Osho and Other Beautifully Imperfect Teachers

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels:

First off, I am a big fan of Osho (though, I usually call him by the name I first read him under, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh) and I have tremendous respect for his ideas. Osho has caught a lot of heat in the past for his sometimes politically-incorrect views.  One such view came to my attention only recently now that I'm his Facebook friend (Wild, isn't it?  Renowned the world over--and dead--and he's my friend.  I sure must be something special).  In an article linked from his website, he expounded on his thoughts about homosexuality being an expression of socially, physically, and religiously repressed heterosexuality.  He believed that without those conditions, homosexuality would not exist.  Though I don't believe that myself (and, for all I know, Osho himself may have changed his ideas since writing this in 1979) I do see what he's doing by saying it.  And it's a fundamental of teaching, no matter the message.

Here, for your enlightenment (if you haven't already read it) is the original article, taken from his "Be Still and Know" talks.  Read it and watch closely your reaction:

http://oshotimes.blog.osho.com/2012/06/same-sex-relationships/

So, were you intrigued?  Outraged?  Hurt?  Ashamed?  You'd be surprised at how few responses I've seen that answer the first.  Most people seem to say something along the lines of "I used to respect him, but no more!  What a quack!  What an affront!  How dare he?"  Here's a good example, straight from the gay community: 

http://gaysifamily.com/2010/06/07/osho-i-love-you-no-more/

Ouch.  Coming from the point of view as a teacher, I can say that every one of these people who are so grieved over Osho's statement, so hurt, so ready to turn their backs and shun his name, they have totally missed the point.

So what was the point?  Why is it that I can say I know this "as a teacher?"  It's because I've seen it happen plenty in my own teaching.  First you get this fresh-faced student, all geared up and ready to learn at your feet.  Then they hear you say something they don't like, something that offends their little ears.  "I have to practice this?"  "You expect me to do homework?"  "Wait, so I don't get to pick and chose what you'll teach me?"  And then it comes out--"I used to respect you, but no more!  What a quack!  What an affront!  How dare you?"  Yup, they're all yours until you challenge them.

But learning is about the challenge.  That's the reason we go into it.  Maybe it's been too long ago for adults to remember starting school, or maybe they just figure that it's a different story when you choose to take classes instead of doing it by government mandate.  But it's not.  It's still hard, it still takes work and dedication, and it will often fly in the face of what you knew before.  But that's good.  It means you're learning.

Sadly, I've lost more than a few students because they didn't like having to think.  I feel sorry for them.  We seem to have become a community that treasures individuality to the point of not wanting to even consider a teacher's right to say needful, if uncomfortable, things.  I'm not asking for students to worship my words, but I do want them to hear them, mull them over, practice what I prescribe, and then come to a conclusion.  Opinion-forming should be a process, not a reaction.  Just because your brain came up with it doesn't make it right. 

Unfortunately for Osho and I (though I'm not claiming to be in his league at all), people want to worship words.  They want their teacher/leader to say things that are easy to accept and agree with.  They want to nod at every line and be comforted.  "Work" should never enter into it for them.  And that has driven away many potentially enlightened people.  Osho might not have felt this pinch quite as profoundly in 1979 as today, with gay rights being one of the topics at the forefront of politics, but just the reprinting of this talk has people leaving in droves the shadow of the temple they built for him in their minds.  If they had only listened, they wouldn't still be inside it; they'd be out into the light of day.

Neither Osho nor any other teacher is perfect.  They have silly ideas sometimes, they work through impossible theories--they're learning as they go as well.  But they are ahead of the student, often far, far ahead.  We shouldn't follow blindly but we should follow and listen.  I saw in Osho's talk a viewpoint vastly different from my own.  I took some time to think about the possibility of it being true.  Could it really be that way?  What would that mean in general?  What would it mean to me?  How does this change my thoughts?  After that, I decided that it is not likely to be scientifically, literally true, but that there may be a kernel of truth underneath.  But, in the end, it gave me pause for thought.  I had to consider my own ideas and weigh them up against what I was seeing.  In the end, I feel pretty much the same about the topic as I did before, but my mind is just a little bit more open.  I still think about it from time to time, juggling these nearly opposite ideas and considering them all over again.  I think about the worth of speculation, of keeping open options, of not making harsh critical statements without full investigation.   Seeing the anger at other reader's fingertips, I feel sorry that they're missing out on this.  And I miss those students who refused to try to open, not for me, but for themselves.

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About Me

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My name is Quill and I've been practicing witchcraft for the past 17 years. 10 of those years I've been reading tarot and teaching.  I own a shop on Etsy called Quill's Occult Supply (check it out at QuillsOccultSupply.Etsy.com) full of handmade ritual and decorative items, spell components, and wild picked herbs.

I love to work with my hands.  Magic is a tool to shape our lives, and I'm using magic to shape tools to shape magic.  Cosmic! 

I use a lot of my favorite things in my shop: herbs, candles, wood, fabric, paint, clay.  And I get to carve, burn, grind, mold, think, dream ... I'm in the perfect business!

I've written 3 manuscripts for publication (2 non-fiction and 1 fiction) and am an avid NaNo-er!  I and my husband run a local coven called Orbis Prosapia, and our children are growing up surrounded by magic, mythology, fairy tales, Earth worship, art, open discussion, music, and humor. 

In addition to working on Ex Penna about my experiences as a professional witch, I also write for Scenes from the Circle about being a coven leader. 








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