A Cosmic Drama and a Hollow Bamboo
(Anurag is the author of the book Awakening which can be viewed at http://www.rebelliousspirit.com/osho-webzine/awakening/content)
Act 1: Initiation of the Children of God
Pune1 was all about soul and spirit, the children of God. It was not that God was not present, but rather he was put on hold. His time, his initiation was yet to come. Preparations had to be made, a foundation laid, before dealing with God. To enter into the drama, one had to surrender. Now of course, the Master knows surrender is impossible, if total surrender were possible, there would be no need of a master. So total surrender is not expected, not required. What was required was a willingness, an openness on the part of the God hidden inside the seeker to surrender, literally to entrust the care of the children of God, soul and spirit, to a God outside; temporarily. This is very dangerous; this is what gets seekers into so much trouble, when the Master is not awake. This is the source of cults, of disciples treating the master as though he is a God. However, in the world of Master/Disciple it is the only way.
With an awakened Master it holds promise of freedom, with a false Master it always results in slavery. This phenomenon of entrusting the children within to an external God happens all the time; with spouses, with teachers, with priests, with politicians; for in the ego state, the children of God within are separate from, and searching for, a strong, protective, and wise leader. Searching outside, as the ego directs, for whats hidden inside: God. This is the role all politicians play; they play the role of God. The priest, the politician, the CEO all play the role of God. Theyre basically doing what the master does, but with different intent: the masters intent is to liberate, the priest/politicians intent to enslave. In either case, when gathering a following of the children of God, one has to deal with the God inside, the part entrusted with the care and protection of the children; soul and spirit.
The master deals with God by demanding surrender. This is an ancient technique, one that deals with an unawakened God most efficiently. To begin with, it is a very effective filter, for the master wants to eliminate the most troublesome Gods; those who are argumentative, those who are looking for a holy war to fight, those who are too blinded and possessed by the veil of anger to be able to see, to hear, and to feel the teaching of the master. These Gods will fight the master, drain and waste his energy; best to eliminate them at the gate, for the likelihood of helping these people awaken is very slim. Its quite simple: if the power of the sleeping God within is constantly fighting, testing the master, then it is the will of that God to remain asleep. To try to wake up somebody when their God is not working with you but against you is an exercise in futility. The demand for surrender effectively eliminates those whose inner God precludes the possibility of awakening. The Gods who pass this initial test do so only if they believe the master speaks the truth. This is the test that the inner God applies whenever allowing the inner children to follow any other God: does the God outside speak truth? Now, of course, the inner God is in an ego sleep, ego beliefs, ego lies, so God cant really know if the outer God speaks truth, and in most cases what passes for truth is simply a resonance with pre-existing beliefs about truth. This is why so many mistakes are made in selecting a teacher or master. One searches for truth peering through a veil of lies. Oshos truth was so clear, so compelling, as to be recognized as such by many inner Gods. They believed he was speaking the truth, and to their credit, were willing to entrust the care of the children to this master.
In Pune1, Gods who passed the test were put to work. It was brilliant. The focus, the foundation of the work at this point was soul (love), and spirit (trust), and to do the work with these two centres it was necessary to get the controlling, contentious God out of the way. The God centre is the most powerful, the most intense, and an outlet for this energy had to be provided. What more efficient and productive way to channel that energy, than work? This same thing is happening all the time in ordinary life. When you feel angry, raging inside, what do you do to dissipate the energy? A cleaning frenzy perhaps? A brutal workout at the gym? Perhaps throw yourself into work at the office with the focus and intensity that only the God centre can provide. Absent a healthy, an appropriate outlet for this energy, God is likely to get you into trouble. In Pune1 God was put to work, taught awareness, and miracles happened.
For the priest, the politician, the tried and true technique to deal with God is to provide an enemy. With God already controlled by the anger veil, it is a simple matter of distracting God by providing an enemy for the anger to fixate upon. To channel, to control the power of sleeping Gods is to control the anger, to direct it towards an enemy; someone, some group that the sleeping God can blame for all the ills of creation. Once God is distracted, delivered his children into the hands of a false God, it is easy to control and manipulate the children through the veils of fear and pain. Hilter, of course, stands out as the master priest/politician. Sleeping Gods within the German people, at a time or great turmoil and crisis, entrusted the children to a very charismatic, powerful, and demented father God with disastrous consequences. What happened in Germany is happening everywhere, in all walks of life, it is just a matter of degree. Some leaders are more unclear that others, some more powerful than others, and being asleep, they will inevitably lead their followers to disappointment, disillusionment, and disaster. In ego-land it is inevitable.
Pune1 was the initiation of the children. A cranky, controlling, punishing, judgmental God, having in some way acknowledged his failure to care for his children, delivers them into the hands of a God with only his belief in the truth of this God to sustain him.
The master plays the role of God. The master provides the feeling of nurturance and protection to the children of God. Not to enslave them, but to liberate them. The master, unlike the inner God, programmed by the west to punish and terrorize the children within, is very permissive. The soul, she is give permission to love. For the human soul is love, to give her permission to love is the same as giving her permission to be. He lifts all the prohibitions, all the guilt, all the conditions and gives permission for her to love whenever, wherever, and whomsoever she pleases. Pain, victimization, the ego nightmare of the soul is not encouraged, not fed. The technique is utterly simple: encourage the love to move anywhere but the pain, starve the pain and you liberate the soul. The soul loves the master, and every moment her love is directed towards the master it is denied to the pain. And the pain, if not fed, will begin to die. Spirit, the other child of God, is encouraged to trust, to trust the master, to trust others, to trust existence itself; for the essence of spirit, the quality you are seeking to liberate is trust itself. Spirit was released from the heavy, serious shoulds and given permission to play, to dance, to have fun again. The nemesis, the dark veil of spirit; fear, was discouraged, not indulged, not fed. Like the souls veil of pain, spirits veil of fear was put on a starvation diet.
For souls and spirits, Pune1 was paradise, akin to being back in the garden with a wise, benevolent, protective God watching over them, a steward of the earth and all its creatures; just how soul and spirit knew it was supposed to be. It felt so right. In the unfolding cosmic drama, the children of God were back in Eden, in innocence; they were once again playing, loving, and enjoying the mystery of creation. But this was a cosmic drama, and the God held in abeyance in Pune1 was about to have his day.
Act 2: The Ranch, the Initiation of God
I have heard that Osho viewed the move to America with foreboding. If so, it wouldnt surprise me. He would not have known what was about to unfold, he was in the moment, a hollow bamboo, but he certainly could have had a feeling about it. He was constantly reminding us that there was no one inside, there was no one there, but we could not possibly understand; for there seemed to be someone there, someone orchestrating the unfolding drama, but he was telling the truth. If anything was orchestrating the drama it was the whole, it was existence playing on a hollow bamboo. He was an aware conscious participant; we were unaware, unconscious participants in an ancient cosmic drama of the west. The script was timeless, the storyline echoing within our lives. The innocent children of God, having romped in the beauty, the mystery of Eden, are once again to be cast out, blamed and shamed for the fall of paradise.
Pune1 was about soul and spirit, love and trust. The reclamation of innocence. The initiation, the awakening of the first two centers of light. Those successful in this phase of the work would have as solid a foundation, as through a preparation as possible for the difficult passage that lay ahead: the initiation and awakening of God from his ancient slumber, with its angry, destructive, fitful dreams.
In America, in the early 80s, the permissive attitudes of the 60s and 70s in which very unclear souls and spirits had indulged themselves in the freedom and abandonment of sex, drugs and rock and roll, were undergoing a dramatic change. The lightness, the fun of disco was crushed overnight to be replaced by angry destructive punk. The soul of black America disappeared to be replaced by angry rap. Politically, the pendulum had swung right; angry, vengeful, self-righteous republicans were in power. The kids were to be punished for their irresponsible behavior. God was back on the throne, and cracking his whip. Regan and his minions were in a no-nonsense mood, domestically and internationally. Law and order would rule the day. Angry Gods were in control, and they were pissed, with punishment and retribution high on the agenda.
Into this climate arrives the guru of free love, with a flair and a message irritable to a media with an insatiable appetite for sensationalism. The flair and message of the free love guru epitomized everything the new republican right railed against. It was like waving a red flag in front of an angry bull. The stage had been set and the drama unfolded.
Many believe the move to America was a terrible mistake. In terms of the mundane, the creation of a stable, prosperous commune, it was. But this was a cosmic drama, acted out on a very mundane stage. The hidden, cosmic drama was about initiation; awakening Gods. It could not have occurred in India; it is a gentle, feminine land, a land more steeped in Goddess than in God. For this initiation, a certain intensity, a certain focus of energy was needed. In moving to America the master did not fail, did not miscalculate; no, it was perfect. For his goal had always been our enlightenment. The commune was the structure, not the goal. Just as India provided the perfect environment for the soul/spirit work, America was perfectly poised to support the mass initiation of angry father Gods.
I recall at the time, being baffled by the purchase of the Rolls Royces. To be sure, he was a self proclaimed rebel, and the Rolls were simply a way to push the collective buttons of America. However, being American, I could see both the effectiveness of this particular device, as well as the incredible danger he was courting. I was also focused on the dream, the potential of having the commune centered in America. It played into the American myth, the commune would fulfill the destiny of America; to be a light unto the world. I recall at the time that Americans were largely unfamiliar with Osho, there was puzzlement, there was amusement, there was scepticism, and some hostility, but my feeling at the time was that America could accept Osho, as long as he behaved, that is. Well, of course, a rebel can never be counted on to behave. With each Rolls Royce that was added to the fleet, more Americans turned on him. It made no sense. It was as though he were deliberately and methodically making it impossible for the commune to survive, much less thrive. The device was simple, and powerful. The God of America, whether theist, atheist, or somewhere in between, worshipped one God: money. And this God, like all Gods lost in the fall, was a hypocrite, in denial, believing money to be the means to a higher goal, rather than the goal itself. (It is one of the ironies of life, that in America where the mention of God has largely been purged from public life, one of the few places where God remains is on the money where you will find the words In God We Trust. Ironic because money has become the only God we really trust.) Osho was rubbing the nose of each American God into his own unbridled materialism. Friends of mine, that had been initially sympathetic and open to Osho, turned on him. With the purchase of each Rolls Royce more Americans turned on him, until all of America, all of the sleeping Gods with their ethical, moral, and spiritual standards, were pissed and as intent as Regan and Meese to destroy him and his commune. He came to America to provoke God. He succeeded.
For the commune, for sannyasins, the days of Eden were over. God was everywhere: outside, he was plotting, threatening to destroy the commune; inside, he was plotting, scheming to protect the commune, as well as to punish our enemies. It was a holy war of such intensity and madness as can only be created by sleeping Gods. Sannyasins within the commune found something dark, frightening, and dangerous, emerging within them. As though some hidden monster, some dark avenging angel had been released from the depths. Something decidedly unspiritual, knowing no limits to what it might do to protect the children, to destroy the enemies. Why did he do it? He didnt do anything. He was a hollow bamboo through which a powerful initiation was occurring. A drama so monumental and multi-dimensional that no one being could fully comprehend.
As Pune1 was all about love and trust, intimacy and friendship, soul and spirit, the Ranch was all about God, and as those sleeping Gods were provoked to awaken, what emerged was not truth, the essence of God, but rather the lies of the ego overlay. It was embarrassing to read the newspaper and press releases from the Ranch. I was appalled at the outrageousness of the lies. Not just that the Ranch was lying, but that it was doing it so badly. Its not that the politicians were telling the truth, they were just smoother, more accomplished liars (practice makes perfect!). What was embarrassing was that sannyasins, who had seemingly excelled at everything they did, were performing so abysmally in the political arena of lies and spin. But as we all know, the first casualty of war is truth, the very essence of the God inside who wages war. From the outside, it was bewildering, like watching a luxury liner deliberately steering into the shoals, leaving one shaking their head, asking why? The answer was there, it was always there, he came to America to provoke God, but at the time none of us could hear and comprehend this simple truth. How to provoke God? You piss him off, you push him up against a wall, you create so much chaos and stress that the only center capable of coping is God, and there he is. The environment created by the unfolding drama would have collectively forced each individual God to appear. He would not appear all clear, peaceful, full of light and wisdom. No, the God provoked was angry, messy, confused, and seeking an end to the madness, and prepared to do whatever was necessary to end it, whether it be turning on Osho in anger and bailing, or having a shootout at the O.K. corral. One of the reasons this center is so dangerous is that unlike soul and spirit, this center has no limits to what it might do. It is God, it contains all potentiality, and when this potential is controlled by the darkness of the anger veil, there is no limit to the destruction he can wreak.
This is the force he unleashed at the Ranch. It was a monumental initiation of God. The individual passage through the awakening of God is always intense, always messy. It is the place on the journey where the seeker frequently wonders if he/she is going mad. For all the centers, the unclear God is the craziest of all. The God you encounter is to some degree mad. In the clearing of God you will pass through this madness. You become it, before you can release it. Osho, having prepared his disciples as well as he could, moved them to the next level: the awakening of God. For a master to do this individually is difficult; to attempt to do it collectively is unimaginable. Nobody but Osho would even dare attempt it. For in provoking God you unleash energies that cannot be controlled. At best you can channel, or guide the energy, but the notion he lost control of the situation is ludicrous. No one could have controlled that tempest. Besides, he was a hollow bamboo. Nobody was there.
For him, the energy unleashed, the energy swirling around him had to have been so toxic as to be unendurable. For anyone of his delicacy and sensitivity to be in an energy field full of anger, full of hate, would be like breathing poison, or being bludgeoned by a club. This is why rumors of drug use dont surprise me. To him it would have felt akin to dying, and over time it would have appeared to those around him as though he were disappearing, as though the essence of him had departed. There is nothing so toxic as an unawakened God, and he was drowning in that energy. Medication would be a sensible option, if only to dull the sensitivity. He was not orchestrating the drama, existence was.
For him it was necessary and timely. He was getting frail; he was tired, and looking forward to dissolving into the silence. What was holding him here, as he himself once said, was our love, and for him to leave, that link would have to be broken. It was. For in the presence of angry Gods, love cannot exist; its far too delicate. The personal (soul) bond of love was holding him here, as well as holding back disciples who were ready to move into the impersonal realm of God. The Ranch did that simply by creating an atmosphere where love itself could not exist. He also had to deliver the souls/spirits of the disciples, (the children of God), back to where they rightfully belonged: to the individual Gods that were being awakened. Anyone who went through that experience would have found themselves forced to make very difficult decisions relating to taking care of themselves. The master, having cared for the children of God was now forcing God to assume his rightful responsibility. And all of this was done not through words, not through lectures, it was done the only way possible: existentially. Even the destruction of the commune was timely and appropriate; for once you enter into the realm of God, the journey becomes individual, not collective. One way or another, one moves through the awakening of God alone. It is the place you encounter and master the aloneness you tried to keep at bay during the soul/spirit passage.
The master was blazing a path for his western disciples. It was as though he were clearing an ancient path that had laid unused for millennia. He didnt have a map, he couldnt have explained where he was taking us, and even if he could we would not have understood. The Ranch wasnt a failure; it was the crescendo, the intense peak of the work that for all intents and purposes, killed him. It was as though a beautiful temple awash with the glow of a hundred candles was transported to America. The temple that returned was chipped and damaged, illuminated by a single votive, which would extinguish within a few years.
The path of Osho, the path he blazed existentially, is not in the books, its in his life, in his work with his disciples. He led us through pain and fear, he forced us to confront the hidden demon anger within, and hopefully to some degree clear it, and while God was engaged in his madness, the master was preparing the way through the final veil: death.
For Osho, the events of the Ranch, which many sannyasins seek to sweep under the rug, are as important, and in many ways are uncanny in their similarity to Jesus and the cross. Without the crucifixion there would be no Jesus, no Christianity, for the crucifixion is the enduring mystery of Jesus. How could the son of God be nailed to a cross by anyone other than God himself?
How could one of the greatest masters have fallen so fast and so far? On the surface it appears so. Beneath the surface something else was occurring, something esoteric, an initiation of such power and import, that even asleep I was in awe of what was unfolding. To me to ignore the events at the Ranch is to miss the deepest part of the mystery, for the events or the Ranch took us back to the beginning, to the source of the duality splitting creation into good and evil. In God we became it.
For the religion that will inevitably spring up, Osho has created a tremendous obstacle: the events at the Ranch. Somehow they must minimize it, or put a positive spin on it (they have their work cut out for them). Given time, it could be a very successful religion; God knows they will have plenty of words to study, to ponder, and to debate. Hell, theyll be drowning in words. For the esoteric, for the mystical branch, for the people needing to go beyond the safety of mere words, the events at the Ranch will become the core mystery, for at the Ranch Osho was basically involved in the same initiation as Jesus, and look how that small insignificant event influenced the world.
As far as the villains of the drama go, it is one of the paradoxes of the spiritual path that the disciples who were most successful in clearing the pain/fear veils in Pune1 would tend to be the very people perceived as most heartless, most ruthless, i.e., the people most totally in the God center being triggered. To me, the people most likely to be enlightened, or close to it are the disciples who were with him through the entire working, from Pune1 through the Ranch and beyond. Whether they were on the side of good or the side of evil in the drama matters not. When working with Osho at that time what mattered was totality. God is rarely awakened in an instant, and I would expect it to take years for the effects of the Ranch experience to be fully realized. The way to know how successful one was with this initiation is simple: How much blame, if any, remains? Do you blame Sheela, America, or Osho? If anything remains of the anger veil, then the blame game will persist. Absent the blame, there is only one more passage, the one Osho was already preparing while events were spinning out of control: death, and thats the greatest mystery of all. His teaching was complete, his path established. But you wont find it in his words. Rather in his deeds. One final word, after which he promises to leave me alone. Sheela is, was, and shall ever be, beloved of Osho. Love and adieu,
Anurag can be emailed at: Sacoswami@aol.com