Loose Ends

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 deals mainly with material already addressed in the Main Page but not fitting into the space limitations of that page. Too lengthy to fit in there, too short for their own pages, less shallow and more substantial than the material in Rhetoric, the perfect light reading! (If you've read the appropriate section in the Main Page.)

Contents / Topics
Nothing but Ourselves
"Primary School"
"Disembodied Master"

Trademark

The Authors

Nothing but Ourselves

The antecedent for the comments in this section is the Sacred Walkman section of the Main Page of the WiaO deconstruction. At this point, this mini-article is not yet developed enough to present, so it will have to wait, sorry, but not much :-)

"Disembodied Master"

About the continuance of a master-disciple process after Osho's leaving the body, the Main Page makes the point about mgmt's irresponsible failure to distinguish between new people and existing sannyasins and offers an Osho quote in support of that continuance. It must be stressed that any such quote should be understood to demonstrate only a possibility, not to exclude the validity of other possibilities, even apparently contrary ones. Anyone who chooses or feels to go in the direction of independence from the master is welcome to go there without judgment or invalidation. Choices and agendas taken in this deconstruction are only to keep open and valid possibilities rejected by mgmt on the basis of their selective Osho quotes (in the service of their restrictive and exclusive ideology).

Resuming the exploration of
the continuance of a master-disciple process here: there is no model within Osho's sannyas concerning this situation, so we are all working it out as we go along. An instructive example can be found outside sannyas but not part of a "dead tradition" to illustrate the validity of such a continuance. Osho's contemporary Nisargadatta Maharaj is widely celebrated in the neo-advaita world for teaching a pure, even fiercely non-dual, devotion-free approach to spirituality, yet he himself kept a small picture of his deceased guru and would do a small puja every day with this picture. He saw no contradiction or dualism in this practice, nor, we contend, would Osho.

One more new angle on this:
From Bhagwan to Osho: The Story in Sannyas Wiki tracks, among other things, the times and ways Osho speaks about the usage of "Osho" in the Japanese Zen tradition. Throughout those talks, in Jan and Feb 1989, Osho indicates it is a very loving and reverential term. In particular, he  talks about Ungan's reverential use of it when addressing his master Yakusan, even though by the time of the reported conversation, Ungan is also enlightened. Osho is showing us the validity of a reverence for the master that persists through enlightenment, death and all such passages. That reverential usage is likely another reason mgmt prefers the William James story to the actual Japanese Zen origin of Osho's name, since of course that usage is now anathema, down the tube with the master-disciple relationship.

"Primary School"

Much has been said about this condescending term. We might observe that while Osho can be condescending and cutting when speaking in general terms or about religious and political "authorities", he is rarely so when addressing an individual and never when speaking about "his people". So when we come to the sweeping dismissiveness embodied in "primary school", mgmt's language is fairly jarring.

Attitudes like this can be seen again and again in the spiritual world: All the great secrets, the esoteric material formerly reserved for advanced students, are widely available in the spiritual marketplace. So one fine day, the advanced disciple meditator hits on a conceptual "answer" for all occasions and bingo! The elite (aka me) know, and the plodding crowd (aka you) don't. One hesitates to call it arrogance1, but since mgmt is arrogating
1 to itself the prerogative1 of making basic spiritual decisions on behalf of other sannyasins, explicitly overstepping the mandate given to them by Osho, it is hard to think of a better word. It would be breathtaking if it were not so common.

Osho also says that "the truth" is so simple that only a child can understand it, but when he says it, he is coming from a place of caring and acceptance, not invalidation and judgment. And he is not making the child the beginner and the mature student advanced. Yes, he talks about becoming free from dependence on the master, and he even talks about a new model where the master is just a friend. So we can just keep an eye on the tendency in ourselves to remain dependent. That tendency of course exists, but for few of us it will be the most significant barrier to awakening, since it can be watched. Pretending that it doesn't exist, which is certainly one place this attitude will end up, will not help at all.

Trademark

One more thing needs to be said about trademark. This addresses mgmt's core rationale, regardless of their real intentions. The point of trademark is supposedly to keep Osho 24-karat gold, to prevent unscrupulous "others" from using his good name and passing their vision off as "real Osho". Many sannyasins, including myself, may have trusted them on this, giving them the benefit of the doubt.

Now many years have passed and that trust seems to have been misplaced. Even assuming the best intentions, too much damage has been done to other sannyasins' vision and ability to share Osho in ways different from mgmt's way. Mgmt's willingness to infringe on others has not produced the best possible results. Osho's multidimensional approach has been reduced to one dimension. He talks so much about East and West being partial . . . mgmt's approach contains elements of East and West but the partiality of its one dimension is no different. One dimension is simply not enough to sustain a viable legacy. One easy way to expand that is to back off on the harassing.


The Authors

"The Authors" here refers to the author(s) of WiaO. Readers of this deconstruction may have noticed that the authors' self-references have been mostly edited out when parts of WiaO are cited. Even the pronoun "I" has been removed or replaced with "we". This has been strictly for the purpose of making the deconstruction non-personal, to reduce as much as possible a taint of ad-hominem. In fact, only one name
, Sw Prem Amrito, is officially attached as an author to WiaO, perhaps to make it more non-institutional, but it is assumed that this has not been an independent action and it has been endorsed and even had input from others in upper mgmt, hence we have referred to "the authors" plural.

All efforts
have been made to avoid attributing motivation or psychological or personality issues to the authors. Where motivation has been speculated upon, even indirectly, it is intended to refer to the institutional direction that appears to have been taken.

If any personal invective has crept into this deconstruction, it is unintended; let it be known that we hold Amrito personally in high regard, even though he and his colleagues have signed on to this alteration of history and undertaken the severe narrowing of Osho's legacy. In fact, Amrito is remembered fondly as heartful, charming and generous.

That said however, the 1998 version of Amrito as the named author of WiaO seems to be a very different person from the one who addressed the sannyasins gathered on Jan 20 1990.  We cannot hold anyone to account for their "failure" to stay the same over such a long period; it is the historical alterations and distortions of Osho we are concerned with here. We can only marvel at Amrito's apparent metamorphosis.

Footnotes:
  1. Note the same root rog- in all three words, from the Latin rogare, to ask, demand, propose, etc. See wordinfo.info for a nice look at all the words derived from rog-.