Peter’s Correspondence on Mailing List C
Correspondent No 6
PETER to No’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and Here-now: Hi,
RESPONDENT: First problem – you are a believer, don’t believe all you hear.
PETER: Which is why I checked out the facts of the situation. A fact is a fact, merely to believe anyone or anything blindly is to be gullible.
RESPONDENT: Making money on gibberish? Well, all credit goes to Osho.
PETER: No, I seriously doubt if I will make any money at all from it, only a handful have bought the book and no spiritual bookshops will stock it as it is too heretical. Pity, because I always thought the spiritual seekers might be interested but they seem too loyal to their particular Master, have too much of an ‘investment’ in time and effort, or are simply ‘hanging in’ with their particular group to even consider an alternative.
RESPONDENT: Here we go, again. You made it look like you want to discuss Osho’s words but there is no word on that, in fact you just want to play a little humble guru-ly. Why don’t you say so in the first place?
PETER: I am willing to discuss Osho’s words anytime. The problem is that people regard him as a god and as such it is heretical to even question His word. His word is God means that one cannot question them as you are then seen as a non-believer and a heathen. It is all a clever ploy to avoid serious discussion on serious matters – like how to stop humans fighting and suffering on this paradisiacal planet.
PETER to No’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and Here-now: For some 15 years full on, living in various communes, giving money, countless hours of worship, meditation, satsang, white robe, discourses, etc. – so I have well experienced the world of Osho. When I first became a Rajneeshee, Peter to No’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and Here-now
RESPONDENT: How do you do that? Or you mean actually you took sannyas? However, the difference is huge, because the first is impossible, except if you are born in Rajneesh’s family and I don’t think so.
PETER: To become a Rajneeshee (as it was once called) involved a change of name, a mala with His photo in it, wearing red clothes (at the time), renouncing any past religions, living in a commune or around like-minded people (other Sannyasins), going to discourse, Satsang or ‘White Robe’, reading and quoting His words, doing meditations, and feeling love and gratitude for the love He gave me. I could go on, but that was how I became a Rajneeshee.
PETER to No’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and Here-now: I was attracted by two things –
RESPONDENT: O, poor guy, who promised you all of this? I have never heard Osho promising anything to anybody, why should you be an exception?
PETER: I was always in the spiritual world for ‘peace of mind’, freedom from the ‘self’, isn’t that what they all promise – maybe you and I read different books. I think Rajneesh’s vision for a New Man, Zorba the Buddha, the Rajneeshpuram experiment all attest to the second point.
RESPONDENT: What’s that? Could you help me with a simple definition?
PETER: ‘Turned my back’ means I left the normal western Christian world I had lived in and became a follower of an Eastern Spiritual Master. This involves a renunciation or turning away. Or at least it did in those days. Most people have watered their faith down a bit to fit in to normal, while the more devout continue in the old traditional ways.
RESPONDENT: Dream on (IOW, don’t mistake greed for love),
PETER: ... launched myself into this new adventure. I was particularly taken by his wisdom about Religions and the problems they cause and the fact that most wars and persecutions are the result of blindly following some particular Religious doctrine and defending or attacking others of differing belief.
The first 4 years were glorious, with the aim of a utopia in America, a city to show the world how to live. The heady days came crashing down with the internal corruptions and the external pressures from the local communities who felt threatened by the anti-Christian Devil and his followers in their midst. The threat of violence was diffused when Rajneesh left and the dream was shattered.
Then came Pune 2, and delicious years of worship in the Ashram, architect/builder for the Samadhi, meditation and groups, and then He died. I continued on devotionally for some 2 years,
RESPONDENT: Could you be more specific, what did you continue devotionally for 2 years?
PETER: The usual round of work in the West, visits to the Ashram for groups, work, meditations, and hanging out.
RESPONDENT: Finally an insight – FOLLOWING – very important insight, so let’s see what did you do after a dead Master ...
PETER: – something that was at odds with my understanding that when a Master dies the formation of a Religion is the inevitable result. Sure enough, one night in White Robe it hit me like a ton of bricks as I was shouting ‘YA-HOO’ to an empty chair.
RESPONDENT: If you looked more carefully the chair was empty from the beginning.
PETER: Well, for me the experience when he was alive was different to when he was dead, with an empty chair and an old video. Maybe no one else noticed if he was alive or dead, but I did.
RESPONDENT: Good question, like why should anybody shout at an empty chair? I scream of joy YAAAAAAHOOOOOO.
PETER: ... this was undoubtedly religious practice, church if you like,
RESPONDENT: Darling, there is great difference between religious practice and a church.
PETER: I see religious practice in the west as people gathering together to hear a talk by their religious leader usually pointing to some fictitious God or after-life and often accompanied by prayer, silence or ‘tuning in’ to the God’s energy. Songs, dance and music are often used to enhance the atmosphere. This religious practice is practiced in churches in Western religions or temples and Ashrams in Eastern Religions. Some practitioners of spiritual meditation techniques practice without going to church and particularly in the East many will go off on solitary retreats or live in caves in the Himalayas. So, yes you can have religious practice without a church.
RESPONDENT: please explain yourself, how do you mean the organization was a Religion?
PETER: I think if you are interested in this point it is best to read the chapters on Spiritual Search and God in my journal. Then it is not an academic writing but another human being’s experience of the Spiritual Path, which you can assess for yourself.
RESPONDENT: the Ashram is not Mecca, it’s Buddha field, dummy
PETER: For me it was some place where I wanted to be because it was closest to Osho, or his energy after he died. I tried to go and stay there as often as possible. In that sense it was ‘Mecca-like’ for me.
RESPONDENT: could have something to do with (as you mention above) you being architect/builder for Samadhi
PETER: Strangely enough, as a builder, it’s hard to see the old marble that you smash up as holy or anything you build with stone and glass, as holy. Holiness in this case is ‘infused’ from the ashes under the bed – if they are still there.
RESPONDENT: and secretly but obviously you still want to be a part of it, at least virtually.
PETER: Hardly! Look I am regarded as traitor, heretic, ungrateful, attention-seeking, guru-like, evil, a blood-sucking pariah, etc. etc. Or I am shunned and ostracized, but all this is to be expected, as I am challenging cherished and dearly held beliefs of Sannyasins. Becoming free is to get free from beliefs; so what anyone else believes about me is of no consequence nor does it affect me. It is good to be free of the need to believe. Give me facts any time. They are a much more sound basis for living as a human being. They allow common sense to operate freely, such that I am now both happy and harmless.
RESPONDENT: ???? pride? what has pride to do with that? and loyalty to whom? your girlfriend? Somebody ever asked you to be loyal, who was it?
PETER: At the very core of religion is the belief in the meta-physical ie. another world other than the physical. This world is the world of spirits and Gods, energies and auras, good and bad. Given that these are all things that can only be experienced affectively (by feeling), it takes a good deal of faith, trust and hope to maintain the belief in something which is not physical. Many people who did not believe in Rajneesh saw him as just another Indian Guru and others (like the American Christians) saw him as evil. Belief in someone or something demands loyalty and gratitude, usually demanded unquestioningly.
Along with loyalty and gratitude comes pride, it’s all part of the same package. The man who is loyal to his country is proud of his country, and will die for his country (... or Religion, as at the Ranch).
PETER to No’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and Here-now: ... that it took another year or two before I finally began to look for something fresh and new in the spiritual world and tried out a few other scenes. None was satisfactory, but I did begin to gain a broader vision of the spiritual world. Finally, I realized that the Spiritual is nothing more than Eastern Religion, that in fact I had only traded believing in Western Religion for believing in an Eastern Religion. And all of it merely ‘that Old-time Religion’, to quote from the song.
RESPONDENT: Expectations and expectations again. Think about it for a change. Think about YOUR motives. You seems like a kind of guy who prefers to buy what he wants to have, and all this fishy spiritual hocus-pocus is actually nothing for you, you buy and yet you get nothing, strange, ha?
PETER: Yes, but I believed all the fishy spiritual hocus-pocus as you put it because it was the only thing on offer at the time. I gave it 15 years of intense effort (‘Yeah, but obviously not enough!’ – I can hear the refrain.) and it didn’t work. So I gave it up and tried something different. In the physical world, if something doesn’t work after all your efforts to get it to work, you finally throw it out and find something that does work. The chief executive of an American airline summed it up when he took over an ailing airline. He tore up the company’s operation manual on the basis that, by definition, a lunatic is someone who keeps on doing something that does not work. But this sort of common sense has no place in Religion or Spirituality. Humans still wait for a God (or God-man) to ‘fix it all up’ one day, or ‘transport’ them to some imaginary ‘inner’ cosmic world, while actively contributing to the wars, persecutions, fanaticism, perversions, sexual ignorance, etc. and masquerading it as the cure!! The priests and gurus are the greatest peddlers of snake oil (charlatans) on the planet. If I had of succeeded in the spiritual world I would have merely become yet another ‘King of the psychic world’.
What I sensately experience, now, as this body, is so superior to what the Holy Ones experience in their ‘inner world of bliss’.
PETER to No’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and Here-now: ... the East is a chaos of poverty, pollution, overpopulation, repression for women, multitudinous worship of gods and ancient spirits, rigid class structures, theocracies, technological underdevelopment, sexual repression, corruption, etc. And yet we look to their religions as the solution to both personal, and global, peace and harmony?
The other issue for me was that I saw, despite the centuries of devotion, meditation, spiritual practice and surrender, that so few had achieved the prized goal of Enlightenment. I saw recently that a Buddhist claimed, with some pride, that only about a thousand Enlightened ones had emerged from 2,500 years of devout effort by millions of monks. This meant a success rate of 0.0001% – pretty bad odds, and confirmed in my personal experience in Sannyas and amongst Osho followers. Peter to No’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and Here-now
RESPONDENT: If you could just give up ...
PETER: In the end I had to admit that Spirituality was a failure for me and was as inherently flawed as all other religious pursuits.
PETER: Up until now there have only been two alternatives on offer for a human being, either to be normal and accept the world as it is
RESPONDENT: Here you go again, sorry but I have to say you are really very unintelligent. What did you do in this 15 years of ‘terrible devotion'? Have you ever, just for once actually listened to Osho? Because that’s exactly what Osho was trying to help his friends and fellow travellers with, to be ordinary, to accept the world as it is – just perfect,
PETER: There is a current fashion in spiritual jargon ’to accept that the world is as it is – just perfect.’ I couldn’t do that successfully. Firstly I had to acknowledge that I was not perfect, that malice and sorrow raged within me and the traditional antidotes of love and bliss, tolerance, pacifism, being good, were but a Band-Aid to a much deeper problem. Secondly, I see wars, poverty, rapes, murders, tortures, persecutions, domestic violence, sexual abuse, etc. still raging on the planet with no end in sight.
RESPONDENT: Now this is really, really crap, you don’t know what are you talking.
PETER: The ‘perfect world’ that the spiritual/ religious people talk of is for many a but a temporary touchdown spot on their cosmic tour of bliss (Never Born, Never Died, Just Visiting... – See you Guys...!). Or it is merely a place for us to suffer rightly in, thus earning brownie points for the after death stage. Or they trumpet doomsday, some judgement day or final annihilation of the world, or at least the humans, and only the chosen ones will survive, – at least their spirit/soul/essence will. It is amazing what stories human imagination has concocted over the millennia.
PETER to No’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and Here-now: The only difference between the last two is that religion promises paradise in an after-life and spiritual (eastern religion) offers a glimpse of it while ‘in the body’ and a ‘final’ release into a glorious after-life (Nirvana, etc.)
Now there is a third alternative – a new, non-spiritual, down-to-earth, actual freedom.
A freedom from the Human Condition of sorrow and malice – the freedom to be happy and harmless.
RESPONDENT: After reading until this point I see no point to read on, by now I’m certain that there is nothing worth reading. Peter, not to lose my time any longer, it was to long already, I prefer to do gibberish, and I would highly recommend it to you to. It really can help.
PETER: Funny, isn’t it. I now regard all the Ancient Wisdom of the past as gibberish.
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