Dis-identification

Dis-identification can still see identification but identification cannot see dis-identification. No-Mind can see mind but mind cannot see No-Mind. In identification one is not aware of being identified, but in dis-identification one is still aware of the possibility of identification. Jean Klein used to say “that in order to know who one is, it is first necessary to know what one is Not”. Just to say that there is no Not doesn’t cut it. Talley ho.

-purushottama

This post is from a collection of essays, stories, insights and poems that have occurred to me along the Way titled Here to Now and Behind.

On Considering the Story of Sisyphus – Anand Amido

dsc_0026On considering the story of Sisyphus, an ancient Greek, destined to forever push his rock up a hill, resonated this morning.  Thinking about this story has filled many a lapse in attention.  To begin with, what a waste of time, how dedicated, how stubborn, how relentless rattled around the paltry brain but today the inter-relatedness of the two emerged.  Sisyphus would have been unable to accomplish his life’s work without the friendly rock.  No rolling down, no pushing up.

Years and years of grappling with the rock’s surface must have engendered in both of them friendliness, compassion for each other’s task, even love for the skill of the other.  Perhaps the rock felt playful on some days, giving Sisyphus a break, wiggling to stay in place while he wiped his sweaty brow or downed a much needed snack.  Other days, perhaps the rock dug in its heels and refused to budge causing Sisyphus to despair, rage, weep and possibly, ultimately, laugh.  Some days Sisyphus may have handled the rock with appreciation for the handholds provided by its ridged surface.  Others he blamed it for his ceaseless, apparently futile, labor.  Day after day, what goes up must come down, toiling in frustration, joy, pain, anger, impatience, even love, in all weathers of emotion and the elements.

Is there a deeper meaning to this tale? Sisyphus is attempting to rise.  He is putting his life on the line.  There is nothing more important to him than to reach the peak.  To do so, he must struggle against gravity, the world, all that attempts to return him to a base condition.  Is the rock totally indifferent to its position?  Would it prefer to be the peak or the base?  Its level of cooperation bespeaks indifference.

And so it is!  Engagement with the world is colored by demands and desires.  It cares not, playfully tossing the waves of humanity this way and that.  The conundrums faced provide the strength, and determination to continue on (provided self-pity is not indulged in overly)!

-Anand Amido

Forget All About the World – Osho

Many times in my meditation I asked you not to show me directly the tremendous tragedy that is happening on Earth today, as I know I could never tolerate such suffering. Yet I’m sensing this all the time, even with my buffers. I know you are the light for this whole planet, and knowing this carries such a responsibility. I would be so grateful to hear you speak to me on helping, knowing I can’t help, and the angst of feeling helpless—and also of relaxing when feeling such a state of urgency. 

Prem Kaveesha, I can understand your anguish about the whole of humanity, about this planet earth; because every day we are coming closer and closer to a disaster.

It is because the disaster is coming very close; even with your buffers you cannot forget it – and it hurts. And it hurts more because you feel you cannot help; you cannot do anything. It is simply beyond the capacity of any individual to prevent this calamity, this disaster, this global suicide that seems to be almost certain. But I have a way of my own.

You feel helpless because you think in terms of helping other people to understand, and that is an impossible job. The world is so big, and people are so full of violence that it seems the calamity is not coming from outside, but it is the accumulated violence in people themselves that is going to explode this earth.

But don’t think in terms of helping. Then you will not feel helpless and you will not feel tense. I don’t feel helpless, I don’t feel tense, I don’t feel any anguish – and I am more aware of it than you can be – because my approach is not of helping anybody, but just for you to raise your own consciousness to the highest peak possible… of which you are perfectly capable.

If we can create only two hundred enlightened people in the world, the world can be saved.

Kaveesha was born in a Jewish family, hence she will understand a beautiful story. In the Old Testament it is mentioned that there were two cities, Sodom and Gomorrah, and both became sexually perverted. In Gomorrah, homosexuality was so prevalent, and in Sodom people had fallen even lower in their perversion: they were making love to animals. Hence, the English word “sodomy” – it comes from the city of Sodom. And God decided to destroy those two cities completely.

He destroyed those two cities completely – and it is very strange that those two cities had the same population as Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed by man, but the Old Testament story is that God destroyed those two sexually perverted cities. What I am going to tell you is a Hassidic story based on the Old Testament version of the destruction by God of two sexually perverted cities.

Judaism has blossomed in its totality in Hassidism. Hassidism is a rebellious, and essentially religious, phenomenon. All the religions have given to the world something beautiful – although those religions were against that something beautiful – except Christianity.

Mohammedanism has given Sufism, although Mohammedans have killed Sufis. Buddhism has given Zen, although Buddhists don’t accept Zen as an authentic teaching of Gautam Buddham. Hinduism has given Tantra, but Hindus are very much against Tantra – and that is their very truth. It is a very strange thing… and the same is the situation with Judaism.

Hassidism is a small, rebellious phenomenon within the world of Judaism. The man who founded Hassidism was Baal Shemtov. He also relates the story and you can see the beauty and the difference. Somebody asked him, “What do you think about Sodom and Gomorrah?”

And Baal Shem said, “That story is not written in its completion. I will tell you the whole story.” And he said, “When God declared that he was going to destroy these two cities, one Hassid, a mystic, approached God and asked him, ‘If in these cities there are one hundred people who have experienced you, what will you do with these one hundred people? Are you going to destroy them too, with the whole cities?’

“For a moment God was silent and then he said, ‘No. If there were one hundred awakened souls in these two cities, because of those one hundred people these two cities would be saved; I would not destroy them.’

“The Hassid mystic said, ‘If there were only fifty, not a hundred? Will you destroy these cities, and those fifty awakened people?’

“Now God saw that he had been caught by the mystic. He said, ‘No, I cannot destroy fifty awakened people.’ And the Hassid said, ‘I want you to know that there is only one man who is awakened; six months he lives in Sodom and six months he lives in Gomorrah. What do you say about it? – Will you destroy the cities?’

“God said, ‘You are a very cunning fellow. Who is this man?’ He said of course, ‘I am.’”

And God could not deny him because it is not a question of quantity, it is a question of quality: one awakened person or one hundred awakened persons. The awakened person cannot be destroyed by existence, because the awakened person is the longest dream of existence itself, the deepest longing of existence itself – to reach to the stars.” And Baal Shem said that Sodom and Gomorrah were never destroyed.

Jews are angry about Baal Shem, that he is just inventing this story; the whole story is written in the Old Testament. The Jews don’t accept the Hassids as authentic Jews. In the same way, everywhere the really religious person will be condemned by the so-called religious.

Whether Baal Shem invented the story or whether he was telling the true story, I am with him. In the first place a God who believes in destruction is not a God. A God who cannot transform people from their perversions is not a God. Baal Shem is not only saving those two cities, he is also saving God’s godliness: his compassion, his love, his understanding.

Kaveesha, forget all about the world. You become the one Hassid, the one mystic. And if we can create around the world just two hundred enlightened people…. That number is also exactly like Baal Shem’s Hassid. When he started talking with God, negotiating, it was only a question of two cities.

The world has become big and it is a question of the whole world – so I am starting negotiating with two hundred. But I want to tell you that even two enlightened people will be enough, and the world will be saved; because existence cannot destroy its own ultimate flowering.

So you forget about the world; otherwise it will create unnecessary anxiety and will destroy your own awakening, which is the only possibility to save the world.

Anybody who wants to help the world should forget about the world and concentrate upon himself. Raise your consciousness to such a height that existence has to think a second time whether to destroy this world or to save it.

The masses as they are don’t matter; existence will not care about them. In fact, existence would like this whole humanity – this rotten humanity – to be destroyed, so that evolution can start from scratch again. Something has gone wrong….

But if there are a few enlightened people, they are far weightier than billions and billions of people on the earth. Existence cannot destroy the world – not only because of those few people who are enlightened; but because of their enlightenment, the unconscious masses also become valuable, because it is from these unconscious masses that those Himalayan peaks have arisen. They were also unconscious yesterday, today they are conscious. And existence is very patient: if it sees that unconscious people can become fully conscious, then this great mass of people, which is absolutely unconscious, also has a possibility.

I depend on the individuals, not on the collectivity. The collectivity is so rotten that it will be an act of compassion to destroy it. But we have to prove that out of this unconscious, almost dead humanity, a few lotuses can blossom. Then, just given time, perhaps more lotuses will be coming. Some may be just buds, some may be just in the seed; but even if there is one man who is enlightened, with him the whole of humanity becomes valuable, because that man shows the hope that every man is capable of the same miracle.

So, Kaveesha, forget about helping. You cannot help; nobody can help. But you can become a mystic, a Hassid, and you can argue with God, that “I am here; are you going to destroy me? And these people who are somnambulists, walking in their sleep – I was also one of them. That is my yesterday. These people should be given their tomorrows. There is every possibility that every human being can become a Gautam Buddha.”

This is the only way to save this beautiful planet earth.

-OSHO

From The Rebellious Spirit, Chapter 14

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Osho's mulshree tree

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com, or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

Mind: the Real Fascist Leader – Swami Dayanand Bharati

Today, reflecting on the world situation with so many fascist leaders arising. Trump, Erdogan, Netanyahu, Duterte and others. It gave me an insight about the ranch experience.

The ranch would have never happened without Sheela, our very own fascist leader. Sheela was the holy trinity of creator, maintainer and destroyer of Rajneeshpuram. It would have never happened without her, it could not have been built and maintained without her and it was rightfully destroyed by her to complete the circle.

And our beloved Master the witness the absolute awareness above it all. And the question of many, did he know? Was he involved? Is right here.

As a disciple, as a lover I feel: Of course he knew, of course he saw, of course he responded but he was never involved or attached to any outcome. He is the pure witness, the watcher on the hill, the Master. The background to it all. The ultimate example! This experiment was his device for us the wake up, to drop out, to see the game and be free, to become aware and to join him in his awareness, to rise above the mind.

Obviously many could not do it then, I could not! I just kept going, trusting in spite of not understanding what it was all about. Now it looks like to me it was all a preparation for this time, for now. The small Ranch game is played on the world stage right now, it always is, it always has, it always was, only now it is very obvious. This time it is pushed right into our faces, so close it hurts! Thank you! It may be the last chance to wake up for a long time to come.

I am forced to do something now, it cannot be ignored anymore, we are being openly conned, deceived, exploited, oppressed! We always have been and it is not really others that do it to us, we do it to ourselves, our minds do it, we exploit, con and deceive ourselves all the time.

On the Ranch our minds and hearts were all deeply involved in our personal utopia of the perfect world, the perfect enlightened society. We all brought our personal ambitions with us and we did what we thought would help these ambitions to be fulfilled either by doing the dirty work, or the creative work, or the spiritual work. We as a Sangha were striving for the impossible goal of wholeness, oneness, enlightenment as a group. Impossible!!! Even with an enlightened being on top. Impossible, proven impossible!!

At the end of the Ranch some walked away confused, some angry, some in handcuffs, some still hoping, projecting some positive future fulfillment or trying it all again or thinking that it could have worked … If only ….. Or blaming our beloved Master for the failure of our dream, why didn’t he stop Sheela? All the possible reactions of the mind arose in many of us, arise again now, if only……………Trump would not be president…if only….

So here it is all again, big scale, am I ready now? Have I been prepared? The situation is perfect, I can blame, I can react, I can freak out, I can protest and rebel, I can shut down, get drunk, smoke a joint, watch some good movies, I can do all the things the mind will do in its hope to survive, to feel good and safe again, to keep the illusion alive that someday………the happiness, the golden age….Peace, Freedom, the utopia!

Or I can see that there is no way out through the mind. There is no way out!! Period! Except awareness, witnessing, watching the mind.

Because the mind is the real fascist leader!

-Swami Dayanand Bharati

 

 

Meanwhile Back at the Ranch

Sumati and I finally arrived at the Ranch in Oregon in either late November or early December. We had started out from New Jersey on the first of September and crisscrossed the U.S. as well as driven into Canada.

Rajneeshpuram, OR

All along the way we stopped in bookstores and visited distributors taking orders for Osho’s books. The response was really, very, very good. Of course, all the publicity surrounding his coming to the States did not hurt. Neither did the ads that Chidvilas had placed in Time magazine with his quotes. People were very curious and were going into their bookshops wanting to find out more.

It was also a tremendous learning opportunity. Finding out exactly how the book business worked and what the bookshops and distributors wanted from us in order to aid them in the sale of the books. Many strong connections were forged that lasted for years.

Every couple of days we would call Vidya and check in. Occasionally she would relay something that Osho had said concerning the selling of the books.

When we did finally arrive I had a bit of a debriefing session with Pratima, who was in charge of book publishing. We had gathered a considerable amount of constructive feedback that we could use to chart our course with publishing.

After a couple of days, we were invited to Lao Tzu House to see Osho. This was the first time I had had such an intimate (Osho, Sumati, myself and I think Sheela) meeting with him, except for when I programmed the VCR at the Castle.

He gave both Sumati and me gifts; mine was a leather cowboy hat. I don’t remember what she received but it might have been the same.

Then it was down to business and he asked when we would be going out again. This was rather ironic because, in Poona, when anyone arrived back from the West the first thing he would ask was “How long will you be staying?” In this case, it was, “When will you be leaving?”

I explained that now was not a good time to be out selling books because the stores had already made their orders for the holiday season and that it would be best to wait until at least mid-January. He nodded and that was the end of the discussion.

Many times later I would look back on that situation. If I hadn’t been so involved in the book distribution, and so very interested in doing it right, I might have answered Osho’s questioning with more of a desire to say what I thought he would have wanted to hear. But as it turned out, I was not tuned into that at all. I simply told him how I saw the situation and he understood.

I give this as an example not of how I was above wanting to please, I’m sure that I can come up with many of those examples, but rather of what happened if one did not.

This was one of the lessons that so many of us learned at the Ranch—and we had so many opportunities. On the one hand, everyone wanted to stay close to the master so they would do whatever necessary in order to make that happen. But, the reality was, to be true to yourself (and by yourself I do not mean the whims of your mind or the pitfalls of the ego, but that silent inner voice) is the way to be close to the master.

One more of these situations involved Sheela. Rama was the coordinator of Buddhagosha (the book distribution department). Because I was the one most involved with the bookstores very often I would suggest things that we should do to support the stores. One time, I think it was involving a catalog or other marketing material, I had made a suggestion to Rama but he was concerned with how Sheela would react. He hesitated to pass it on. For one coordinators meeting with Sheela, Rama was ill and so I had to stand in for him. During the meeting, I made the proposal to Sheela and she accepted without a flinch.

It is important for us who were at the Ranch to look to what our own experiences were. What do we know from our own experience? After the Ranch it became ever so apparent that we all had not had the same experiences. We have different conditionings, resistances, proclivities, needs and desires, and because of that we found ourselves in differing circumstances.

This is not just a lesson concerning the Ranch but this applies to life. It illustrates how the commune was a large laboratory, a stage for learning about ourselves and the inner obstacles that prevent us from living a life of love and understanding. The commune provided opportunities for lifetimes of growth in both.

I’m the one with the short beard.

When I was not working with the books I was being a Peace Force (police) officer. This mostly involved driving around the Ranch and dropping in for tea at different locations. This provided another opportunity to bring the bliss down into the real world. As you can see from the photo above, Osho did not make it easy on those who were charged with keeping his body from being mobbed. You can also see that he enjoyed the whole affair.

Krishnamurti Lake
Krishnamurti Lake

Sometimes our duties became more serious. During the last festival(1985), while on patrol, we were called for an emergency at Krishnamurti Lake. There had been a swimming accident, apparently someone had drowned. When we finally got the body out of the lake, to my surprise, I found that it was Adinatha. He was the Japanese sannyasin that Sumati and I had stayed with for some time in Tokyo. The investigation showed that it may not have been accidental, that he might have just allowed himself to sink into the timelessness of the lake and never resurfaced.

-purushottama

This story is from a collection of stories and essays from along the Way titled From Lemurs to Lamas: Confessions of a Bodhisattva.

 

 

 

 

How Many are Better than None?

Before there were any, there were none.

Those who were none had the wisdom of all.

Those who had the wisdom of all had nothing.

Nothing makes for a wise choice

and need not make sense.

How many are better than none?

Who says what is wise?

Before there were any,

there were none

to say.

-purushottama

The Second Zen Stick

Deeksha in Vrindavan
Deeksha in Vrindavan

My first Zen stick happened when I was around three years old. It is one of the earliest memories I have. Of course I had never heard the term and it would be another twenty-three years or so until I would.

I was sleeping in my bed in a room with no one else present and suddenly, how could it be otherwise, I felt a whack on the top part of the back of my head. I sat up and looked around the room but there wasn’t anyone there.

Twenty-three years later I met a ferocious Zen master who carried a Zen stick made out of her words. Her name was Deeksha. Deeksha was the boss, the mom, the coordinator of the Vrindavan kitchen in the ashram.

Sumati and I had arrived from Japan with our pockets full of money saved from working and wanted to make a contribution to the ashram. Sheela gladly accepted but suggested that we save some for our own expenses and then assigned both of us to work in Vrindavan. Deeksha was not only in charge of the public ashram restaurant but also had her own band of handymen for whatever projects that came up. It was almost as though she had her own empire within the ashram; this certainly was no secret from Osho. Sumati went into the kitchen and I became a handyman.

Deeksha was known for her passion, energy and insults as well as being extremely capable of organizing work. She was also one of the most generous people in the ashram, often using her personal money to come to the aid of her friends and workers. But no one wanted to be called on the carpet by Deeksha. One day you could be leading a crew of carpenters working on building bookshelves for Osho’s library and the next day you could be banished to the bakery that was offsite and away from the ashram.

On one particular day during the lecture, a deep meditation had descended. It was one of those discourses that Osho would take you by the hand and lead you ever deeper into your interiority.  With this sense of being came a peace that knew no fear. I lingered longer than usual after the discourse bathing in the majesty.

When I left Buddha Hall, someone had been summoned to find Purushottama and bring him to Deeksha. I knew what awaited me but there was a calm easy feeling that accompanied my walk. I remember that she was standing with her back to the kitchen wall and she let fly all of her quivers. She was extremely animated and I have no idea what she said, but what I remember was that it was as if love was pouring from her in what would look like to an onlooker as anger. The energy that issued forth just washed over and through and yet didn’t touch me. I was a witness to a raging Zen master but inside was the same peace that I had left Buddha Hall with. From that moment I knew it was possible to be in the marketplace but not of the marketplace. I remained untouched.

Years after we had left Poona and even after the Ranch had closed I would think about Deeksha and feel some regret that she had not had a Deeksha like I had. Deeksha offered me an opportunity that no one else in the ashram could. It was easy to see why Osho gave her so much freedom and so much responsibility.  In his Buddhafield even the wildest, fiercest expressions were love.

-purushottama

This story is from a collection of stories and essays from along the Way titled From Lemurs to Lamas: Confessions of a Bodhisattva.