Never become a Christian

I was going to email everyone this, but I think it’s time we had a good old Lichtenbergian discussion right here.

It’s a brief interview with the Indian mystic known as Osho. Although  he seems to have fallen prey to the traditional impulses of cultic leaders in his later years, I think what he says in this interview is brilliant.

Read—attack—defend, in comments.

12 Thoughts on “Never become a Christian

  1. marc on March 5, 2012 at 1:42 pm said:

    Ah, the Bagwan! The 80’s! Now those were some wild times.

  2. marc on March 5, 2012 at 1:48 pm said:

    I read. Contemplated a moment. Re-read. The word “love” is not used.

  3. marc on March 6, 2012 at 2:00 pm said:

    Not sure if I’m ready to dance with all of my spiritual hobgoblins in public. Must ponder. Perhaps if I wear a veil or two.

  4. Pretty much the same thing the “other JC” was saying all along.

  5. marc on March 7, 2012 at 8:19 am said:

    ‘Cept adding the love thing.

  6. marc on March 7, 2012 at 8:32 am said:

    And traveling in the Bentley kept the Bhagwan’s sandals looking fresh and dope. Minor differences..

  7. marc on March 7, 2012 at 9:36 am said:

    I inadvertently seemed to have colonized this comment stream. More pondering.

  8. Terry on March 7, 2012 at 5:15 pm said:

    Since Dale posted this with intentions of a serious discussion I am going to take him at his word and actually comment in a serious manner.

    I agree with most of what 0sho says in this piece but I am only going to comment on the one aspect that I am most acquainted with: meditation.

    Osho says early on “You may have been brought up as a Catholic; that means you have been taught from your childhood things about Jesus. Those are simply words; you have not been introduced to Jesus, because that introduction is possible only through meditation — not through any kind of teaching, not through the Catholic catechism. It is all rubbish.”

    Yet near the end he comments that “You can understand Christ only if you are nobody. I am not saying that you can understand Christ if you are a Hindu. When you are nobody, when you drop all the curtains and you start moving in that reality called Christ without any preoccupied mind — empty, clean, clear, no smoke around you, just a clarity and the freshness that clarity brings, and the vitality that clarity brings — and you start approaching Jesus, with no idea of who he is, then there will be a meeting. Only if you are a nobody can you meet with Christ or Buddha or Krishna.”

    It seems that Osho is saying that meditation empties the mind and provides the clarity and freshness that is needed to really meet Jesus. The following opinions are based on my 40 years of meditation of at least 4 varieties.

    If all that is needed is to “drop the curtains” of the mind, why is mediation necessary? A very simple shift in attention or state of awareness would do the trick just as well. Just stop identifying with the Ego and we lay open a whole new way of seeing things. When I use the term Ego I am referring to that inner self created by the mind that we think we are. And it is a very useful tool in navigating the world. It is only when we take the Ego for reality and identify with it that separation and suffering enters into the world. Unfortunately we have been subjected to powerful forces from both outside and inside us for all our lives that try to convince us that the Ego is real and that is who we are. So what sounds like a simple task is actually a very difficult one. And to make matter worse the more we “try” to do this the harder it gets for we are just adding more layers of resistance.

    So is meditation the only way to go about this process of clearing the mind in order to become independent of the Ego? Osho seems to think so by his early statement. Even science has confirmed that mediation quiets the mind. But in my experience this can also be just another one of the beautiful philosophies that the mind creates to convince us we are right. In fact it can lead to an even more detrimental state than being a dogmatic Christian. Some have called it the “spiritual persona” where one is convinced they are spiritual because they meditate everyday. They speak from the “Truth” and cannot be convinced otherwise. What I think they are experiencing is “mind quiet” which is far different from “Christ quiet”. The mind quiets itself and then convinces the meditater that he has reached his goal. Thus he thinks he speaks from Christ’s mind.

    I do not know how to describe what I just called Christ quiet, but it literally takes you out of your mind. It is far different than any ordinary quiet the mind can produce. It is as different from mind quiet as the dogmas from the Catechisms of Catholicism are from the real Christ. In fact your mind is contained within this quietness, as is everything else. And you are the quietness.

    So meditation can be a way to meet Christ, but it is no sure thing. But since I have started down that path, I will continue. I must admit I thought I was learning many things in my early stages of meditation only to have to drop them later on. In some ways meditation does not make one smarter, but rather shows one more of what he doesn’t know And my experiences have changed, both inside and outside of meditation. The world looks different to me now. I am not claiming to be “enlightened” or “know Christ” but I will say I think I have had a taste or two of what it might be like. And it is nothing like I ever envisioned or could in my mind. It is a different state of consciousness.

  9. Thank you, Terry.

    Marc, your point about “love” might be interesting. What do you mean? That “knowing Christ” is about knowing love?

  10. marc on March 8, 2012 at 9:19 am said:

    I’m playfully implying that the Bhagwan’s “Jesus the Stranger” may be a mirroring inversion of his actual position as Stranger to Jesus. Hence the omission of what is often considered the particular defining element of Jesus’s teaching or, depending on your outlook, his nature.

  11. Terry’s meditation on meditation is well noted and considered here:

    The meditation Terry describes, as I read it, is a journey inspired from inward, and redirected inward. It is a deeply personal way of “quieting,” if you will, but I am also thinking of outward forces- religious & secular- that push us into contemplation. You can have the church that makes Christ (or whatever religious figure or concept have you) accessible, and continually tries to make the figure accessible to all (one thought that comes to mind is in Rushdie’s “Midnight’s Children” where he discusses India’s Christ as having blue skin, because when the missionaries came in, they wanted easier conversions, etc…. so said missionaries made Christ accessible, understandable, a -known- quantity.), or you can have forces that make Christ alien or distant. If you demystify Christ, you diminish his power as a transcendent figure (a Divine one or not). The key that Osho, and Terry, might be making here is that, akin to “it’s the journey, not the destination,” “it’s the contemplation, not the understanding” of a figure or philosophy like Christ(‘s).

    The parables are intended to do just that- not to introduce us to Christ, not to get to know him, but as metaphors- examples- something to consider, and through consideration, personal growth (spiritual/moral evolution?).

    What a powerful thing it is, then, here in the West in the recent decades, to acknowledge Christ as a Middle Easterner. He’s been presented as the Classical Greek & Roman man for so long that he is accessible, and the general religious dissemination of the last hundred years has aimed towards making Christ a familiar rather than foreign figure, and so when the secular understanding of Christ as a dark skinned man is visited upon us here in the West, again, we (editorial we) have to question at least some of what we once knew or thought about the man.

    And when Christ is questioned, or forced to be contemplated, which is part of what Catholic ritual is about- obfuscation of Christ, then, once you (editorial) begin thinking, once you begin contemplating, and evaluating the concept of Christ then you (Jobie’s being the educator here) connect on a deeper cognitive level with what the man is saying.
    Ironically, the secularizing of Christ (even in this small sense) may be moving, in some ways, towards re-establishing some of that mystique- otherness- that Osho acknowledges needs must exist.

    A resolution- check Lichtenbergian site daily.

  12. Wow. Discussions and stuff.

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