Have you watched the Netflix series Wild Wild Country? It’s a fascinating look at an Indian “guru” Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh who later became known as Osho and how he and his followers relocated from India to rural Oregon in an attempt to form their own city where they applied their spiritual teaching. This 6 part series is fascinating and I recommend viewing it if the topic sounds at all interesting. I had vague recollections of hearing about the events in the news many years ago when they occurred, but like many of us I suspect, we did not pay close attention to the events. I learned a lot when I watched this a few months ago. Overall, I think the filmmakers tried to present a balanced view of the events from “both sides” as Osho and his followers clash with local folks in Oregon. If you are interested, see the trailer through the link.
However, the film left me curious about the details of Osho’s teaching. It was touched on briefly a couple of times but that was not a key aspect of the program. I was left wanting more but life is busy and didn’t think about that much afterwards until a post came across my email. Somewhere in the past year or so….I really don’t remember when…..I signed up for one of those daily emails with interesting content…you know the ones…..the topics sound like something you would like to read but you rarely get around to clicking through. This series of emails are from a a website called “Ideapod”. This particular email linked me to a page entitled “5 profound lessons from Osho that will crack your idea of reality wide open“. Unlike most of the other emails, I clicked through and read the contents (a quick read!) and was intrigued by what I read. I encourage you to click on the link and read it too.
What I found in these “5 lessons” were things I totally agree with and have taught myself in various classes I have given or in one on one conversations with others. I shared this page with my wife Mary and she immediately pointed out that she discovered a book by Osho on one of shelves recently and had just read it. The book was Living on Your Own Terms: What Is Real Rebellion? She had marked the book up she had enjoyed it so much. I decided to read it as well.
Now, I don’t know if this is the best intro book to Osho….there are a lot of books of his out there if you are interested…..Amazon link….but this is the one I started with….and I find his style of writing and his no nonsense approach to spirituality and living a spiritual life easy to follow and refreshing to read. His books are transcriptions of his talks but read quite well. Here is an extended quote from the book where he makes the distinction between a revolutionary (who is against things) and a rebel (who is spiritually motivated to be for something):
The rebel has no enemy. He simply has a vision that the old is finished. It need not be fought against, it is dying itself. Fighting with it is to give it life. Just ignore it. It is already on the deathbed; it will die of its own accord. Don’t give it energy by fighting.
The rebel can do only one thing: he can transform himself into the new man, he can become his own vision. That is the only proof that his vision is not a dream. The rebel starts transforming his vision into a reality.
I want you all to be rebellious.
I could have pulled other quotes…..even if this one doesn’t hook you, check out the book or his website….I am enjoying reading him.
Which leads me to Ideapod....this is the source of the email that brought me into looking at Osho. I encourage you to check out their website and sign up for their email. They cull wisdom from many sources and summarize them into those numbered bullet points we so love in modern life….(7 steps to this thing or 12 ideas for that thing, etc). Since reading the Osho email I have elevated the reading of their emails in my awareness and clicking through on more of them! They do a great job and I recommend checking them out! Here’s the link: https://ideapod.com/