Osho: Mystic or Moron?

I’ve spent much of the day today trying to figure out how to tie a bow tie, but I just can’t figure it out. Learned how to do a Windsor knot while at it though, so not a complete failure. In any case, around 3 AM today, while the huge amounts of caffeine were starting to wear off on me, I found on youtube OSHO. From the looks of it, he seems to claim to be an Indian mystic. Now, I want to make one thing perfectly clear and that is that I do believe in mystics. I have no problem believing that different people can have visions of the Divine. However, I do believe that even mystical visions have to be compatible with knowledge. This should not be confused with simply fitting into categories. One way to illustrate this point is what C. S. Lewis uses in Miracles, i.e. the mystic limpet and the scholarly limpet. If a limpet catches a glace of a human, he has no categories to explain what it has seen. A scholarly limpet may ask it, “Did this thing you saw have tentacles?” the obvious answer is, “no,” and so on and so forth. All this means is that limpets have never conceived of such a being before, hence they have no categories for it. To conclude from this that the being seen by the mystic limpet does not exist would be obviously foolish.

However, when you express thought, the Law of Non-Contradiction still needs to be taken into account. His answer to “If you believe there is no God, are you an atheist?” is rather complicated. He basically says that even though he believes that there is no God, but that his belief is not the same as atheists’, because though he does not believe in God, he believes in “godliness,” or Consciousness. Now this sounds like a really sophisticated answer, unless you have read philosophy before. Let us examine what “believing in ‘godliness'” without believing in God means. That is a lot like saying, “I don’t believe anything red exists, but I do believe in ‘redness.'” Of course, that statement could make if red things once existed, but if nothing red ever existed, then believing in something that makes things red is rather non-sensical. If we do ignore this part and accept that something got lost in translation, let us look at the part about Consciousness. This is the regular Buddhist belief, i.e. you and I don’t really exist, we are just part of the one great spirit that is everything. In other words, pantheism (wait, did you just say pan-theism?). So, it would follow that dear old Osho is a theist after all, though his supporters can make one final push by saying that by “theist” he meant a believer in a personal god. I guess that’s fair, but if he knows who Marx (not too surprising) and Epicurus (more surprising, though he gets his philosophy wrong*) are, he should know that monotheism and theism are not the same thing, but I digress.

*-Epicurus is a kind of Deist (by modern standards) i.e. he believed that the gods created the world, but that they are so perfect and unchanging that they cannot be involved with human affairs, so worshipping them has no point, but not that they don’t exist.

What I saw next, convinced me about Osho. In another interview he talks about how Jesus did not actually die in Judea, but was sent off to India, where he lived to be 112. Now, this leaves the realm of philosophy and goes into history (red flag #1). I’m going to go ahead here and just point out that we know from Suetonius that there was a Christian community in Rome by 49 CE and so on and so forth. Also, we know that the Romans considered Christianity superstitio, which means not necessarily wrong belief, but exaggerated, over the top expression, to the point of silliness. According to Osho, Jesus never died on the cross. He explains that there was a conspiracy between Pontius Pilate and a rich man (I’m going to guess Nicodemus here, according to the Gospels) to crucify Jesus late into Friday (the Gospels say roughly the third hour, which means three hours after sunrise, so about 9 AM) and then remove Him from the cross at night, since the next day was Holy (of course, in real Judaism, Passover would start at the setting of the Sun on Friday, which is probably why the Gospels account Jesus being taken off the cross around the ninth hour if memory serves, which would be about 3 PM). Osho’s whole point is that it takes 48 hrs to as much as 5 days for a normal man to be killed by crucifixion, so Jesus must not have died by when he was taken off the cross, but been knocked unconscious by the loss of blood. Of course, the question becomes, how did he lose enough blood to be knocked unconscious,because that means a huge drop in blood pressure, i.e. something unlikely to be caused by needles at the wrists and at the legs would cause that, since the Romans tried to miss the major blood vessels, they want you to die slowly, so then the story of the centurion stabbing Jesus in the side must also be true (of course, the fact that blood and water came out, which would mean the heart would have burst). Aside from the fact that you need a blood transfusion to save a guy that’s gone unconscious from losing too much blood, this idea that just because it usually takes 48 hrs. for a person to die from crucifixion no one can ever die in less time is simply silly. It is a lot like saying that because it usually takes about four punches in the same proximity of the face to make an adult male bleed, that no one has ever made anyone bleed in less than four punches is ridiculous. In addition, why India would be the chosen destination is never explained, why Pilate would have agreed to a deal with a Jew is also very much in question, if he is well-known for hating them as a kindred, and finally whether there is any evidence that Jesus’ remains are in India are never adressed. Another question would be why His followers went around proclaiming He was dead and came back to life, but I think we got enough points of contradiction already.

Throw on top of all that the fact that Osho elongates the last syllable of every word coming out of his mouth for added dramatic effect and I think everyone who has read Plato can figure out what category he belongs to. He is a sophist: loads of bullcrap, loads of dramatics, very complicated logic that comes into a circle if you go through it. He is not the first we have heard of, probably not the last either. As the first sentence ever written down in English goes, “Whaet. We gar-Dena in geardegum/þeodcyninga, þrym grephunon/hu ða aepelingas ellen fremedon,” (i.e. [so] what, we have heard of the Spear-Danes in days gone by…).

So, the moral of the story. People, when you hear a brand new mystic has appeared on the face of the earth, don’t say good-bye to you mind. Examine them first, in fact, examine everything first. In The Screwtape Letters, in the very first letter, the senior demon instructs the junior one that the first basic step to Hell is to push people back from using their mind. So, use your mind, whether you believe in Hell or not, it won’t hurt you, I promisse.


21 comments on “Osho: Mystic or Moron?

  1. Nootropics says:

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  3. Hex says:

    God is a noun. Godliness a verb. Which is real?

  4. davor says:

    Osho was a parody, and I don’t think that it makes much sense to analyze consistency of a parody. You either laugh or leave it, if it’s too stupid. I’ve googled him, and this is what he had to say on Law of Non-Contradiction: ”I am the most free person who has ever existed as far as saying anything is concerned. I can contradict myself in the same evening a hundred times. Because it is not a speech, it has not to be consistent. It is a totally different thing… My speaking is being used … as a strategy to create silence in you.” I agree on Osho being close to sophists – not only that he lacked belief that speech has anything to do with truth, but he also preferred paying customers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0O9IK8bxM8

    Funny guy. 🙂

    But, seriously, I think that from C. S. Lewis’ point above we can conclude that there is no way for a non-mystic like myself to decide whether another person is a mystic or not. For Osho I’d say probably not, but, obviously, I am a scholarly limpet.

    • The only reason why I put this up is because I cannot believe that people still pay money for people like this. Small though this may be in terms of stopping them, I will know I have done my part.

      Now, about knowing mystics. We cannot truly know, that’s true, but we can distinguish between truth and fake. Like Lewis says in Mere Christianity, true things are often very surprising and complicated, they’re not what you’d expect. If you read a piece that just screams everything you’d expect out of a mystic writer, then it’s probably fake. If it’s something that’s so different from anything you’ve ever heard before, that’s just weird, but that you know rings of a truth deeper than you’ve ever thought before, then it’s probably true. Of course, the question is whether you trust your heart and you can only trust your heart by keeping your will pure.

  5. davor says:

    When I say ‘’sophist’’, it is not so pejorative (I certainly don’t mean ‘’moron’’ by it). A quote from W. K. C. Guthrie, The Sophists (1977), pg. 49.: ”Grant (Ethics 1, 76f.) worked out a division of morality into three eras: ‘first, the era of popular or unconscious morals; second, the transitional, sceptical or sophistic era; third, the conscious or philosophic era’. (In the third era, of course, the three stages will exist contemporaneously among people of different education and intellectual powers.) He noted a parallel development in the individual: ‘The simplicity and trust of childhood is succeeded by the unsettled and undirected force of youth, and the wisdom of matured life. First, we believe because others do so; then, in order to obtain personal convictions, we pass
    through a stage of doubt; then we believe the more deeply but in a somewhat different way from what we did at the outset.’ Now if one thinks of the great things that lay ahead—the philosophies
    of Plato and Aristotle, to be followed by the Stoics, Epicureans and other philosophers of the Hellenistic age—there can be no doubt that, however it may be with Greek history in general, with the Sophists Greek thought entered not on its decline but on its early manhood.”

    From this point of view (perhaps more Hegelian than platonic), the Sophists were necessary condition for Socrates and for ‘’philosophical era’’. It is transition from ortho-doxy (true belief) to knowledge (justified true belief) that requires some (sophistic) period of questioning everything. In your post on Nietzsche you recognized that ‘’death of (Christian and platonic) god’’ could be seen as comparable with the context in which Socrates emerged, and that was ‘’the transitional era’’ or ‘’sophistic era’’. (By the way, Osho gave line-by-line commentary on Nietzsche’s Thus Spake Zarathustra.) The West (or at least Europe, it seems that Christian tradition is still rather strong in USA) had entered ‘’sophistic era’’, after the long period of ‘’unconscious’’ Christian (‘’Platonism for the masses’’) morality. So, when Nietzsche says ‘’ What I narrate is the history of the next two centuries”, I believe it has precisely this meaning: we are in transitional era. And I say, contra Nietzsche, the way out of it, the way out of nihilism, is once again philosophy/Platonism.

    Maybe Osho’s sophistic parody of Eastern mystics coming to de-spiritualized West, if considered in that context, could be interpreted with more charity.

    • I cannot interpret sophists the same way you do. If you’ve ever read the Theatetus or Gorgias and so on and so forth, you can see that they’re just out to get money out of people and create power-hungry bastards. Forget about Plato though, just read Gorgias’ Man Is the Measure of All Things and draw your own conclusions.

      • davor says:

        It is not the Sophists that corrupt demos, but, on the contrary, demos corrupts a potential philosopher and turns him into a sophist (Rep. 492) Sophist then revenges by abusing demos. The vicious circle can be broken only if ”some god happens to come to his [young potential philosopher’s] rescue”. So, my point is that some kind of ”death of God”, that is weakening of traditional (mostly unconscious) spirituality and morality, is pre-condition for emergence of sophists. If God is dead, then there’s nothing to prevent potential philosopher from becoming a sophist. Sophists are a symptom, not the cause of social illness.

        Good thing about some of them is that they provide something like obvious reductio ad absurdum of the way of life they advocate. 😉

      • I think they’re both. Obviously it is the political climate of Athens (in the specific case) and the degree to which our own culture is rotten that causes such people to come about. However, though they are a corruption of something good (what great evil isn’t),they, after being corrupted, are evil themselves and continue in a sort of vicious cycle (the people of the time make the sophist who he is, then he infects them even more, then the second sophist is twice worse than the first one, and so on and so forth). Obviously the only way to combat that cycle is true philosophy…

        Other than that though, I think that a lot of people would have a hard time arguing against us having some Divine Providence. With all that’s gone wrong in the last century, not to go further, it’s a surprise we’re still a civilization.

  6. I find it fascinating that you have so much to say on Christian theology, mystics as well as eastern mystics when you are not educated formally in any of them. If you had been educated in these matters then you would plainly state who is authoring your page, where you studied and so forth as your actual name is not mentioned anywhere on this site. If you are educated then you know that it is necessary to post your own writings under your own name unless you do not wish us to have it. Why you would keep this information from your readers if you have nothing to hide is suspect, unless you are not that proud of what you are postulating.

    Osho was a true mystic and if you were one yourself, you would recognize the signs of that. Though I am not one of his followers I still have to give him credit for having many truly good things to add to the eastern ideal of what spirituality is and isn’t. Fact is, Osho was ‘correct’ on many fronts that even devout Hindus still argue with. I am not saying that he was perfect, but he was a master of himself, or he would be unable to know the things that he knew if he had not been. He possessed secret knowledge that cannot be attained within any book on spirituality, but only through a personal experience referred to as ‘enlightenment’ or ‘cosmic consciousness’ (Maslow, no date). Though I would not agree with everything that Osho said personally (on Jesus or Buddha lacking self-realization until later in their lives), I would have to say that he was probably more knowledgeable than you are on Biblical theology. If you wish to make statements about the Christian Bible, as if they were infallible, then you need to use more than that text if you wish to debate upon it. It is simply a controlled system which was put together by Constantine, who was not a theologian either, but a political leader who wished to use a unified ‘belief system’ to unite the people under his rule.

    “In a sense Constantine becomes the embodiment of the righteous king. And once he consolidates his power by conquering, eventually, not only the West, but also the Greek East where there are many more Christians [who are] concentrated in the cities, which are the social power packets of this culture, [he] is in this amazing position of having a theology of government that he can use to consolidate his own secular power. And it works both ways. The bishops now have basically federal funding to have sponsored committee meetings so they can try to iron out creeds and get everybody to sign up.” (Underleider, 1998, para 12).

    His edict to change scripture, adding to it what he wished and taking away other possible facts that he found unmanageable had little to do with actual facts did they? Use your education in philosophy (???) to honor that truth to your readers. Nothing that Constantine put in the Bible will ever be able to find 100 percent validation by anyone in this time period and you should know that, yet you go after the text as if it is – not mostly fiction. Osho wrote from the core of who he was with ‘authority’; this is very difficult and even impossible to achieve without any true spiritual mystical gnana that can only be achieved from a cosmic consciousness experience or having achieved a state of self-realization. Most people who call themselves mystics are not self-realized, they quote others, they quote Osho or Jesus or any number of other individuals who have that spiritual authority that comes naturally to anyone who has experienced these states. I know as I am one of them.

    You should probably not presume to assume that you are even remotely qualified to judge Osho, Jesus or any other ‘mystic’/religious leader for that matter unless you had walked in their shoes – literally, or didn’t your parents teach you that proper form of etiquette?

    P.S. modern Platonist a.k.a. ?, I did notice too that you do not always properly ‘cite’ your writings. Is there a reason for that? You speak of being a student and an academic, yet you do not know the proper citation model that is required per A.P.A. standards. Credibility can only be obtained in your own expertise on a matter or using credible sources to postulate points of a matter that have been published by those who are experts in their respective fields.

    Samuel Ungerleider, (1998). (Professor of Judaic Studies and Professor of Religious Studies Brown University). Legitimization Under Constantine, THE PATH TO VICTORY. Retrieved from: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/why/legitimization.html

    Supraconsciousness Network, (no date). Peak Experience, Mystical Experience.
    Retrieved from: http://www.supraconsciousnessnetwork.org/DPPeakexperience.htm

    • There is much to respond to here, so I think I’ll number them.

      1) I am formally educated in Christian theology. (I think my responses of later points will be sufficient to prove this to you.

      2) The reason why I do not offer my name is because I want what I saw to stand on its own not based on my degrees and academic merits. When I have an article that I think should be published I send it to be published to a journal, this is more informal, what I would say, perhaps, if we were having a conversation. I also think that this ideal of judging everything by the academic merits of the author instead of the content of the work is quite erroneous. If you had read Soren Kierkegaard’s Philosophical Fragments, or A Fragment of Philosophy, you would understand that, to the Platonist, the identity and moment of the teacher is of no regard, so it does not matter for me if the people who learn something here will never know my name, it does matter that they will have learned something.

      3) I think I have said more than once that I am not a mystic. However, I do not think that this impedes me from having a criterion for true mysticism based on the data.

      4) I am vaguely familiar with Hindu Enlightenment; my knowledge of it comes from a class taught by Peter Kreeft on World Religions. I have read, however, Zen Way, Jesus Way by Tucker Callaway, which talks about Zen Buddhist enlightenment, but which explains the ideal of Eastern religions’ concept of enlightenment and some of the Bhagavad Gita. Nowhere in those books does it say that one of the markers of the Enlightened Guru is tax evasion.

      5) The statements that I make about the Bible are infallible, not because they rely on my fallible opinion, but because they were taught to me by the infallible Church of Christ, which can trace its teachings back to the Apostles (this is what people speak of when they talk about Apostolic Succession). On this authority, and no other one, do I support any of my arguments and, I think, it trumps Osho’s.

      6) I will address the Constantine question in an article (far too long of a theme to talk about here). As you request, it will be properly footnoted. However, I am leaving for the UK on Monday, so I cannot promise that I’ll have it up before Tuesday. If push comes to shove, I will write it up on the plane.

      7) It is true that I do not always properly footnote my posts. If someone has a question about one of my sources, I would be glad to provide. The reason for it is because I do not hold this blog to be a purely scholarly one (though I do have some of my essays from college posted here), but rather a general reference place. As I said above, this is more to spark conversation than to show my academic prowess.

      • James says:

        SHUT…THE….F*CK….UP!!!! you know nothing of enlightement until you have experienced it yourself and OSHO WILL get you there, Give other clueless a chance to know Osho without having their view of him distorted! Thanks

      • I cannot give anyone a chance who utters absurdities. Until they are logically and philosophically consistent, I cannot do anything but expose them as such.

  7. Red Heylin says:

    Your argument seems to be; “if I change a few things this guy said and add a few of my own assumptions, then I can make him look a chump!” Well, that’s easy, but it is not necessary for me to change anything you have said. I would expect better spelling from a graduate, but that’s a small matter;

    1) You have said; “he does not believe in God, he believes in “godliness,” or Consciousness” He didn’t say that – he said; “There is no God, but that does not mean that I’m an atheist…. because I say at the same moment that there is godliness. Atheists will not agree on that point. To them, denying god means denying consciousness. To them, denying god means the world is simply matter and nothing more”. This is very different – he has not said he believes in anything, nor has he said that godliness is consciousness. He is saying he is not a materialist, that’s all – hence Jesus may become “godly”, though there is no being “god”.

    2) “This is the regular Buddhist belief, i.e. you and I don’t really exist, we are just part of the one great spirit that is everything. In other words, pantheism”. Well, you will find it difficult to find a Buddhist who will agree.

    3) “In another interview he talks about how Jesus did not actually die in Judea, but was sent off to India, where he lived to be 112.” No, there IS a grave in Kashmir of this 112-year-old man who is popularly identified as Jesus. But you say “whether there is any evidence that Jesus’ remains are in India are never adressed”. Perhaps you skipped that bit. Perhaps you skipped learning to spell “addressed” too. Osho tended to accept this grave as Jesus’ and gave his reasons. He did not say that “this is the case, the fact”. Suetonius and superstitio has nothing to do with it. Then you say; “Pilate .. is well-known for hating them” (Jews) – but you just made that up, didn’t you?

    4) You write; “the first sentence ever written down in English goes, “Whaet….” (i.e. [so] what)”. This is hilarious. It’s “Hwaet” and it means “”quiet”. Not doing very well for such a highly-educated person – can’t even be bothered to look stuff up.

    5) And your piece de resistance; “Throw on top of all that the fact that Osho elongates the last syllable of every word… and I think everyone who has read Plato can figure out …He is a sophist:” Right. Plato says that people who elongate syllables are bad philosophers, is that it? It doesn’t even deserve a comment, does it?

    May I recommend you try a critique of “Noddy’s Magic Adventure”? But read carefully! Do not add your own stuff! Reason carefully! Watch the spelling! And you may just prove equal to the task.

    • With a response of these proportions, how can a man resist but to offer his own response?

      Before I begin, I do like to apologize for my spelling. I write these posts in one sitting and sometimes I do not notice my orthographic mistakes. I was a chump back when I wrote this post, though, but I think you’ll notice I have gotten better. Chump though I may have been, however, I was not wrong and I shall continue to provide responses for your points.

      1) I do not notice a big difference between what I said and what you said, except that I seem to have hinted that Consciousness and godliness to be equivalent. That aside (to be treated later), an abstract property cannot exist without a concrete base. Suppose I did not believe that there was a Form of Red and that there never was, nor had ever been, anything that was red. However, I did believe that “redness” existed. That would risk you into falling into Wittgenstein’s “beetle” problem, where twenty students are given a matchbox and told that the thing inside it is a beetle. No one can take the beetle out of the matchbox and no one can look at another’s beetle. It is quite possible that there’d be a pebble inside some of the matchboxes and that there’s be nothing in some others, but all the students (none of whom know what “beetle” means or have seen a beetle prior to the experiment) would call the thing or non-thing inside their matchbox a beetle.

      The same would happen with godliness. If there’s no concrete tethering for godliness, i.e. if there is no God and “godliness” is something innate (it has to be innate) in you that you can grow, then what principle do you use to say who’s doing it right and who’s doing it wrong? Nothing. Of course, Hinduism accepts this, because life is lila, play and escaping Samsara comes out of the realization that life is lila. Whereas most Enlightened Hindus choose to meditate upon realizing this, however, there could be nothing wrong with an Enlightened Hindu killing everyone in front of him or her upon realizing this (from a Hindu point of view). I obviously see a problem with that.

      2) I am going here by the books of a Zen Buddhist Master (I forget his name, will find out) and Zen Way Jesus Way by Tucker Callaway. Additionally, I’d argue on the basis of the Eight Noble Truths and the factual behaviour of Theravada Buddhists that this is so. I forget the names in the original language (because I haven’t had to work with Buddhist ideas for some time now), but I believe that Buddhist metaphysics teaches that there are five strings that provide the metaphysical reality and whenever the five become tied together a life begins and whenever they are untied the life ends. Something to that effect.

      3) There is a grave in Kashmir attributed to Jesus? Nice, there’s a cup in Scotland attributed to be the Life-Giving Holy Grail, let’s start a new religion based simply on what most people believe, without making absolutely sure that the claim is actually true. That “evidence”, my dear friend, is no evidence. Since Osho purports to have physical evidence for Christ’s going to India, let that be examined by the scientists, and see if modern science corroborates his story. Until then, and because of the second part of my response to Osho, I think I’ll stick to the version that seems most likely. Either way, Suetonius, Tacitus, Flavius Josephus, and Plinny the Younger all have something to do with it, unless you assume that they were evil Christian impostor spies, who infiltrated the Roman Empire in order to spread this lying version of Jesus’ life, which got those who believed in it great perks, such as imprisonment and death.

      4) It is Hwaet, that one was a typo. However, based on Seamus Heany’s reading of Beowulf it means something along the lines of “So what?” Forgive me, but I think I’ll stick to his reading of it, considering he’s one of the foremost experts and all.

      5) Plato says that sophists are like pastry-bakers, who seek to fool those who would believe them that their pastry will do them good, whereas the medicine which is often (back then physically and today spiritually) bitter will do them bad. Any forced or deliberate effect of speech or movement done to signify some sense of mysticism or the supernatural detracts from the seeking of truth and should not be employed, unless the object is not the seeking and teaching of truth, but the collection of followers and, most importantly, their money. Add that to a conviction for tax evasion and he’s ripe for a Platonic ass kicking.

      I am not familiar with “Noddy’s Magic Adventure,” but if I do critique it, I still think that I shall need more intellectual ability than what I’d need to realize that Osho is as bad of an excuse for a mystic as they come.

  8. Red Heylin says:

    Your reply was even more useless.

    1) There is no such thing as “a red”. Your argument that every adjective or quality must be derived from an object is absurd. There is nothing like “beauty”” outside beautiful things. There is no object “love” outside a loving act. Nobody needs to see some objective love to know that someone is being kind. Nobody supposes that, if a mountain is called “beautiful”, that beauty is a mountain and cannot be a flame. Hence Osho might say; it is better to say “lovingness” than to give the idea that there is an entity called “love”. This move towards rendering English as process, quality or act rather than object is a constant theme with him. This is not, as you suggested, a belief but a predeliction.

    2) You suggest once more that Osho claims to have some evidence of Jesus journey to Kashmir. That’s wrong. You claim that those Latin writers describe Christ’s life. Wrong again.

    3) For “hwaet!” see http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=4021 which describes Heaney (note spelling) as “weak” and suggests “listen!” (elsewhere “Old English word often used at the beginning of a poem to indicate that all prior speech is to end”) It is an imperative. It is not “so what”. I prefer “quiet!”.

    4) Eight noble truths, eh? There are four noble truths. A Zen master whose name you can’t remember, eh? I think you said enough about your knowledge of Buddhism. Ditto Hinduism. Better hwaet!

    5) Of course, your interpretation of Osho’s manner of speech as “done to signify some sense of mysticism or the supernatural” is just that – an interpretation. I should say it was an interpretation made specifically to reach the negative outcome you desire. It is not a rational argument. It is a sophistry.

    • 1) I would categorically disagree. Every property (as distinct from every adjective) has an objective Form that it is modelled by. That is why you can tell that something is “red” or whatever else. If there were no Form of Red, there’d be no principle of discrimination in order to determine what is “red.” (or f to use formal philosophical language) There is the Form of Beauty, which is beauty itself, which is instantiated into the property of beauty in everything in our world. I’d recommend you reading a bit more about Platonism before attacking one of its most basic premises.

      2) Tacitus says that there was a man called Jesus, whom some referred to as the Christ (the chosen one in Greek), who was executed under the reign of Emperor Tiberius. Flavius Josephus goes even further, saying that Jesus was well-known among the Jews and that he was executed under Emperor Tiberius. Plinny the Younger describes the practices of the early Christians, who held Christ to be dead and resurrected. St. Ignatius of Antioch, a student of the Apostle John in the first century (John was one of the people that hung around with Jesus) affirms the same story that Jesus was crucified under Tiberius. On top of that there are four extensive witness statements (known as the Gospels) that affirm that same story. There is, so to speak, a wealth of witness accounts that affirm this same version of what happened, both Christians and non-Christians. All you bring against this is that “people say” that some grave in India is Jesus’. Forgive me, but I think it is quite a weak argument to protect your case.

      3) I don’t even see why we are arguing about this. In school I was taught to go with Heany’s account (sorry for the spelling, I was writing after midnight). I really do not care as to whether it was “quiet” or “so what” or “the sky is blue.” I think we can both agree that the usage of hwaet is not substantive to the arguments and I used it as a joke, so let us leave the arguments concerning language to the linguists and resume our enquiry concerning philosophy.

      4) Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. Sorry, I get them mixed up some time, but, yes, according to the Four Noble Truths it is pretty easy to argue for my position. The Zen Master I was talking about was D. T. Suzuki. If you give me some more time I can even find a quote. Either way, I think it is pretty undisputable, on the basis of Zen Way Jesus Way, which has received praise in the Zen Buddhist community, that what I said was correct. I find it funny that you’re going after the sources instead of tackling the argument itself. Either way, I maintain that any Theravada Buddhist would agree with me.

      5) Elongating the last syllable of every word is an objectively determinable event. I don’t think that you’d disagree that he does it. It is left for us to wonder, then, why it is that he has done it. The choices are either he is in constant ecstasy over his exposure to the divine, or he is duping people. On the basis that other Buddhist and Hindu masters do not behave like him, however, I’d argue that he is doing this out of a sense of sophistry. If there were anything about Osho to convey a sense of honesty, I’d not knock him as I have done, but, correct me if I’m wrong, asking money out of people for conveying the “truth” which was given freely is theft and a an unmistakable sign of sophistry. On this basis, I have a duty to attack his treacherous teachings and proclaim their falsehood to the end.

  9. Hello, Author! That is one great post! Way to go, analyzing everything logically. I do not argue with the rigorousness of your analysis, but I dare to ask, is it really needed?

    A few questions. Do you also analyze zen stories and koans with this utmost logic? Is logical consistency the only thing which proves the worth of anything for you? How much knowledge do you have about Hindu and Buddhist theologies, and more importantly, the way these theologies are interpreted by the followers?

    Hinduism is a religion ridden with paradoxes, from the roots. Any Hindu can only keep his Hinduism alive if he is either an idiot, or he allows certain things to contradict by choosing with reference to context. Pic up the literature of any ‘mystic’ like Kabir, Tukaram, Meera, in India, and show me total logical consistencies, there are none. Ofcourse, if you consider those very people as idiots, I can not argue on that. I have nothing to prove that they were very intelligent people, except for the huge respect and fan following they have posthumously.

    How much of Osho have you read or experienced? By sitting in his home and commenting about someone based on analysis of his work, I think Osho is not the better sophist here, but you are. My parents have experienced his presence, their life has changed because of him. They never forced me to follow or read Osho, but they did tell me one thing, whenever I choose to read, I should read with non-bias.

    I found that Osho himself has said in one of his talks that ‘I am contradictory, because I am alive, a human. If you take my words as The Word, you will fail today or tomorrow. I praise Jesus today, I curse him tomorrow, because I am not dead, and I do not force myself to be consistent. If you really want to understand what I am trying to say, forget my words, because my words are just excuses for me to create silences in between. Feel this silence, forget my words.’

    You seem to expect somethings which Osho never promised to give. You seem to expect consistency in things from him which he never claimed to do. He never claimed to be consistent, he never asked anyone to follow him, he never forced anyone to pay money for his Rolce Royces, but he never avoided it either. As for taxation, I admit, the old fool could have payed up if the law required it.

    Indian philosophy is different from western philosophy, and you are trying to measure joy in inches. Contradiction is seen as a way of teaching in Hinduism, Buddhism and Zen, and Osho’s richness was one of those things, because no sane person buys 93 Rolce Royces. He claimed that the priests are saving the poor, who will pay attention to the Rich? Hence I am here. When criticized for this, he said ‘I agree, this is unfair, and I am ready to exchange places with the Pope and serve the poor, if he is willing to’.

    Osho was not a God, he was not a saint, he was not even enlightened, Osho was just a human being, urging people to come and be humans again. Osho’s commentaries on the Bhagvad Geeta, Ashtavakra Geeta, Buddhism, Sufism and Zen are amongst the most insightful literatures available today. His thoughts about abortion, sex, AIDS prevention and sexual freedom were lightyears ahead of the social norms of his day, and his thoughts on Homosexuality were acceptable too, at ‘If two men want to have sex, let them, but no way is Homosexuality natural, rather it is a byproduct of sexual suppression due to religion’, which is partially the case in churches and Buddhist monasteries. The fact that you could not find even one positive thing about Osho taints with bias, even the logically reasonable arguments you put forth. Osho was never meant to be a clean logically calculated person. A man as straight as the Gautam Buddha in todays world would have been killed or rediculed. He was crooked because the crooked steals attention. He had sex, he because rich, he became a badass, but his core philosophy was always that of openness and awareness, strictly against dogmatism of any form.

    Why do I see your arguments as lacking any effective weightage? Since if I accept every ‘flaw’ you mentioned about Osho, and throw it in the garbage, it still keeps me with tonnes of useful stuff I learnt from his talks, which have nothing to do with the logical correctness of ‘consciousness and Godliness’, Jesus’s birth or death, or any other historic view? When you comment about a philosopher or mystic, comment about his philosophy, not his accuracy of History.

    Other than that, I found your post really interesting!

    • Hi!

      Thanks for you comments, they seem to be insightful. There’s a lot of things that you mention, so I will try to get through them as best as I can.

      I am very appreciative of the Zen tradition, though I am by no means part of it. As I understand, koans are meant to be interpreted logically as a means to transcend logic. Now, I may not agree with that, but I can respect a difference in tradition and the Buddhists are (generally speaking) very good people, so I am willing to overlook metaphysical differences for the sake of friendship and dialogue and, in that score, there is much that the West can learn from the Buddhists. One of my mentors in college is a man who studied Zen Buddhism for some time. He and I find much wisdom in it, though neither are part of the tradition.

      The crucial difference between a koan and what Osho says in this particular occasion is that a koan does not make a historical claim, or, if it does, it does so accidentally and not as a part of its purpose. In fact, it seems to me that it would be to misunderstand the purpose of the koan if one looks at it as a historical statement.

      Osho, on the other hand, is making a historical statement. As such, it is expected that it has some connection to reality. If assertion is a sufficient cause for making a historical claim, then I would like to assert that Osho was really the Zodiac killer and that he used his guru identity as a means to hide his true identity, that of a horrid serial killer.

      I am very respectful of the mystical tradition, but it does not seem to me that Osho, from what smidgeon of it I know, is part of that tradition. Then again, I do not make a claim to know anything about it. As you rightly pointed out, I am only marginally familiar with Osho’s work. However, what I know of him is already worrisome. He is not a Hindu in the traditional sense of the word. If I remember correctly, the love of money is the second out of a four step evolution to Enlightenment (the first is love of pleasure, the third is love of honor, and the last is love of eternal being, truth, and beauty), so if I am interpreting traditional Hindu psychology correctly, Osho is not quite there yet. Of course, this does not mean that he could not have much impact for good in the world. I think Nietzsche’s philosophy is very dangerous, but I know at least one person who has come to the truth by being acquainted with Nietzsche.

      Nonetheless, his thoughts about consistency worry me. It could be that he is conflating two different meanings of the word, in that he is taking moral consistency and logical consistency to be the same. Logical consistency relates to keeping definitions constant, not including enthymemes, etc. In other words, it has to do with intellectual honesty and integrity (where it is done consciously, a work that is unwittingly logically inconsistent points to an incomplete grasp of the principles at play). Moral consistency, however, means that you always practice what you preach. Here, I would agree with Osho. A lot of times we know what the right thing to do is, but we don’t do it. I am a sinner and it seems that Osho might be too. The fact that we often miss the mark morally, however, does not excuse us from the requirement of logical consistency.
      Now, granted, what little I know of Hinduism, logical consistency is not something grasped at (as I understand it, Hinduism and Buddhism both seek to transcend reason). The only difference is that a lot of the mystics are not making historical claims. If the Buddha, for example, is being used as the subject of a story that is very unlikely historical, I believe the point is to understand the meaning of the story rather than seeing it as a historical testimony. Of course, the Socratic dialogues are very similar to this within Western philosophy. The point of the Apology is not to faithfully record Socrates defense (though it could be), but to understand its meaning.

      It could be that this is the case in what Osho is doing, but I have a hard time unpacking any meaning out of the narrative that Osho provides for Jesus other than that it is what happened historically. A previous commenter, in fact, tried to defend the historical merit of his theory. I have no problem with someone using the character of Jesus in fiction (I think the “Grand Inquisitor” form The Brothers Karamazov is a treasure of Russian literature), but we must not confuse it with history.

      I think that Osho’s requirement for money is emblematic of his sophism. The Hindu masters, being Enlightened, saw no point in money. Well, if Osho is Enlightened, we should expect some sort of resemblance between him and them. If, on the other hand, he is not enlightened (as you seem to succeed), then it is wrong for him to claim enlightenment, in fact, even dishonest. As far as Zen Buddhism goes, there has been a need to provide certification for people who the Zen masters accept as legitimate Buddhist teachers. I used to know the name, but I forget it. (I know that D. T. Suzuki had one) The point is, if Zen Buddhism has seen a need to provide some sort of official designator for who is a sage and who isn’t, then one would expect that it would be only common sense to require some proof of Enlightenment before accepting Osho’s views and, from where I stand, I see very little of it in Osho.

      • That was very prompt of you! Thanks!

        It is not just Zen that sees no point in logic. Sufism, Taoism, and even the Vedanta philosophies and Bhakti sees no point in logic beyond a certain point. Now we can either call all these thinkers as morons or try to see what they really mean to say:

        Logic, what is it? It is my world view, it is my precondition that the world should follow certain rules and adhere to it, and it is the discovery that for most mental things, and for all physical things, this ‘flow of causality’ follows. Logic is based on the primary assumption that every ‘object’ should have sufficient information associated to it which will help us determine its cause. Now, the universe doesn’t give a damn about logic. Plants don’t think logically and do stuff, nor to animals. In fact, a much greater calculation is at work, which is not always deducible. The laws of the Universe are at work! Simple things like radioactivity are unpredictable at their basic level, what can we say about consciousness? Logic is seen as a substance of premeditation. Logic by itself ‘creates’ hypothesis, pollutes our expectations. Now this is very helpful if I want to be a doctor or a lawyer, or a cricketer or a musician, to be able to predict things and work out connections, but on an inner level, logic prevents my unhindered access to truth. The Hindu Bhakti tradition has scores of stories which prompt followers to ‘forget all rituals, stop worshipping me, if I become a hinderance, kill me and proceed’. The philosophy is that the laws of the universe govern everything, and ARE CAPABLE of helping us live our life without our ego projections. They understand that ‘ego’ is an essential survival mechanism, helpful for a child to grow into a man, but beyond that, for inner peace, one needs to realize his true place in life. By all quantifications, what is the size of my ego compared to the size of the universe? These philosophies wanted to make this knowledge as a realization…for me to ‘realize’ my smallness in front of the universe. When there is no ‘ego’ controlling my life (notice, I did not say ego dies), there is no reason for logic in my life. It ceases to be a necessity, and it becomes a bonus instead.

        I understand that you find it difficult to accept why ‘logic’ is a limitation when it comes to inner realizations or spirituality or simply awareness. What I don’t understand is why you feel it to be a less consistent world view than that of your own.

        Frankly, zen buddhism can not be studied…it has to be lived. Smelling a fruit and eating it are two different things. Smelling a fruit can make you a ‘master knower’ of the fruit. You can tell which one is good and which is stale, you can identify the fruit with your eyes closed. You can pick out the best fruit for your friends if they ask for it. You almost become a master of the said fruit. But you have not tasted it!

        >”The crucial difference between a koan and what Osho says in this particular occasion is that a koan does not make a historical claim”

        I disagree. Plenty of koans make claims of mysterious mountains, locations, instances, lineages etc.

        One thing you need to understand. Language is really a small tool to exchange knowledge, and to judge someone based on his ‘words’ is something very childish. No wonder Obama won the Noble Peace Prize! What did he ever do to get it? Speeches?

        Osho was a chatterbox, just like the Buddha. If you think Osho spoke bad things but the Buddha spoke ‘great’ things, you are mistaken. Both of them spoke things remotely indicating spirituality, but lightyears away from the actual topic! The Buddha taught more by the life he lived. He taught more by absurdities.

        Have you read the Diamond Sutra by Buddha? It is so absurd and illogical that Osho seems like Bertrand Russell. Have you read Osho’s commentary on it? It brings sense into the entire load of horse shit!

        >” The point of the Apology is not to faithfully record Socrates defense (though it could be), but to understand its meaning. ”

        Was Osho’s intention to speak history? No. He was speaking to his people as a Commune. A commune is an entity which is equated to ‘a cult’ in the west, but it isn’t so. A commune is a place where people understand each other so deeply that the ‘formalities of language’ can be compromised. Osho’s intention was not to teach them history, even though the conviction with which he talks seems to say that. Remember, the english you speak and the english I speak is different, because we come from different cultures. A commune develops its own language, it’s own ways of life, and people understand the emotional reference when someone talks. That is the entire purpose of a commune, to not waste time in the formalities of language. The point of Osho opening his mouth was to shock people into thinking out of their religious boxes. He stimulated them by shock. Again, I referred to his own speech where he WARNS that he is not going to be consistent in his talks.

        I say that Osho was not enlightened. He himself said that. But he said something else. He said ‘I am no more enlightened. I have once again become a human, I can laugh and cry, I can enjoy the worldly possessions while having tasted the other-worldly.’ He mentions that the Buddha was a failure, because he could not get past ‘enlightenment’, enlightenment, however transparent, is still a label isn’t it? Why even have the label of enlightenment? There is an old zen koan which refers to this failure of the Buddha…Osho spoke as a Bodhisattva, a man who has glimpsed. He spoke of openness and awareness, he spoke against dogma, he spoke for free sexuality, and he spoke for a world without dogmatic religion, consistently. He warned people to destroy his ashram after he died, but we all know that order was not going to be followed. Tibetians recognize him as a coming of the Buddha. And in today’s materialistic world, if I can trust any person’s religious intuitions, it will be a Tibetian monk.

        >” The Hindu masters, being Enlightened, saw no point in money.”

        Do you see, you too fell into that subtle trap? One who goes to a master goes as a student, a seeker, without expectations. How then, can he judge a master based on money and riches? The entire point of SEEKING A MASTER in Hinduism is to submit your ego (not to specifically the master, but just submit), and embrace him as a teacher. Osho asked why are you judging me if you call me a Master? His main question was, Why do you have prejudiced expectations from a master? Who declared that an ascetic should ‘not be rich’?

        Remember. An ascetic is Indifferent to material riches. This means he neither loves them or hates them. This is a very non-Christian view, and IMO, very down to earth and true. A person who truely is ‘beyond money and sex’ is not afraid of them. He embraces them with equal enjoyment as much as when he rejects them. Osho had 93 Rolce Royce, no sane person needs so many. When asked about them once, why he needed 93 RRs, he answered along these lines: “I need 365, not just 93. I need one for each day. I need them to show people like you. I have created an Oasis in the deserts of Oregon, I have created a community living and thriving with life, we grow our own food here and cure our own people. There used to be barren land here, we grow our own stuff now. My chair and my watch has been made by people with love. People are happy here, free to live as they want, people laugh here with their hearts. And you see the 93 RRs. I will continue to buy more cars till people stop questioning this.”

        When an ascetic leaves his home, wears one clothes for 3 years, eats from garbage cans or from respectful begging (called Bhiksha), people respect him, people adore him as to how great he is, even though he lives a life highly divorced from the normal human life. Now consider a person who says he is an ascetic, but lives lavishly, richly, and happily enjoying women and sex, gold plated diamond studded watches, and gold toilets. In fact, this life is not so strange, it is exactly how rich people live! But now, everyone has a problem! Do you see the irony? No one has set the rule for asceticism for one to be poor. The definition of an ascetic is one who is Indifferent to everything. One who is Indifferent has the ability to both Do and Not Do stuff. Otherwise, it’s just the same. One person runs towards sex and money, one runs away, what is the difference?

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