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No enlightenment here
on 17 August 2015
Osho (born Chandra Mohan Jain) died 25 years ago but, as is often the case with gurus, his followers have kept his message alive, in this case in the form of The Osho Foundation. Or have they? "...don't be worried about making it a great movement," he says. Maybe The Osho Foundation never read that bit? Sometimes he's perceptive: "If Governments disappear, there will simply be anarchy." But Government is "the ugliest and dirtiest game in the world." so take your pick.
NEVER IMITATE he says (his capitals), which is amusingly ironic, since so much of this book is borrowed - a dash of Gurdjieff, a fair amount of Krishnamurti. Really, it's shot through with so many contradictions. Occasionally it's illuminating; occasionally original. But unfortunately, where it's illuminating it's hardly original, and where it's original not very illuminating. He talks of the need to be "more silent." Now, is this possible, any more than it's possible to be more dead or more pregnant? Silence is something of an absolute state, I would have thought.
Then there are the parts I doubt you'd find in Krishnamurti, that are simply offensive tosh: rapists are not responsible (either it's a man's hormones or the priests forcing him into celibacy!) Or the sweeping statements: "they've done a survey," he says (no details, obviously) and in American jails "30% of inmates are homosexual." Throwing someone in jail, he says, actually makes him homosexual, "some kind of pervert." Do I really need to go on?
I can't decide whether Osho was a crafty opportunist - this is someone, after all, who believed in selfishness as a virtue - or simply a muddled idealist. But I cannot for the life of me see what sort of 'spiritual' guidance anyone can get from this book.