Osho as a Nietzschean??
The book Three Dangerous Magi has so many things wrong with it that I end feeling depressed with the question of Osho. Let me regret one aspect of the book: its claim, plausible on the surface, that one of Osho’s favorite authors was Nietzsche. If it is true, then we must put Osho into the second rank of intellects,
especially for one who is enlightened. You can take up Nietzsche with adolescent enthusiasm without seeing his flaws, and go through a phase of this and outgrow it. But if you embrace him as an enlightened teacher I would recomment saying goodbye. This may not matter, and the book in question got so much wrong this portrait of Osho on Nietzsche could be wrong. But it may be about right. I suspect Osho was too lazy to read Kant, or Schopenhauer (or Hegel, for that matter) and took Nietzsche at face value. It is not my business to judge Osho here, save to defend myself against a hidden Nietzschean behind the front of buddhist compassion. Nietzsche is a demonic masterpiece: a superb writer with a great style cashiering the whole of German Classical Philosophy with a degraded theory of the will, taking Schopenhauer’s classic and beautiful thesis to the dregs of the ‘will to power’ rubbish, a strain that is puzzling in someone as brilliant, supposedly, as Nietzsche. A closer look shows that Nietzche was in the generation of Lange, the coming of postivism, and the Darwinian era dawning. His slant is to mislead the public of nineteenth century scientism with a reductionist treatment of transcendental idealism and Schopenhauer’s idea of the Will in Nature. The foxsy secularist crowd will fall for it hook line and sinker. And the result has been the cheap goods version of a classic era of philosophy by the hoodlum Nietzsche.
This said, I find it hard to belive that Osho was really much of a Nietzschean at all. His life and works contradicts the sadist and crypto-fascist so cleverly self-disguised behind an altogether different peformance front in Nietzsche. You can easily think Nietzsche the ideaistic liberal he isnt’ and be non the wiser, grooving on his eloquent tidbits. And Osho gyrated dialectically, or non-dually, or whatever, in such hairpin turns of contradiction, that it would likely be rubbish to peg him on Nietzshce. You can easily admire this fellow, and find him more fun to read than the eerie Kant, and still be quite beyond any of it.
The problem is not Osho here, but the coming generation of students who wil falsely construct a path to enlightenment based on Nietzschean sausage. It will always remain on the surface, and a convert by default to the ‘will to power’, a disastrous outcome.
The path of the ‘will’ or its nemesis that this author so eaferly pursues is beautifully depicted in Schopenhauer who is far closer to the Upanishadic tradition at the basis of buddhism, although the issue of the ‘will’, in its noumenal aspect could prove illusory beyond the basic architecture of ‘representation’ and ‘thing in itself’ that so cogently elucidates the essence of the Indic/Buddhist tradition.
Again let me suggest that Osho could never have been much of a Nietzschean, but that the real problem will be with dozens of students of Osho who won’t realize this and try to create a path to enlightenment out of Nietzschean nihilism. It won’t work.