Selected Correspondence Peter
Rajneesh aka Osho and Sannyas
RESPONDENT: I came across your website recently and took some time going through the discussions and the content in the website. I have been reading Jiddu Krishnamurti for a while and have been attracted to his style, clarity and his philosophy in general. While your writings take the excerpts and try to prove that he is yet another eastern philosopher in disguise, I find that the analysis may be incomplete in the sense that it leaves out other aspects looking only for the ‘spritualist signature’. If you have time and inclination, if you can take this piece, which is my favourite, and comment on the points raised by Krishnamurti, I will appreciate it greatly. http://www.ratical.org/many_worlds/K/ObsWoMe.html
The reason is because while I read your responses on Krishnamurti and nod my head by the force of logic, when I come back to reading Krishnamurti, it rings bells again.
PETER: Eastern spirituality spawned two infamous Gurus in the 20th Century, both of whom left a legacy of discourses very carefully tailored to suit their largely Western audience – Jiddu Krishnamurti and Mohan Rajneesh. Krishnamurti’s appeal was largely an intellectual one and his lasting legacy is a league of intellectual sluggards – faithful followers not only unwilling but incapable of thinking for themselves. On the other hand, Rajneesh’s appeal was largely the passionate lure an alternative, superior society and his lasting legacy is a reclusive social club – followers not only unwilling but incapable of standing on their own two feet.
That old spiritual dimwitticism, ‘leave your mind at the door, surrender your will and trust your feelings’ has suckered a whole generation of searchers of freedom and peace into becoming faithful mindless followers of Eastern religion. The post World War Two generation turned away from their naive interest in peace on earth and settled instead for the utterly selfish search for an inner peace and the ultimate self-gratifying Eastern experience – the dream-like state of God-realization, commonly known as Enlightenment.
The good thing is that you have serendipitously discovered actualism and now have a chance to break free from your own spiritual/ religious beliefs. It was my experience that one of the essential first aspects of this was to begin to stand on my own two feet and to dare to think for myself – the second was to learn how to do so.
PETER to Alan: I thought I would drop you a note since I seemed to have been ‘otherwise occupied’ for a while. As you know Vineeto and I ‘dropped in’ on the Sannyas mailing list for a few months. We had heard that my journal had been discussed on the list, but the rumour seemed to be a false one. We watched for a while, Vineeto wrote a few things, and after a while I couldn’t resist. I opened by innocuously questioning a quote from Mr. Rajneesh talking of two worlds – real and spiritual. I pointed out there were three worlds – real, spiritual and actual ... and away it went! About 150,000 words and 3 months later we were finally cut off after I dared to question not only the teachings but the Teacher!
There was a sort of a pretence that it was okay to question the teachings, but when it comes to questioning Him, Himself, then the lines are drawn. It was a fascinating exercise to see the limits that one can go in challenging Religious Dogma and Ancient Wisdom. It is a good thing that it was on the Net and not actually outside the temple gates. And it’s a good thing the spiritual people only throw brown rice and not stones as in the good old days. For me, it was another opportunity to test the wide and wondrous path to Actual Freedom, to write of facts in the face of belief and test both the facts and my motives, intentions and reactions to those who wrote.
I give both Actual Freedom and myself a 100% rating.
I always like to test things out, give it a run around the block, so to speak. A bit of gay abandon, stepping out a bit, letting one’s hair down, as one can do when malice and sorrow are having their swan song. Speaking of which it is a while since I have heard of them at all. Which is why I was able to write as I did on the list, with a confidence firmly rooted in the fact that what we are into is an outstanding change in Human Nature the likes of which defies any paltry imagination or idealism.
As far as standing up to the scrutiny of spiritual pundits, when faced with the facts about the spiritual world, some weird and strange arguments emerge as you will have noticed. Much frantic back-peddling and denial is obvious. I do understand we were spoiling their game, but it is a game that needs spoiling if peace is to come to this fair planet. And as you well know, to become actually free is now the only game to play in town – the Gurus have had their day.
PETER: I thought I would drop you a note since I seemed to have been ‘otherwise occupied’ for a while. As you know Vineeto and I ‘dropped in’ on the Sannyas mailing list for a few months. We had heard that my journal had been discussed on the list, but the rumour seemed to be a false one. We watched for a while, Vineeto wrote a few things, and after a while I couldn’t resist. I opened by innocuously questioning a quote from Mr. Rajneesh talking of two worlds – real and spiritual. I pointed out there were three worlds – real, spiritual and actual ... and away it went! About 150,000 words and 3 months later we were finally cut off after I dared to question not only the teachings but the Teacher!
ALAN: Is your ‘questioning of the teacher’ on your web site yet?
PETER: PS: The ‘questioning of the teacher’ basically consisted in my stating that Rajneesh had failed as a Guru. It particularly upset the correspondent who then repeated the passage on the list several times to flag everyone’s attention and shortly after that we were cyber-executed.
PETER: Some comments on your reply to Gary’s query, given that I was mentioned by implication –
GARY: I found it cute upon a pit-stop to the Krishnamurti Listening-L list to find a reference to myself having left that list and joined the Actual Freedom list, which according to the poster is ‘the ultimate cult’. According to this poster, supposedly I am too blind to see that I am in a cult with other cult-members, and several names were mentioned (No 13, Richard, Vineeto, No 21, Peter, etc.). Also, supposedly, there is no ‘communication’ or interaction among members of this list, according to said poster. The cult business has been visited time and again on this list, yet I find it behoves me to ask current participants to this list what they think: is Actual Freedom a ‘cult’? How would one know it is a cult or not a cult? Since some on this list have belonged to *actual* cults (Sannyasins, Krishnamurtians, etc), how is one to know that one is not just getting involved in a cult again, since one has been duped before?
To anticipate a possible answer to this question, something was written recently, I think by Richard, about not trusting in another person (thereby inviting betrayal), but evaluating the validity of a claim through reference to one’s experience, thus enabling one to separate fact from fancy, the actual from the imagined or hoped for. I have never felt that this is a cult. But of course those who believe it is a cult would think that I cannot see the forest for the trees because I am in ‘denial’ of this being a cult, and me being a ‘follower’ of Richard.
Since there are other people participating in the list now, I would like to know what others think.Gary to the Actual Freedom Mailing List, 25.7.2002
RESPONDENT: Excellent query as it may lead to some discussion about the recent heated list activity. The common interpretation of the word cult has as a primary characteristic the wielding of power by one or several over a group of others. This power can only exist with the mutual agreement (at some conscious or unconscious level) of both parties to honour the hierarchal arrangement.
PETER: This deduction does not account for the fact that there are many, many cults founded upon dead people, in fact the deader the person the stronger the cult in many cases. Such cults, ‘with (its) primary characteristic the wielding of power’ ‘only exist(ing) with the mutual agreement of both parties’, can hardly exist by mutual agreement in these cases since a dead person is incapable of either agreement or disagreement. The power of any cult-leader, be they a living person, a dead person or a purely mythical figure, is entirely dependant on his or her followers believing in, and surrendering to a leader, thereby making him or her into a higher authority or Big Daddy/Big Mommy figure.
The fact that the power of a cult leader comes from the followers, and is entirely reliant on the followers, can also be seen by looking at a few examples from recent times. Mr. Hitler was revered as a Messiah-like figure in Germany by his followers who believed in the message of Nazism, whereas most of the rest of the world regarded him as a pathological megalomaniac. The loving followers of Mohan Rajneesh regarded J. Krishnamurti as a second-rate, too-intellectual, Guru, whereas the followers of J. Krishnamurti were generally scornful and dismissive of Rajneesh and his followers.
There are currently hundreds upon hundreds of self-declared Gurus on the planet, all of whose fame, power, influence and wealth is totally dependant upon the fervour and numbers of their followers. I am not denying that many of these Gurus have the capacity to wield considerable psychic power over their followers but the follower has to be fully compliant and blindly loyal in order for this power to operate. When I was a loyal follower of Mohan Rajneesh his word was God to me, yet when I stopped believing that what he said was the Truth he no longer held any power over me – in other words, I gave him power over me, it was not a matter of mutual agreement.
Nowadays I know that no one can exercise psychic or psychological power over me, which also means that no one is standing in the way of me being free.
RESPONDENT: If the players in this game do genuinely follow Richard’s edict about ‘not trusting in another person (thereby inviting betrayal), but evaluating the validity of a claim through reference to one’s experience’, then the argument ends there. I detect no indication of the attempt by the AF veterans to establish a controlling influence over the participants.
PETER: Given the human propensity to need someone to be an authority, a Big Daddy figure, the argument about actualism being a cult will no doubt continue long after the supposed cult-leader is dead and burnt.
Speaking personally, as one of the ‘AF veterans’, I look forward to the time when the mailing list has sufficient practicing actualists that the discussions can remain lively, interesting, down-to-earth and on-topic and not be dominated or overwhelmed by objectors or flamers. At this stage retirement is a definitive option. (...)
RESPONDENT: So, AF is clearly not a cult per se. However, there is a ravenous horde out there who are determined to plug into a cult, and occasionally one of them is going to drift this way and project their needs onto an external group. That is nothing new, and is the source of great misery.
PETER: I spent 17 years fully immersed in an Eastern spiritual cult, and I do mean full-on. I renounced the real-world, left my job, gave away my money and possessions and wore the robes and mala of a spiritual devotee. By being fully committed, I learnt a great deal from the experience and I would not be where I am today had I not taken the risk and found out for myself whether spiritualism delivered what it promised. I know of many who were more cautious in that they kept a foot in both worlds – ‘tethering your camel’ was an expression they used. This meant they sat on the fence, neither here nor there, did neither this nor that, were for it or against it as it suited. They learnt nothing by experience as to the inner workings of the spiritual world and what happens when the revered teachings are put into practice, but remained outside the ashram gates, looking in, commentating and speculating on the goings-on within.
Because I got so much life experience and hands-on direct knowledge out of my years on the spiritual path, I knew the only way to make the same assessment of whether actualism worked was to jump in boots and all. I remember when I made the decision, a great feeling of having nothing left to lose because I knew by experience that the other common-to-all approaches to being a human being were less than perfect and produced less than perfect results, to say the least.
Nowadays it is not necessary for seekers to spend years on the spiritual path because so much of the spiritual teachings are available on the Net to be read at leisure without the need to become involved in a group or embroiled in a cult. It is also possible to join any one of many spiritual mailing lists in order to assess the effectiveness – or ineffectiveness – of the teachings in producing harmonious and peaceful communities. There are ample opportunities for a present-day seeker to check out for themselves the followers of almost any spiritual teaching, to assess the quality, range and tone of discussions and by doing so make your own assessment as to whether or not the followers are living the teachings and if they are, what effect it has on their daily lives.
Given the doubts you have raised in this post about actualism being a cult, I can only suggest that you take a clear-eyed look at spiritualism as it works in practice in order that you can move on from doubt to making an assessment one way or the other. The important thing about asking questions and having doubts is to find definitive workable answers and nowadays the Net makes it much easier than having to troop off to the East as was needed in the old days. As I remember it, living in doubt and not-knowing is the pits.
RESPONDENT: I think it is true that the anticipation, excitement about the expected ‘final event’ in one’s brain is a form of dreaming, escaping the reality. Is it a final barrier? I don’t know.
PETER: Of course there is only one way for you to find out for yourself, otherwise you will never know or you will have to resort to believing what others say. Merely believing is a poor substitute for a full-blooded finding out for yourself. The act of finding out for oneself, by oneself, is the adventure of a lifetime. And who would have it any other way.
This patent nonsense of sitting at the feet of Masters who then tell you in mystical poetic terms of a Truth that cannot be spoken of, cannot be put into words is nothing but twaddle. ‘The Divine Mystery that can only be lived ...’ The reason is that their Truth is nothing more than a feeling – a splendid, all encompassing, overpowering, enveloping, Self-aggrandized feeling of Unity, Oneness, Divinity and the like. Beneath the wonderful feelings lies a dim, dark and ancient ignorance – a turning away, a turning ‘in’ that is epitomized by the aesthetic retreats and lives of denial and renunciation lead by the spiritual pundits, monks, Gurus, etc.
The classic expose of the pride of ignorance of the ‘Ones Who Do Not Know’ was Richard’s meeting with a contemporary Guru. Richard stated that he had been Enlightened and had found something that was beyond Enlightenment and was he interested in knowing about it. The Guru said he doesn’t know with firm conviction as though ‘not knowing’ was in itself the Answer. When asked straight up whether he wanted to know, the answer was no. You hear it often in spiritual ‘jargonese’ – ‘I find I know less and less nowadays and its SO good’ What they mean is they can’t make any sense of anything on the spiritual path, so they give up any common sense and let their feelings and imagination run riot – and run riot they do!
Ignorance is proudly proclaimed in the spiritual world as Wisdom and this is most clearly evident in Eastern Spirituality.
As Mr. Mohan Rajneesh said in reply to a question –
Behind the lauding of ignorance and the perverse relating to a supposed childhood ‘innocence’ – the ancient Tabula Rasa theory – there exists nothing more than a belief in a ‘Something Else’ or a ‘Somewhere Else’ – traditionally masqueraded as the Truth.
In some Religions this ‘Something Else’ is defined as a particular mythical figure, spirit or God; in others it becomes an amorphous Energy, Source or Intelligence. Likewise, the ‘someplace else’ is defined as a particular place, a Heaven, a celestial realm, a Paradise, while in other beliefs it becomes an Energy field, an Ocean of Oneness, a ‘Home’ for the soul or spirit or a cosmic womb. Modern spirituality often cleverly and conveniently ignores the more inane historical interpretations of the original ancient texts and substitutes totally amorphous and nebulous concepts that are naught but a frantic and senseless chasing of blissful feelings. As such, the more ignorant one is, the less one attempts to understand, the less one knows – and the more revered, Holy and Wise one is deemed to be!
There is none more ignorant than the spiritual seeker – the more ignorant, the better the seeker – for they seek that which cannot be known, only imagined as thoughts and given sustenance by feelings. It can only be accessed by imagination and feelings for it only exists in thoughts and feelings – none of it is actual. Ignorance may well lead to blissful feelings, but it is still ignorance.
PETER: It takes a blindness arising from love, devotion, trust and loyalty not to see the rampant narcissism of the Enlightened Ones. As Mr. Rajneesh declared himself –
What unmitigated twaddle from the self-professed ‘Master of Masters’. Just to balance his super-view of himself and his Divine state I post the entry in the Encyclopaedia Britannica for Rajneesh –
... Sort of brings God down to earth a bit, hey. Or even more prosaically –
... And these men believe they are God on Earth. It would be a joke really, except for the fact that other people – would-be’s and wanna-be’s – insist on believing them and worshipping them as God-men. Of course, India is full to the brim with these nutters but a few of the English speaking Gurus were quick to jump on the Western bandwagon that rolled to the East in search of freedom, peace and happiness. 30 years on this search has ‘discovered’ disciplehood (surrender), religion (war), and meditation (either blessed out ... or freaked out). Many who sought something other than Religion and War turned their backs on Western Religion and real world values merely to end up believing in Eastern Religions and adopting ‘spiritual’ values. Out of the frying pan and into the fire ... The rest just gave up.
PETER: You wrote to No 14 a note of such breathtaking duplicity that I am moved (as in ... up off the couch) to reply before all the spiritualists on this list start to declare Rajneesh and other similar God-men to be actually free from the Human Condition. Still people do believe that Jesus walked on water, that the planets influence their moods and the sun goes around the earth. It’s just that this list is about facts and actuality – and not fiction, hopeful imagination, wishful thinking, slippery re-interpretation, Ancient Wisdom or ‘Truth’.
RESPONDENT to No 14: I did not get this PCE stuff on this list in the beginning. I kept thinking about it for a while. For weeks I would get stuck on 2-3 experiences which stood out and seemed close to the way PCE was being described here. The first PCE happened to me after I did rigorous dynamic everyday for 2 months. This PCE happened 2 ½ years ago. I also noticed that for last 2 ½ years, I have always wanted to repeat that experience. I have had some much tinier ones but nothing compared to the first one.
Now I understand the whole thing about PCE. Osho created situations in which we could get PCEs and hence have a bench mark to work with. While Richard is asking us to remember a PCE, defined with a description, to take it as a bench mark.
PETER: It does seem a waste of all that thinking time to have come to the conclusion that there is a God after all, and that Rajneesh is your God. Still Humanity’s obsession with believing the fairy-tales of the God-men is both legendary and endemic and has been around for thousands of years. This is the very beginning of a new down-to-earth non-spiritual Actual Freedom and, as such, will not be for all. It does take a certain courage, tenacity, stubbornness and bloody-mindedness to strike off on one’s own to discover and investigate.
So, let’s look at your preposterous proposition that ‘Rajneesh created situations where we could get PCEs.’
Let’s start with a quote from Rajneesh about the path from Satori to Samadhi –
Well, as the man says – the whole process is a deep insight into the mind, nothing else. In other words, it all happens in the mind i.e. it is a passionate imagination. Now how you can equate this description of a glimpse of the ‘sky’ with Richard’s descriptions of the direct sensate ‘self’-less experience of the actual world is beyond me.
To make the point very clear, let’s look at another quote from Rajneesh describing his Enlightenment experience –
Doesn’t really sound like a man who is flesh and blood body only. In fact, it sounds as though he is experiencing a state where He has his head in the clouds and is no longer associated with his flesh and blood body – an imaginary state of ‘leaving the cycle of karma’ and being Immortal.
Does it not also make you wonder how this man claims to be ‘herenow’ when he says: ‘Since that night I have never been in the body. I am hovering around it.’ This is not a description of someone who is a flesh and blood body only but a description of someone who has completely and utterly identified with his Spirit, Soul, Atman, Buddha Nature or whatever other name one calls the psychic entity that dwells within the physical body. This is a description of a man suffering from a mental state of delusion – an Altered State of Consciousness, whereby he ‘thinks’ and ‘feels’ he is God, immortal and divine.
Let’s dig a little deeper and see the extent of his delusion. Again a quote from the man himself –
Cute Hey. With a leap of imagination he is no longer responsible for his actions even to the point of killing. He becomes quite literally ‘above’ the mundane, the ordinary, the laws, the earthly, the sensate. One leaves the wheel of suffering, or earthly existence and transcends. This ‘lofty perch’ of the God-man has relevance in the Sannyas world as to his denial of any wrong doing in Rajneeshpuram – not that the American law courts believed him. No. 14 will recognize the dis-association of Rajneesh from any of his actions as identical to the position taken by Zen warriors in the ritual slaughter of 300,000 Chinese at Nanking – enthusiastically supported by the Buddhist Masters.
In case you are confused about the word ‘transcend’, Mr Oxford’s definition is –
Indeed Mr. Rajneesh has transcended the ego – he has clearly become an ego-maniac in that he thinks and feels himself to be God. An ego transcended gives full reign to the soul – the ‘feelings’ – and delusion is the obvious result.
Another quote from the Master of deceit –
Interesting first part that clearly points to the emphasis on ‘good’ feelings as opposed to ‘bad’ feelings. I think many people think we make up a story about Eastern mysticism and the dross it is but here it is unambiguously stated. He further introduces a bit of ‘wisdom about black magic that again relates to good and evil spirits or ‘energy’ to use the more modern terminology for spirits. Of course Mr. Rajneesh represents white magic personified. This drivel could not be further from Actual Freedom and the PCE – it is, as we continually state, 180 degrees in the opposite direction.
I’ll take the opportunity to flog a dead horse a bit more with another quote that is relevant to discussions that we had about instincts and their pernicious grip on Humanity. Remember that this is from a man peddling an Ancient tradition which was in complete ignorance of modern genetics, neuro-biology and behavioural studies. He says:
Anger is beautiful, hey? Tell that to the woman being raped, the man being killed, the child being abused. Rajneesh would ‘use’ anger in active meditations and groups as a way of getting people emoting in order to ride on the energy into a state of hormonal-charged bliss, exactly as people do when engaging in dangerous sports or how the psychopathic killer gets his kicks. To call this transforming anger into love is nonsense – it is nothing more than stirred up hormones. It would all be a joke really except that people kill out of anger and Rajneesh’s famed Dynamic Meditation is nothing more than a hormonal stir-up for a hit of bliss afterwards.
As for ‘anger transformed becomes compassion’, this sleight of mind can only happen if one ‘feels’ spiritually superior to the other. Then one has divine anger as Rajneesh did on several occasions when he could not control his rage in public. Displays of ‘divine anger’ (compassion?) have also been well documented in many other God-men.
Further on in the discourse comes the ‘big hook’ for his Sannyasins – the chance to not be identified, to ‘let-go’ and everything will be okay –
With a promise like that from the Master it is no wonder Sannyasins are seduced into and trapped in the spiritual world. Sounds not a fig like Actual Freedom to me – not a skerrick like a PCE.
I thought I’d leave you with a bit that I wrote to Swami Deleeto on the Sannyas List. You obviously know him well and as such would have missed this bit –
Rajneesh ‘created situations’ not to give you a PCE but to make his disciples ‘feel good’, be totally dependant, be grateful and loyal and above all to stay HIS PEOPLE – and 10 years after his death he still has thousands trapped imagining themselves as HIS PEOPLE.
RESPONDENT: Dynamic meditation helped me get the first PCE and other Osho’s meditations helped me get consequent PCEs. That is a fact, take it or leave it.
PETER: What you said in your post was – ‘Osho created situations in which we could get PCEs and hence have a bench mark to work with’. What I pointed out was that Rajneesh aka Osho created situations in which his disciples could get Satoris – brief glimpses of an Altered State of Consciousness whereby one experiences oneself as Divine and Immortal, Spaceless and Timeless. Given that he has been dead 10 years he obviously knew nothing of what Richard is saying for it was only 7 years ago that Richard discovered a state that is beyond the delusion of Enlightenment. It was only 3 years ago that he used the term Pure Consciousness Experience to describe a self-less state that is devoid of any delusions of Divinity, Immortality, Divine Love and Divine Compassion. Even you had not heard the term PCE until a few months ago and obviously have difficulty in comprehending the fact that it is 180 degrees opposite to an ASC.
RESPONDENT: Based on these experiences and one of Osho’s discourses I read early on made me write the statement that Osho was creating situations for us to have PCEs. I know this statement is a proposition. I could type some of Osho’s long discourses and try to say something in favour of my proposition, like you did in favour of your proposition. But no, I will not waste beautiful spring days on this task.
PETER: I simply decided to find out what Rajneesh actually said on the matter and post it for clarity, but if you’re not interested – so be it. I’m not merely presenting a proposition – that would be a waste of time. I posted what the man you regard as an authority said that he was offering his disciples – no need for interpretations, propositions, or speculations – his own words.
RESPONDENT: However let me say a little bit about me so that you know where I am coming from. I took Sannyas 2 years ago. I did my first dynamic a little less than 3 years ago. Put together I have done about a year of dynamic and 1 year of Kundalini. I have been to Poona twice, once for 3 days and second time for 2 days. I never saw Osho, never met him. However, Dynamic and Kundalini, in the privacy of my home, have been extremely useful for me. What I wrote is based on my experiences with Osho’s meditations within the time period I mentioned above.
PETER: If what you are saying is that you are new in the disciple business and haven’t been in it long – then great. Having discovered Richard who is the only one to break out of the delusion of Enlightenment you are indeed ahead of the pack – a very good place to be.
RESPONDENT: Osho’s quotes you cite are irrelevant to my experiences and hence the comments you wrote in reference to those quotes are useless for me.
PETER: What you are you saying is that what Rajneesh said is irrelevant – you will follow him anyway. This is what is known as unconditional love. Unconditional in that the Master demands love from his disciples regardless of what he says, what he does or doesn’t do, no matter what promises are broken, no matter that the dream is unliveable and unrealisable. The disciple then plays his role in the game being trusting, being grateful, being loyal, being loving – unconditionally and unquestionably. This is not only confined to Rajneeshees – it is the same for followers of Krishnamurti, Buddha, Ramana Maharshi, Christ, Da Free John, Gangaji, Papaji, Andrew Cohen, Barry Long, Samdarshi, Baba, Tyohar, etc. The Master-disciple business takes two to tango – no disciples, no Masters.
RESPONDENT: I do not know what to say to you Peter except that you seem to be obsessed with Osho. Twenty years of following Osho, it must be hard to let go of him. You are worse than some of Osho’s devotees.
PETER: It took me about 3 years to let go and a few years of checking out 2 other God-men and then about 6 months to ditch the lot after meeting Richard. It’s not easy to ditch the ingrained proposition that the only possible freedom from misery and sorrow is to become Enlightened. But if I can do it anyone can – it only requires that one looks at the facts as opposed to dearly hanging on to one’s beliefs. To find out the facts for oneself one only needs to read. As for being obsessed by Rajneesh it is you who are a disciple of his, it is you who keep mentioning him on this non-spiritual mailing list. But we could have a pact if you like – you don’t mention him and then I won’t. But I warn you, should you mention him then I will continue to point out what it is that he was flogging and I will quote his words so as to present the facts and avoid any emotionally-biased interpretations. As for being worse than some of Rajneesh’s devotees, the usual response from his disciples is that I am worse than a ‘born-again’ Christian.
RESPONDENT: Nonetheless, what I will not allow you to do is for you to shove your experiences and your interpretations down my throat. I am going to conduct my experiments and find out things by myself.
PETER: I take it you are going back to the Sannyas list then – they never question the Teachings there, let alone they dare to question the Teacher.
What is on offer here is an alternative to the whole Master-disciple business. The aim of this list is to offer and spell out this third alternative to remaining ‘normal’ or becoming ‘spiritual’.
Many people in the world seek a freedom from being trapped in ‘normal’, many aspire to something better and many have had glimpses of that possibility. Up until now there has been only one other alternative – spiritual ‘freedom’ or transcendence, which inevitably and inexorably leads one to an Altered State of Consciousness, resulting in the continuation of the Master-disciple business and thence to religious devotion, bigotry, persecution, hostility and war.
Now there is a simple choice, a third alternative is available, and it is for you to judge what you want to do with your life.
So, if you want me not to type some of Osho’s long discourses and not waste beautiful spring (autumn) days on this task then don’t quote him as an authority in your posts. He hadn’t a clue what we are talking about – after all, actual freedom hadn’t even been discovered before his death. It is factually impossible for him to have known about Actual Freedom.
But if you do mention Rajneesh, I do enjoy delving into some of Ancient Wisdom for a bit of de-bunking of myths and beliefs. I don’t even need to interpret – it is all written down in their very own words quite plainly what they are on about.
RESPONDENT: It is not clear to me that according to you whether –
PETER: I thought it might be pertinent to discussions, given the fact that there are a number of Sannyasins on the list, to rephrase your questions regarding the legacy of the mythical Mr. Buddha.
Hence instead of the way you phrased it, your question would now become –
I always find it’s good to deal with Gurus that we know a bit about rather than Mythical Long-Dead Ones who we can but only fantasize about. There is nothing quite so pertinent and relevant to an actualist as a dearly-held, close to home, belief.
So, as for Rajneesh’s legacy, he is on record as saying ‘I leave you my dream’ upon his death bed and dictated that on his tomb in his mausoleum should be the words ‘Never Born, Never Died, Only Visited This Planet...’ The legacy he left his community was a dream that he had failed to materialize in his lifetime, hence he left it to his followers. This is a common theme with all Gurus – each and everyone has left their followers an unfinished dream. Rajneesh’s dream was that eventually the world would be full of His sannyasins bringing the ‘light’ into the world and, of course, exactly the same dream underpins each and every religion in the world. Hence the relentless drive to proselytize and spread the message – the more the numbers, the stronger the religion, the more famous and powerful the Master. What a legacy!
Rajneeshism, with its followers numbering only in the tens of thousands, is inevitably doomed to the spiritual dustbin.
I always find it kinda cute that the only ones who attained Enlightenment – the spiritual fantasy-freedom – while Rajneesh was alive were the dead ones. It was all very safe business and allowed for no conflict at all – the old ‘two chairs on the podium’ problem. After his death and his ‘escape’ from the planet there can now be no other who sits in His chair. If anyone in the Ashram did become Enlightened they would have two choices. Either they remain in the ashram in humble gratitude to their Master, bowing to an empty chair for the rest of their lives – not what I call freedom at all – or they would go off, gather disciples and start up yet another separate version of the Master-Disciple-Game. There can be a sort of a lineage thing going whereby one gains kudos from basking in the fame of their Master, but it’s a messy affair as the Ramana-lineage is already proving to be.
To call this puerile nonsense ‘freedom’ and to imagine that it does anything other than spawn religions is to have one’s head stuck in the clouds, and to be in denial of facts – both current and historic. T’would all be a joke, but people take the Guru business so seriously that they are willing not only to sacrifice their lives for their beliefs but, if push comes to shove, (– remember the ranch?) are willing to kill for their beliefs.
It is obvious to me that the main legacy that Rajneesh left was a group of people steeped in cynicism, fatalism, defeatism – which is what surrender is – doomsdayistic pessimism, resignation and self-centred complacency. Rajneesh’s blatant stupidity and ignorance in taking on and deriding the American Christians and its inevitable failure was to ultimately crush any naiveté and enthusiasm in his followers, leaving a wimpish lot of faithful and loyal devotees to soldier on.
A little exchange from the Sannyas List will illustrate the point –
The last response was a classic – it sure didn’t exist! Ah, what an amazing experience it was to have been a disciple of a living Guru, to see his dream fail, see him set up a religion to carry on his dream, see him, in person, playing the God-man to the hilt, to meet him zonked out of his mind and to be personally so blinded by trust, faith, devotion, surrender and loyalty that all of my intelligence was almost non-existent.
And it is not only Rajneesh that has left a ‘notable’ legacy. Krishnamurti has proved to be yet another of the Gurus with accounts of a vitriolic and deceitful ‘private’ life emerging after his death. And to see that all he has left behind is a residue of heady spiritualectuals willing to endlessly discuss anything, as long as it is not their feelings. Ramana Maharshi and his self-appointed disciple H.W.L Poonja has left as a legacy the unbelievably childish message of ‘You are already God – all you have to do is realize it’ that is gratefully soaked up by the laziest of the lazy – or the meekest of the mild. And the list goes on and on ...
None of them have managed to live their unliveable teachings, all of them left behind an unrealizable dream and all of them went ‘somewhere else’ after death. All in all, a deplorable legacy.
Interestingly, I have a number of friends who turned to Buddhism after the Rajneesh thing petered out. If you have to have a religion, which everyone does, Buddhism is such a ‘safe’ religion to be in – particularly the New Age version. Modern Buddhism is baby-boomer bumf.
Surely, just surely, it’s time to admit that the tried and true is but the ‘tried and failed’.
RESPONDENT: Peter, I do not understand what you are trying to say in this post. It just goes on and on. Also, I do not understand what are the facts in this post and what are your opinions / speculations / guesses. I can’t relate to most of the post.
PETER: Well, undaunted, I will try again. My post followed your post which said –
So I took it that the thread of the topic of conversation was about Gurus, their legacy and peace on earth. In order to aid your understanding I will not post any of my comments but will post a quote from Mr. Rajneesh, a Guru whose opinions, words (and legacy) are relevant to many on this list.
This is a discourse where Mr. Rajneesh talks on anger, one of the fiercest of the instinctual passions, and a topic that is directly related to Gurus, their legacy (written words) and peace on earth (the eradication of human anger). Rajneesh –
‘Anger as part of humanity, as part of the play of polarities’ has resulted in 160 million people killed in wars in this century alone, not to mention all the murders, rapes, tortures, domestic violence, suicides, etc..... There can be no more obvious expression of people ‘being totally angry’ than war.
From this direct quote I would have thought that it was obvious that peace on earth was definitely not on Rajneesh’s agenda and therefore cannot possibly be part of his legacy.
I await your considered comment on this quote so as to avoid any ‘opinions / speculations / guesses’ which, I agree, are of no use to anyone.
RESPONDENT: I was merely asking for facts in the form of your own personal observations / experiences in life from which you make many of the statements in your original post titled ‘Legacy of Gurus’.
PETER: You were not asking for facts at all. As you have said to me before – ‘I showed you once how your posts are meaningless for me’, and you were simply saying the same thing again in different words in your last post. Whenever I engage in a discussion with you, you attempt a summary dismissal. You have said to me in the past that ‘what I will not allow you to do is for you to shove your experiences and your interpretations down my throat’ – which doesn’t sound as if you are at all interested in my personal observations / experiences. The next ploy is to continually move the goal-posts of the discussion whenever it gets a little too close to actually discerning what is belief from what is fact – a ploy that is useless on a list devoted to actualizing peace on earth and exposing the ancient beliefs that have castrated human intelligence for millennia.
To quote the spiritual version of fact vs. truth from Rajneesh aka Osho –
Another quote –
Ooops – that’s a personal observation / experience – but you did ask for one! Any Guru who says that the factual actual experience of life, as evidenced in a PCE, is ‘utterly meaningless’ has most definitely got their head in the clouds. As for when ‘your eyes open to the real’ and you see ‘God green in a tree’, what does one see in war, murder, rape, torture, domestic violence, etc. – God anger?
But, then again, you must know this difference in perception – spiritual vs. actual – from your personal PCE, so I am curious as to why you have such a beef about defending the God-men and the belief in God, the truth, etc.
RESPONDENT: Once you wrote to Alan something of the kind that: Whenever you (Peter) ask people about the way Gurus behave towards women, you get blank faces. What did you observe in reference to Osho’s (or any other Guru’s) behavior towards women. Do you have some first hand information ? You want to write about them. Those personal observations/experiences would be facts. Your facts, but facts.
PETER: How on earth can you have a fact that is ‘your’ fact – that would mean that you have your own versions of facts. Methinks you are talking about truths which are definitely not facts, as Mr. Rajneesh has clearly pointed out above. As I wrote to Alan, Richard has written an excellent piece on facts, if you are interested.
Some ‘first hand information’ from a post to the Sannyas mailing list about the same question that you have asked –
I would only add an additional fact and that is that Guru is a Sanskrit word meaning elder or teacher and as such is one who propounds Eastern Religions. It is common in Eastern Religions to regard women as second-class citizens, needing to be re-born as a man in order to be worthy of even undertaking spiritual practice, being excluded from temples, being mere possessions of men, etc. This attitude is still very prevalent in the Eastern Religions and permeates into popular spiritualism. All of the male Gurus have women disciples who worship them and regard them as Gods, and this is actively encouraged by the Gurus – a pathetic and abysmal behaviour towards women.
RESPONDENT: What makes me suspicious is what you sometimes write: ‘Rajneeshism, with its followers numbering only in the tens of thousands, is inevitably doomed to the spiritual dustbin’.
PETER: Suspicious? I would have thought my opinions of the Gurus, the Master-disciple business and its legacy would have been obvious to a blind man. I make no bones about where I stand on religion/ spiritualism – the litany and heritage of human slaughter and suffering, all in the name of the good and God, defies description. And to continue to believe in the Divine as the solution to, or salvation from, some metaphysical Evil that is responsible for human malice and sorrow is to defy the modern scientific physical evidence of Josef LeDoux and others that the cause of sorrow and malice is the instinctual programming of fear, aggression, nurture and desire.
Are you offering a counter opinion that Rajneeshism as a religion will flourish and become ‘the solution’ to the endemic violence and suffering on the planet? When everyone in the world becomes ‘OSHO-conscious’, then it’s all magically going to be all right? The recent outbreak of vitriol, suspicion, confusion, back-biting and self interest that flourished recently when someone dared to question how things were being run in the Ashram does not bode well for a Rajneesh-World being a peaceful or harmonious world.
The other quote of mine you posted that ‘makes you suspicious’ is –
In order to stick to facts I will quote from an Ashram-sanctioned book written by someone who was at Rajneeshpuram in America at the time Rajneesh was deriding the Christian religion –
This woman could sense the ‘danger’ of his ‘bold words’ at the time – as could many, many others, myself included. The danger proved real and the words proved foolish, particularly in the light of the Sannyasin bombings, poisonings, vote rigging, phone tapping, deception, corruption and attempted murders that came to light very shortly after. I have written in my journal about the ‘after-shocks’, recriminations and bewilderment that was widespread at the time, if you are interested, as I take it you were not around at the time. Few were willing to discuss anything about this time on the Sannyas list so you may not know much about it.
The time after the collapse of Rajneeshpuram was well-known as a more sedate time and it was covertly acknowledged that the attempt to build a ‘City to Challenge (the Christian) God’ had imploded due to internal corruption, not external force. Rajneesh’s fleeing was to mark the end of the grand experiment. Only the faithful and loyal stayed on as followers and went back to Pune for his final years. After his death, by definition, the faithful and the loyal are the meek and mild for they steadfastly follow the traditional path of religion – worshipping a dead Master or God-man.
Actualism is most definitely not a traditional path, which is why only a handful of Sannyasins have been at all interested of the hundreds who have had the opportunity to investigate what it is we are on about.
Actualism is for pioneers and adventurers, not believers of truth and followers of fashion.
I like it that you are interested and I don’t pretend that the early days of this are easy for anyone – it takes guts to want to change, to fly in the face of tradition, security and humankind’s accumulated Wisdom .
But my experience is it’s the deciding if one wants to take it on in the first place that is most confronting. Once fully committed and decided it rapidly becomes the adventure of a lifetime.
I also like your interest in anger – so few people are interested in the harmless part of the actualist’s obsession with being happy and harmless . It’s a crucial issue – a vital and essential motivation.
In contrast we have Mr. Rajneesh’s approach –
I simply stopped dreaming, was honest enough with myself to admit Rajneesh’s dream was not working for me and then moved on to find out why it didn’t and couldn’t work. I do realize you are not at all interested in what he said and nor are most followers of God-men. They really sell feel-good energy, they are purveyors of blissful feelings and are indeed Masters of the art. But when they are dead, they are dead. One is left with worshipping symbols, sitting by their ashes in mausoleums or temples, gazing at images and gathering with the like-minded in prayer, or talking to them personally for succour and guidance. One is left with religion, which ‘is capable of seeing that which has not happened yet’ and yet has not happened after millennia of human effort and earnest pursuit.
So, if you want to become ‘an actual God’, as your Master says, then Rajneeshism is for you.
If you want to investigate a third alternative, firmly based on scientific fact, open discussion, mutual investigation, sensible communication, and a sincere intent to actualize peace on earth, then you are on the right mailing list.
RESPONDENT: A little bit long Quotation from ‘Nirvana The Last Nightmare’ by Osho Rajneesh.
PETER: Just a note on your post of one of Mr. Mohan Rajneesh’s talks. I will stick to his starting theme which was idealism and, in an effort to be brief, concentrate on a few salient points –
Curious stuff from a Guru who’s central message, the inspirational core of his teachings, is that his followers are the New Man – Zorba the Buddha. To quote the same man –
So ... peace will come to earth when the New Man arrives! Now if we translate this bit of idealism into down-to-earth language it means ‘when everybody follows Rajneesh’s teachings’ there will be peace on earth. Given he has a following of less than 100,000 out of 6,000,000,000 people on the planet and that the whole religion is in a watered-down decline, peace will again remain a promised ideal with no possible chance to eventuate. Rajneeshism is merely yet another of the sixteen hundred religions on the planet, all competing for market-share. It would be rather amusing except so much of the competition results in armed conflict such as was evidenced in the last days of the Rajneeshpuram when Rajneeshees went ‘head-to-head’ with the Christians. When the big boys of the Religions go head-to-head the most horrendous wars eventuate.
The interesting thing is that none of Rajneesh’s followers cares ‘two bob’ about the New Man or peace on earth as is evidenced by my discussions on their mailing list. See No 6 and No 9, No 12 and No 32. Such is their cynical disregard for his teachings. They know he spoke twaddle, they know he was full of contradictions and inaccuracies and know it was just idealistic humbug. Humans really just desperately want someone or something to believe in – and anybody and anything will do.
‘You ARE perfect’ is the delusion of the spiritual view-point. The spiritual world is in complete denial of the modern discoveries of the fact that we are not ‘perfect’ – that we have an in-built instinctual survival program of fear, aggression, nurture and desire that inevitably causes us to live in fear and to be aggressive. It is this fact that prevents peace on earth, not the failure to live the – unliveable – spiritual ideal that if only we ‘all follow one God and one God only’ and then all will be magically okay, one day, in the future. When I finally stopped deluding myself that this insanity was going to bring peace to earth, and when I stopped being dishonest with myself in believing that I was ‘already perfect’, was I able to do something about becoming actually perfect.
There are currently about one million Buddhists on the planet, and many, many self-declared ‘Buddhas’ and yet this has been the bloodiest century yet. I think you have recently read of the Buddhist-inspired atrocities in Nanking (http://www.darkzen.com/) only some 60 years ago. Surely it is time to question why there is such a gap between the idealistic and ethereal teachings of the God-men and Gurus and the actual result of their teachings in practice. There have been billions of Buddhists and only about a thousand of them managed the state of Enlightenment and after 2,500 years surely it is time to call a halt to believing that if we all become Buddhas then ‘our garden will be full of flowers’. What fantasy in the face of facts.
Talk about dreaming! A seductive, poetic dream, but a dream never-the-less.
‘You need do nothing but surrender to me and follow me and all will be well!’ It is these seductive unliveable dreams perpetuated by the God-men for there own Self-interest that have prevented humans from actually doing anything about peace on earth. Not only prevented peace but actively promoted the continuation of aggression in the form of religious wars, repression, torture, suppression, corruption and intolerance.
You can see he has a problem here because he believes that God has made man ‘an organic whole’ so there is no chance of eliminating the instinctually programmed malice and sorrow. He has to propose transcending it, or rising above it. It’s the same old Ancient Wisdom from the Dark Ages. But it is the next bit that is interesting, and it’s from the very same discourse.
Remember above, he says –
and then he follows with –
What he is clearly proposing is repression, rejection, and denial of the facts of history. Is this not ‘right and wrong’, ‘good and bad’, Buddhas and Tyrants, Gods and Devils? Is this His solution? What a fairy tale, what a massive delusion. It almost sounds like Christian morality to me but when one digs a bit deeper the morality of the East and that of the West are little different.
So, I could go on but I have written much of my experiences as a grateful follower of Rajneesh. In the end I had to admit I had been ‘sucked in’ by his poetic idealism of a New Man and the utterly selfish attraction of me being one of those ‘specially chosen’ for the role. It proved a mortal blow to both my pride and humility, for I could no longer deny the facts of Rajneesh’s failure and my own desperate need to believe in fairy stories. The dream failed in Oregon, fizzled to a whimper by the time he died and is hardly even mentioned now.
RESPONDENT: Now I feel it’s the time to finish talking with you. And some of my impressions.
You want to prove I am on the wrong path as far as I am a disciple of him. But whatever you argued is felt off the mark by me. I have tried to tell you why I feel so. But your intention of talking is just for proving your position is right.
PETER: No, I was simply presenting the facts of the failure of religious and spiritual pursuits to bring an end to human suffering and maliciousness on the planet. This is not about right and wrong but what works and what doesn’t work. For me, the spiritual path didn’t make me happy and harmless, it only gave me the illusion and feeling of being on the ‘right’ path with the ‘Master of Masters’. When I acknowledged that the spiritual wasn’t working for me I was ready to start looking at the facts of why it didn’t work and why Rajneesh’s ‘dream’ had failed and why it never could work.
My intention of talking to you were to report what my experiences were on the spiritual path, and what happened when I stopped believing and started to look at the facts. The discussion has been about fact and belief, not about right and wrong. Right and wrong is a moral judgement, a judgement made on what one believes to be true or feels to be right. It’s the very stuff that religious, ethnic and ethical conflicts and wars are fought over.
RESPONDENT: After all, you are against Rajneesh.
PETER: No, it is nothing personal. There have been about one thousand Enlightened Ones, according to one figure I have read, and all of them were deluded, and all of them promised the un-deliverable. They only have power and authority because people desperately want to believe the fairy stories of an ‘after-life’ and another ‘world’. This belief in the Divine-ness of the God-men is given credence by the feelings of love for Them and the self-gratifying feeling of being a chosen one. The chance for a genuine personal peace and an actual global peace is forfeited on the altars of the God-men – all for a bit of utterly selfish ‘feel-good’.
RESPONDENT: And in a sense I wanted to prove you have misunderstood him.
PETER: I understand him and the Guru-disciple business only too well for the likes of most people. When I talk of the facts of the business, particularly when I get to the point of discussing exactly what it is the God-men are saying and what was the actual result of the theory when put into practice, they invariably ‘head for the hills’. Still it’s early days... this is the first time in human history that a way has been found to actually break free of the Human Condition. To break with Ancient Wisdom and the belief in Gods and Devils, Spirits and Auras, Ghosts and ‘Other’ Worlds, Immortality and God-men and also to irrevocably break free of the instinctual passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire.
To become modern humans, discontinuous from the past. To finally stop battling it out with each other for ‘survival’ and to stop believing in ‘spirits’ and in a spirit-ual world.
RESPONDENT: Now I understand it’s not my business. Who am I that I try to change your understanding of him? Your understanding and mine are different. That’s all for me now. I don’t think you are on the wrong path. I just don’t know. So there is no bridge between us now.
PETER: When I first met Richard I had two things going for me. One was that I was beginning to question the gap between the ideals and promises of the spiritual world, and what was the down-to-earth results, both for me after 17 years of effort and for billions of others over a period of 5,000 years.
The second was that although the gulf between Richard and I was so enormous that I could not understand what he was saying about the actual world and actual freedom, I did remember a Pure Consciousness Experience – a glimpse of the actual world in which my ‘self’ in its entirety, both ego and soul, was temporarily absent. This proved to be the ‘bridge between us’ such that I could understand of what he was talking about.
RESPONDENT: I have said that if the meaning of surrender is gratitude. And I will not kill or die for my Faith.
PETER: What you said was –
So we can now add ‘but not enough to kill or die for Him’.
This is indicative of what happened to Sannyas and Sannyasins after the end of the Ranch. You may remember that Rajneesh was raging against the Christians at the time and to quote him –
Outrages like these, combined with poisonings, buggings, arson, vote stacking, etc. caused a situation where armed conflict became a distinct and very real possibility. There were a number of police and FBI investigations under way and the National Guard was reportedly on stand-by. Both sides were armed and ready. Rajneeshees were armed and deliberately invited the press in to show off their weapons and training. In the end, Rajneesh flew the coup, so the situation was diffused, but it shook many people’s faith to the point that many dropped Sannyas, became disillusioned or ‘watered down’ their faith – exactly as you seem to have done. The end of the Ranch indeed ‘scared the shit’ out of many disciples.
Peter’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.