A new docuseries has popped up on Netflix and it’s all the rave right now. It chronicles the story of Osho’s commune that was built in Oregon back in the 80’s and all of the wonder, spirituality and… shocking things that went on there.
This article isn’t a hit piece, it’s not a piece casting judgement, it’s simply one where we’re going to observe a few basic points that I have been drawing attention to for many years. I feel they are more relevant today than ever before. I’m also going to share what I believe is the MOST IMPORTANT take away from this series.
If you have not watched the series, there may be a few spoilers in here but not much. If you have watched the series, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this interpretation of what has gone on. Instead of going through and nitpicking all of the things that happened, as to me that isn’t entirely the point, I’m going to look at what I feel are the important high level pieces that are worthy of reflection.
To get us all up to speed regardless of whether we have seen it or not, this is what the docuseries is about: ‘When a controversial guru builds a utopian city in the Oregon desert, it causes a massive conflict with local ranchers. This docuseries chronicles the conflict, which leads to the first bioterror attack in the United States and a massive case of illegal wiretapping. It is a pivotal, but largely forgotten, time in American cultural history that tested the country’s tolerance for the separation of church and state. Brothers Mark and Jay Duplass serve as executive producers on the series.’
I first heard of Osho through his spiritual teachings. I never got hugely into his work, but resonated with many aspects of what he was saying, and I still do. There are some things in his teachings that don’t hit home with me, but that’s OK, the journey is all about us learning to trust and know ourselves and intuition, not just relying on others for all of our info.
One day I wanted to know more about who Osho was and so I began to look up pictures of him on Google. To my surprise something was ‘off’ about his eyes. I have always used a person’s eyes as a way to learn more about them and I have been practicing building intuition this way my whole life, so seeing what I saw in Osho was not really something I expected given his teachings. Interestingly, I didn’t look into him or his life much further at that point as I was simply resonating with much of his teachings.
Then I come across this new docuseries on Netflix and the feeling I had when looking into his eyes began to make sense. This leads to a few of the main points I’d like to call reflection to.
Authenticity Is Key – LIVE Your Truth
This one might sound harsh, but it may be the most important thing I can share right now.
If you know Osho’s work, you may know a lot of his message is fantastic, very empowering and can help create effective shifts in consciousness. This is key. But there is one thing I feel many of us struggle with at times: we don’t implement and stick to much of what we learn. Today, it seems it’s common to brush teachings off with “I know that already” and then pound another beer while and speak poorly of people in our lives. For me personally, a big eye opener in the community has been how many seem to only have one foot in and one foot out when it comes to truly living this stuff. I’m not referring to ‘who’s more conscious than the other’ or ‘it’s a rush to be enlightened’ or anything. I’m simply stating why are we not acting on what we know?
I have made it a practice to live this message as authentically as I am aware of because deep down I know that more than simply saying it, DOING IT is what will create real and lasting change.
It felt as though in 2018, there was going to be a lot coming to light about authenticity. We would continue to hear the truths of what’s really going on with companies, people, governments etc, but it would intensify and in many ways this year seems to be about moving from the head to the heart… which is where authenticity comes. This is where we’re really going to see how much we are committed to living our truth.
I thought to myself, what better way to start us off than to have this docuseries come out and challenge us all to think about authenticity. Sharing a message.. that’s one thing. But TRULY living it? That’s another.
What I saw in this docuseries was that the commune began to reflect the true nature of the main leadership, which was Sheela and Osho. They were not authentically living the message and thus when it came time to do things like harm other people, potentially killing other people and cheating your way to getting what you want, the commune was willing to follow suit. They too were not living authentic to their message.
Reflect: Do you feel you are truly living and committing to what you know in your heart?
Why Do We Give Up Our Power To Gurus & Idols?
With authenticity comes TRUE empowerment. There is so much talk of empowerment these days, but in a lot of cases it’s coming from forms of ego. Wanting to be in control, the leader, strong and aggressive etc. – true freedom and true empowerment do not look this way. It’s about knowing yourself deeply, and having the ability to act even when others challenge you or try to push you off course. It’s about acting from peace and a knowing within yourself, not simply saying ‘meh, screw you, you’re not going to stop me,’ as if we’re trying to prove something as opposed to doing it from a deep knowing.
Again, I know this can be a tricky point to talk about, but to truly be living from our hearts we must be willing to look at how we function as individuals. I’ve been through it a lot, I’ve had to ask myself throughout my journey why I think the way I do, act the way I do, make decisions etc. Through this reflection you can learn a lot about the difference between acting from the mind and ego vs acting from the heart. The heart requires no set of belief systems as it already knows. When we act from belief systems, we act from the mind. The moment something doesn’t fit into the belief system, we begin to get confused and don’t know what to do.
In the case of this docuseries, we see as things begin to unravel that people were more concerned with the us vs them mentality, and I need to listen to and protect my guru mentality than they were with living authentically from the heart. All of their power went to what the ‘leadership’ said. This disempowers our journey immensely.
My mentor always taught me to learn to explore truths within myself. Even when he would share information, he’d always create the space to challenge me to go within. And when I wasn’t doing that, he would remind me to. When you go to ‘teachers’ and they are always giving you the answer, in many cases you may not truly gain the relationship with self required to make truly begin to know and discover information for yourself.
Reflect: what does a world look like when we become so patriotic to something or someone that we will do what they say at all costs? What happens when teachers hold all the answers and we never learn to gain them for ourselves? What are you practicing to develop a strong relationships with your inner voice and intuition?
What We Learn About Osho
I’m going to keep this brief because again I don’t care as much about the nitty details as I do about the overall message. We learn that Osho is a messenger with insight and the ability to assist others. This is great. We also learn that he did not live his message authentically and thus it created disaster and disharmony. This is the most important point.
We can go on all day saying “we all have flaws, not everyone is fully enlightened, don’t shoot the messenger!” And that’s fine, you could say that, but that doesn’t address the obvious message here. The obvious message is that it’s not about who someone is and what their message is and how perfect all the details are, it’s about are they authentically living it and thus creating an ACTUAL heart-based world? This is for you to decide.
My takeaway was that we see a microcosm of a beautiful community that had all the external elements you would imagine are needed to create peace and love on earth, yet because the INNER world wasn’t clear, authentic and practiced, it eventually created extreme disharmony and chaos. Our external solutions cannot make up for not living our knowing and message authentically within ourselves.
Reprinted with permission from Collective Evolution.