An Amazon review of Osho’s Moral, Immoral, Amoral……was Osho a psychopath?
Was Osho a psychopath? If so, it would seem quite bizarre he would indulge in ‘moralizing about moralizing’ like a second rate student of Nietzsche who never read a book of Kant on ethics. First, this series of books are from the Osho disciple sausage machine of homogenized ‘osho-ism’ so we aren’t quite sure who is speaking (there is no such book in the original Rajneesh/Poona hardback series, but there are core quotations that make discussion reasonably on track).
Was Osho a psycopath? There term is psychiatric but it seems psychiatry would not correctly assess a figure like Osho. Was Gurdjieff Beelzebub? In the latter case he admitted to being a demon. In many ways his imitator Osho appears demonic but he only confessed to being a ‘buddha’, not a demon. (Many hindus thought Buddha Gautama a demon and his path a journey into hell, and Osho charged some faction of late ‘esoteric’ buddhists with creating nazism with a drone Hitler). .But Osho’s claim to be ‘enlightened’ is subject to severe doubt such is the sheer chaos of his movement with its drug money, prostitution, and criminality, to say nothing of Osho’s drug habit and shenanigans .with his dentist. It seems Osho was apparently brazen enough to fake enlightenment (with a brief higher state of consciousness soon waning, hence the convenient talk of being ‘beyond enlightenment’) and create a neo-buddhist religion without a buddha.
If the book gets two stars instead of one it is because it is a challenge to even worse religious morality, witness the truly dreadful shambles of the Mosaic myth and its canon of commandments. Yet the latter had at least the primitive almost charming archaism of a primitive Canaanite world making a first attempt at a monotheistic moral law. in the context of the barbarism of child sacrifice (whose dilemmas (?) persist into the Old Testament. The christians quickly sensed a problem and attempted one of the first universal principle corrections with the theme of love.
The Osho answer is another stab at a universal one-liner in a brand of ‘new agey’ jargon: consider the blurb on the back cover: ‘I don’t say cultivate morality, I say become more conscious and you will be moral…’ We should note there is a further contribution here by another Osho must have imitated, Crowley, with his ‘do what thou will …’ (with a love lemma thrown in). The apotheosis here must be Crowley’s sacrifice of a frog, hey, do not what thou wilt…please…
The world has mored into a reformation beyond ‘buddhas’ perhaps, if Osho is no buddha and cannot think through the issues of morality. Let us note the large moral baggage of buddhism, and the indic/yogic priniciple of karma. The doctrines of Karma are inchoate yet have suffered a strong rebuttal from a number of new age ‘gurus’ who have declared there is no such thing as ‘karma’. But the realm of advaita perhaps rightly points to the possibility of some kind of ‘imprint’ of action in one life passing into the next at the level of some deeper aspect of self (in the usual muddle of concepts here): but then what is the canon of karmic judgment (our version can avoid this). This complicates the question with kantian unknowables as metaphysics, which doesn’t mean they are wrong, But the issues are now too complex for resolution: we must resolve the issue of soul, reincarnation, and the nature of the ‘between lives’ bardo and its relation to questions of physics. Small wonder we seek refuge, in vain, in one liners from the ‘Prophet’. Osho’s one liner is clearly another muddle: we can’t define what we mean by ‘conscious’, And we can’t therefore resolve the question of who is a buddha. And we are stuck finally with the ambiguity of who is a buddha, and further the ambiguity of what happens to buddhas after they die, and what relation religious movements, with their ersatz moralities, have to dead ‘founders’ (who may or may not be buddhas). It is said that ‘buddhas’ pass beyond the realm of existence and rebirth but we can’t be sure of this and we can’t assess whether these ‘entities’ don’t still interact with worldly beings: if they do they can’t have surpassed existence,
We confront the buddhas equivalent of covert agent psycopaths with a license to kill.
Osho in chapter 3 actually comes out and states that murder and rape are only wrong if they are done without awareness, and that’s new age nonsense from a horse’s ass claiming to be a buddha.
Imagine civil society on such a principle: these yogis have spent too much time renouncing the world and living in a forest. Civil society does not compute. But Osho is the worse for not renouncing anything and grafting a spurious buddhist canon onto capitalist free for all.
It is ironic that a rascal like Nietzsche sensed the problem but then got it wrong because he was stuck in scientism: why would these would be buddhas trust his judgment in a spurious modernism grafted on to ancient legacies, this without reading what Nietzsche is referring to: Kant, how in one way was the first man in history to see an answer: the categorical imperative, a logical act of mind deliberating acts of will. No doubt Nietzsche though he saw beyond Kant, but this seems doubtful. We should be wary even of kantian one liners, but surely Kant got one part of the issue right, a true historical first. Kant was no saint, nor a prophet, but a philosopher (perhaps that’s a relief, but he may have violated his own imperative). Unfortunately his work is not really a canon of ethics in practice and is still somehow primitive or incomplete (note the confusion over lying in a classic critique of Kant) but it is perhaps the first partially successful approach to the incoherence of religious morality, to which we should add the new age Osho style canon. Again, the problem is the ambiguity of the term conscious, and fallacy that some kind of mindfulness exercise makes anything you do ‘OK’.
Crowley (and better Gurfjieff, or else his student Bennett) at least got one thing right: the issue is not consciousness, but ‘will’. Which is what?
The universal muddle of ethics is not surprising: we have no real understanding of the ‘will’. Science can’t find it, can’t discuss ‘free will’, but neither can the ‘buddhas’ who are stuck on consciousness and negate or deny the will. But Crowley’s ‘will’ is based on a suspicious practice resembling the path to enlightenment. And this climatically results by report in some explosion as the Will. But the spurious texts such as the canon of Abramelin the Mage, a scrofulous text that Crowley himself admits attracts the entrance of ‘demons’. The path to the will can also be warned of as leading to the mass production of demons.
Perhaps Crowley’s naivete can be corrected by the view of Bennett (The Dramatic Universe) in his systematic study of the ‘will’ on all scales with its careful distinction of the mechanical self, the conscious/pseudo True Self (ambiguously doubloon), the True Self, the Individuality, and more beyond that. The consciousness of the pseudo self, the true self, and the individuality potentially resolve the confusions but still don’t solve the issue of ethics. Some future science, neuroscience, some kantian revision, more intelligent of that rascal huck finn Nietzsche, and a post-buddhist practive without caudillo buddhist gangsters, and we can see a new man emerge for the first time with a real consciousness and morality…