Advertisements for Myself

by Sw Deva Sarlo

kay, okay! So the title isn’t original. So it goes. So sue me. You can’t always get what you want.

After our last meditation in the marketplace, the first incarnation of this magazine, it was suggested that one way we could finance it would be to charge people for writing about themselves. This is, after all, a form of advertisement. People are paying money to advertise their goods and services, why shouldn’t they pay to advertise their personalities and other charms? Admittedly, the “product” is less substantial than a croissant or massage, and there is no obvious financial payoff, but personal ads do sell and....

I want you to love me, or at least be impressed with me in some way, enough to earn your respect or pseudo-love. For instance, see how humble / detached (= great) i am, writing “i” in lower case, seeing through the me-as-the-most-important-being-in-the-universe mode that English foists on us. This is not just some recently acquired affectation of egolessness. I have been doing it for over 30 years, starting long before any spiritual search. Of course, Osho might say the older it is, the more rotten, but if pretentious, it was at least a simple idea that any ordinary sophomoric teenager could adopt, once it was pointed out (and yes, it too is not original).

Or see how honest / courageous / vulnerable (choose one or more) i am, exposing my agenda and my shallowness, risking... what? Contempt? Derision? Boredom? Choose one or more. Perhaps my “openness” will be seen for what it really is, a cutesy verbal shell game, with the real elusive me hiding somewhere else. I can bounce these ideas about myself around all over the place, but it’s not real sharing, more a meta-wank.

Maybe at least that’s honest. To register your heartfelt approval, have your answering machine contact my answering machine. But be careful not to overdo it. As the positive feedback rolls in, my praise-o-meter will start ringing alarm bells. This is pretty mediocre, unoriginal stuff, after all, and in the event of over-stimulation of flattery receptors, anti-flattery neurotransmitters start being produced. I won’t have much respect for your sense of discrimination. So there you go.

Enough of this snideways sharing. An intelligent reader, i.e. you, might ask what has this quasi-neurotic mindfucking got to do with Osho, with the master-disciple relationship?

The short answer is that it's a play of self-acceptance, self-deprecation and self-discovery. Never mind the long answer. Perhaps you have had no problem with all this, so if you're still with me and forgive me and the editors for perpetrating this....

Self-acceptance is an elusive phenomenon, not easy to pin down, as it includes a vast array of ways and meanings that can be different for everybody. At one end of the scale (to oversimplify the possibilities) it could mean blaring my neuroses from the housetops, as i did earlier, unafraid of judgements and opinions. I have not indulged much in this form of self-acceptance, although it can be fun to play with, nor have i done my share of even ordinary sharing. At times my lack of sharing has been a kind of cowardice, but at least i accepted this cowardice, that is, not taking it seriously as some kind of horrible defect in need of repair.

And this is the beauty of self-acceptance in all its forms, that it doesn’t require us to change or improve our personalities, which are in any case not the real self. It brushes that whole business aside, so that our limited seeking energy can be more productively engaged in watching and disidentifying and celebrating. And that is its own reward. And that is its connection to Osho.

Not bad, eh?

In closing, i’d like to thank my mother and my father, etc, etc.

Paid for by the Sarlo for himself committee.

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