This is a book summary for a philosophy-related book: "Fame, Fortune and Ambition".
By: Lau Wei
Philosophy is definitely not a topic for all - this post may contain sensitive topics with regards to religions, please proceed at your own risk. This particular post is just for sharing purposes, it does not represent anyone or any entity.
Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh AKA Osho had never written a single book throughout his lifetime - all his published books were composed and made possible by his "friends" from his discourses.
Let us take a look into the life and life Philosophy of the former professor of Philosophy, the man that owned 96 Rolls Royces, the leader and founder of the Rajneesh Movement and Neo-Sannyassins.
The man that reached the culmination, crescendo and peak of Enlightenment.
First, I'd like to start off with one of his quotes, "I've been constantly inconsistent so that you'll never be able to make a dogma out of me. You'll simply go nuts if you try."
Osho - "Never born. Never died. Just visited this planet Earth between 1931-1990".
A Brief Introduction Of Osho
Who was this mysterious Indian mystic? A person who had been known for his rebellious nature with an underlying fire that challenges the status quo and shakes your belief system from time to time. A person that made others either love or hate him.
Osho read over 150, 000 books throughout his course of life. He made a joke about that, and it was vividly stuck in my head - it goes like, "First I had a library in my house, then I had a house in a library." Books and wisdom were like metals and his head was a magnet - he attracts them in. However, in contradicting terms, Osho dislikes these "Knowledge" as these were seen like a form of conditioning and it removes creativity and intuition from a person. As scholars and professors were seen like a parrot of knowledge. People who understands everything outwards - nothing inwards. Creativity and Intuition were titles of his books, together with Joy, Awareness and Freedom."
Osho's dislike for the outward search, is not a sign - that he loves and "worships" the Eastern way of life or Eastern Philosophy that renounces the world together with material goods. Instead, he is a person that is neither for nor against - whatever comes, comes. Whatever goes, goes. He, instead is a person that encompasses both the spiritual wisdom of the East and the scientific understanding of the West.
What I personally like about Osho is that he had never converted an individual off his/her faith and beliefs - instead he shared specific ideology of his own.
In retrospect, I remember that he mentioned a specific sentence, the sentence that took me a few weeks to fully digest it. He humbly said if one is converting another one to his/her religion, and disguising it as objective truth - one is in another way mocking one's ability to think, intelligence level and leaves one with no dignity. Putting it into today's post-Osho era, it makes much sense - everybody thinks that they are the one that is right and everyone else in the world is on the wrong path.
He hates religion - only religions with a theology and a systematical belief for a specific divine-being that punishes and rewards people. He prefers Philosophy and teachings from Zen - a Japanese "teaching" that teaches that the whole world is divine - every small thing - living or non-living. Also to live each moment in its totality, in its exact essence. He feels that with consiousness, one's conscience will develop without the need of laws and religions.
His constant challenging of the big few religions made him incredibly famous and infamous. He famously said, "Existence is so special, enjoy it - do not use planet Earth as a waiting room" (I'll not be going much into religions as of now)
He was seen like a godly figure to many, he would like to be treated as an enlightened individual rather than a divine-being. He strongly believes that talent is given to chosen individuals at birth but enlightenment is the very core of being a human - everyone has the ability to be "awakened" or enlightened. If you are familiar with Hindi, you might have noticed something strange about his name 'Bhagwan' of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. Bhagwan means God - and why would a person who does not like to be treated special wanted to add the word "God" in front of his name? It was one of the many controversies about him. Let me explain it, using as much of his words as possible. It's from his biography (Autobiography of a Spiritually Incorrect Mystic).
Osho claims that it is absolutely correct to have a self-appointed Bhagwan (God). He made supporting references as evidence from other religions by saying that Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Mohammed were all appointed by themselves.He too, said that to appoint a person as god, the appointing authority first needs to be higher than god.
"Bhagwan is a state of experience - nothing to do with an appointment. There's no god, but in every flower, tree and stone there's something that can only be called godliness. I was first called Acharya (teacher) but my people have decided to call me Bhagwan, so I live in harmony with it." One interesting fact about Osho is that he does not convert theists or atheists into his religionless religion - he rather shares with them his perspective because he strongly believes that converting one off his/her original religion is judging and discriminating one's intelligence and ability to think clearly. This is something not practiced by many religions.
The book I will be reviewing now is, 'Fame, Fortune and Ambition. What Is The Real Meaning of Success?'
A book that had played a very significant role in letting me perceive the world from another dimension and perspective. I have read this exact book for more than 10 times now.
Direct quotation from the synopsis, "this book examines the symptoms and psychology of preoccupations with money and celebrity. Where does greed come from? Do values like competitiveness and ambition have a place in bringing innovation and positive change?" To be very honest, this very much resembles the Tao Te Ching by Chinese Philosopher Lao Tzu - it takes 20 minutes to read, but 20 lifetimes to understand its meaning. I was reluctant to read it the second time but I did, every time it gives me an absolutely fresh "feeling" of the world as compared to the first time reading it.
Let me start,
People are always thinking that the grass must be greener on the other side of the fence. People are always imitating the achievements of others - in the meantime forgetting one's goal. People are busy peeking into others grass and nobody is busy cultivating the grass on their side of the fence. Humans are not moving toward their own potential.
What others want you to be, you are trying to be, but it cannot be satisfying. So the basic logic says, "perhaps it's not enough, have more of it".
Nature has no idea of money, or else Dollars, Pounds and Yens would have been growing on trees. Money is a pure invention of mankind - both useful and dangerous.
When we see somebody with much money we tend to think they are feeling happy - so we go on following them. We have to be contented with ourselves. The desires can never be satisfied, the distance between what we want and what we get will always remain constant. Osho's teaching is that each individual has to be rooted in his/her own potential, whatever it is, nobody should give him specific direction or guidance.
The world is against individuality, it wants you to be in a rat race.
"Your whole life, you are trying and rushing from one place to another", if we consciously take a moment and dissect our thoughts - for instance, I am currently thinking when I will finish writing this piece of Osho's Introductorial book review, what to eat later, what to plan for tomorrow. The futility of life can be seen - never for a moment, I'm living or enjoying the very current moment of life - the present has no limits. There is no tomorrow.
In English, there are three tenses - past, present and future. Humans are always living in the past and future. Osho had loved Lao Tzu, a very "cliche" quote by him - I love very much, "If you're depressed, you're living in the past. If you're anxious, you're living in the future. If you're at peace, you're living in the current moment."
The formation of this sentence is beyond words. To read it, it is easy; to understand it, it is hard. This basically sums up Osho's teachings. Osho wants to add happiness and love to life lived in the current moment. The reason why I did not say it was Osho's Philosophy is because when asked or questioned about his Philosophy with regards to life - he said, "I do not have Philosophy, I have life, itself." So very well-said, in this era people who have philosophies do not have life - they are lost and submerged within their own set of self-set philosophies. Life is a journey, not a destination.
Osho's effort is to bring people back to themselves so everybody will be contented with themselves.
In Japanese SoShin (Beginner's Mind), I believe a lot people have forgotten about their SoShin when they start on their endless pursuit of wonders. The end goal of everything, is simple - just happiness, pure happiness, nothing else. For example, an education - it increases the odds of a person getting a stable job and achieving financial freedom. The purpose of financial freedom is to lead a life of comforts, and comfort could be traced right back to happiness. But people nowadays forget their SoShin. There actually really isn't much to life than understanding yourself and living in the current moment, and enjoying it in its totality. Future does not exist - it is as non-existential as the past. The past is no more, the future is no yet, only the present is.
The whole book, 'Fame Fortune and Ambition" - as you must have guessed it - fame, fortune and ambition cannot possibly exist without success. Or at least fame and fortune, the crescendo of success in one's respective field of work. So, what is success? I believe words are the limitation to our minds, one cannot fully understand it in-depth without experiencing it firsthand. Let me try my best and explain what is the essence of success from Osho's perspective.
In my country, Singapore - everybody (or the majority) wants to be the president if given a chance to choose freely. In a 5-million-people population only 1 succeeds, the rest will succumb to the harsh reality. If a person who craves for richness and fame simultaneously throughout his course of life, did not get it - does that mean his/her whole life has gone down into sheer wastage, failed? The 1 out of 5-million will eventually fail together with the rest. That's the whole game of life about, nobody wins. Life is the game itself.
Mathematically and statistically proven that the odds of failure is way greater than success, because there are millions of people chasing success alongside with you.
Osho gave a rhetorical question, "What is the meaning of success if you're not contended?"
Osho was not against success, please remember that. He has the neither-for-nor-against mentality.
When one is healthy, one enjoys health - when one is sick, one enjoys sickness. If success comes, enjoy it - if failure comes - enjoy it. Success brings enjoyment no failure could ever bring - failure too, brings enjoyment success could never touch.
I found Rajneesh (Osho) on my Youtube recommendations after watching a ton of philosophy-related materials. After watching those, my curiosity struck, from a person that had never picked up a single book, bought over 20 of Rajneeshs' books at one go.If you're interested to know who this man that had been born ahead of his time is - do check out videos of his interviews and dialogue on Yt.
Cheers and live life spontaneously!