I am a little unfair to the Osho group. But this post is perhaps misleading. The potential of the Osho spectrum is immense and doesn’t have much to do with contacting his sannyasins at his ashram. This potential will reveal itself over time with an important set of questions: how can a movement of sannyasins based on sanskrit names generalize to larger world? Such questions actually betray the false consciousness of religion formation. The real issue here is 1. the creation of a library of information on spiritual subjects, and 2. the possibility of practical work on that basis. The creativity of the spiritual domain won’t feed repetition, so what the future holds is unclear.
It might help if someone else took the next step, but that seems unlikely, just yet.
Paul’s stupid remarks are frustrating, but, sadly, a warning of the way the world will judge Osho unfairly. The new movement is at desperation point. It has lost almost everyone.
My suggestions about Osho were to the effect that he was a straightforward Indian spiritual teacher, who happened to discuss Gurdjieff very briefly. Then along come idiots like Paul who want to mix the two.
The saddest verdict will be the dumping of Osho’s attempt to create a new way for the future.
People who dish out Gurdjieff propaganda should list a single case where his teaching has succeeded, produced anything, or clarified anything. Meanwhile hundreds of thousands of people are converts to enneagram bullshit. And Gurdjieff didn’t even care if he wrecked the spiritual life of the majority. All the better to destroy the populace. The esoteric teaching is for hidden fascists I guess..
The issues of Gurdjieff and then EJ Gold are fairly putrid, and the issue with Gold to conclude commentary on that score is the alarming way he seems to revive the old stereotypes against Jews and seem to give them some evidence.
Centuries of paranoid gentiles have made astonishing charges of occult malice against Jews, and just at the point where this paranoia has been dismissed on the borderline to a golden age of philosemitism along comes Gold confirming the stereotypes against Jews with some really humdinger strealth Jewish villainy.
This is strange. Gold is not stupid. It must be an attempty to manufacture antisemites. As warned, the fascist jews are a bit tricky: it must be their sufi milieu that evokes this.
Let’s not get paranoid: so far all we have seen is the dry rot in Xtianaity and Judaism, and finally sufism, driving these traditions into the ground.
The current Osho movement seems stalled, and not having ever visited the Indian compound I am not in a position to evaluate anything. The current regime now charges $20 a day just to enter the grounds of the ashram. That’s a long way from a communal/communist ethos. I don’t think such issues are decisive.
We are talking about a movement that could without much trouble become a study area for a communist movement. The Osho format would be ideal for that. But a full lineage of 24 enlightened teertankers/buddhas would be hard to bring off. But India did in once already millennia ago.
Compare it with a living tradition of opera: the immense scale of operations, the core of which is the training of singers, is a considerable task, to say the least. A lineage of 24 buddhas (hopefully with thousands and thousands of realized disciples) would be no mean feat.
Maybe a commando squad of neo-communist sannyasins could simply take over the ashsram in Poona in a commando raid, and open the doors to a few rupees entry fees.
We had a set of posts at Darwiniana on this: the point to be recast here (the world religion, the virtual church of the holy brick was a blessed non-starter) is that our critique of monotheistic religions last week, next to a plug for an Osho style spiritual movement fails to reckon with the intensive energy behind monotheism, despite its lack of any solid content.
The crux of the issue is the different ‘paths of being’, as in buddhism and the Indian paths of enlightenment, and the ‘paths of will’ that characterize the monotheistic religions. The problem is that man’s will is weak and vulnerable and cannot resolve itself in action without some kind of ‘higher power’. So the path of will is hardly that! The paths of the buddhist sort are the opposite, they work toward the negation of the will, in the path beyond manifestation. Nothing is that simple, and both paths assimilate a little bit of the other.
The point is that a larger spiritual context after the fashion of Indian yogas is confronted with the potency of the monotheistic religions. \
we need a way to be able to reach a mediation point between the two…not so simple….
More on this later…
Get the point: no real lineage is possible with Gurdjieff style gangsters: the temptation to create an esoteric delicatessen for an elite would be too strong, and that is the worst kind of nauseating fake spirituality, sufism as its absolute worst. It is disgusting.
So the question must be asked: why is everyone confusing Gurdjieff and Osho? Osho was clear: he was initially enthusiastic, and, apparently, a close reader of Ouspensky, but it is clear from his later comments that he became less than enthusiastic, and saw him as a failure. I am very leery of trying to speak for anyone else here. But the issue won’t go away.
Gurdjieff made it clear he wasn’t enlightened. That puts him in another category beside Osho. His teaching is not clear as to its intent. Its ethics is dubious, and its success rate so far is almost zero. The guru ratings website (one of Osho’s sannyasins) puts E.J. Gold in place as a successor, but that is bullshit, more of the fawning before Jewish figures who are given a green light without any careful thought.
But the question arises: was Osho actually honest? Is there something we have missed? The problem is muddled by endless false charges and accusations all of which are hard to sort out.
What was proposed here last week was the equivalent of a world religion (but better than that, not in that exhausted category) based on an analog of the Jain sequence of 24 teertankers, in place at the Osho compound, or elsewhere… An exciting possibility that could help Indian to showcase their spirituality without the entanglement of Hindu complications, and cultural degenerations. The latter is a kind of rich topsoil of decaying spiritualities and to this day produces more realized men than buddhism, or so I suspect. But it is getting to be a burden even for Indians, and we see Osho’s impatience with it. The problem was not hard to solve, and he solved it with a new framework outside the Hindu line: he wasn’t a Hindu in that sense.
The point here is crucial. If we can’t trust Osho beyond the level of Gurdjieff, and if Gurdjieff agents are going to try and enter the Osho sphere to extend the sufi slave trade, all bets are off, and we have to abandon the Osho context.
And the path to enlightenment remains unclear: the ‘guru’ factor can be false, and the ‘destruction of ego’ another profitable occult ripoff. I suspect the real path is nearly free of gurus, with a few intersections and interactions with realized men. I don’t really know. The problem is that the ‘negation of the will’, if it comes from the outside, instead of being an autonomous meditation, ends up being a road to zombiehood, not enlightenment. The guru/disciple relationship can turn into a farce.
But the project envisioned in the context of the Osho framework can’t be the kind of Fagin operation inevitable with Gurdjieff types.
So the question lingers, who was Osho and what is his true nature?
Paul, get with it. These mealy mouthed comments trying to restore the cred of Gurdjieff and match him with Osho are counterproductive. I having been trying to consider a future constellation of sannyasin neo-buddhists in an immense new lineage, not my idea, but a hope for future teachers.
But if Osho is in cahoots with or on the level of people like Gurdjieff, then that possibility will prove barren, and dangerous for those might get caught in an esoteric deception.
Our discussion of the place of the Reformation in modernity is important and tricky, and not the way the current set of secularists are thinking. I tend to agree with the secularists, in some ways, but the model shows the dynamics involved. The early part of the Reformations has amplified to swamp its own conclusion in the period of the Enlightenment and German Classical philosophy, and, indeed, communist leftism, marxist or not.
And I have been complicating the discussion with plug for the Osho phenomenon, because I was asked to try it out, butwhich can’t at first seem to do justice to the whole argument. That’s illustrative, at least, but it also points to the way that a leftist movement could be more adept with the complexity of civilization and also assist the fragile but crucial Indic tradition, which holds a key library of certain aspects of man’s evolutionary history. It needs help against being swamped by the monotheistic juggernaut. The recursion of a new/old Christianity in the modern transition with its Reformation is almost unfair, and an accident of history. The whole richness of the Indic religious legacy is in danger of being swamped by the resurgence of Christianity, the case of Islam being uncertain.
Christianity is a relatively crude religion. Christians believe in a series of historical miracles, of dubious facticity. They go to church, repent their sins, and then go out and re-sin. They indulge the extravagent forms of mythic theism, not indicated necessarily by any tradition. The history of Jesus shows a three year teacher interval followed by his death: no teaching emerged in that hectic period. A garbled version of buddhism in the confusion over a very unhealthy celibacy which turned into a total confusion over sex, an attempt to turn prayer into meditation, and in general a lack of any real program of human development. Behavior is judged by a limited ethical structure and produces the misleading category of saved and damned, etc… The mess of theology is as puzzling as the successful dynamic of expansion. This strange structure was/is far more powerful in its historical dynamics, in part due to its place in our system of transitions, and also its obscure but potent connection with Zoroastrian ‘end times’ mythology which is also a way to energize group action toward a goal. In the book Last and First Men the preface tries to intuit this dynamic in terms of the hyparchic future of J.G. Bennett.
Humanity can’t afford another epoch of the barren Christianity, I will set Islam to one side for a moment. And yet it is already on the way to a considerable global domination. And the original, and crucial distinction of Protestantism, is now fading: Catholicism is essentially a Protestant Church. Something doesn’t ring true here. Monotheism lacks the transparency of something like budhism. It is a set of magical operations constructed by supergnostics, which is about on the level of a Faustian pact with the devil to create a religion that can free you from the devil. Jesus has no further connection to the outcome. It is all ‘Christ’, which is what? It doesn’t work. And our model shows the problem and a solution: Protestant Christianity is only a phase of the Reformation, with its radical Munzerian revolution deleted. The Reformation rapidly moves past the tradition and into a new series of formats, the last of which reinvents the radical Christian communism from its beginning, now in the format of historical materialism, which is an inadequate outcome all over again. And it demands that its members be free of theistic mystifications of freedom and authority.
So our suggestion was that a new universal formation like the Osho combination could both enter the empty nothing of Christian churches with a real spiritual teaching, and/or enter into the last phase of the Reformation as a radical companion to the possible realization of a communist outcome to postcapitalism. All these hopes are likely to remain abstract in the endgame of capitalism in a global calamity. But they just may be able to bring a new exit strategy to the tragedy of economic globalization.
This is a strange and unfair situation: the dynamic of epochs will not pass the old formations. But one of the old formations, Christianity, went through a partial upgrade that is taking off as a new religion for a new age, while its real completion in modernity is sidestepped.
I merely gave a slight plug for ‘Oshoism’ because it a simple solution, already in secular format, for either a replacement or else of new interior context to the empty content of Christianity. And/or, of course, a new radical communism now with a spiritual content.
In the final possibility of outrageous syncretism a form of Oshoism could enter into the Christian/Zoroastrian church dynamics to create a real religion for the first time. It could equally well be a completion of secularism and not religion at all. It is a relevant idea because Oshoism, no ism, is a timely encyclopedia in motion of virtually all the spiritual legacies of man.
We can see that some earlier version of this idea came about in the history of Islam, which allowed an interior subreligion of sufism to emerge. In the modern secular world a more careful yet analogous possibility is conceivable as we have indicated.
The possibilities are immense, but we may see none of them. The momentum of old religions will take up a third of the new era. The grim combinations of scientism, darwinism, economic brainwashing with fake mathematics and the culture/politics of capitalism could sweep the world in a false future, graced by junk Protestantism, a basically archaic form that was strangely given a new modern relaunch. But I think the resolutions indicated here will slowly get their chance of realization. They must be ready with something that works and isn’t a rehash of the blather ideology of the Second Internationale or new age buddhism turned into a cult of fascist gurus.
All this leaves the intriguing question of ‘gurus’ and their ashrams, an archaic formation, but one that can be reborn in a new form. A new supercharged formation of a Oshoism-style ‘santana dharma’, marxism, and communism could create a robust secularism with a religious twist (the descendants of buddhism have almost no conflicts with science), with a lineage of futuristic ‘gurus’ now exemplars, after the fashion of the twenty-four teertankers of Jainism, of the first and last man evolution of homo sapiens, etc… These teertankers emerged at the fringes of society and the Forest. This could even juggle the Zoroastrian ‘end times’ slingshot effect into its action. The point is that the new age movement is a bit old age, and the real new age has to be able to navigate an immense new set of universes of discourse.
Finally this kind of formation needs, as does communism, a correct stance toward the crucial modern democratic revolutions. That is really a problem for communists, who need to resolve the question of democracy in the context of capital domination. An issue needing more discussion…
The format of Osho, unlike the corrupt esoteric labyrinths of buddhism, sufism, and occultisms like rosicrucianism is fresh, direct, practical, modern, egalitarian, and adaptable either to communist/commune style organization or else ‘open society’ secular situations, etc…
The Hidden Path of Modernity
I didn’t really answer Paul’s question…I was a bit tired after a lot of posting last week, almost fifty pages. My point about Schopenhauer was misleading. To see where I am coming from, you can study the post on Israelitism, Judaism, and Christianity. It doesn’t make much sense at first, but it is useful to go through it.
We can see the complexity of the question. The model I am using is about a precise clockwork timing in the sequence effects on religion and general culture, and these are seen in the Axial Age periodization of 900BCE to 600BCE and the modern transition from 1500 to !800+ up to about 1850. Everything revolves around these dates, and anything outside the intervals will be stream effects, without the slingshot effect of the ‘sequence’ interval.
Israelitism and Buddhism (and of course Confucianism) show a ‘sequence’ foundation, while the later outcomes have only a secondary stream status. That’s that, but not the end of the world: it is the context in which religions end up being constructed.
But antiquity in the balanced Axial period saw a set of parallel emergent innovation zones from Greece/Rome to the Middle East to India and China. The world was still short of modern methods of transportation; isolated zones could do analogous things and not collide. Note however that time was running out: globalization was accelerating. Already, note, the Persian/Canaanite outcomes did start to collide with Islam/Christianity. In any case, the modern epoch center of innovation jumps to the Euro-zone, and creates a new universal culture in embryo that will move toward a global culture. Lot to be said there, but let’s look at the modern transition, confusingly isolated in Western Eurasia. In my thinking these transitional areas always move to a new zone. If my thinking is right this had nothing to do with a European civilization, but was instead a case of my ‘stream and sequence’ effect, applied to Europe, a clever move on the chessboard so to speak. A kind of global surprise attack could globalize the planet in a few generations. Over and over brief imperialisms which are terminated asap. Despite the charges of Eurocentrism the modern transition globalized with exceptional speed. Already in Marx’s time the effect was noted, even as people like Marx began to protest the Eurocentric bias of modernity. But in fact we can see that up to our time the global foundation for a future civilization has been laid. The economic domination of the ‘West’ remains, but suddenly in the last generation the center of gravity has begun to move back. It can be helpful to drop the term ‘Europe’ and think in terms of Eurasia, the western Eurasian zone.
To grasp the argument we need to see the almost uncanny clocklike timing of the system in motion. In the modern case the transition ends after 1800 up to about the middle of the century. But the core effect is the seventeenth century up to the French Revolution. It is an almost brutal system: anything outside the core interval will be a stream effect.
Anyway look at the result in the context of religion. We think secularism is anti-religion. But our transformation process faithfully induced a religious reformation, as it always does. This time however it also created a basically different kind of so-called secular culture as the Reformation merged into the Enlightenment and then the whole thing downshifted into a basically modernized Christian format with a culture of science/scientism starting to move to surpass the basic outcome in place. This is very similar to the Greek Axial Age: almost a recursion of the effect. There is a slight inconsistency in the outcome, the effect of trying to induce transformation in a hopelessly complex entity. The outcome is a bit jangled, with a religious and anti-religious tension. In general the rise of modernity by being isolated never produced a transformation of the religious legacies of larger Eurasia. But in some ways these were potentially superior to the local Christianity. This was sensed at once almost at the time of the Enlightenment, and by Schopenhauer’s time Indian philosophy for example was flooding into the West. But this was already too late, with no local roots: the result would remain a stream effect without a macro induction process, a sequence effect. Still that is something. But the new age movements appearing so soon in the wake of the the modern transition were always schizophrenic about themselves and their environment. Not surprising: things aren’t growing naturally, they are being grafted. The modern transformation has immense depth, but this suddenly contracted into a period of positivism, and its core never evaluated something like buddhism. But suddenly the lack starts being corrected, but only at the level of philosophy. It is eerie how Schopenhauer pulls a buddhist (or Upanishadic) rabbit out of a hat, using the core advance created by Kant. You can see what our system might have done if it had found buddhism in its direct path in, say, the sixteenth century. Schopenhauer’s insight is almost superior to what it discusses, and instantly shows a transparent interpretation to that ancient psychology. It is a pity the modern transformation worked so briefly on the issue of Indian religion. It is strange: at the start of the nineteenth century westerners are starting to reanimate buddhism in the west. Schopenhauer points to a future where buddhism will be reborn for men with very high intelligence. It is too hard to make a religion out of it at this point.
At any rate we come to the dilemma of the new age movements. They arrive later, are results of cultural diffusion, and can’t handle the factor of modernity. Westerners themselves can’t handle it: they end up in a reduced modernity based on scientism. The somewhat inferior Protestantism will end up with a larger momentum. But note that Protestantism is a very complex phenomenon: it evolves very rapidly into many forms and experiments, among then the versions that produced the abolitionist movements. And then it gets reprocessed at the last minute in the explosion of German Classical philosophy, and as Hegel sensed very well: this was the true conclusion to the Reformation. The modern ‘secularist’ must thus accept the place of religion in modernity, but he can also point to the real endstate transformations of the Reformation in liberation movements, and philosophical sublation. It is not accident figures like Marx and Engels sensed this and produced their own version of this. And we should note that the full potential of early Protestantism, rapidly suppressed, was the ur-communism of Munzer. So modern leftists are really a funny hybrid of both strains of modernity, the Reformation, and the rise of science. The modern communist movement, with or without its amplified marxist supercharging is the same kind of ‘chase plane’ structure we see in Christianity/Islam that appears in the sequence phase and then reforms as a stream structure, in the first case a religion chasing down the Roman Empire, in the second, underway we suspect, a semi-religious (Reformation) structure with a revolutionary ideology in hot pursuit of capitalism, to be ready in some suspected transition to postcapitalism.
So communism has the same format as the religions of the Axial Age, but recast in a flavor of materialism, no doubt to escape theological confusions. But there is no inherent reason why a spiritual philosophy can’t also animate that movement, as long as it can move toward the future. Look at Hegel: he hints at almost every possibility. Eastern religious themes can be reborn in a new context. Ditto, as noted, with Schopenhauer. The early marxist movement got carried away in the tide of positivism. But its links to a larger framework are obvious.
With all due respect we can see that the movements seeded by Blavatsky (and Gurdjieff) can’t really solve the problem. These people are suspected of being intelligence agents, for crying out loud. They are going to infect the game with witchcraft, obscurantism, and reactionary politics. The whole new age movement smacks of a confusion of esotericism and spy games. The Dalai Lama has been in bed with the CIA for decades. |Tibetan occultism will break out into the open and kidnap democratic politics. This is all decadent new aging. And the postmodern animus toward modernity wrecks everything. Note that Blavatsky was just one of this drones of Tibetan occultists. And Gurdjieff visited Tibet and was a sufi etc etc…
This is a bit odd. There is absolutely no reason why, in principle, a religious vehicle with global history can’t be transplanted and work. But as we can see many many such movements have gone nowhere.
That was why I was suggesting the relative superiority of the Osho initiative. It is not an ancient movement. It is a modern one. It appropriately tries to correct the deficit of the Protestant Reformation and the world of scientism. It makes a contact with all the issues of modernity and yet recycles the ‘santana dharma’ on a global stage in a form that doesn’t regurgitate the crippled Hinduism with its confusing complexity and imposter legacies like the laws of caste. Still it is quite late after the modern transformation. It will be a stream effect. But so was Christianity, so was Islam, so was Mahayana. It still has the signature of an ashram with a guru at the head, and that will confound its modernization trials, but at his point all we can do is wait and see. That was not much different that Jesus the guru, etc… We can see then that the original sequence structure of the Protestant Reformation will continue willynilly as other processes try to run to overtake it. We keep talking about secular postreligion but the Christian/Protestant phenomenon has already taken root in China and Korea, and produced a new age ‘religion’ in Mormonism which has so cleverly packaged old and new to almost fool this system and get a future pass as it moves toward global status. This macro machine is almost dangerous in its depth and yet mechanical effects. Mormonism is a warning, the one that got away. It has all the characteristics of a new age religion. Ye gods. But why worry: it will follow the fate of Protestantism in the end.
So perhaps we see why the new age movements are in a curious position. They have every right to try and correct the imbalance of modernity, but they keep trying and never quite get it. But the Osho movement is getting to be the type that can succeed. It could carry/be carried by a ‘post-marxist’ communism in the same way marxism carried/was carried by a subliminal Hegelianism and movement to complete the Enlightenment by a predestigation of the pun in the term’s usage. The point here is the the modern transformation had nothing like the buddhist raw material it had in antiquity and seems to produce a parody of ‘enlightenment’ in a movement of rationalist philosophy. As noted this ‘sequence’ or macro process seems to produce skew curiosities in the complexity of what it is trying to do. And the brevity of its action.
Anyway, enough on that. We can see that the new age movements in place are going to have problems. The Osho movement suddenly produced a hybrid with a communist format. That’s worth exploring and developing. Strong in the Indian enlightenment strain, weak in the punned version of the modernist enlightenment. In a way Hegel sensed this very difficulty and you can see (along with Schopenhauer) the instinctive attempt to correct the deficit/mismatch with a whole host of things sneaked into his system, starting with the dialectic as a Trojan horse for Rosicrucianism.
Osho reached enlightenment and then went to the university to study philosophy. Like many Indian sages he chocked on philosophy and spat it out. But a dose of German classical philosophy might help to tune the instrument to the modern strain, and to a communist realization.
Buddhists reading this will try to substitute buddhism into the Osho format. But buddhism is already an old age new age movement, It will lose momentum and not pass into the future. A rascal innovation like Osho’s ‘neo-buddhism’ is the downfield rabbit in the running with the ‘Reformation’ of Buddhism partially accomplished.
This is a strong plug for the Osho framework. I should also offer a caveat. First, Osho is mysteriously beyond Gautama. He spoke of the ‘beyond enlightenment’ passage. The result is a strange and eerie spiritual presence that doesn’t feel like any other. To intersect there without first moving on the path of enlightenment to its conclusion can be a way to fall into a black hole.
But the risk is worth it. Osho’ work can help to change the mindset of an older era of religions.
I am not sure what you are referring to: I have often thought in terms of a path hidden in modernity. One of them is something like Osho’s perspective: a recreation for a new age of a past/future/eternal version of an Indian spiritual tradition.
In modernity itself we see the issues emerge in a different way. Schopenhauer stumbled on the basic core of Upanishadic psychcology. The new age movements starting with Blavatsky suffered a kind confused ethical corruption. The whole thing, as with Gurdjieff at the same time, smacked of occultists working for intelligence agencies. The real ‘new age’ movement for the modern world is still gestating