The eternal question tormenting all students is whether or not the Master should be consistent. In the case of Osho, the situation was very bad regarding the consistency of statements. Today, he could say one thing, and tomorrow something entirely different, not worried at all how the minds of his listeners would “digest” this. The second problem with which students and the curious usually run around like chickens with an egg is whether the Master can be mistaken. For those who want to believe in the infallibility of the guru or believe their teacher is superhuman, such a situation is unacceptable. Here’s an evocative situation for you, compelling the mind to choose whether to accept what is happening or not – a Master who says now one thing, then another. Here you must either leave your attachment to details, to literalism and look at the essence of the message, or call it all nonsense and go to where you will be told one and the same thing. Then you will learn everything that needs to be learned, and your mind will settle down, having fallen into a new conditionality and having filled itself with beautiful ideas.
Osho deliberately chose inconsistency, but such a feature is common to practically all the rest of the Masters, although it is manifested by them according to the situation in which they work. Acting in contact with the Supreme, the Master relies on seeing the situation that he has, on a sense of the tendencies for the possible turn of events or as the Sufis says, on seeing the Pattern. But a person is never given to see the picture as a whole, and furthermore, the situation can change in a single day. Thus, for example, Gurdjieff made big plans regarding the development of the Work at Fontainebleau, but the automobile accident he was in cancelled them completely. A similar story happened with Osho as well, when upon moving to America and founding Rajneeshpuram, he spoke about new prospects and possibilities in his Work, but the results of this initiative turned out to be quite deplorable.
The examples of a change of plans cited by me can be attributed to external circumstances; however, the Will of God as well will be exactly that same insurmountable circumstance that will be revealed only to the Master and no one else. And if everything is God’s Will, then there is no difference at all between failed plans disrupted for external reasons or a rejection of them by virtue of following that same Will.
The Master may see different possibilities, but far from always are they realized – by virtue of the most diverse circumstances. For example, a student may have a high spiritual potential, and the Master tells him about this, speak of the possibilities that exist. But the student achieves almost nothing because he cannot overcome his own fear or conditionality. Can it be said in such a case that the Master was mistaken?
As for Osho, he was mistaken constantly – seeming to do this entirely deliberately. Citing examples from the lives of other Masters or prominent people, Osho would make numerous mistakes, seriously distorting facts or even making up new stories on the fly. This didn’t bother him at all, and when one of the students wanted to correct them in the texts of books released on the basis of his talks, he forbid this to be done. “What is important is the essence of what I want to convey, but the facts aren’t significant,” so (or approximately so) Osho declared in reply to reproaches of inaccuracy in the stories he cited.
Readers of Osho’s books are divided into two categories. The first read one or two books and lose interest in them. The second read them constantly; thanks to the fact that Osho spoke a lot, he is published abundantly and while you read all his books, several years will pass. I myself once read them “in a binge” and found a mass of information on the most diverse issues – both religious and general. And it seemed to me that I know about all the enlightened and nearly all about all the religions as well. Later, when I took to a serious study of texts belonging to various traditions, I became convinced that Osho had a very peculiar approach to the presentation of information and you should not base your understanding of a religion or mystical tendency by relying solely on his words.
Nevertheless, I have quite often had the occasion to meet people who are totally enchanted by Osho’s books and believe that they know about everything on earth. Such an illusion arises in all the admirers of his books, and they are ready to defend, foaming at the mouth, the perspective learned by them from the Master, confident that their truth is irreproachable. Here is one of the consequences of Osho’s casual attitude toward the facts, combined with his amazing gift as a raconteur. Another consequence consists of the fact that many are put off both by Osho’s inconsistency and the mistakes in his stories, but as they say, you can’t please everyone. And he didn’t have that goal, anyway.
In working with people, Osho strove to have them not become attached to his words, listening to the intervals, the silence between them. He would speak slowly, with great pauses. Those who were present in a hall during his talks really would have the opportunity to detach from their mind and enter into a meditative state. Now, when Osho is gone, only his words remain, put in books, and the inconsistency, which he used as a method of work with students’ minds becomes an obstacle for those who are trying to learn the Truth. Thus, everything changes with the departure of the Master, and almost any effective method of awakening people used by him either loses its power or changes its effect and often becomes the opposite.