Important Teachings

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 page is a spinoff from the theme of Diversity, extending that theme into a potentially dodgy area. We think the exploration has merit and will attempt to avoid the pitfalls inherent in choosing this over that. It goes like this:

In many spheres, a picking and choosing of "most important" inevitably relegates the "less important" to a status ranging from worthless to negative. This is because such a choosing will usually assign a value of some kind to the choices: good, bad, higher or lower rank, attractive, unattractive, etc.

A choosing immersed in an appreciation of diversity will understand that "less important" might only mean less applicable to large numbers. It will not veer into the kind of value judgments preferred by organized religions and other control freaks. It will not invalidate those whose "way" is less traveled.

In a significant way, all of Osho's teachings are the most important. This is because, when speaking to an individual, he will frequently say that this particular quality, theme, insight, path, whatever, is the essence, what sannyas is all about. Or when speaking about a great master of the past, that master will usually be the greatest flowering of consciousness, and his methods, approach, understanding and way the most sublime of all history. Still, we will do some choosing . . .

Here are some of Osho's most important teachings, hopefully expressed in language as flexible, open and useful as possible. They are all worthy for some of his people, and most have some unique feature, flavour or angle not observed or emphasized by other spiritual teachers. We may note that the significance of inclusion of any quality, mode or teaching in this list can be manifold. Naturally, opinions may vary. A few things might be said in general:

1. Inclusion in the list might be as a filter or angle for assessing WiaO's perceived fidelity to Osho's vision (also a potentially subjective area), or it might not be.
2. Inclusion is not in any perceived order of importance.
3. Inclusion may be above all an indication or illustration of diversity, that such a quality has potential value for some of Osho's lovers.
4. Exclusion or omission from the list may only reflect the incompleteness of this page and is open to change.
5. It is not intended that anyone, let alone any hypothetical "ideal sannyasin" should have to embody all of these qualities.
6. The qualities or aspects of Osho's teachings below are not mutually exclusive, they have considerable overlap.
7. Nothing written about any of these teachings is intended to improve or otherwise replace what Osho has said, but ...
8. My expression regarding his important teachings may be useful as an indicator of where i am coming from.
9. And it can serve as a "positive" message to balance the inevitably negative findings concerning WiaO.
10. Many themes below are undeveloped; those that have been developed have links.
11. Your input is welcome.

Qualities / Themes
Freedom Dialectics Love Meditation Awareness Creativity
Let-Go Non-Seriousness No-Mind Mystery Trust & Doubt Inconsistency
Emptiness Purposelessness Science Celebration Ordinariness Devices
Tantra
Authenticity
Zorba
Totality
Acceptance Spontaneity
Prayer
Meritocracy
Risk
Wonder Courage
The Rebel

any other ideas?
Laziness




Freedom

People most everywhere seem to consider freedom a Good Thing in the modern era. The places where it is not held high are not worth considering. The vastness of freedom proposed by Osho is unparalleled, so his org will not gainsay it in any way, but ...

And actually, "but" is an important word in any discussion of freedom. Freedom has its qualifiers everywhere, as well it should. Most reasonable buts are variations on the idea that one person's freedom should not intrude on another's. But any given society has its blind spots, so even slavery or child pornography might be allowed to prosper in some social milieux with a supporting rationale supplied by some real or imagined "authority" invoking some concept of freedom. One classic example of this is of course the one found in the American Declaration of Independence: "All men are created equal", written by a slave-owner, Thomas Jefferson.

Back to WiaO, mgmt talks about Osho's "fundamental insistence on freedom" but will not extend this freedom to other sannyasins' visions of how that might play out in their own lives if it is different from mgmt's vision. For them we have invalidation and the muscle of trademark.

One very far-reaching expression of Osho's freedom can be found in the subtitle to The Zen Manifesto, his last series of public talks: "Freedom from Oneself". Osho is not the first to use this phrase. Nor does it embody or express something previously untouched. It is found in the writings of Santayana and Christian contemplatives and likely mystics from other traditions. But it shows up as a G**gle hit far more often in connection with Osho than anyone else.

This awesome, ringing phrase serves most importantly to turn concepts of freedom topsy-turvy. All the usual civic freedoms, of speech, association, religion and so forth are all very well as far as they go, and in fact they are essential as a basis for any kind of decent civil society. But with "freedom from oneself", Osho underlines all he says about freedom and no-mind, all that Buddha says about anatta (no-self), and all that mystics everywhere say about ... well, you get the picture.

It is the End of the Search for those who find it. So it comes as somewhat of a surprise that there is not even any lip service to this kind of freedom in WiaO, as the ostensible purpose of that document is to present the essence of Osho's intention. Given that, we can feel fairly confident that the notions of freedom appealed to in that document are on the more trivial side, like freedom to indulge.

The most important marginalized aspect of freedom in WiaO is the freedom of other views, other ways to approach the divine. They are espousing one way. That is their right to choose, but as stewards of Osho's legacy, they should not be interfering in the freedom of other sannyasins to practice their ways. To put it in more concrete terms, the facilities of the Commune / Resort are for all of Osho's lovers. Mgmt may have to decide in practical ways what they can afford to offer there but the preaching about What is an Osho and all the interpretation and spin is clearly unnecessary, and an unwarranted infringement on others' freedom. Osho's freedom is inclusive and expansive, not excluding and contracting.

What has been most impacted, as noted in the Main page, has been heart-oriented approaches. There is no natural or existential law saying it has to be one or the other, but this is what has happened. Mgmt has laid down the law. So no more Osho songs or pictures, Buddha Hall demolished and so on. No songs! No singing! No! As if a group of people singing their hearts out would bring down the house.

The classic comment on the changes that got under a lot of people's skin was from Yogendra, reported in the New York Times in 2002: "Someone comes in and there are like 1,000 pictures of this dead guy, and they're like 'Whoa, get me out of here'." (To which Chinmaya has replied, "Well, if you do not expect Osho in Osho commune, what do you expect?")

Dialectics

Dialectics is a complex theme having to do with the interplay of nominal opposites or incompatibles. My expounding on it would likely be at great length and not as clear or useful as a single well-placed example from Osho, which we happen to have, so ... A the theme of doubt and trust was already in play in WiaO, this example arose organically in the exploration of that. He says, from The Psychology of the Esoteric, ch 12:

"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."


Both the poles have value in appropriate contexts and Osho celebrates them both, sometimes simultaneously and sometimes sequentially. Looking at an apparent contradiction in this way can often provide a deeper meaning than just a logical cancelling out, though Osho does that too. See also Inconsistency.

The most important thing to note about dialectics is that its application is not just in the area of doubt and trust, but everywhere. Something Osho is more consistent about than almost anything is that we mustn't make a consistent philosophy out of the words he has been so generous with. It may be appropriate for an individual to feel out what's right for hir path but for his mgmt team, it is a big no-no. But this is of course what they have done, picking and choosing our way to God (so to speak).

Love -- not developed yet

Meditation

Another thing Osho is most consistent about -- see also Inconsistency -- is meditation. In hundreds of ways, he says that he has only one medicine to offer for all our illnesses, and that is meditation. Since the Hindi / Sanskrit word "dhyan" has no real equivalent in English, or indeed in any Western language, we make do with the word meditation, understanding and accepting its limitations, and using it in a variety of ways to attempt to cover the ground "dhyan" does.

So what ground are we attempting to cover? Two basic ways in which we use the word are a) to refer to a state of consciousness in which we are "at home", relaxed, aware, at peace and not feeling the need for anything beyond what there is in the current moment, and b) methods by which we might make ourselves more available to this state.

The "hoped-for" state is not amenable to a succinct description in words other than to say it is akin to a relaxed awareness. Further, we might venture that one characteristic of this relaxedness is a lack of concentration. The meditative state is not concentration, and is not "achieved" by concentrating, that being an activity involving tension. One image Osho often uses is that of a mirror. The mirror simply reflects what is in front of it, it does not pick and choose what is there or pass judgment on it. It has no preferences. Such is the meditative state. Thus it can also be said to be non-identified, inasmuch as what normally passes for waking consciouness is a swirl of personality preferences that are always at root concerned with bettering the position or status of the so-called self, the localized body-mind quasi-entity with which consciousness normally identifies.

But enough of that. To get a better idea than i can muster here, open any book of Osho at any page, and you'll likely find it. The "methods" are important to understand and it may be useful to expound some on that.

Meditation methods do not "cause" the state of meditation to happen. They prepare the way, they make the practitioner more available, more open, they clear some obstacles out of the way. Methods are varied and some methods will be more useful to certain types of people and other methods to other types. And they will be far more varied than the seventeen different mantras offered by Maharishi's TM. In fact, though the state of meditation can be said to be simple, many meditation methods are not, making that seventeen mantra approach for all the varieties of seekers simply simplistic.

Notwithstanding what Osho has said more than a few times, that all meditation methods can be thought of as variations on witnessing, watching dispassionately whatever comes up on the screen of consciousness, they can be tremendously varied; the other elements besides witnessing make a tremendous difference. They are all over the place and could involve breath in many different ways, could involve dancing, running, walking, yoga, sex, humming, etc, a wide variety of postures, movements and activities, with exertion levels from strenuous to near-nil. They could involve more subtle things like attitude or imagination.

And there are many meditative processes having specific stages where witnessing is not involved at all. Osho's advice for these stages is explicitly not to bother with witnessing but rather lose yourself completely in the process, with such processes followed by a stage of just witnessing. The laughing and crying stages of Mystic Rose "Meditative Therapy" go for two weeks of total immersion -- well, three hours a day -- before witnessing takes over for the last week to bring the process home. Others of his active meditations may have two or three stages of ten or fifteen minutes of intense activity followed by forms of witnessing.

Osho has said that though we come to him with many illnesses, he has only one remedy, and that is meditation. He has said different things too of course, so we needn't get too simplistic or fundamentalist about it, but that does indicate a decent level of importance. And since he has talked about so many forms of meditation, we will note two of his books which are standout classic surveys of the subject:
1. Book of the Secrets, a tour-de-force commentary on the 112 methods of meditation given in the Kashmir Shaivism classic Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, and
2. Meditation: The First and Last Freedom, a compilation from the late 80s prepared under his guidance with descriptions and commentary on 63 methods, possibly his best-selling book, reprinted frequently.

His org in Pune appears to be upholding this important aspect of his teachings.

Awareness -- not developed yet but may be subsumed by Meditation, 'cause really what can you say about it?

Creativity -- not developed yet

Let-Go

Let-go may be characterized as an attitude of non-attachment, to objects and to ideas, but to do so might give it more of a flavour associated with Eastern nondualistic approaches than it possibly should have. Similarly, it could also be thought of as surrender, a more monotheistic (dualistic) concept wherein one might declare, "Not my will but Thine".

Both such characterizations would be one-sided, limited, and miss the subtleties and dynamics inherent in Osho's Let-Go. Osho has said about surrender that meditation methods are needed only for those who cannot surrender, giving it at least in this formulation a fairly high status. He also said that surrender to him was easy, but to really explore this aspect of relating to him, they should surrender to Deeksha, who at the time of his saying this was the mad but far-from-egoless, button-pushing Italian Mama who ran the Kitchen and Handyman dept in Pune One.

Was such a pedestalization of surrender intended to be the final word on the subject, when he had also said about obedience that it was a dirty word? That we should never obey anyone, even him, but follow the dictates of our heart? It appeared to be so at the ranch, when surrender seemed to be the key quality that ideal disciples should embody. He was in silence for over three years and this set up what was one of his greatest Devices, a large-scale experiment in exploring issues of surrender, trust, power and authority with him "out of the way" and his hand-picked abrasive secretary Sheela apparently his intermediary.

We know how the ranch turned out. And when it all came a-tumblin' down, we had a chance to examine our hearts, our relationship with Osho and all our preconceptions in these large, important and fairly incompatible areas. How did we do?

Meanwhile, Let-Go. How to say something directly about it? Inspiration is not coming, so we'll have to settle (for now) for hints and what it is not exactly. It overlaps profoundly with Freedom, Acceptance and Spontaneity, is very Dialectical and has connections to at least half of Osho's Important Teaching themes listed above. For those who have gone deeply into it, nothing more is needed.

Non-Seriousness

Osho's pro-active promotion of non-seriousness is the strongest such presentation in the annals of spirituality. It has many aspects, including his notorious jokes, laughter as sacred experience, and a prevailing attitude profoundly different from that of any major spiritual teacher. His contribution in this field has been unique and important. So:

1. Attitude: In many religious traditions, seriousness has been widely touted as praiseworthy and desirable. Inasmuch as it was connected with sincerity, this was understandable, but this connection is not necessary for either a healthy sincerity or a healthy, whole spiritual life. In decoupling them, Osho has created the possibility of a sincerity that is playful and light, a win-win situation, and leaving a decoupled seriousness to fend for itself in the spiritual marketplace. And guess what? It hasn't much to recommend it. Now nobody wants it except those still attached to traditional ways. It is a revolution.

Non-seriousness undergirds and pervades all Osho's teaching. Concepts are floated to be savoured or to debunk other concepts -- see also Inconsistency -- but no ideology is made of them, except by those who want to make ideologies. He declares himself to be absurd, a madman, and his people's participation with him the Master-and-Disciple game, or MAD game.

2. Laughter: No one has gone as far as Osho in developing both the theory and practice of laughter. Laughter is both the means to an end -- exploding into no-mind -- and the end itself. It is immediate and experiential. And Osho has made it a keystone of one of his most important meditations, Mystic Rose. He says, among many other things:

Laughter has never been used as a meditation. I may be the first person who is using laughter as a meditation. Jokes have never been used as part of a spiritual transformation -- I may be the first person! -- but they can be used; they are tremendously refreshing.

Laughter is a great medicine. It is a tremendously powerful therapy. If you can laugh at your own unconscious, the unconscious loses its force. In your very laughter your guilt, your wounds, disappear.

Laughter is the very essence of religion. Seriousness is never religious, cannot be religious. Seriousness is of the ego, part of the very disease. Laughter is egolessness.


3. Jokes: Osho's first jokes in his talks were Mulla Nasruddin jokes, ie Sufi "teaching jokes". Nasruddin was a semi-mythical Sufi figure who acted as a pompous religious buffoon in order to help his people see into their own pretensions. These traditional jokes were collected by Idries Shah and augmented by some newly minted ones.

With Mulla, jokes were "clean", ie non-scatological, and not usually directed at other parties. In Pune One, they still included Mulla but branched into edgier jokes at the expense of famous people, usually what came to be known as the worst kind of people, priests and politicians. These were especially Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Morarji Desai, Mother Teresa and "Pope the Polack". And more and more, a cast of Osho's own mythical figures, Gorgeous Gloria, Hymie Goldberg, Hamish McTavish, Ma Papaya Pineapple, Paddy and Seamus, Fathers Fumble and Finger, Leroy, Little Ernie and many more appeared, to embody ethnic, sexual and other stereotypes. Nothing was off-limits, so that buttons could be pushed to the max, and if some real people inside and outside took offense, that was grist for the mill. And offense or not, there was always an opportunity to see ourselves in the people he was ridiculing.

Besides seeing ourselves, one reason for the jokes was illustrated by this Yatri cartoon, to catapult us into an altered consciousness. Another reason might have been along these lines: No matter how many times Osho said not to take him seriously, it was inevitable that we would, since his talks inevitably play with conceptual content. In the attempts to absorb and process this content, some would get tense or fall asleep. At least falling asleep was permitted as a non-serious response, as long as you didn't snore.

For the effects of conceptual overload, jokes were the perfect remedy. I remember another cartoon but could not find it, depicting Osho talking, surrounded by a sea of snores, looking exasperated, then saying something like, "I have heard, a rabbi, a vicar and a priest ..." or "There once was an Englishman ... ", clearly launching into a joke, with everyone snapping into wide awakeness. Ah this.

Osho explains how jokes work on several occasions. This is one such, from The Path of the Mystic, ch 40:

Laughter naturally comes as a thunder comes - suddenly. That is the very mechanism of a joke, any simple joke. Why does it make people laugh? What is the psychology of it? It builds up a certain energy in you; your mind starts thinking in a certain way as you are listening to the joke, and you are excited to know the punch line - how it ends. You start expecting some logical end - because mind cannot do anything else but logic - and a joke is not logic. So when the end comes it is so illogical and so ridiculous, but so fitting, that the energy you were holding in, waiting for the end, suddenly bursts forth into laughter. Whether the joke is great or small does not matter: the psychology is the same.

No-Mind -- not developed yet

Mystery -- not developed yet

Trust and Doubt

Trust and doubt are not exactly opposite polarities but in many ways and spheres they can function as such. Broadly, doubt functions in the area of science and the outer world, including the areas of cultural, ideological and religious tenets. Doubt is open-ended inquiry. Doubt is not disbelief, it is declining to believe or disbelieve, not holding something as true without actual experience of its truth. It is thinking for yourself. It is thus a useful debunking tool, to counter rubbish that authorities foist on others, including parents on their children. Material that has been instilled / installed without proper investigation (conditioning) can be removed with an intelligent doubt process.

Trust is more mysterious. It functions in the inner world. It is not to be confused with belief, but to assert much directly about it risks fatuity, so ... Just as doubt has its useful extension into the inner world, helping us to process hindrances in our psychology, trust can function "usefully" (happily) in the outer world. In fact they can function together, in ways not easily elucidated. Doubt is separative, analytical, trust unitive. One who is comfortable with both can develop a knack of knowing in any given moment which is the appropriate mode. Rather than go on with generalities, perhaps it is better at this point to look at a more specific exploration, the Doubt and Trust page, which grew out of examining a particular assertion made by WiaO.

Inconsistency

Osho is famous for his inconsistency, which is deeply connected to other aspects of his teachings. Where it stands on its own is as a tool for countering the tendency to create mind-systems, especially philosophical ones. These systems invariably rely on logic and rationality to "make sense of" enlightenment, the "ultimate truth" and so on, essentially the tools of science, which are simply inadequate for the job.

So Osho undermines the building blocks of would-be systems with inconsistent statements, When the rules of logic are applied to these statements, they destroy each other, they cancel each other out, and the would-be system-builder is left with ashes. The system-builder's only recourse is to be selective with Osho's statements, which cannot even come close to comprehending the whole picture, and which Osho specifically warned against, more than almost anything else.

He says he is absurd, a madman, a drunkard, but do they listen?

Emptiness -- Terrifying or a beautiful basis for all that is precious? Or both?

Purposelessness -- "Life is not going somewhere. It is just going for a morning walk". This beautiful little dictum applies in two overlapping areas, purposelessness and spiritual ambition. The morning walk is not something you do to accomplish something else. It is rewarding in itself. There is no destination, no goal.

Science

With Osho, science is the most appropriate way to approach the "objective world". It is the outer-world counterpart of the spiritual search in the inner world. Its methods, of doubt, analysis and logic just generally work better than non-rational methods in understanding objective phenomena, stuff "out there". Which is not to say that Science can explain everything in that domain, nor that non-rational methods can never even occasionally work better. Some great examples of how this can work are explored in an article in Psychology Today, featuring everyone's favourite scientist, Albert Einstein. He says, among many other things, that "All great achievements of science must start from intuitive knowledge".

Since science's methods are inherently dualistic, its applicability in the inner realms is limited. But this does not negate its usefulness outside that area. In fact, its findings exposing religious and cultural superstitions are very useful and much appreciated by Osho, as is its potential to bring prosperity and make the world a beautiful place. He calls real religiousness a luxury, in that one can set out on the spiritual journey only after basic material needs are met. See also Zorba the Buddha.

Celebration -- not developed yet

Ordinariness

Osho is extraordinary in his ideas about ordinariness and how they apply, in the sense that all ambitions / desires / intentions to be or achieve something extraordinary or special are seen as at best a spiritual treadmill, mind stuff to be seen through, etc. There are no special qualities or states that are prerequisites to enlightenment and hankering for such will usually be counterproductive in any process leading to awakening. No siddhis, psychic powers, no nuthin'.

The rejection of specialness includes the kind of specialness flogged by purveyors of traditional religion in their renunciations, of sex and material well-being. The glorifications of poverty and celibacy inherent in repressive renunciations are not for him. "Conquering" normal human desires in this way he calls perversions. This kind of ordinariness is dealt with in its own section, Zorba (for "Zorba the Buddha").

Osho's "position" on all this is fairly unusual, as most spiritual leaders are selling some kind of specialness, otherwise where is their market niche, where is the bait to attract seekers, what can they hang on the hook of ambition? He is not flogging an esoteric, secret highest teaching available only to the worthiest disciples who have studied for years. Nor, to their credit, are his org, even those who have promulgated WiaO. Ordinariness and affluence may be the teachings with which they are most in tune.

Devices

"Devices" refers to the tricks, koans, situations, methods and so on a master uses to wake up his people. Osho has talked about devices, explaining their function, possibly more than any previous master, certainly more than any in the modern / post-modern age. For those who enjoy infinite regressions, that too can be viewed as a device. There are 238 hits for {device* + master} in the CD-ROM, nearly all of them germane, and many more also germane with "device*" alone.

The classic practitioners of the art of the device have been Zen and Sufi masters, particularly the Naqshbandi school, where George Gurdjieff got many of his ideas. Osho's stories about them include Nansen pouring overflowing tea for a visiting intellectual whose head was similarly overflowing with ideas about the path; Gurdjieff's filling his devotees up with rich food and alcohol until they lost their cultured ways and inhibitions, or telling them to dig a hole and then fill it back in; Milarepa's master Marpa getting him to build and take down one house after another. And so on.

Among Osho's most frequent references to devices are:
1. His sannyasins' changes of name, which function as subtle or not-so-subtle reminders of our new life.
2. The master as a phenomenon, acting both as a reflection of our highest potential and a guide and a goad to realize that potential.
3. The Master-and-Disciple game (MAD game), a multi-level device which keeps us entertained and both satisfied and dissatisfied, ever on the "journey" to now-here / no-where. Examples for all the above are
below1.
4. A synonym for methods.

Many times, "device" is meant in this last way, and in a significant number of these mentions, Osho makes the point that they are tied to the living presence of the master. The method does not function properly or at all when the master is gone. We may consider that there is enough wiggle room to allow a device to keep working for those who connected with the master while he was alive, but clearly not for those who came later. This observation flies in the face of one of the principal theses of WiaO, that all we need is our (sacred) Walkman, to plug into the Living Silence.

Now obviously such statements from Osho are not sufficient to establish an ideology, since he says otherwise elsewhere, but they are sufficient to cancel WiaO's selective ideology. They make it clear that mgmt's "all we need" mentality is as simplistic as the kindergarten claims of Xianity, that all that is needed is faith in the Lord.

Possibly Osho's most fascinating and open-ended type of commentary on devices concerns situations as devices. These are one-offs, where the master creates something never seen before, for the precise situation he and another person are in. Or he creates a situation, so a person or group can see something. In this category are the classic ones mentioned above; a great one with Eknath is detailed below1. For Osho's devices of this type in his sangha, we have many examples. The therapy groups of Pune One, where a group of ten to a hundred would be thrown together for a few days to interact in an assortment of specified and spontaneous ways. Or work situations. All unique, and a product of the unique interactions of that group of people at that time and his guidance in that context.

Or there was what many consider his greatest situational device, at least in terms of duration and largest number of participants, the Oregon ranch. A device on this scale could only have happened with a number of preconditions, aka the Set-Up. One was his going into silence and being "unavailable" in the former ways. A second was Osho's appointing the ambitious and abrasive Sheela as his secretary, and setting it up that all business and communication with him happened through her. Third was the atmosphere of "surrender" encouraged in Pune One, though few had much idea what it meant. (See also Let-Go.) Fourth was the ever-ongoing talk and expectations about "the new commune", which had been a just-around-the-corner dream for years in Pune, to the point where people wore "in the new commune..." baseball caps as a standing joke. Fifth was the isolation of the ranch, offering both a "freedom" to create a paradise on earth and the absence of a normal social "reality check", aside from the outside pressures (media frenzy, prejudice and suspicion) which arose in reaction to the fairly outrageous presence of Sheela, Osho's 93 Rolls-Royces, sannyasins' collective cult-like appearance and so on.

In the "new commune", finally with a real location and lots of land, his people could really go for it. And what did we go for? Well, we did actually work hard and create a sort of paradise out of a wasteland. That was the upside. The "downside" though, in terms of bad PR, lost investments and general disillusionment, was fairly hefty.

But that's not what we came to talk about here. Beyond all the upside and downside was the equivalent of a massive therapy group to explore our collective and individual relationships with power and authority. Like many well-designed psychological experiments, it depended for its effectiveness on giving the impression of being about something else, while the preconditions set the stage and provided thousands of roles for us to slip into. The lid was off for us to act out our hidden tendencies as authoritarians, sycophants, worker ants and rebels.

This was the mega-device that was the ranch. Millions of dollars and people-hours down the drain, and the PR -- can you say, "Salmonella"? -- was sufficiently horrendous that many people left Osho. Just as he created devices to attract people, so he created them for the occasional dispersing of the many there for the wrong reasons, like when he alienated people overly attached to Gandhi.

The people who remained with him after this PR debacle and the chaotic "World Tour" were a more committed "core", and now they had absorbed some lessons about trust, power and authority, which theoretically would stand them in good stead for when Osho left his body only a few years later.

And how well did this theory work out? Opinion is divided on that, as it is divided on the value of mgmt and its functioning. This page, or even this site, are not the place for a deep general look at that, which in any case is still in progress. But did we learn the so-called lessons of the ranch? Did the device function as intended?

We will approach this question by first quickly considering the general question of his devices and strategies. Osho explains what he is doing possibly more than any master in history, and not just because he has talked more. He has been very open about his processes when it suits his purpose, which has been often, of course after the fact, since for a device to work, it is best not understood as such until later.

But he talked about this as a phenomenon so much that it became common for sannyasins to ask if something was a device, some process they had been through or pattern they were seeing. This got forgotten during his years of silence -- which was also a device :-) -- so that when it came time to understand the ranch, it was not in these terms.

He did not dwell on it, but the most immediate, succinct and big-picture explanation of the ranch's dynamics was this, quoted by Sangeet in her letter addressing what she saw as an analogous (abuse of authority) situation in 2000:

"People have been asking me how it happened that five thousand people, almost all university graduates, having the best qualifications from the best universities of the world, could not see for four years.

"The reason is, Sheela was not only doing something ugly and fascist, she was also creating the commune. She was also making the desert into an oasis. She was making the commune comfortable in every way. Every coin has two sides.

"So you looked at the light side. And you were surrounded—which Sheela and her group created—with hostility in Oregon. That is a simple political strategy.

"Adolph Hitler, in his autobiography, My Struggle [Mein Kampf], says that if you want a nation to be strong, create enemies all around it; otherwise, people relax. Keep them continuously in paranoia, fearing that there is danger all around.

"And Sheela created that. She created the hostility of the Oregon government. She created the hostility of Americans in general. That made you come close to each other, become strong: ‘Be ready so that nobody can harm you.’

"So, if you don’t take the responsibility, something like that is bound to happen again. History certainly repeats, because man does not learn."

~ from From Bondage to Freedom, ch 4

"Something like that is bound to happen again". And indeed it has happened. Sangeet learned the lesson, as did many, though too few to make a difference. The mass of sannyasins shrugged, either trusting in Osho's "chosen people" or not caring, finding an unassailable shelter under umbrellas of non-seriousness and apoliticality. Some acknowledged the rebel truth but were afraid to risk speaking up.

Later in the same discourse, speaking of a different kind of responsibility, Osho makes a similar point from another angle, that of contributing to the welfare of the commune without an authority figure to "make" them work.

"We are trying to live a different kind of life than in the outside world. So there are only two ways: either the way of Sheela or my way. I had chosen Sheela to be my secretary to give you a little taste of what fascism means. Now, live my way. Be responsible, so that there is no need for anybody to dictate to you."

Osho's later references to the ranch did not offer such über-explanations, dealing rather with details, like Sheela's various perfidies, Krishna Deva, Ava, and so on, and then very soon his arrest and poisoning in jail diverted attention from all that. Lots of devices there too.

The device of the ranch and its resonance with authority issues exhibited by the current regime touch many areas of Osho's important teachings. These include The Rebel, Trust & Doubt, Risk, Courage, Non-seriousness, Freedom, Let-Go and so on. In fact, it would not be an exaggeration to say that all of his teachings intersect here.

Thus, an interesting study could be made of how sannyasins have collectively and individually dealt with resolving these themes (or not) in their lives, and the processes they have gone through. This is not the place for such a study but there is enough personal interest on my part to explore and share my process, so that will be here, when it has been developed.

And maybe that's enough for this section.

Tantra -- not developed yet

Authenticity -- not developed yet

Zorba the Buddha

Zorba the Buddha is one of Osho's most effective memes. His hitching up of Zorba, the ultimate hedonist, with Buddha, in some ways the ultimate anti-hedonist, is simple, original and unique. It made the unification of opposites accessible to the modern age. Previous classic expressions of nirvana-samsara unification were far more abstract. Though they were sublime for those who understood, they were not very accessible.

Osho's formulation makes explicit the unity of being a human animal, without reservation, and at the same time being an aware, spiritual being. When it is seen in this way, we also see that mgmt has not served Zorba well by sending Osho so far into the beyond that he is unrecognisable as a human being. OSHO™ is a kind of ghost. He "does not have a biography". His lectures do not have dates, his books have no publication dates.

How often does he stress his ordinariness, his humanness? It is for our benefit! We can see that if "it happened" for him, it can happen for us. "It" is not just reserved for avatars.

As mentioned in the Ordinariness section, another way to think of Zorba is as an antidote to the perversions that result almost inevitably from indulging in what used to be a standard-issue requirement of "spiritual life", good old "renunciation" of worldly life, in particular, wealth and sex. These twin renunciations once thought to be essential are more and more coming to be seen as bankrupt, largely as a result of Osho's revolution.

Not only are these renunciations unnecessary, they are harmful in way too many cases. One has only to think of the pedophile priests of the Catholic Church to understand this. And the culture of celibacy and denial in that hidebound institution is so deeply rooted that priests found to be abusing children are hardly disciplined, just shuffled off to another unfortunate parish, where more children will be sacrificed to ideology.

The culture of poverty is just as pernicious, though its effects are not seen so dramatically. Osho speaks a lot about how it manifested in India in modern times, under the influence of MK Gandhi. When he first started speaking on this -- and he had been a Gandhian -- he encountered tremendous resistance and even hostility. Gandhism perpetuated poverty as a noble ideal, with millions suffering needlessly as a result.

One of the reasons these renunciations sell is that for most people, attachment to sex and wealth will eventually need to be transcended to "progress" on the spriritual path, for lack of a better term. It was popularly thought and promulgated for centuries that renunciation was the way to get there. It seems logical. To go beyond these things, you "just say No" to them, sort of like the War on Drugs slogan. But it doesn't work. It has failed. The War on Drugs has similarly failed, in fact spectacularly so. The basic reason is that just saying No is psychologically unsound.

No need to go into all the details of those failures. Zorba has arrived. The way to go beyond these obstacles-which-are-not-obstacles is not to deny them but go through them. Live them, celebrate them, and experience directly for yourself that they are not the way to ultimate happiness. See their temporariness.

The same logic applies to drugs too but here Osho's advice is modified. He does not advocate taking drugs. Drugs dull consciousness for the most part and are not a necessary or central part of life the way sex or adequate food are, except for those driven to take drugs for whatever reason. But still for them, "Just say No" will not work. They have to understand why they are taking drugs. For that understanding to arise, some process may first need to happen.

But Zorba . . . Zorba the Buddha means living affluently and totally in the moment, and learning from that. Nothing is to be denied, just experienced with as much awareness as possible.

James Swartz, a critic of Osho who is in the guru business himself, has in part staked out his own market niche by criticizing Osho's sannyasins in this regard. He says somewhat derisively that we "fucked our way to God" (envious?) and after Osho left his body gravitated in large numbers to the then relatively unknown Papaji (Poonjaji), dumbing down his advaita by hitching our hedonistic lifestyle to it, and more or less inventing "neo-advaita" and flooding the market with it.

There certainly is some truth in the notion that some sannyasins went off half-bakedly and became gurus before they were ready, so i will not begrudge him that, though there is also exaggeration. The point here though is not to quibble about any of that, but to note that even with his criticism, he refers to Osho's "brilliant concept 'Zorba the Buddha'," reflecting not only a competitor's grudging acknowledgement of cleverness but an appreciation of the merging of opposites. In fact, Osho's phrase does have its roots in a nondual approach, wherein nothing is to be pushed away as non-sacred. Tantra celebrates all as sacred.

Totality -- not developed yet, may include something about Dynamic Meditation.

Acceptance

For people of the right temperament, this is the lazy person's golden key to the inner treasures that are everyone's birthright. No struggle, no effort, just accept. Is this a vegetative position, suitable only for the stupefied and terminally obsequious? Is it a sell-out? Not at all. Acceptance can be vital and viable without abandoning discrimination or intelligence, and it has its nuances and paradoxes to navigate.

The "anthem" of acceptance is "Just Say Yes". As the name suggests, this song can be nicely contrasted with the anti-drug "anthem", Just Say No. The contrast is worth exploring. This is of course not to say that Just Say Yes is a drug song.

Just Say No is repressive. Its simplistic methodology is to ignore and over-ride the unconscious imperatives which impel people to abuse alcohol and drugs. Despite its superficially life-affirmative stance -- in that it is encouraging people to reject drugs and get on with their lives -- the No position is basically life-negative, not unlike the anti-abortionist's "pro-life" spin. It puts all its eggs in the basket of will, a highly over-rated force that will almost always fail when put up against all that life has arranged. Understanding and insight are of no value in this approach.

The Yes position is saying yes is to life and love (and to laughter and the blessings of the master, while we're here). It is by inference not repressive. It has a grand enough vision of life to know that No is not excluded. Therefore it is also saying Yes to the "negative" spaces that arise.

So how does this work? The two basic possibilities regarding an "outside" situation are accepting it or rejecting it. Obviously, if it is in keeping with a flowing and harmonious response from the affected individual, acceptance is just what happens naturally. If a Yes is not easily forthcoming, must one on the path of acceptance force hirself to say yes? No, there are options, and whichever is most harmonious for the affected individual can be adopted, and all options have an element of acceptance.

The options are two, to keep it simple:

1. Say Yes to the situation provisionally, as an experiment. This allows the resolution of the situation to retain a non-repressive aspect, replacing a suppression of the No with a conscious choice and openness to learn. Both the consciousness and the openness facilitate an ease with the situation and do not just shove away the No into the dark corners of one's being, where it may fester.

2. Say No. This is also a perfectly viable and honourable option. It IS a non-acceptance of the outside situation but here the angle is to view it as honouring the response of the being. Acceptance still exists in the whole situation, and is found in in saying Yes to oneself.


Similarly, regarding "inside" situations, it will arise in any seeker's journey from time to time that we encounter within ourselves something that we don't like. An internal conflict, all is not in harmony. Self-judgments arise. In such situations, Osho's guidance is even more emphatic: accept, for many sound reasons. We don't have to act on "unworthy" impulses, we can just watch them without repressing, denying, etc. By just watching, we are not creating further messes, we are allowing the stream2 to clear by itself, without interfering. Not accepting creates divisions in ourselves, setting one aprt against the other. In the end, we cannot become aware of aspects of ourselves if not accepting them.

It can be seen that some kind of acceptance can be found in any situation, and aligning with it as an important aspect of the situation becomes ever more natural and empowering for those suited to this path. Not only does finding and aligning with acceptance make life in the phenomenal world more harmonious, it also makes the journey of discovering one's nature easier.

So accept! This is a win-win-win way to go for those suited to it. That it is Osho's way can be seen in the thousands of instances recorded in his books where he is guiding people in this way, not always explicitly, but time and again, he will bring the one who has come to him with a question or problem to a position of acceptance.The seeker is beautiful and perfect as s/he is. If Osho accepts me as i am, how can i not?

It is not known how much this element of Osho's work is being imparted in the Resort. It is not something that can be done systematically or ideologically. I suspect though, that if it were being imparted whole-heartedly, Osho's sangha would not be as fragmented as it is, and the Pune / Zürich mgmt team not so isolated. This is of course impossible to prove, since by my own criteria of acceptance, the ways in which it might play out in anyone else's life cannot be ordained by me. Just my feeling.

Spontaneity -- not developed yet

Prayer

Prayer has got associated with asking for favours from God, reflecting a state of neediness and desire, and as such has no place in Osho's approach to religiousness. Since it might have value for some people coming from dualistic traditions wherein an I-Thou relationship can blossom into a deep transformation, Osho has included prayer in his toolbox but given it a very different spin from the standard associations. In Osho's approach, prayer is more akin to gratefulness, but not gratitude for any specific objects or divine favours, rather just an attitude which arises in more or less all circumstances.

It might be said to be a Sufi theme, and while it will have value for certain types, it is not among Osho's teachings offered in Pune. It is a difficult thing to promulgate without the traditional meanings, connotations and just plain baggage getting grafted onto it. Osho could pull it off; the Pune Resort doesn't even want to try, and that may be just as well.

Meritocracy

Meritocracy is not a "spiritual teaching".  It is strictly a prescription for the promotion and maintenance of a more civil and just society, devised to prevent such excesses of "democracy" as the election of Donald Trump in 2016 or what happened in the Weimar Republic in the 1930s. Osho calls democracy "mobocracy", based on his observation that, since we are unconscious, our "choices" can be manipulated by unscrupulous wannabe leaders who pander to our unconscious resentments. As if the "solution" to all our problems will be to kill all the Jews or build a wall along the Mexican border. And these wannabe leaders are also unconscious, driven by ambition and resentments and so on. Besides preventing these extremes of democracy, meritocracy will also encourage the evolution of society towards a more humane and conscious treatment of each other and of the earth.

So, like, cool!, but what is it and how do we get there? Isn't democracy the freest system? Less freedom doesn't look like a good thing, does it?

Osho says, in many ways and places, that democracy was an improvement on previous authoritarian systems but its limitations have become clear, and there is a better way. The broad outlines of his proposal are that people will still be voting for their leaders but:

1. Everyone who wants to vote must have attained a certain level of education.
2. Those who run for office will need a higher standard of education, the higher the office, the higher the education.
3. People who run for or get appointed to specific jobs in gov't such as education minister or health minister should have appropriate expertise in those fields.
4. Aside from such specialized posts, there is no need for particular forms of higher education, eg in an arts-vs-science sense. Any sufficiently high-level education in any field will do, because . . .
5. Included in all forms of higher education will be two new items added to the syllabus, deprogramming and meditation.
6. Deprogramming will remove bias, to help students be free of unfounded beliefs and other obstacles to clear seeing installed earlier in life.
7. Meditation will help students / would-be leaders become acquainted with their inner worth, and free them from the burdens of comparison and ambition.


Variations on these basic themes come again and again in Osho's talks, so there is not a fixed program. It is open for discussion on the details. One fairly thorough and lengthy treatment is in From Misery to Enlightenment, ch 8, where most of the discourse is the answer to one question, "How can the idea of meritocracy be practically realized?"

In one variation on the idea, Osho riffs on the possibility of a convention of the world's intelligentsia, which might include some people who have not literally gone through the required education but otherwise attained to some excellence in their fields, such as novelists. Such a convention could write an international constitution to supersede the usual parochial nationalistic concerns. And so on.

The lost "freedom" in this system referred to above is not actually very much. Current "democratic" systems take the view that sufficient "maturity" to vote or run for office has been conferred more or less automatically by simply aging (to 21 or whatever). As we can imagine, such freedom often (usually?) is more the freedom to be pandered to and manipulated by unscrupulous politicians if the voter has not been prepared. These systems are ripe for abuse and exploitation. And fewer and fewer people actually vote anyway, with the result that the "wisdom of the masses" is illusory, producing obscenities like "President Trump", abetted by a perennially partisan and retrogressive Republican Congress.

Don't get me started. Anyway, in a meritocracy, the right to vote and run for office is a more-or-less equal-opportunity thing, requiring only the commitment of a decent education.

Risk -- not developed yet

Wonder -- not developed yet

Courage -- not developed yet

The Rebel

Osho was from his very childhood a rebel, and remained so his whole life. This characteristic sets him apart from most other religious figures and thus must be considered one of his signature teachings.

In Osho's dictionary, a rebel is someone quite different from a revolutionary. They both have a tendency toward resistance to authority, but there the resemblance ends. The rebel's resistance will come from a native intelligence, not from any ideology or belief structures. And it will be responsive, arising as an organic, conscious and whole response to a whole situation, not reactive. The revolutionary is primarily ideological, with the aim of getting rid of some "bad" people and replacing them with "good" people. Then theoretically, "good" will prevail. Except even the well-intentioned revolutionary has spent more time on theory than on self-examination, so it doesn't work, more or less like in The Who's song, "Don't Get Fooled Again": "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss".

The rebel says, "question authority" and "subvert the dominant paradigm", but has no preconceptions about situations or desired outcomes. And there is no group involved, so "position" within the group is a non-issue. There is no leading and no following. The rebel's concerns will center mainly around questions of truth. If someone's pronouncement does not resonate in the rebel's heart, then questions must be asked, irrespective of that someone's status. But it is not an automatic resisting of authority, it is discriminating. It is steeped in an Acceptance of oneself.

The most interesting aspect of this is that the authority that must be questioned extends sooner or later to one's own mind. Fortunately, the crypto-entity that is the mind is not the real self but only a collection of input from outside authority figures, plus our uninformed reactions to the input, impressions based on limited awareness and so on, so questioning it does not run afoul of acceptance.

How does mgmt's performance stack up with respect to this part of Osho's teachings? Inasmuch as they have become wielders of authority, not so well. And if symbolism is of any significance, they have ditched Rebel as the name of Osho's publishing house, replacing it with the corporate Osho Media International. OTOH, they have just this year (2016) republished Priests and Politicians: The Mafia of the Soul, the archetypal rebel book (although being a compilation, its text cannot be verified so easily . . . :-) A mixed result. How about a C- ?

Footnotes:
  1. The quotes in this first group -- and there are many! -- all relate to the theme of devices . . .

    "Any device can become a barrier too. It may help you to get rid of other things, but finally you have to get rid of it -- and that may be a difficult thing. It was so diffico the tult for Ramakrishna. And that was the last day... never again did he go into the temple. Afterwards he lived three, four years; he simply forgot all about Kali.

    "But there are devices which will not create such a trouble, and there are devices which will fall automatically. The moment when you are reaching to the climax of your being they will simply fall down.

    "I call a master a great master, the perfect master, who creates devices which are going to fall on their own accord when the moment has come for the person to experience the ultimate. Other devices are created by smaller people. Perhaps they don't know that these devices can become attachments themselves.

    "So everything I say is a device. My speaking to you is a device so that you can just be here -- your mind is engaged, listening to me, and something invisible can go on transpiring between me and your hearts. That's the real thing.

    "The words will help the mind to remain engaged. They are like just toys. When you don't want children to disturb you -- you are studying -- you give them toys and they start playing with the toys, so you can do your work or study or do anything you want to do, and the children won't come to you to bother you and ask you questions and this and that.

    "The mind is just like a child.

    "The words are just toys for the mind -- not truths, but simply toys. But while the mind is engaged something can happen from my depth to your depth. You may not understand it, but it will start bringing changes in you, transformations in your being.

    "Sometimes simply sitting silently with me... but then there is always the problem that your mind will disturb you. I have tried sitting in silence with you, and I have seen that the problem is, I can reach your heart less; your mind is disturbing you too much. Speaking seems to be a better device: your mind remains engaged, and once in a while if I give a gap between two words, the mind does not disturb. The mind simply looks and waits: 'What is going to happen? What is going to be said?'

    "And meanwhile the real work is happening. The real work is from my heart to your heart."
    ~from Beyond Psychology, ch 36

    "It is something very significant to remember, that every discipline is a device given by a living master. Every precept is a certain strategy given by a living master; without the master all those devices, precepts, commandments become dead. Then you can go on following them with absolute sincerity, but they will bring only torture and suffering to you and nothing else. Following the dead, you are going to become slowly, slowly dead. Your so-called saints are almost dead, dried up. They have lost touch with life. They have created a thousand and one barriers between themselves and existence and those barriers they call discipline, austerity, religious practice."
    ~from Bodhidharma: The Greatest Zen Master, ch 12

    "Ma Tzu helped far more people to become enlightened than any other master. The end result shows that his devices worked."
    ~ from Ma Tzu: The Empty Mirror, ch 8

    "You may have experimented or you may not have, but thousands of people have experimented and found it correct, that if you want to get up at five o'clock in the morning, just as you are falling asleep, repeat your own name three times and tell yourself 'Svarupo, you have to wake up at five. don't forget -- remember'. Say it three times and fall asleep. You will be surprised: at five o'clock exactly, your eyes open up. A certain undercurrent remained, it worked.

    "That's the whole function of a master: to create a certain undercurrent in you which can help you to wake up. So all kinds of devices are used. To give you a name is also a device. To give it a meaning is a device so that it becomes an undercurrent in you. Whenever anybody calls you Svarupo, something inside you will stir the memory that 'Bliss is my nature', that 'I have not to seek it anywhere else', that 'I have not to seek it at all', that 'I have only to wake up'.
    ~ from Fingers Pointing to the Moon, ch 4

    "Being here with me, learn only the knack of turning in. All the devices are available here. It has never been so. Buddha had only one device. Mahavira had another. In the past each master functioned only through one device, hence his device was useful only for a part of humanity, not for all.

    "My commune is a synthesis of all the paths, hence anybody who comes to my door is welcome. I can help every type of person. All the past devices are available is here, all that have been discovered recently, the present ones, and all that may be discovered tomorrow. What is going to happen tomorrow is already happening here today -- so don't miss the opportunity!"
    ~ from Going All the Way, ch 2

    "There is a famous story in the life of a mystic Eknath. A man used to come to see Eknath, always enquiring about great metaphysical things. One day he came very early in the morning. Eknath asked 'Today you have come so early -- is there something urgent?' The man said 'Yes. I always wanted to ask one thing but I cannot ask it in front of others, so before others come I have come. My question is a little silly, but whatsoever it is, it has been tormenting me for years. Since I have seen you this question has persisted in me and I will not get rid of it unless I ask it, Permit me to ask.'

    "Eknath said, 'You can ask, you could have asked any time! All questions are silly, so it doesn't matter. Ask right now.' The man said 'You look so blissful that even emperors feel jealous of you, but deep inside me a doubt persists: maybe you are just pretending. Maybe inside you are the same as we all are; you are simply acting. Who knows? -- maybe the same desires, the same lust, the same greed, the same anger that haunts us may be haunting you too and you have repressed it. I cannot figure it out, I know it is not right to ask such a question, but what can I do? This goes on and on inside me.'

    "Eknath said, 'I will answer the question, but not right now. Right now I have something more important to say to you and then you can repeat the question and I will answer it. Just let me see your hand.'

    "The sun was rising and Eknath said, 'I just saw your hand... I may forget if I start answering your question, and this seems to be far more urgent, so let me say it first: your time is finished, only seven days more. The line of your age has come to its very end. Today is Sunday; next Sunday as the sun sets you will die. That's all the time that is left for you. Now you can ask what you wanted to ask. Please remind me again, then I can answer you.'

    "The man stood up, he started trembling. He said, 'I am not interested in any question at all. Right now I want to go home.' Eknath said, 'But those questions have been tormenting you for years.' The man said, 'Forget all about that -- who bothers about such things when death is so close?'

    "When he had come just a few moments before, he was young, with great strength; now he was almost old. Within moments it happened. When he went down the steps of the temple he was trembling; he had to take the support of the wall to get down the steps, He reached home, he told the family. Everybody started crying and weeping, he himself was crying and weeping.

    "Those seven days were hell. He stopped eating -- what was the point of eating any more? He stopped talking, he simply lay down on the bed. And when the last day came and the sun was just about to set, he was asking only one question again and again 'How much more time is left for me?'

    "Eknath came. The whole family started weeping and crying and asking Eknath to save him, to do somethings 'You can do miracles -- you are such a great saint.'

    "Eknath said, 'Forget all about this. Don't waste time, there is not much time left -- let me talk to him!' He went in, he said to the man, 'I have to ask you one question: in these seven days has greed, lust, anger ever bothered you?' The man said 'What are you asking a dying man when death is so close? Where is the space for greed, anger, and lust to arise?' Eknath said, 'Then don't be worried -- you are not going to die. I have just answered your question! Get up, forget all about it! -- you will be living a long life. But I know that whether you live seven days or seven years or seventy years or seven hundred years, it makes no difference: death is going to come. Hence do that which is really essential. Since I have become aware of death, all these stupid ideas have disappeared from my being. I have not repressed them -- it is awareness of death that has transformed me.

    "'Get up from your bed, you are not going to die. It was just a strategy to answer you, otherwise you would not have understood.'
    The man was transformed; these seven days were really a master device. The man touched Eknath's feet and told his family 'Now I have to become a disciple of Eknath, I cannot go on letting you think that I am dying. In fact I am dead: the man who used to be has died within these seven days. I am a totally new man, because now my enquiry is different, my interest is different; now I move inwards'."
    ~from The Imprisoned Splendor, ch 21

    "Bliss is possible only if you become a disciple. The process of becoming a disciple is the process of renouncing the ego. Ego is the cause of all misery. Once ego is surrendered there is nothing to prevent you from becoming blissful. The master-disciple relationship is only a device, a strategy to help the disciple to drop the ego. It is very difficult to drop it by yourself, all alone. It is possible, it is not impossible. Once in a while it has happened but those are exceptions and exceptions only prove the rule.

    "The rule is that you will need a certain device to support you, to help you because to drop the ego means to become so vulnerable, so insecure, so open that one becomes frightened, one again closes up, one again clings to the ego because you don't know anything else except the ego. Dropping the ego is like death. It is possible only in a deep love affair with a master that slowly slowly you can gather courage. As your trust in the master grows, it becomes possible for you to risk. And the moment you are ready to risk the ego, bliss starts flowing from every nook and corner of existence towards you. It is the rock of ego that prevents bliss from reaching to you."
    ~ from No Man is an Island, ch 14

    This last little snippet on devices is a joke, ostensibly presenting an unusual device of a mystery master. It is embedded in the delightful answer to a question from Pune One about devices. The whole answer is a good read and is easily found using a certain word in the punch line, the only time Osho has used that word:

    "A man with a rosary around his neck, wearing a hooded cloak and sandals, carrying a begging bowl and with a long white beard, was surrounded by a crowd in a certain town. They clamored for his blessings and he led them to the top of a hill where he sat in silence for several hours.

    "Finally someone approached timidly and asked him to address them.

    "'I know that you have all been waiting for the words of the Great Teacher so-and-so,' he said, 'and I hope that his visit to this town, which is now over, has conferred the customary blessings upon it. But my own job is now finished, as he will have passed through the streets in our absence....'

    "'Then who are you?' shouted a frenzied worshipper.

    "'Me? Oh, I am the decoy....'"
    ~ from Be Still and Know, ch 8

  2. "Stream" here is of course the stream of consciousness. It also alludes to one of Osho's most-loved stories, told many times. This version is from The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 10, ch 4:

    "One day Buddha is passing by a forest. It is a hot summer day and he is feeling very thirsty. He says to Ananda, his chief disciple, 'Ananda, you go back. Just three, four miles back we passed a small stream of water. You bring a little water -- take my begging bowl. I am feeling very thirsty and tired.' He had become old.

    "Ananda goes back, but by the time he reaches the stream, a few bullock carts have just passed through the stream and they have made the whole stream muddy. Dead leaves which had settled into the bed have risen up; it is no longer possible to drink this water -- it is too dirty. He comes back empty-handed, and he says, 'You will have to wait a little. I will go ahead. I have heard that just two, three miles ahead there is a big river. I will bring water from there.'

    "But Buddha insists. He says, 'You go back and bring water from the same stream.'

    "Ananda could not understand the insistence, but if the master says so, the disciple has to follow. Seeing the absurdity of it -- that again he will have to walk three, four miles, and he knows that water is not worth drinking -- he goes.

    "When he is going, Buddha says, 'And don't come back if the water is still dirty. If it is dirty, you simply sit on the bank silently. Don't do anything, don't get into the stream. Sit on the bank silently and watch. Sooner or later the water will be clear again, and then you fill the bowl and come back.'

    "Ananda goes there. Buddha is right: the water is almost clear, the leaves have moved, the dust has settled. But it is not absolutely clear yet, so he sits on the bank just watching the river flow by. Slowly slowly, it becomes crystal-clear. Then he comes dancing. Then he understands why Buddha was so insistent. There was a certain message in it for him, and he understood the message. He gave the water to Buddha, and he thanked Buddha, touched his feet.

    "Buddha says, 'What are you doing? I should thank you that you have brought water for me.'

    "Ananda says, 'Now I can understand. First I was angry; I didn't show it, but I was angry because it was absurd to go back. But now I understand the message. This is what I actually needed in this moment. The same is the case with my mind -- sitting on the bank of that small stream, I became aware that the same is the case with my mind. If I jump into the stream I will make it dirty again. If I jump into the mind more noise is created, more problems start coming up, surfacing. Sitting by the side I learned the technique.'

    "'Now I will be sitting by the side of my mind too, watching it with all its dirtiness and problems and old leaves and hurts and wounds, memories, desires. Unconcerned I will sit on the bank and wait for the moment when everything is clear.'

    "And it happens on its own accord, because the moment you sit on the bank of your mind you are no longer giving energy to it. This is real meditation."