Hello again. I hope everyone’s weekends have been fantastic. This will be a quick post, I think – I just came across something interesting, and I’d love to hear some opinions.
I was doing some reading for my Philosophy class this afternoon, and one thing led to another, and somewhere down the Wikipedia rabbit hole, something sparked a memory. I was reading about ethics and moral laws and the Euthyphro dilemma, which is interesting enough in its own right, and remembered an intriguing set of moral laws I’d scribbled down in a notebook a few years ago. I remembered them being the most appealing set of moral laws I’d ever come across, and wanted to see if I still felt the same way.
I just found where I’d written them, and did a bit of research on the writer of said laws. His name is Osho Bhagwan Rajneesh, known popularly as Osho. I’ve only read his Wikipedia page, but its enough to make me feel the need to make very clear that any admiration I express for his ideas below is absolutely isolated to the ideas I’m quoting. A number of his other teachings are truly awful, and, as I’m writing from a point of ignorance, I imagine that I’ve only scratched the bare surface. If you can educate me, please do. If I’m endorsing anything problematic, call me out. (This should go without saying for any of my posts, by the way – just thought I should point it out in no uncertain terms).
All of that said, here’s what I’m trying to get at. Apparently at some point in his life, someone asked Osho for his ten commandments. Despite replying that he was against any kind of commandment, he nonetheless listed ten down “for fun”, and I think the majority of them are kind of fantastic. I’m not sure that I feel entirely comfortable saying that about them, knowing what I do now about other teachings of his, but for the purpose of this blog, I’m going to try to deal with them in isolation. Here they are:
- Never obey anyone’s command unless it is coming from within you.
- There is no God other than life itself.
- Truth is within you, do not search for it elsewhere.
- Love is prayer.
- Life is now and here.
- To become a nothingness is the door to truth. Nothingness itself is the means, the goal and attainment.
- Live wakefully.
- Do not swim—float.
- Die each moment so that you can be new each moment.
- Do not search. That which is, is. Stop and see.
I’m interested in your thoughts on them. Personally, I need to think about them a lot harder, and I’m hoping that putting them here and asking for dialogue on them is going to make me do that.
As I stand now, my thoughts are as follows: number one is obviously problematic if applied as a blanket rule, of course (consent is an issue that springs to mind), but if appropriate caveats were kept in mind, I like it. I think the thing with moral laws/guidelines/whatever you’d like to call them, is that you have to apply them responsibly, no matter what they are. No single, pithy sentence or phrase is going to capture the nuance of a situation. Any religious or moral code can be used to help or to harm, depending on how it’s wielded (just look at the Westboro Baptist Church).
The second “commandment” is one I identify with a lot personally, but I’ve neither the time nor space right now, nor really the fully matured belief, to put that one into words. The third one, again, when applied appropriately, resonates with me. The fourth I’m ambivalent about – it depends upon how you define love, and how you define prayer, and they’re both enough for a blog post in themselves. The fifth I agree with; the sixth resonates with me, but I need to think about it more. It’s another one that comes down to how you interpret it, I think, and how you live it. The seventh and eighth are immensely powerful phrases, to me. The ninth, as well, interpreted a certain way, I like. The tenth is an important reminder, to me.
I know what I think about them, though, whether or not those thoughts are fully-formed, yet. I’d like to know what others think. One of you particularly I know would like this, but I’d really like any and all thoughts, on anything in this post that sparked your attention/curiosity/reaction.
Come down to the comments, friends, and let’s discuss. (You have to leave a comment now, or I’ll look very silly ending my post like that. I look silly enough already, so please, take pity and comment)
That ended up being not-so-short. Oh well.