One of reasons for yesterday’s post at the link, apart from its general interest, is to point to a genuinely ‘modern’ form of Indian spirituality, faithful to its roots, but also informed by and in the context of modernity. Osho was very definitely oriented toward the modern world, unlike too many tradtionalists who are antagonistic to modernism.
The reason for this is that, among many factors, the Jain culture, despite much hide-boudn traditionalism, is an outsider to the decrepit Hindu degeneration of Indian religion. And it is very close to Buddhism, but distinct from it.
Rajneesh saw that a ‘neo-buddhism’ of the kind he envisioned was post-buddhist, and he also devoutly wished Hinduism might collapse and slide into the sea, enough already of Indic childishness.
Even as he invoked the future of religion, or post-religion as he envisioned it, he recycled the greatest aspects of all religions that invoked their best, and made a rapid getaway from their dead forms.
Tibetan Buddhism is a hopeless obstacle in the way to buddhism. And it is grossly reactionary, and stuck with its Dalai Lamas. Why bother with it? It has not produced a buddha in centuries, if it has produced any at all.
Osho’s ashrma in India I do not know, and am not referring to. I have bad feeling that it is a degenerated commercial verhicle, and its exclusive focus on a particular guru is again already a thing of the past. And the events near the end of the saga are hard to assess, and don’t much matter with respect to the larger tradition he initiated for the future.
The remainder is a context and a guiding format for a new religious mode, post-religion. By comparison the new atheism is a pitiful parody.
And it is uncanny to see how the new atheists echo Rajneesh’s critique of religion, and Xtianity, his being far more severe than anything in the muddled Harris and Dawkins, and able to both critique xtianity even as he produced a now classic discourse, The Mustard Seed, on the apostle Thomas.
One of the weaknesses in my long thread on ‘ultra left xtianity’ is that xtians would have a long learning curve on ‘communism’, while the Rajneesh lineage (critical to be sure of classic communism) can pick up a commune-ism of the future at the drop of a hat.
It remains a strong legacy for post-religion, and the hundreds of thousands who turned toward that source in the seventies and eighties is testimony to its relevance.
My point is that even the xtianity of the Reformation tends to fall under the spell of the false tradition it is burdened with. The Osho/Rajneesh legacy has no past, and must point to the future, and it would make a good backdrop for a phase of the left beyond its current dead forms in scientism and nineteenth century materialism.
Osho always warned to move on after his death, but the legacy he left behind remains as a viable set of resources.
I should caution that it is very difficult to source this legacy, since the three hundred classic discourses he produced are out of print, and carefully ignored by mainstream media. The various reprints are carefully edited fakes, mishmash. The original works of Bombay imprint are the only serious source. Major libraries have many of those works.
The Osho legacy bombed at the end, and is a puzzle, and a distraction: the basic move to the future which Osho started is far larger than the organiztion he created.
The point is that most discussions of religion for and against now are out of date, and misinformed. The bad parody of Rajneesh by the new atheists is toxic junk. Seek out the real source.