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.

This entry was posted in News. Bookmark the permalink.

69 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.

Leave a Reply