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Retrospective of a spiritual search

KeromeKerome Certainty is the enemy of wonderThe Continent Veteran

I’ve just finished reading a 1988 book by one of Osho’s disciples, in which he describes a retrospective of nine years of his discipleship, called Years of Preparation by Jan Foudraine. It was a really interesting read, because it makes clear some of the internal process of what happened to him. I can’t remember having come across many other books that did this.

It describes his initial enthusiasm and his naive assumption that the rest of the world would be interested in hearing the message that a new enlightened master was abroad in the world. It describes his process in writing a book about his initial meetings with Osho. It describes how he met with Jiddu Krishnamurti, the tapes of Da Free John that he listened to. It talks about the keys to spiritual progress that he found.

I found it fascinating to read, and would be interested in other people’s retrospectives of a spiritual search. I’m not sure if it is a literary form that is much practiced but it would be worthwhile for many people who are interested in spirituality. Perhaps there are buddhist equivalents out there?



  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Because of its stark and blinding logic, you'd expect people to jump at the chance wouldn't you?
    This is why that tongue-in-cheek bumper sticker I saw ("Buddhism is for the intelligentsia") sadly contains more than a grain of truth.

    Already this month, in a separate discussion group, I've had the swastika comment, the vegetarian comment and the bald comment... I'm not even going to elaborate....

  • KeromeKerome Certainty is the enemy of wonder The Continent Veteran
    edited November 2019

    Yes, Foudraine took it a bit further than just evangelising to one’s nearest and dearest, he was Osho’s ambassador to the Netherlands and so gave many interviews. His many experiences with the press were part of the book.

    Just imagine if the Dalai Lama were to start appointing ambassadors to various countries :)

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    The Dalai Lama abdicated his Political position back in 2011.
    Because of its position as a Government in Exile, it has no political clout or standing world-wide as it cannot draw on any of the standard Governmental qualities of an established and Politically-active Government. There can be no Ambassadors, as there aren't any Embassies, and never can be, while the Government considers itself displaced.

  • KeromeKerome Certainty is the enemy of wonder The Continent Veteran

    Well I was considering more spiritual ambassadors, people who help the population of a country advance spiritually. Except when Osho did this in 1987 I don’t think it has ever been done, but maybe it should, there should be a podium to put certain spiritual teachers in the public spotlight and give them a media presence.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited November 2019

    I can relate to this! I recall banging on to people close to me about Buddhism (I still do it occasionally now) with the expectation that they'd go "Wow!!" and suddenly want to follow the same path. :D

    💗 One of the strangest things on the spiritual path is the flip-flop/the turnaround/the realisation that experience and insight, cycles. What we once thought fundamental and obvious becomes an obstacle. Yep as the zenniths say: 'kill the buddha' (if an obstacle).

    Some examples:

    • a person may be dogmatic but still developing virtue
    • Buddhists [spoiler alert] are not the only path followers who achieve enlightenment
    • When the pupil is open, the I & I is awoken (Rasta Bodhi)
    • You can learn from being wrong ... right?

    In other words opinions, judgements our little being, changes/opens/flowers.

    ... and now back to the find/search ...

  • KeromeKerome Certainty is the enemy of wonder The Continent Veteran
    edited November 2019

    One of the things Foudraine describes is the way a real master deploys “devices” in his teaching. There is one passage where Osho completely tears down a question Foudraine had submitted to him, and exposes it as a mental mirage, a flimflam. This left Foudraine, sitting in the front row in the auditorium in Poona, totally discombobulated.

    It’s this kind of thing that shows me the value of a teacher-disciple relationship, there is a quality to it that goes beyond honesty. The Buddha was also known for using devices, I remember reading.

  • Interesting one. You mention Osho and for me he really was one of enlightened masters (and I am such as well, you too and he and her), and not a perfect human being, cause nobody is, but still had some important things to say; met with a rather formidable opposition in the end. We swim against the current. More and more so. Times changed. Not much time to debate, need to act.

  • KeromeKerome Certainty is the enemy of wonder The Continent Veteran

    I agree with you. Whether Osho’s enlightenment was the same as the buddha’s, it seems not, they certainly had very different approaches. Where the Buddha talks about cessation and Nirwana, Osho talks about no-mind, living joyously and being intelligent and creative. They both talk about meditation.

    But I think Osho was more someone for the modern age, he had a library of many thousands of books and would discuss them in discourses. The commune he created was unique, it had very distinct aesthetics and artwork.

  • Different ways of expressing the same thing. Cessation can be seen as is the end of delusion. No-mind can be seen as an all receiving, all giving, all encompassing mind. The disappearance of the selfish mind, the separated mind. You are still you. I am still me. We are still individuals. What then is different? For one, the realization that we are all interconnected,. Your joy is my joy as your sorrow is my sorrow. That is the Bodhisattva mind and that is the Buddha mind.
    The same concept, the same idea can be expressed in countless ways. The expression may change, but the concept, the idea, the "reality" does not.

    Peace to all

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