Autobiography of a Spiritually Incorrect Mystic

Osho, Author
Osho, Author St. Martin's Press $25.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-312-25457-5
Reviewed on: 05/01/2000
Release date: 05/01/2000
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-312-28071-0
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""Autobiography"" is a misnomer, as the Indian mystic Osho (1931-1990) never wrote his memoirs; this book is an arrangement of reminiscences harvested from thousands of tape-recorded talks. However, the titular phrase ""spiritually incorrect"" is apt for a man who called himself ""Zorba the Buddha."" Born Rajneesh Chandra Mohan, Osho became a philosophy professor and began attracting followers in the 1960s. In 1968, he shocked Indian society by publishing a series of talks under the title From Sex to Superconsciousness. In the 1980s, he came to America and founded a commune in Oregon, called Rajneeshpuram. He was deported a few years later following the discovery that his personal assistant had firebombed a county planning office, among other crimes. In 1988, he said that the Buddha had ""taken shelter"" in him for four days, but departed because of disapproval of Osho's luxurious lifestyle, which included ownership of 90 Rolls-Royces. Osho's thought (or no-thought) clearly arises from India's Buddhist tradition, but his discourses refer to sources as diverse as Muhammad and Jung. Mixing Western therapy and Eastern meditation, Osho introduced such innovative practices as ""dynamic meditation,"" which involved dancing, leaping and shouting instead of sitting in silence. Readers may be amused by Osho's humor, taken aback by his boastfulness, bemused by his pronouncements and shocked by his irreverence, but occasionally they will also be struck by his insight. (May)
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