Doubt and Trust: a Progression?

This page is a part of a multi-page exercise in deconstructing a document, "What is an Osho?" (WiaO), that was an important benchmark in the progression of trends in Osho's sannyas after he left his body. These pages come in no particular order except for an Introduction and a central hub / Main Page. If you have got here somehow without reading these three linked pages, it will be best to visit them first.

This interesting "key" started life as a "Minor Matter" but eventually grew to have a life of its own. Since the quote referred to was more or less accurately remembered, i had to "dig deeper" to come to grips with it, because it was still being used to build a restrictive ideology. And so it came to pass that it became a "key" in an unforeseen way, opening a door into some difficult but important aspects of Osho's teaching. More below, following the Footnotes.

Deconstruction is presented in the format of the Main Page, with WiaO original text on the left and deconstruction on the right.

What Is an Osho? Deconstruction
There is another key in a talk [we] remember Osho giving about Krishnamurti, and the mistake he made in starting with doubt. That his listeners always remained in the "doubt" mode, while Osho began with trust, and then could easily introduce "doubt" later1, which, when based on trust, has a very different quality. And when Osho starts on doubt, he really lets you have it. He happily doubts everything: God, religion, beliefs, all our conditionings, all our programming... including all our ideas about "what an Osho is."

A top New York copyright lawyer who was surveying Osho’s work, at one point looks up and says, somewhat amazed by her own discovery, "He is the ultimate deconstructionist."
Osho did not "introduce doubt later"1, he "happily doubts everything" all along, though of course always accompanied by trust, and a multitude of devices to help us process this difficult dichotomy. And the NY copyright lawyer is not necessary to attest to Osho's deconstructions. Osho does that all by himself, for example in these classic words about a Jungian analyst named Habib, who left after Osho attacked his beloved Jung too much: "Habib missed the point. If he was a Freudian I would have attacked Freud, if he was a Marxist I would have attacked Marx, and if he was a Rajneeshian, I would have attacked Rajneesh! It is not a question of Jung! Jung comes nowhere into it. The attack is on Habib's ego! Because the ego is Jungian, so poor Jung has to be attacked"2.

The Krishnamurti / doubt / trust paragraph seems to be a lead-in to WiaO's "Evolution over the years" theme. To assert this "key" about Krishnamurti is an angle which can be spun into a progression, from "primary school" to "grad school", if you like. But Krishnamurti's mistake is not so much starting with doubt as staying there. His approach is one-dimensional. Osho's vastness is that he can handle more than one aspect of a dialectic, and the rhythm and dynamic tension of doubt and trust is what he teaches, not starting with trust and ending with doubt.

It looks like Osho's org cannot handle such vastness; the best they can do is make a progression out of doubt and trust, making doubt the great end-product and trust primary school. The progression theme is indeed the theme of the remembered discourse, but many older discourses can be found that make it clear that he did not begin with only trust, no matter what he says in the "key" quote. More about this below3.

And the lawyer? It has been suggested that the mention of the lawyer is
a kind of "shadow of the whip" to keep readers in line, certainly as good a guess as any since she is otherwise peripheral, but no strong case can really be made of this. One detail that doesn't quite ring true about the lawyer is that it is not so easy to imagine a "top NY" lawyer spending enough of her $500+ an hour time reading Osho to be able to come to such a sweeping understanding, but who knows?
  1. The source of the talk the authors remember about Krishnamurti and doubt / trust is From Personality to Individuality, ch 13. It is a classic discourse, remembered and loved by many. The whole discourse is a long one, and consisting only of the answer to one question. Its basic theme is as the authors claim.

    It is of course only one aspect of the many things Osho has said about doubt and trust, a complex subject which he addresses from many angles which are not consistent. It would be hard to call any of his talks about it "representative " or "typical", and so here we have another example of the authors' cherry-picking, apparently in aid of their need to establish their theme of evolution over the years, a  progression from "primary school" to a mature spirituality.

  2. from The Secret of Secrets, Vol 2, ch 2

  3. Following are a couple of other quotes on the theme of doubt and trust, both from Osho's early days, which establish, if nothing else, that, for all that he says in the authors' non-quote that he began with trust and then progressed to doubt, it is just not the case.

    From Revolution in Education, ch 2, "Towards the Birth of a New Man" (from the 60's):
    "Belief and trust bind you, whereas doubt liberates. But by doubt I do not mean distrust. Distrust is only the negative form of trust or belief. Neither trust nor distrust but doubt is required. Trust and distrust are both the death of doubt. And where there is no liberating intensity of doubt, there is neither any search for the truth nor its attainment.
    "The intensity of doubt becomes the search. Doubt is thirst, doubt is longing. It is in the fire of doubt that the life force is stirred and thinking is born. The pain of doubt is the birth pain of thinking. One who escapes that pain is deprived of the birth of thinking.
    "Do we doubt? Do we doubt the fundamental meanings and values of life? If not, then certainly our education has been wrong somewhere. There can be no other base for right education except right doubt. If there is no doubt, how can there be any search?
    "If there is no doubt, how will there be any discontentment? If there is no doubt, how will your being long for knowing and attaining the truth? That is why we have all become shallow puddles of contentment, and our souls have not remained rivers constantly running in search of the ocean".

    And from The Psychology of the Esoteric, ch 12 (from the early 70's):
    "The mind must be trained in a logical, rational way, but it must be simultaneously trained in irrational, non-rational meditation. The reason must be trained, and at the same time the emotions. Reason must not be trained at the cost of the emotions. Doubt must be there, but trust also.
    "It is easy to be trusting without any doubt, and it is easy to be doubtful without any trust. But these simple formulas will not do now. Now we must create a healthy doubt, a persistent doubt, a skeptical mind that exists simultaneously with a trusting mind. And the inner being must be capable of moving from one to the other: from doubt to trust, and back again. With objective research, one must be doubtful, skeptical, cautious. But there is another dimension adjacent to this where trust gives the clues not doubt. Both are needed.
    "The problem is how to create the contrary polarities simultaneously. This is what I am interested in. I will go on creating doubt and will go on creating trust. I do not see any inherent inconsistency in it, because for me it is the movement that is important, the movement from one pole to another."
Osho's Teachings:
As mentioned in the introduction of this page, the "digging deeper" into this matter turned up some very interesting material, illustrating some of Osho's more difficult teachings. The last paragraph above is a beautiful description of dialectics, "the movement from one pole to another", without inconsistency. And "this is what I am interested in." Yes! He celebrates both the poles simultaneously, and the dynamic tension of these polarities is something we can not only learn to deal with but flow with and enjoy. And the same is true of any pair of "opposites" (except when it's not). And when we can learn to flow equally well with either polarity, we come to find a "dynamic middle", where they meet (and merge) and become both and neither. "Neither" by virtue of being transformed. Mmmm!

And while we're here, we can look at other difficult areas of Osho's teaching that these talks touch on:
  1. Truth: It seems that Osho has not, in the remembered talk on Krishnamurti and doubt / trust, spoken the truth. This is not just an inconsistency over the years, he is saying something about how he has operated that isn't true. What's up with that?

    Doesn't Osho always speak the truth? Especially the factual, literal truth? Well, no. Well then, how can we trust what he says? As i have heard him describe it, it is like we are asleep in our houses and he shouts at us that our house is burning and we should jump out now! And once we get outside (trusting him) we see that the house wasn't in fact burning but it's beautiful outside, so we are grateful he got us to jump and experience it for ourselves. And so on that account, we can still trust him, even though he has not been "truthful" in a literal way. One of his definitions of truth is whatever works.

    So then, like, why am i holding his org to a "higher" standard of truth that i hold Osho? Because Osho is the enlightened master and these guys are just bozos on the bus, no more enlightened masters than i. They basically do not have the same level of permission as Osho. At the level we bozos operate, this factual, literal truth is the best standard we can have. (And it's not a "higher" standard in all realms, just one we are familiar with in our ordinary social lives.)
    More on truth in Osho's Important Teachings.

  2. Trust: It can be seen above that the basis of trust is not factual truth, but something "deeper". We trust Osho (or not) on the basis of our experience, what we see happening to our fellow sannyasins and most importantly what we see inside. Are things transforming inside? Are Osho and his methods "working"?

    The answer here is an unqualified "Yes". Moods and perceptions of course go up and down but overall the trend is toward greater and greater peace, gratitude and at-homeness. What's not to like about that? And maybe that once-important carrot of enlightenment will happen, maybe it has already happened and i didn't notice, maybe it is always and already the case and always has been for everyone, it doesn't matter.

    Osho in fact spoke to me about trust when he answered my question in discourse two days before i took sannyas. He was talking in the series of the time about methods not being effective, that no method "works", and since that had been the basis (as i understood it) of my coming to him, as in the 112 methods of The Book of the Secrets, i wanted to know why. He patiently explained why and went on to describe the journey i would take in sannyas, which was going to be, he said, about trust. With all the processes he would put me through, groups, etc, i would learn trust. In him, in existence and in myself**. And it has happened as he described. And trust, i'm here to tell you, is a Good Thing. And so is doubt. Both have their place.

    ** = Lest we get bogged down in a metaphysical nitpicking over "freedom from oneself", which has been used elsewhere in our deconstruction exercise to trump WiaO's
    "and leave us with nothing but ourselves", let it be said that this "myself" is just a word. It is not intended to present myself as an entity separate from the rest of existence, either higher or lower. It is just part of the list which arises when one considers, well, trust in what? Trust does not have to be in anything, but this is the way we can sometimes think, so a list is supplied, and i could hardly leave myself out. That would make myself special and separate.