I mention where we were because I find it amusing.
The park is bounded on the north by the Newberry Library, Chicago's rare book & manuscript library branch.
N. Dearborn Street is chock full of all kinds of subtle symbolism, from unicorns chained to lions, half serpent men, the hotel Indigo with it's phi/golden mean theme.
When I was busy reading the David Icke books a few years back with it's concentration on symbolism, I found it funny that here, on my daily walk home were all of these very symbols surrounding me in such subtle unconsciously influencing ways.
but I digress....
that stuff is all of the showmanship of the world, not the essence of experience which is what I am getting to here...
John started the connection by asking me if I would like to talk about Jesus. I do not think he realized that I would be the one doing the talking. haha.
He & a friend were sitting on the edge of the park outside of the fence on a little curb that runs on the inside of the sidewalk against the fence. There are bushes between the fence & the curb.
I happened to be wearing my rajneesh mala that day.
John asked about it & I started to explain to him who rajneesh/osho was.
Immediately I discovered how lacking in information John was when it came to world religions as he immediately was lost when I mentioned Rajneesh was born into a Jaina home and from there we were off on a journey in which I proceeded to tall him about eastern philosophies & religions and fill in some gaps he seemed to have.
I guess I should explain to you why I call him an apostle.
He said to me that he has dropped everything & is trying to live like Jesus, like an Apostle. No home or belongings, having rejected mammon.
I find it kinda funny that we never in the course of things managed to get around to talking about sannyas.
I think he would have been very surprised to know that the very philosophies he is living out have their roots in the east.
I did describe how I live, how I have dropped my attachment to my possessions (that does not mean necessarily disposing of them, but not being attached, realizing that my belongings are not me, should be treated with respect in the larger scope of a symbiotic relationship with existence,that they are usable technologies, but not to be identified with.)
The difference I see between his way and mine is this....I wear my responsibility and he shirks it, putting his "guilt" of using mammon, the material world, off onto others. It is just a transference.
We talked about monism and dualism, the different kinds of relationships different people have with god, the need to personify deity...
We also talked about the nature of the priestly cast which exists in ALL cultural systems of organization. From religions, to science, to politics.
talked evolution and discovered he believes the world to be only 10,000 years old.
funny. I do not completely dismiss that possibility because I don't feel a need to dismiss anything, I have room for all of it.
but it seems rather unpoetic.
I found it rather interesting how into Yahweh he was too.
the most revealing things bout the Yahwists mindset that came out of his mouth was something like:
"I understand how Yahweh uses Lucifer as the ax in his hand to judge his people."
I understand what he is wanting to say here....and to an extent I agree metaphorically. It is an acceptance of the role of the trickster. But the perspective is all messed up.
this is the kinda thing that led the church (which John does not support at all) to being the anti-christ.
(think about how what is currently called christianity was spread - it was decidedly NOT spread in the spirit of Christ).
I tried to express to John that one could experience God in all things.
this is the BIG disconnect between east & west.
the western judeo-christian-islamic world has not gotten past it's adolescence. It still needs a parent, so it personifies everything in terms of NOUNS. OWNERSHIP is the main definition of these traditions. Everything BELONGS to god.
in the east, there is not as much of a need for a parent so it is a more playful relationship. The concepts of deity exist but not in such a hamfisted manner.
and when one gets to beings like Lao Tzu or Buddha (notice I did NOT say taoism or buddhism) there is no need for deity whatsoever.
it comes full circle back to the original religion, that God is in all things. There is no separation.
What John had a problem with is not being able to accept contradiction as a part of the whole.
I think he was perplexed and possibly troubled by my being at peace with "not knowing" and not needing to believe in an absolute truth.
I even asked him things like:
"Is unconditional love moral?" (I think it is amoral as it is beyond judgment and division),
"Is Yahweh moral?"
if God is infinite & this world is like a painting of his (john talked of creator & created in terms of artist & painting) then isn't it absurd to believe that he would only paint one painting?
john seemed to think it was stupid to look to space for life as there is no good chance of there being any.
I found it amusing that he started to use science to back this one up.
it is interesting how beings like this pick & choose what parts of reality they use to support their illusions or need to believe in a particular holographic manifestation.
Now, I have to admit that talking o him led me to a bit of a spiritual crises.
I have always had problems with certain aspects of the rajneesh story.
to me, it seems like everyone on BOTH sides of that story seem to miss by so much!
all of the ugliness & beauty there together. Those that see the ugly dismiss the beauty, those that see the beauty dismiss the ugly.
it is disturbing!
so many accept rajneesh (as Osho - and probably without really thoroughly researching the story) without question.
they accept this whole notion of him as "enlightened master" without question.
I myself have allowed a lot of leeway in my acceptance of him because he is an amazingly beautiful man in so many ways. Yet he is also the ugliest of the ugly and that cannot be ignored. That is part of the lesson he was teaching.
I think people miss that he was an experiment, and that he invited people to join in. He told them every step of the way what he was doing & what his intentions were.
yet somehow, while playing out the drama, while playing the roles, it seems that the majority of those involved became attached to their illusions. They got caught up in the game.
one can see this happen on a lesser level all of the time.
an example I can think of that made me laugh in my college days was the band Urge Overkill.
at first, it seemed like their whole image persona thing was tongue in cheek, but over time, somehow they actually became the characters they were playing. They became a shadow of themselves.
and this is exactly what happened with rajneesh.
for me, the peak of his journey was around '75-'76. The discourses I resonate with most are from that period or earlier.
seems to me at that point is when the experiments started to go deeper & deeper & the whole twisted rational of the Ashram and the acceptance of anything became what can only be termed questionable.
many want o simply dismiss the talk of drug trafficking and such, but those things cannot simply be dismissed.
one need not dismiss them or accept them to learn from them!
of course, in an ashram that is about absolute acceptance on many levels, one can only expect the troubled & questionable to be present, and from what rajneesh said, he was allowing things to happen so that people would have to take responsibility unto themselves. But at the same time he would say that he was responsible for everything that occurs at the ashram.
sticky wickets everywhere!
I think there was a great importance to what rajneesh did, what he and the commune became, because in the end it embodies everything that it should not have!
it is such a good example of intentional community because on so many levels it was an amazing success.
they were able to fund the building of a city! The transformation of arid overgrazed land into a fertile valley.
but then the stupid disciple had to go & demand a rajneeshee bible.
no one seems to get that rajneesh set them all up to fall. That he probably DID create the situation in Oregon that turned so ugly. This was the MOST important part of the entire lesson he taught! Of his entire life!
that all of the sannyasins had to let go! That their entire need to love the master was in the end a barrier to their own journeys.
if he had not destroyed that which was created around him, it would have become an increasingly insular thing and the very idea that his philosophy was founded on would remain unexpressed....To live IN the world, IN the marketplace, but not be OF it.
having an intentional community in the middle of nowhere is NOT being in the world, it is creating one of illusion.
if one cannot go back & forth freely between the two, then one has missed!
there are many many excuses made for rajneesh, but I do not buy it.
I love him dearly, in all of his fucked upness.
he had a kind of boldness, a call it as I see that I love.
he was definitely a trickster. His role was that of questioner, of destroyer.
the destroyer of illusion.
somehow though, he got caught up in his own illusion.
I think we all simply need to see it in perspective.
there were casualties definitely, but ANY cultural change or experiment has casualties and at least he had the respect to tell people exactly what it was he was doing!
meanwhile, society at large lives within the greatest psychological experiment ever created and they are being told that they are free while being constantly bombarded with mind control techniques.
in some strange way, rajneesh was exposing mind control techniques to his followers.
he was using them in order to do it, but he would say what he was doing. And he was attempting to teach how to control one's own mind in order to combat the control of others.
at least this is what I am getting from it all.
it is glaringly obvious to me though that this was not the case for a good deal of the sannyasins involved at the time because they seem to have gotten TOO invested in eh whole master/disciple relationship.
when people on message boards say that "his spirit is still alive so it is ok to be with the master" or that kinda crap, I want to take a big ass zen stick & knock them on their asses!
for they have COMPLETELY missed!
there is nothing NICE about rajneesh. He never could have given a shit what you thought about him.
and his love was much like that of Yahweh in many regards. Of course, one has to recognize that Yahweh & Lucifer are playing the good cop bad cop game in order to understand this.
The God program is always set to enslave because god is not a thing.
it is an experience.it is not a noun, it is a becoming, it is ever changing, it is infinite & there's no way anyone is going to convince me to limit that by putting boundaries on it.
for myself there is only one measure of worth. Unconditional, infinite love.
everything else is just playing with shells at the seashore while the truth is out there in the depths waiting for you.
of course, we already know that I am completely full of shit.