what Osho had to say about John Lennon’s death and playing mind games forever. Once again, the old boy nailed it.

    Tomorrow, I go to an international language school to give a talk about writing. I have no real plans about what my talk will consist of. This brings me to my next point. Somehow, if we take life day at a time, we have the intelligence to deal with whatever arises, even when the going gets tough. We are programmed to survive, not by AI but rather RI, real intelligence.

    If I ask someone how they are and they say, “Surviving”, I usually think that person is not having a very good time of it. Life entails a lot more than simply surviving. One of the concepts Osho came up with that I appreciate is the art of celebration.

    • simond says:

      I hope your talk went well. I have full confidence in your abilities and your intelligence to use the unknown mystery as your foundation.

    • Nityaprem says:

      Yes, good wishes from me as well. It sounded like you were in a good place with your public speaking, but you never know when an unexpected banana skin might show up.

      • Lokesh says:

        Hi Guys, thanks for the positivity.

        The talk went great. About 90 people showed up. I began with a Sufi story I learned from Osho about a dog dying of thirst, who was scared of his own reflection in the water.

        I did not ramble. Made eye contact with my audience. Kept my back straight and managed to get quite a few laughs.
        I was presented with a delicatessen box of goodies at the end and left feeling that I love Spanish people because they can be so much fun.

        Made me realize for the umpteenth time what a brilliant speaker Osho was. There was much to be learned from him on many levels.

        • satchit says:

          Fact is, if Osho would not have been such a good speaker, then the whole sannyas stuff
          would not have happened at all.

          In his talks he moved with the flow.
          As a result this flow feeling was also triggered in the listener or the reader.

        • Nityaprem says:

          Great to hear that it went well, and that you managed to weave a little Osho into a talk on writing. Celebrate, baby! Woo!

          I can only do those things – making eye contact, speaking without notes – on subjects I know very well and have had some practice runs on.

          The last time I spoke in public – at Yatri’s cremation ceremony, for a group of friends and family – I was just reading a longish speech from a page which I had printed in very small type. So I was continually peering at the page, and it didn’t help that I had forgotten my glasses….

  12. Nityaprem says:

    I find I still enjoy reading, despite this…

    “Understanding and not understanding are all in the scheme of ignorance, just a realm of the mind. This is not learning. This is your birthright. You cannot study to be what you are. You do not need to understand in order to breathe.” (Papaji)

    I admire your decision to do your talk ad-rem, Lokesh, I find it largely impossible to give a coherent speech off-the-cuff, my ability to write exceeds my ability to talk. I always prepare at length for those kinds of things.

    • satyadeva says:

      I’m very much the same, NP, for instance I was recently at the ‘memorial celebration’ for a friend and had written my tribute to her that had been read at the funeral which I didn’t attend, being abroad at the time, but I had no copy of that and I felt unable to stand up and deliver something similar, especially as I’d had a particularly poor night, getting up seven times, and was very tired. If I’d kept a paper version of the original piece I’d have been ok to read it out but in the circumstances I couldn’t face speaking spontaneously through fear of not doing it adequately enough.

      I recall Osho saying in a darshan that there were two types of people, those who were better at oral communication and those better at writing (gently indicating by a slight turn of his head that I was one of the latter category). I found that somehow reassuring, as there was no sense that people of a ‘writing persuasion’ were somehow inferior to ‘speakers’.

  13. Lokesh says:

    Yes, I have given the matter some thought. I know my subjects and talking comes easy to me and I am not intimidated by being on the mike in front of people. The idea of referring to notes just does not feel right. Words will flow. I am a Scot and Scots usually are pretty verbose by nature, so no problem there.

    That said, I am quite excited at the prospect of speaking publicly about writing. I will let you know how it goes. Could be material for a new SN article, if the site does not grind to a halt as it is taking time to work these days.

  14. Nityaprem says:

    I have started a little light spiritual reading again, picking up my search for the words of the enlightened, and I have started with a contemplation…

    It’s not because of a search for enlightenment. I have come to realise that the spiritual is a unique path, and if enlightenment comes it comes of its own accord like a gift from the universe. It is more about meditation. “Sitting silently, doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows by itself.” As Basho said.

    It’s not because of a need for progress in a spiritual sense. In reality, there is no progress, we are already That. It is just that we are fooling ourselves by identifying with all kinds of small, limited things.

    It’s not because of a need for a firm path. Wanting to be a Buddhist or belonging to any religion betrays a deeper insecurity, a fear that others know more. But truly, once you start on the inward journey, you find that your path does not agree with their path, and you have to let go of where you started out in order to walk your own way.

    It all turns around freedom, and the words of the enlightened help us free ourselves from those places where the mind has been fooling us. The mind picks up all kinds of little pieces of knowledge during childhood and bases beliefs on that, it becomes embedded in a personality structure, and it’s only later when you hear Ram Dass talk about the masks we wear that you find out it is all delusion and hearsay.

    “So you should view this fleeting world—
    A star at dawn, a bubble in a stream,
    A flash of lightening in a summer cloud,
    A flickering lamp, a phantom, and a dream”
    ( The Diamond Sutra )

  15. Nityaprem says:

    Just yesterday I was in Zwolle, a town in the East of the Netherlands which is quite old and goes back 600 years or more. It was a nice day for a train trip and a walk through the old centre of town, and I visited the bookstore (in an old repurposed Church) and I couldn’t resist looking for Osho books. There were none…there were lots on tarot and astrology, books on Buddhism, books like Kahlil Gibran’s ‘The Prophet’ which is just out of copyright.

    My mother (who was with me) had a little conversation with a sales lady about the number of hardcover books that were to be seen. There were many! The lady said this generation have to be enticed into buying books, which was why there were beautifully bound and illustrated hardcover copies of ‘The Prophet’.

    Makes you wonder why there isn’t one big ‘The Best of Osho’ in hardcover.

  16. Nityaprem says:

    This morning I asked the Gemini AI whether Osho often contradicted himself, and it came up with a really interesting answer, that it was for several reasons, first that Osho’s views evolved over his lifetime, second that he tailored his lectures according to the group he was addressing, and third his approach to questioning, shock and provocation.

    So according to it it isn’t that Osho is being unreasonable, or random, as the oft quoted sannyasin saying that “for every Osho quote you can find another which says the opposite” might make you think. There is definitely a certain coherent thrust to his arguments, although his views do shift over time.

    Which led me to ask how did his views evolve over his life, which led to Gemini telling me about Osho’s views in these periods: 1950’s (speaking on social reform, and on reason and science), 1960’s and 1970’s (shifting towards mysticism, self-awareness and transformation, therapy), 1980’s and 1990 (emphasis on celebration and enjoyment, intense critique of religion).

    At the end Gemini stated, “Osho’s life and teachings represent a fascinating journey of exploration and transformation. Understanding the evolution of his views can provide a richer context for appreciating his work and separating the core message from the controversies.” Which I thought was beautiful.

    • satchit says:

      “Osho’s life and teachings represent a fascinating journey of exploration and transformation.”

      Would be interesting to know if the AI knows that you are a sannyasin. Why this judging from the AI?

      • Nityaprem says:

        Yes, Satchit, it is interesting that the AI uses certain terms which convey a judgment, such as describing Hitler’s views as “toxic” (but it was able to justify that) and describing Osho’s and Jiddu Krishnamurti’s teachings in very positive terms.

        When I asked it whether it knew I was a sannyasin it replied: “As a large language model I can’t engage in personal conversations…”

  17. Lokesh says:

    It is starting to look like Sannyas News has turned into Nityaprem News. It might be a good time for an article about why this site is at an all-time low in terms of comments. I mean to say, with so many people having met Osho and experienced his presence it is hardly relevant what AI comes up with, even though NP thinks it is beautiful. As even a fool knows, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

    • satchit says:

      Yeah, sometimes the river becomes a pond.

      Yahoo!

    • Nityaprem says:

      Well, it would be sad if Sannyas News turned into just me talking to the AI! But I can’t force people to comment — if they come, they come, if not what can we do?

      But I did see from digging into the past that there were times when SN posted 5-6 articles a month consistently for a while. I’ve been posting one article a month, just to keep things ticking, and it looks like I’ve taken over! That’s how quiet it’s been in Sannyas News land.

      All the sannyasins who have left the body now get their send-offs on Osho News, and I see very little crosstalk between the people who choose to contribute on Osho News and the people who discuss here, which is too bad.

    • Nityaprem says:

      It would actually not be a bad idea to poll the readers about what kind of articles they would like to see.

      • satchit says:

        Good idea, asking the three frogs in the pond
        before the stork comes.

      • Lokesh says:

        What readers? Currently, the site is running slow, which compounds the lack of interest because one has to wait for the pages to upload. This is probably due to SN having used up its allotted information content. Modern people are impatient when it comes to things like that. Plus nothing much interesting is being said and a lot of what can be covered has been done in previous threads. SN has had a good run but the end is nigh. We’re doomed, I tell you, doomed!

  18. Nityaprem says:

    Yesterday I was listening to one of the LoveOsho podcasts, the one with Siddhartha, episode 68, and in there he talks about the way the Osho books are going, that they are making compilation books about, say, Love or Creativity, and taking Osho’s words out of their natural context. Siddhartha was arguing against this, and advising people to go to the original books and lectures. In my opinion he is totally right to say this.

    In a way, what the Chat AI says about Osho is even further removed from the real words of Osho. It’s not just quotes taken out of context, it is websites and text rehashed and summarised, a machine learning algorithm’s view of the words of an enlightened master. So it doesn’t truly bring you close to Osho, though it is enough for a first contact.

    I still enjoy listening to the discourses. I think the sound of Osho’s voice is the way into his presence, now that he is no longer with us in the body. So I’d recommend anyone who is introduced to Osho through the chat AI to try downloading some discourses and listening to them.

    • satyadeva says:

      You and Siddhartha are so right, NP, re these compilations. In my experience Osho made it crystal clear that he didn’t want his actual spoken words to be modified, edited into ‘perfect’ English but should remain exactly as he said them, an authentic record of a living master rather than an abridged version, a scholarly attempt at a summary.

      • Nityaprem says:

        I can see the temptation for them to try and make “new” books out of the old content, but I think it is against the spirit of keeping what is authentic. You never know what side-effects are triggered by the exact choice of Osho’s words…

        But I think the audio and video recordings are even a step closer to Osho.

  19. Nityaprem says:

    It’s funny, I came across a fad in the nonduality community today about something some time ago, when people were passing on the teaching “you don’t exist”. It is patently absurd, but it shows you can make the brain believe nearly anything.

    Someone once defined the truth as “that which is”, and enlightenment as total acceptance of what is. Seeking to see clearly, to confront questions of honesty and perception and understanding, is a very good endeavour. It causes you to start seeing many things as meaningless and illusory, not letting them go so much as seeing them in a new light. It’s a subtle shift in your viewpoint.

    Just my 2c from my morning coffee.

    • satyadeva says:

      I suppose that teaching might have been based on the ultimately bogus nature of self-concepts, what one thinks, imagines who or what one is. Which, going deeper (as per, for example,in an ‘enlightenment intensive’) ends in the non-physical sense of being, ‘I am’.

      Nevertheless, given tendencies to be ‘stuck in the head’ and hence rather gullible, “you don’t exist” is wide open to be misunderstood and misused. Hence the prime importance of beliefs based on one’s own experience, not upon someone else’s words.

      • Nityaprem says:

        That’s pretty much as I have experienced it, SD. That identifying with anything physical is nonsense, that the mind is fickle and can believe nearly anything, that concepts of self are largely bogus, but that there is someone or something looking out through the senses and so there is a Being.

        Nonduality tends to take its reasoning rather far, if you read people like Tony Parsons, and because the heart of it isn’t that complex, various people with a mind-based understanding have taken up the ‘spiel’.

  20. Lokesh says:

    When we first arrive in this world, we know nothing of personal existence. We simply are. Wild. Around age three we look in a mirror and stop saying “baby” and then begin saying “me”. Years pass and that self-consciousness feels permanent, but it is actually built on nothing of real substance. All of this is held in the eye of consciousness. In a way, personal existence is a mirage. Hence Advatists say we do not exist. In the greater scheme of life something does but it has no ‘I’ to it. This makes sense to me.

  21. Lokesh says:

    Hi, NP.

    In retrospect, the ‘Enlightenment Intensive’ was for beginners. There was much gossip about that group at the time, the concept of asking who one is being a novel one for most of us. I got into self-inquiry in Lucknow with Poonjaji. It really was quite something, or simply nothing, depending on one’s perspective. For me it was a process to tuck under my belt…it did not become a permanent fixture in my life, although it is with me every now and Zen. Stay with the ‘I Am’.

    For others, it was the real deal, and some of my friends went on to become gurus and teachers. I do not really envision myself as a teacher. I just could not say to anyone, “do this or that, if you want to get where I am.”

    And so it happened that I came to enjoy a peaceful and quiet life. That is it for me. Peace and silence and a wee bit of rock ‘n’ roll. What more can one ask for in this world, which is indeed a passing show..? It passes and you watch it pass. Groovy!

  22. Nityaprem says:

    For me, the question ‘who am I’ is a continuing journey. Every time I think of it it reminds me of where I have gotten to in the changing relationship with the body, mind and being. It’s like I have to follow it every step of the way for it to become clear to me.

    From the satsang books Poonjaji had some strong opinions about self-inquiry, he thought it should be done just once and finish, but for me, I go a little ways and get stuck, the next time go a little further, and so on.

    Funny that some of your friends became teachers. I recall this quote…

    “Anybody who tells you to do this or that should not be called a teacher. Instead they may be called a butcher. A teacher releases you from all activity, all concepts, all burdens. For thirty five million years you have been doing. And when you finally reach a true teacher, he will not ask you to do anything. He will say, “My dear son, just come and sit quietly. Be quiet. That is all. Don’t do anything.””
    ( H. W. L. Poonja )

    • Lokesh says:

      Coincidentally enough, in the good old days in Paris, when Poonjaji was there, his nickname was ‘The Butcher’. He earned this title because of his uncompromising attitude in the Advaita satsangs he held there.

      • Nityaprem says:

        Poonjaji does come across in the books as very direct. The story he told about dropping all dharmas is pretty radical, from the perspective of a long-time seeker. You spend time with Jiddu Krishnamurti and acquire one set of teachings, with Ramana you get another set, with Nisargadatta a third. It fills up your mind, displacing all the rest of society’s rubbish, and then one day you meet Poonjaji and he invites you to leave all teachings at the door. Boom! The mind is empty!

        • satchit says:

          “It fills up your mind, displacing all the rest of society’s rubbish, and then one day you meet Poonjaji and he invites you to leave all teachings at the door. Boom! The mind is empty!”

          Or you have a spiritual mind. Boom Boom!

  23. Nityaprem says:

    I just realised something…I came across this quote:

    “Truth is greater than all the parts joined together. It is not just the sum of the parts, it is greater than the parts. A melody is not just the sum of all the notes, of all the sounds. I am speaking to you: you can dissect my words, they will all be found in a dictionary, but you won’t find me in a dictionary.”
    (Osho, ‘The Mustard Seed’)

    And I think it applies to teachings as well. The master is more than the sum total of all that he taught.

  24. Nityaprem says:

    Osho on the ego, according to Gemini…

    Osho’s perspective on the ego was central to his teachings on inner transformation. Here’s a breakdown of some key points:

    * **The Ego as the Obstacle:** Osho viewed the ego as the biggest hurdle on the path to self-realization. He saw it as a conditioned sense of self, a collection of thoughts, beliefs, identifications, and past experiences that create a false sense of separation from existence.

    * **The Ego’s Functions:** The ego, according to Osho, serves several functions. It provides a sense of identity, helps navigate the social world, and creates a feeling of control. However, these functions often become obstacles when the ego becomes rigid and overidentified with.

    * **Negative Impacts of the Ego:** Osho believed the ego leads to suffering. It creates fear, anxiety, a sense of lack, and a constant need for validation. It also hinders authentic connections with others and prevents experiencing life fully.

    * **Dissolving the Ego:** Osho’s teachings aimed at dismantling the ego, not destroying it. He advocated for techniques like meditation, self-awareness, and emotional catharsis to loosen the ego’s grip and discover your true, authentic self.

    Here are some metaphors Osho used to describe the ego:

    * **The Onion:** Peeling away the layers of the onion represents shedding the layers of conditioning and identifications that make up the ego.

    * **The Seed:** The ego is like a seed that needs to break open to allow the true self, the flower, to blossom.

    **Criticisms of Osho’s View on Ego:**

    * **Oversimplification:** Some critics argue that Osho’s view on the ego is overly simplistic. The ego can also serve some positive functions, like providing a sense of agency.

    * **Lack of Practical Steps:** Critics might point out that Osho doesn’t offer clear-cut methods for dissolving the ego, leaving some followers confused about how to achieve this goal.

    **Overall:**

    While Osho’s ideas on the ego might be seen as controversial, they can be a valuable starting point for self-reflection. By becoming more aware of how your ego operates, you can start to challenge its limitations and experience a greater sense of freedom and authenticity.

    • Nityaprem says:

      Hmm, not so sure the AI knows what it is talking about. If you look at these fragments on Osho.com, you get quite a different picture…

      https://www.osho.com/read/osho/osho-on-topics/ego

      This is the problem with the current generation of chat AIs, when they don’t know something they tend to make things up. Like when I asked it to list me some Osho lecture series talking about ego it said “The Ego and the Divine” and “Meditation: the Art of Ego Transcendence”… now I am pretty sure there are no lecture series by those names.

      • satyadeva says:

        I can safely say that Osho would never have authorised such claptrap, he was always adamant his words should not be altered or wilfully misinterpreted by his own people, let alone by machines!

        I’m afraid I don’t trust AI to produce much in the way of clarifying anything of genuine profundity. Useful for ‘affairs of the mind’, beyond that not only of limited value, but potentially even misleading.

  25. Nityaprem says:

    Today I’m reading a small volume of Barry Long’s teachings called ‘Making Love – Sexual Love the Divine Way’. In it Barry talks about sex without emotion, the divine feminine, and breaking patterns of mind involved in sex in both male and female which have gotten corrupted over the years. Very interesting book!

    • Nityaprem says:

      I read the whole book pretty much in one stretch, it’s not very long. The whole idea of getting out of patterns of emotional fantasy which surround sex was pretty revolutionary to me. In one part Barry describes how lovers tend to get caught up in their own emotional fantasy ‘bubbles’ while having sex, and I definitely recognise that. It’s amazing how unconscious we can be…

      “In love without emotion there are no problems of love. What is emotion? What is it about? Emotion is the living substance of the past, what you believed and what you were in the past. It is your self, that continues to exist in the subconscious. It is not what you are now, the intelligence that is reading these words in the present.”
      (Barry Long)

      • Nityaprem says:

        It made me wonder, if emotion and fantasy get in the way of bodily love, isn’t it the case that all the media visions of sex contribute to an unhealthy sexual life?

        • satyadeva says:

          Well, yes, but the media are a symptom of the collective malaise, not only the cause. And the malaise has been going on for an extremely long time and is regarded as ‘normal’, even desirable. As BL says, “we’re all sexually loaded.”

      • Lokesh says:

        BL says, “Emotion is the living substance of the past, what you believed and what you were in the past.”

        This is a general statement that is not exactly true. Emotion is more complex than that. One can feel an emotion watching a sunset and that has little at all to do with the past. We can feel emotional without it relating to the past. One can feel emotional about being rooted in the present. Somebody strikes a child in the street and you can feel angry about it without relating to the past.

        It is too easy to take on an authoritarian figure’s words and make out like they have nailed it, when a little thought can show you they have not.

        • satyadeva says:

          This might be a matter of terminology here, Loke, ie you might be confusing emotion with feeling. BL used to make a clear distinction between the two, saying pure feeling contains no past and as such is unfortunately relatively rare in our daily experience.

          He was certainly a very different sort of teacher from Osho, and I recall him once declaring at a public meeting that he’d never come across such emotional people as sannyasins in his entire life, many in his experience having “a family problem”. While despite that, commending their openness, saying they were generally very well prepared for the Truth.

      • satchit says:

        “Emotion is the living substance of the past, what you believed and what you were in the past.”

        Can also be that it is a device.

        If you believe that emotion belongs to the past it is easier to create a distance, which is the ultimate goal.

  26. Nityaprem says:

    Anyone watching Bayern Munich v Real Madrid in the Champions League tomorrow night? I’m guessing some of our German members must be getting quite excited, ooh err?

    • satchit says:

      Excited?

      But Nityaprem, we have all learned now from BL that excitement is an emotion that belongs to the past.

      Have you forgotten?

      • Nityaprem says:

        Or are you more a Borussia Dortmund fan? They are playing tomorrow, it’s noticeable, a year with two German teams in the semis and no English teams.

        • satchit says:

          Yes, can even be that time is repeating.

          In 2013 Bayern did win against Dortmund
          in the final in the Wembley Stadium.

          But I would not bet on it.

          • satyadeva says:

            Well, you know what they say about Real Madrid, they “get the job done”.

            Going into my response to the other semi-finalists, to win the Euro Cup, anyone but PSG will be fine by me (I have certain emotional reactions to them, ie I detest them, lol). And, looking a few millimetres within I’ve found the reason, from the past (believe it or not):
            I’ve lost too many bets when they’ve failed to justify being clear favourites, which I put down to them being so far ahead of the rest of the French league they think they just have to turn up to win. Arrogant, self-entitled and far too rich, bankrolled by Middle Eastern wealth. (In considerable contrast to my own situation of course, and to their opponents Dortmund, a ‘people’s club’, with whom I’m therefore happy to identify).

            So tomorrow night…

            Come on, Dortmund!

            Thus setting myself up for disappointment and further negativity towards an ‘enemy’ (PSG). Emotional bias largely self-created by past self-inflicted pain is such a wonderful thing, isn’t it?!

            • Nityaprem says:

              To be honest I think Real Madrid are favourites, though I dislike them winning yet another Champions League final.

              I think out of all the semi-finalists I would like Bayern to win. There are a few wild cards, Kane, Bellingham, Vinicius, a number of people who could turn the match one way or another.

            • Nityaprem says:

              That was a great goal by Fullkrug for Dortmund. It may win them the tie if they defend as well in Paris. But I don’t think a 2-2 draw will be enough for Bayern to go through. I enjoyed the play, I am a fan of ‘o jogo bonito’, the beautiful game.

              • Lokesh says:

                I have always enjoyed participating in sports of one form or another. I also enjoy the World Cup and watch every match.

                In my gym, there are always spectator sports running on screens. For the most part, I find those games repetitive and boring. How many times do you need to watch 22 guys booting a football around and getting all emotional and righteous when a goal is scored? I find the whole thing simplistic. Now we have football commentaries on SN and I find it particularly uninspiring. Each to their own.

                • Nityaprem says:

                  All right then, let’s talk about the things that really matter…

                  I thought I was done with Christian conditioning, then I read the first 50 pages of a book titled ‘Unity’ addressed to Christians, about how Advaita and other religions were going to merge in the next millennium, and pow, suddenly I find myself dropping old shackles that have been there since I was 5 years old!

                • satchit says:

                  A sannyasin ist not against anything.

                  Do you know that “Each to their own” was written at the gate of the concentration camp in Buchenwald?

                • Nityaprem says:

                  This was one of Maitreya’s books, he used to be a sannyasin, I saw the SN piece discussing his leaving the body in 2012…

                  Anyway, I’m liking the book and it’s free from his website, so.

  27. Nityaprem says:

    It’s interesting, I’ve recently come across two people who were sannyas kids who went on to become Tantra teachers, Simon Tzu and Rakesh Mijling. It makes me wonder whether there is something to it?

    Osho didn’t talk that much about Tantra, only two discourse series that I know about, ‘The Tantra Vision’ (vol 1 and 2) and ‘Tantra: The Supreme Understanding’. I’ve read the second, not yet the first. But it hasn’t really provided clarity.

    In recent years I’ve been going through a journey in connecting with my body energy. Especially on the edges of sleep there have been many experiences which one might call tantric, though they weren’t sexual. Although these days I consider myself somewhat experienced in this area.

    • swamishanti says:

      Don’t forget ‘The Book of the Secrets’ on the Vigyan Bhairav Tantra. Five volumes.
 Very good books, better than other Indian commentaries.

      The Vigyana Bhairava Tantra is a tantric text that comes from the Kaula Trika tradition of Kashmir Shaivism. It was originally translated into English by Paul Reps, the author of ‘Zen Flesh, Zen Bones’. Paul Reps was an American artist, poet and author. He is well known for his unorthodox haiku- inspired poetry that was published from 1939 onwards. He is considered one of America’s first haiku poets.

      He also held Osho’s commentary on the VBT, ‘The Book Of The Secrets’, in high regard and wrote a letter in support of Osho to the US government in 1983.

      • Nityaprem says:

        All these people wrote in support of Osho, thousands of letters sent to the US government when he was coming to stay in America. At the time Osho’s image as a world religious leader was not bad, there was some respect to it.

        Yet the other day I was talking to a young Buddhist friend online about Osho, and his immediate reaction was “Osho? The guy with the 93 Rolls-Royces and the scandal in Oregon?” He had heard of the bad press about Osho despite that he was only 25 years old, and had immediately turned away, hadn’t looked any closer.

        I don’t think that Osho realised the extent to which he was damaging his legacy with these things in that period, there were definite signs that the mentality of the Ranch was not entirely healthy. It’s all very well to say “I am in favour of luxury, you can be rich and be spiritual” but some of the things at the Ranch like the Rolls-Royces went over into very visible excess, things like a motor boat on a small lake. The best wealthy people know how to use their wealth well, and don’t display it conspicuously.

        The bad press that Osho still gets because of the Oregon disaster is a brake on the appreciation of his work, the finding of new sannyasins and it means everyone who tries to argue for him immediately gets confronted with it.

        • swamishanti says:

          Those religious scholars, theologians and monks from various traditions, Zen masters and temple priests, Tibetan Buddhist lama’s, Christian, several Rabbis, psychologists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists, Leonard Orr, Timothy Leary, etc. who wrote the letters in 1983, of which there are many, were those who were not put off by the Rolls Royces, the collection was already building up, and sannyasins already had thier semi-automatic weapons and artillery because of the death threats. The local Christians where already sending in threatening letters and sending in bibles for Osho to read (they obviously didn’t know that he had already spoken extensively on Jesus), and they where demonstrating when Osho drove into town and they organised an ‘anti-cult’ group.

          The letter writers from the religious groups were the more intelligent ones, less serious, more open minded, who were not bound by their own religious conditionings, the cult mindset and programmings, the herd mentality.

          For example, there was a Christian priest from the Church of England who wrote in support, a Christian priest from Australia, a pastor from California, an Anglican priest, from UK, the Archimandrite of Turin (Russian Patriarchal Church), Italy, the National President of the Venerable Permanent Counsel, Orthodox Church of Italy in Florence, Dr of Theology, Catholic hospital ministry, Bern, Switzerland, a minister from the Sanctuary of Light Church, San Antonio TX, a professor religious studies, Oregon State University a Jesuit priest from the Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley CA, and many more.

          Also a group of 21 Jesuit priests, at least one of whom had written letters of support in 1983, visited Osho in Poona Two, where he gave the series ‘Christianity, the Deadliest Poison and Zen, the Antidote to all poisons.’

          It started off as a talk on Zen and then he began to talk on Christianity and hit their egos, as it was his style, so it turned into that series.

          But he had already laid into Christianity when he had started speaking again in 1984/85, that was after he found himself surrounded by narrow minded fanatics bigots including the politicians. Those are the videos from ‘The Rajneesh Bible’, (later title changed to ‘From.. to..’ series),

          the Resort choose to show a lot of the time on YouTube , and they deliberately leave out the later ones where he mentions God again, ‘dying into god’, , his own enlightenment, the difference between self realisation and enlightenment, god-realsiation, beyond enlightenment , etc.

          The Rolls Royces did their work, they put off those who were still bound by the old conditions, those who were too serious, and those who were just hanging around him for the wrong reasons.

          As he said, he also decided to be non-respectable too, as well as demonstrating that enlightenment, Buddhahood didn’t need to be accompanied by denying the material world, as he was easily able to look into the future and see that he would still be popular, also that he has helped to produce enough enlightened men and women that was enough to change the consciousness of the planet.

          • Nityaprem says:

            I recall reading one time that Osho was asked at one time about how to reach enlightenment, and his response was “enlightenment, why would you want that?”

            It seems to me that too much emphasis is put on enlightenment. Often those who seek it are still relatively immature and have much growing to do, and in reality this constant reaching for enlightenment gets in the way.

            • satyadeva says:

              I agree, NP. Many years ago I asked Barry Long whether he thought I should do a 7 days ‘enlightenment intensive’ and he said not to bother, “you’re not going to get enlightened doing that”, and that I’d be better off taking a holiday in the sun, finding a woman and having a good time. Which felt absolutely right.

        • satchit says:

          “Yet the other day I was talking to a young Buddhist friend online about Osho, and his immediate reaction was “Osho? The guy with the 93 Rolls-Royces and the scandal in Oregon?” He had heard of the bad press about Osho despite that he was only 25 years old, and had immediately turned away, hadn’t looked any closer.”

          It is natural, is it not?

          A Buddhist mind is against luxury. 93 Rolls-Royces drives him crazy.

          I don’t think Osho did care much about his legacy. This would mean thinking about the future. And life is here and now.

          • Nityaprem says:

            93 Rolls-Royces is crazy! One or two, ok, fine, but any more is just conspicuous waste of wealth, a kind of potlatch (look it up). It’s gone kind of against the times, too, even today’s very wealthy tend to spend on something that has some excuse, like half a dozen different “supercars”.

            • satchit says:

              “93 Rolls-Royces is crazy!”

              Who says this?

              It’s the rational mind.

              What says the nomind?

              93 Rolls-Royces are 93 Rolls-Royces.

              Facticity.

            • Lokesh says:

              NP, you obviously missed Shanti’s declaration:”The Rolls Royces did their work, they put off those who were still bound by the old conditions, those who were too serious, and those who were just hanging around him for the wrong reasons.”

              Shanti is the authority on all things Osho and his insights into such matters are unimpeachable and although he has never said such a thing before or even mentioned Osho’s 93 RRs it must be taken as the final word on the subject, which only leaves one conclusion: you are still bound by old conditions, too serious and hanging around Osho for all the wrong reasons.

              While we are at it…Rolls-Royce is considered a supercar for several reasons:
              Luxury and Comfort: Rolls-Royce is renowned for its luxurious interiors, which are hand-crafted with high-quality materials and attention to detail.

            • Nityaprem says:

              I think you guys are getting too serious about non-seriousness! Shanti’s final word has the ring of just another hanger-on! What happened to the real sannyasins, who mixed spirituality and play with a dose of groundedness?

              Satchit, what’s the use of 93 Rolls-Royces when the hard-working sannyasins are not getting any proteins to eat? Shanti, what use is the example of conspicuous consumption in shaking off “the wrong sannyasins”?

              I must’ve missed the discourse which said we were abandoning common sense in pursuit of the no-mind….

              MOD:
              Shanti’s post has mysteriously disappeared, and not to be found in the Trash.

              • Lokesh says:

                Shanti probably realized he sounds like a stuck record and took his post down himself. He has been rattling on about Osho’s RR device for years and has written the same comment in various forms over 20 times.

                • swamishanti says:

                  I have not removed any such post and if you have read it, copied and pasted it, then we will be able to find out who has deleted it. In this case I have not been able to see but I can guess it was you. SD and Clive are able to do that.

                  MOD:
                  Clive hasn’t read the comments for years, he’s not interested.

              • satchit says:

                “Satchit, what’s the use of 93 Rolls-Royces when the hard-working sannyasins are not getting any protein to eat?”

                Yes, seems the Rolls-Royces and the Rolexes were more important than the protein for the sannyasins.

                If you ask me then I would say that the Ranch was not planned for duration. It was a house built on a bridge.

                Or the idea was maybe that the ‘new man’ should learn to live with a minimum of protein. One never knows.

              • satyadeva says:

                “Satchit, what’s the use of 93 Rolls-Royces when the hard-working sannyasins are not getting any protein to eat?”

                Now that’s something I’ve never heard before. Was that actually the case at the Ranch, NP? I’d be most surprised if so, particularly as no one seemed thin and under-nourished when I visited Rajneeshpuram in summer ’83.

                • Nityaprem says:

                  Yes, there was a period when alfalfa sprouts were more on the menu than protein and people talked about it, until eggs were made available in large quantities. It was before my time on the Ranch but I heard about it.

                • satyadeva says:

                  Must have been in the early days as when I was there the residents looked fit, very well and happy.

                • Nityaprem says:

                  It was in the time when my mother and Yatri were there, so somewhere in the middle. You can go quite a long time without protein before you actually start to look any different, I wouldn’t go by looks to judge this.

      • Nityaprem says:

        The Vigyan Bhairav Tantra is these days published in only two volumes of 40 discourses each. So if you go looking for it on Osho World or on your copy of “the disc” you’ll find that.

        • swamishanti says:

          Yes and it’s title has also been changed to ‘The Book of Secrets’. ‘The Rajneesh Bible’ has been changed to ‘From Unconsciousness to Consciousness’,
          ‘From Ignorance to Innocence’, ‘From Personality to Individuality’, ‘From Misery to Enlightenment’, ‘From Darkness to Light’ , ‘From the False to the Truth’, ‘From Death to Deathlessness’, ‘From Bondage to Freedom’.

  28. Nityaprem says:

    I was just this morning looking at Samdarshi’s website, he seems like someone who still believes in master-disciple relationships, sannyas, ashrams, and the whole Indian guru tradition. Also a background in Osho, he was a sannyasin. I think it is good there are these various people around the world spreading a bit of crazy wisdom in the Osho tradition.

    It is a contrast to some people, namely in South America and Africa, who believe that “the age of the guru is ending”. The whole psychedelic revival is contributing to that, people are returning to their own experiences as a way to revive their spiritual natures. It is difficult to tell what is a Western phenomenon and what is worldwide, the internet blurs the boundaries and languages reinforce segregation.

    But I think gurus can still be helpful. If you can find a truly enlightened man it can be a great boon. Similarly the psychedelic experience can be useful for beginners by all reports. But I feel ultimately a more fruitful avenue is to pursue self-enquiry, going within to observe the self. It has to be done with a certain gentleness and love, self-destructive tendencies can cause a lot of trouble and the mind tends to take everything apart.

    • Nityaprem says:

      It seems to me that the focus of the spiritual search is about finding truth, self-knowledge, freedom. The words of the enlightened can help with this, but one shouldn’t get caught up in worshipping them. They too are temporary visitors to this world, and in the end you have to do the work yourself.

      With Osho there was always the impression that all we had to do was sit in his presence and listen to the discourses, but I don’t think that was right…the discourses had something to do with the buddhafield, but really to carry on after he left the body the focus had to be different.

    • Nityaprem says:

      The Buddha said, “be a light unto yourself” and I think that is right. Looking deeply into what is love, truth, self, freedom, beauty. Awareness brings illumination, and if you search with honesty and care you will start finding things.

    • Nityaprem says:

      It’s surprising, quite a few friends of mine in different places are going into ethnobotany (tribal medicine). Two people I know have started giving sessions, another very straight Buddhist has been trying out microdosing and kambo, it seems to be becoming popular in a big way. Is this part of the new shift underway to bring back spiritual life to the Western civilizations?

      This is worth watching, it is set to the audio of Graham Hancock’s banned and deleted TED talk:
      https://youtu.be/eOUWgtbIhgE

      • satyadeva says:

        But this isn’t so ‘new’, Nityaprem, western and Chinese herbal medicine (and homeopathy, acupuncture etc.) has been attracting increasing numbers for decades and is pretty well mainstream now.

        “Tribal medicine” from other areas of the world might well be growing here as well although I suspect the very term itself might attract some people as it sounds ‘glamorous’, exotic, somehow associated with consciousness-altering plants, like ayahuasca, and wild communal dance celebrations, making them feel ultra-cool, ‘special’ (lol).

        • Nityaprem says:

          Alternative medicine is one thing, but Graham Hancock’s TED talk said something along the lines of “the shamans told me modern people had severed their connection with spirit, and it had to be restored soon” and that “ayahuasca was the means to do this.” A very impassioned speaker, Graham Hancock.

          Somebody said about this “flower power, part 2” and they are not so far wrong. I’m sure the politicians aren’t happy about it and would like to stop it.

          • satyadeva says:

            I see, so “tribal medicine” refers to treating the inner being, going beyond western and Chinese concepts of the psycho-physical? Fair enough, although I wonder how many practitioners are psycho-spiritually qualified enough to responsibly and effectively do such work, eg your “very straight Buddhist” friend.

            • Nityaprem says:

              Yes, I think it does mean that, I think a lot of people hope that just drinking the Ayahuasca sets things straight, but I’m not sure that that is enough to really make you into a spiritual human being.

              • Lokesh says:

                NP has returned to his favourite spectator sport, observing ayahuasca taking without actually drinking it himself, which is a bit like a blind person trying to describe what colour is.

                Like all psychoactive substances, there are pros and cons to the ayahuasca experience. Many psychedelics show the user things and experiences that can be helpful. To expect a psychoactive substance to permanently change your life for the better is asking a bit much, but it does happen. I also know people who have drunk the brew hundreds of times and have basically remained the same kind of person they always were. It is up to the user to integrate their experiences into daily living and, if they do that, it can bring about real and permanent positive change.

                Currently, the biggie is bufo, 5-meO-DMT, the most powerful psychedelic known to man. I have been offered it several times and turned it down because at 73 I think it might be too much for my system to handle. Powerful medicine. Some friends have had radical positive changes in their lives after taking bufo. I have one shaman friend who set out to take it ten times. On his seventh outing, a giant toad appeared in front of him and asked him what it was he was looking for and he decided to call it a day.

                From what I can gather bufo sounds like it brings one into a clear light state similar to that created by ingesting 500 mics of pure LSD, but unlike LSD the bufo brings you there almost immediately. Definitely not for the faint-hearted.

                SD wonders “how many practitioners are psycho-spiritually qualified enough to responsibly and effectively do such work.”
                I think that it is a matter of experience. If you do an entheogen enough you eventually learn how to navigate on it and eventually learn to help others do the same. It is like any apprenticeship, it requires practice…whether or not that practice will become perfect is another question.

                Osho was all for the existential experience. It is a waste of time listening to someone speculate on the nature of entheogens who hasn’t actually tried them. I see these substances as a new form of guru. No need to travel to India to sit at the feet of a guru who might not be authentic. You can do it at home with a little help from an entheogenic plant compound. All part of the current psychedelic renaissance.

                I see it that these remarkable substances are being made available to mankind on a large scale due to a final push to wake man up to the deplorable impact he is having on his environment. If nothing is implemented to prevent this catastrophic phenomenon human beings are doomed, doomed I tell you (‘Dad’s Army’). That is the essence of the entheogens…they show you very clearly how much we are linked to the welfare of our planet.

                Despite our ignorant behaviour towards our home planet, she still remains remarkably beautiful. A jewel in the heavens, no less. How much longer it will remain like that is debatable. The planet will continue to coast along whether or not she continues to host our presence. It really is up to us. We can start to help by practising small acts of daily human kindness. It is an effective practice that can bring about real change and change for the better is what is needed right now, because the hour is getting late.

                • Nityaprem says:

                  Lokesh said, “I see these substances as a new form of guru.”

                  It seems to be quite a commonly held opinion nowadays, especially about the psychedelics. And I’m certainly not against it.

                  But in terms of reconnecting with spirit, I wonder what form that might take in the day-to-day? I mean it’s not realistic for everyone to come and live in the rain forest.

                • Lokesh says:

                  Who said anything about living in the rain forest? That’s like saying you can’t appreciate a pint of Guinness unless you are in Ireland.

                  I’ve been in the rain forest. Maybe it is not as far out as some believe. It smells rotten in places, tons of mosquitoes, poisonous spiders the size of your hand and dangerous snakes lurking in the bushes. Perhaps not the right environment to get out of your mind on a sacred brew. Oh yeah, NP, he went up the Amazon in search of an authentic shaman and got bitten on the ass by a venomous snake and died in a swamp.

                • satyadeva says:

                  You’re spot on re the rain forest, Lokesh, I know from personal experience in Borneo, it’s a highly uncomfortable environment, especially for non-natives, and kind of blows away any preconceived romantic notions one might have had.

                  Still, I don’t regret spending a short time there, although I wouldn’t recommend staying in a leaky little hut with inadequate flooring and insects invading through the roof and walls (not to mention a nearby pond inhabited by crocodiles) which I and my partner had to endure, thanks to a less than scrupulous agent.

                  The best parts of that littleexpedition were the boat trips to and from the place, especially the return journey, a relief to return to civilisation.

                • Lokesh says:

                  Last time I carried on up the jungle was in Belize. Hot as an oven and buzzing with mosquitoes. I was also relieved to get on a motor boat and head back out to sea. One time I was swimming in a cenote and met a local who asked if I saw any alligators. I didn’t but I decided not to return there.

                  Mind you, the human jungle can be even worse at times. Zombies everywhere!

                • Nityaprem says:

                  Ouch! Ok, my romantic notions have been put in their place – I’ve been over the rainforest in a cable car but have never stomped around on the forest floor and met the snakes and spiders and alligators.

                  But modern man connected to spirit, what would that look like? Rituals, ecological washing powder, regular ayahuasca drinking? Living in a normal house, working a normal job?

                • Lokesh says:

                  NP enquires, “Modern man connected to spirit, what would that look like?”
                  Ehm…how about this?

                • Lokesh says:

                  Or maybe this…

                • Lokesh says:

                  Or even this…

                • Lokesh says:

                  Meanwhile…

  29. Nityaprem says:

    Satyadeva said, “Do you think “the spiritual search” is purely confined to meditation or exposure to esoteric teachings?”

    It sounds like your time with Barry Long was well-spent, SD, I take it you actually met him? Maybe you’d like to tell that story sometime…

    I’m enjoying my morning coffee, and a bit of a chat with various friends around the world via WhatsApp. I’ve been reading various books on non-dual awareness, I inherited a whole stack of them a while back from a friend and I’ve slowly been making my way through. Everything from Darryl Bailey to Barry Long to Tony Parsons.

    It’s made me aware that reading can also be spiritual practice, but it is a lot of mind-based activity, it encourages the mind to think it truly understands spirituality. The mind thinks it gets to know things by reading. While in fact sitting in silence near an enlightened being is more wholesome.

    • Nityaprem says:

      I recall receiving some Tibetan Buddhist initiations once while the Dagpo Rinpoche was visiting the temple that I was studying in. Those and Osho’s buddhafield are the only really ‘esoteric’ happenings that I have been close to.

      Whether they affected me deeply is an interesting question. The discourses with Osho in the Buddha Hall in Rajneeshpuram were special, more a being immersed in a common experience with all the other sannyasins. It was being in a different kind of space, and that moved me.

      I came across an article on the Maha Kumbh Mela of 2013 in an article, and the photos and text gave a definite spiritual vibe. In India that communal spiritual togetherness still lives, and in a way what Osho did was gather a lot of seekers from the West and bring them to an Indian spirituality… the idea of the guru, darshan, malas, sannyas.

      That togetherness was I think a key part of sannyas, and something that in my experience has gotten a little lost in the West. Communes, celebrations, all that is no longer as visible as it used to be.

    • Nityaprem says:

      You know, it strikes me that there are enough books in the world, I think the value add from adding one more would be quite small. I was toying with the idea of writing a book, perhaps something spiritual or something about games, but I am starting to feel more doubt about such a project. I would do it mostly because I felt the need to, not because it gave me particular joy.

      Perhaps that is a better guide for doing something, that it should make you joyful. I’ve been watching the videos of a Norwegian man named Bjorn Andreas Bull-Hansen on YouTube, he is an economist, Viking novel author, and woodsman. He has some interesting ideas about freedom and independence. It’s been refreshing.

      • Lokesh says:

        NP, as long as you are only toying with the idea about writing a book it will not happen. You need to at least feel a little passionate about it. The writing path is many things, entertaining, educational, fun, absorbing etc. I recommend it.

        • Nityaprem says:

          Thanks for the encouragement, Lokesh.

          I’ve wanted to write a book for a long time, I have a whole stack of concepts I’ve looked at over various periods of my life. Probably the most fleshed out is a set of 3-4 chapters of a novel. I might return to that.

          But I’m starting to realise that if I don’t have fun writing it, it’s not going to happen. That’s why I might abandon some promising concepts for non-fiction books, I’m beginning to feel it might not be juicy enough.

          In a way, it’s an acknowledgement that writing for a high ideal like “I want to encapsulate my spiritual path so that it’s of use to others” isn’t a good enough reason to put in months or years of effort. I’m beginning to see It has to be something which supports your mental process and feeds your creativity.

          • Lokesh says:

            Somebody recently said to me, “I want to encapsulate my spiritual path so that it’s of use to others.” Well, more or less. They had spent five years working off and on the project.

            I checked it out. Some parts were good, others not. All in all, it was something produced by someone living in a bubble.
            A writer needs critical feedback and eventually an editor. It is difficult for an artist of any form to be objective about their creativity. Feedback.

            • Lokesh says:

              PS, if you need a bit of feedback, send me your all-important first chapter.

            • Nityaprem says:

              Funny, you use my words to refer to someone else’s project, which just brings home how many people are doing the exact same thing.

              I do have something unique, I lack an interior monologue so my experience of meditations such as vipassana is quite different. I don’t have to tell my mind to be quiet. So I could leverage that. But I think only a very small percentage of people would find themselves in that.

          • satyadeva says:

            Yes, NP, it sounds as if it might not be the right time for such a book, maybe there’s a way to go before you can really fulfil that idea. On the other hand, perhaps, as Lokesh suggests, some feedback from an experienced source could make a significant difference, bring greater clarity.

            Talking about work and freedom etc., whenever I heard Osho or Barry Long, or more recently, Eckhart Tolle talking with someone about work they always advised enjoyment and/or service as the two most desirable criteria. If there was no intrinsic pleasure or satisfaction in the work then one shouldn’t be doing it. Obvious really, although many people seem to resent “the daily grind” as they feel they have little or no choice, no freedom, they’re ‘trapped’ by financial constraints, obligations, or lack of qualifications, for example. Not to mention fear of change…self-doubt…

            All three also acknowledged things can be complex, eg BL, always the practical Aussie, said that if it simply isn’t realistic to give up an unsatisying job then one should fully “surrender” to the work and the situation until it was possible to move on: (to paraphrase), “Quit or surrender – know what you’re doing and why, so there’s no room for any more energy-draining complaints.”

            But BL was also tough with some people, confrontational, as when a man objected that he had to pay the rent and so had to stay in his current job that he thoroughly disliked, his response was “Well, if it’s as bad as you’re making it out to be then don’t pay the rent! Why on earth ruin your life doing something that makes you unhappy?”

            The point was that it was time for that particular man to take strong action, to make a radical change, to stop rationalising his ‘stuckness’. Which, NP, you yourself have done, of course, as, I’m sure, have many of our fellow-travellers here, myself included.

            • Nityaprem says:

              When I went into making computer games that was me making a hobby into a job. It worked well, I had a lot of fun with it for many years.

              With writing, I’ve not yet reached that point. Non-fiction writing feels like I’m trying to physically pull the pages out of my skull, it doesn’t feel creative or fun. The last time I actually had fun with writing was when I was half this age.

  30. Nityaprem says:

    Vishrant’s banned ‘Buddha at the Gas Pump’ interview is back on YouTube. It’s pretty good, I enjoyed it.

    https://youtu.be/VY-r61aE3j4

  31. Nityaprem says:

    Lokesh said, “Mind you, the human jungle can be even worse at times. Zombies everywhere!”

    Yes indeed. 54% of the planet’s population now has a smartphone, and for quite a lot of them it’s their first computing device. And they are immediately confronted with Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Google who suck up all the data about them and encourage them to spend as much time as possible on these virtual pursuits. Phone zombies indeed!

    But even worse are the game zombies in China and Japan, where internet gaming cafes are still a big phenomenon. These people often spend from early morning until late nights on their favourite games, playing pretty much non-stop in environments where there’s dim artificial light so their day-night rhythms don’t kick in so strongly.

    Gaming used to be an important part of my life, I even had a brush with game addiction when I used to play quite a bit more ‘World of Warcraft’ than was strictly healthy. Then my life took a turn, and I had a serious look at whether I was spending my time on the right things. That was when I returned to spirituality, and old pleasurable activities started dropping away, first games, then fiction books, then television… I still watch the occasional movie or sports match, but I can’t say it grips me like it used to.

    It’s funny how many people turn to spirituality when they’ve had a life-changing event. It’s like we always know what is truly important in this life, but it takes a confrontation with infirmity, change, death to bring it home to us.

  32. Nityaprem says:

    In his book ‘Unity’ he talks about something unique, how to bring spirituality together under one banner. Generally each enlightened teacher has some new features or touches, something that sets them apart, and if you’ve been on the path for a while reading their material you acquire a few of these thoughts. So I found Maitreya’s approach refreshing.

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