What’s your “type”? Get ready to be the opposite!
Sometimes growth is not linear. That is, you cannot say that this lead to that. And therefore, the sequence may not be too important. With respect to this “popping up” of events, I am going to tell some things that simply appeared in my own particular story, and this story is still—and may always be—without an ending.
Recently, for my own edification, I read quite a few books by Carl Gustav Jung. He was a lovely man who at the turn of the last century was groping in the dark, trying to find keys for curing severe psychological disorders. One of the nicest things about him was his willingness to admit, “I don’t know where man is going. I see him for one stage of his adventure, from the time he is sick to the time when he functions socially again, but after that I don’t know to what end the life actually wants to lead a human being.” As you probably know, Jung is quite famous for having formulated many descriptive psychological labels that are part of the common vocabulary today, words such as “extroverted” and “introverted”, “anima” and “animus,” “archetypes,” etc.
At the same time as I was reading Jung, I happened to come across a statement from Osho, which now inspires me to tell my story. Osho said (in his discourse Be Still and Know #1), “Carl Gustav Jung has divided human beings into two types, the extroverts and the introverts. His categorization is relevant for the past, but will be utterly useless for the future. Because the future man will be both together. The future man will not be a man and will not be a woman—I’m not saying biologically, but spiritually…he will never be any more labeled as man or woman. And that will be the real liberation. Liberation from straight jackets. Liberation from imprisoning categories.”
Even though he didn’t say it on this particular occasion, Osho often talked about the fact that among Westerners there are proportionately more extroverted people (prior to our future liberation, I mean). The ratio is 4:1—80% extroverted people and 20% introverts.
I was one of the 20%, and hence in the minority. This had been somewhat uncomfortable throughout my life. Being basically shy, I had never enjoyed any large get-togethers with people, like parties or family gatherings where the contact was superficial and outgoing. At the school dances I was a wall flower. And when I needed to speak on public occasions, my voice would fail me or I would forget what I had to say—which naturally did not encourage me to be more expressive.
However, the peak of this discomfort was reached when I came to Poona in 1977. Not long after my arrival in the ashram, I attended a five-day meditation camp, and during this time I got “stuck” inside myself. That is, I went “in” so much that I could not come “out.” It was virtually impossible to speak to anyone. I wanted to contact people so much, but everyone just passed me by as if I didn’t exist and I was unable to say “Help, I’m trapped inside!” This went on for two or three days. I’ll never forget the moment when, standing in the food line, a couple joined the queue behind me—the woman was an acquaintance of mine, but the man, whom I didn’t know, started talking to me out of the blue. I will never forget him, nor my gratitude to him for breaking the ice that kept me separate from “this world.”
The very distant past
How did I get to be that way? It has a long history. When I was about 23 years old, I received a psychic reading about my past from a very good clairvoyant. She started her message to me by saying, “I see you at three points: Atlantis, Egypt, and Yucatan. There you were part of the priesthood as a female. Often, certainly more than once, you were taken from your family at a very young age, perhaps five years old, to be trained as a seer. And even now, you are able to do the same work as that which I am doing” she said. “You are going to create a new kind of therapy method by combining psychic reading with massage.”
This woman’s reading adequately explained a life, 23 years long up to this point, where my spiritual interests hadn’t made any sense if you just considered my family background. Suddenly everything fit together and I could relax into a feeling of integration. In the years that followed, I was never confronted with any intuitive pictures of Atlantis, Egypt, or Yucatan. But I did have some specific past-life memories. I have seen myself as 5 or 6 six years old, arriving in an absolutely white room devoid of any decoration, and being told “Now you live here.” I have seen myself practicing a particular meditation technique in order to become more empty—this technique having to do with the aura around plants and trees. I have also seen myself as a teacher of meditation to especially talented kids around 12 years old; I guess I was preparing the up-and-coming generation of seers.
The feminine pole
This kind of training takes one into the feminine polarity. In order to see, you learn to be silent, like still water, so that energies make an imprint on the stillness. And everything that can disturb the still mirror is sacrificed in order to do this job well.
Why did I choose this? Why did I repeatedly arrange to be born into a family that would send me off for learning to be silent at such a young age? I believe it was because of a fear. At that time, the world was divided into the mundane and the supernatural (divine). Unconsciously I had absorbed the thought that if you chose the mundane life—husband, children, cat and dog—you could pretty much forget about attaining anything spiritual. You would go headlong into the dark and be drowned in darkness for what to me seemed like a very long time.
I wanted to have eyes. And I wanted to be a medium for the divine. And as these are very feminine goals, I developed what Osho would call a “female mind.”
Darshan with Osho, 1977. After the incident I just described, about being stuck inside during the meditation camp, I did three groups, and then I wrote a letter to Osho about a problem with men that kept repeating itself. Osho’s answer was, “Move into the ashram, and come to darshan.” ‘Darshan’ simply referred to that time in the evening when he was available to talk to people personally. The boyfriend who was “a repetition” was also invited to the darshan, and he was seated in the front row. When it came to be my turn, Osho said to me, “What do you like about this guy, anyway?” (obviously hammering the guy, and killing two birds with one stone). I answered, “It’s something about the power in his aura.” Osho raised his eyebrows in that wonderful way that he has, then settled back in his chair to make the following remarks (which I paraphrase from memory): “Yes, you can see exactly. But it is better not to tell anyone what you see. This is a female’s ability. Men don’t have it, so they become very jealous. That’s what happened in the Middle Ages. The burning of the witches was a political conflict between men and women, because the women sensitives had a power that the Church fathers couldn’t tolerate.” Certainly Osho was telling me indirectly that this burning had happened to me, and I could feel some tension in one arm letting go. Osho continued, “Your ability to see is accidental. But I love witches. In my ashram, I want a whole coven of witches!”
The sentence that struck me the most was “Your ability to see is accidental.” Something in me became very happy to hear it, and I understood exactly what he meant without further explanation. The ability to see had not been arriving naturally, it had been developed by arduous efforts, and therefore a day in the future might come when I don’t want to do it any more.
At Osho’s request, I became a group leader in the ashram (this had already been my job before journeying to India). The names he gave for my groups were “Urja” (energy) and “Wu Wei,” which was to be a three-day group of structured meditations. In both, I found myself teaching non-doing. And as years went by, the titles of the groups changed…”Relaxation and Energy,” “Waves from Nowhere,”…but the subject stayed the same: non-doing, relaxing into what is. In short, meditation.
It has always been a joke among group leaders that the subject you teach is the one where you have something to learn. And you keep on not learning it, so you have to go again and again and again into the same topic. For example, the group leader who teaches about relationship has notoriously the biggest difficulties in relationship; the one who teaches sexual deconditioning has the biggest fears about sex; the one who teaches primal has authority problems, and so forth. So, noticing that my subject was again and again meditation, I wondered, what have I got to learn about meditation?
There is an answer, but permit me to take my time in getting to it. After all, it took me more than twenty years to arrive to the answer myself.
The male pole
When I had already been sannyasin for 13 years, a new part of me started waking up—a male part. Before his arrival on the scene, I had been much more sure that I had a message to deliver to the world. I was, after all, singularly focused on the female view. After his arrival, everything turned to mud. I don’t mean that in a bad sense. Just, if one thing was true, then the opposite was also true, so I didn’t know which flag to raise.
Luckily I found out a few things about my male side. For example, I discovered that he had never participated in the Vipassana-style meditation which I had done for ten years, one hour per day, prior to sannyas. He was not interested in it; he preferred to remain dormant, sleeping. He did not particularly enjoy being a group leader, the main reason being that he didn’t like to stay cooped up in an indoor space during the daytime. And above all, he didn’t want to close the eyes and go “in.” Like most males, he liked to keep the eyes open. He liked to go “out,” and he liked to “move” and “do” much more than to be still and let the grass grow by itself.
As time went on, I discovered that I could let my male part decide the life more and more; the female was sufficiently strong that she could graciously give up some of her rights of dominion and not lose any self-respect. I decided to make an experiment: to let the masculine side do whatever he liked for one year and see if after that time there was still money—if the body survived. By then I was living in Milan. As the cost of living in Milan is extraordinarily high, this was more of a risk than it might seem. After one year, I looked at the bank balance—and it was exactly the same, with no losses. That was when my male side definitively learned that he does not have to compromise himself in order to survive.
What has he been choosing to do? Well, he chose to start the organization Conscious Living, and in addition to keeping the normal affairs of an association together (memberships, e-mails, economical overview), he is now responsible for the yearly brochure, the website, and seminar organization.
More than anything else, he loves music. In Poona One days, my groups had no music, only silence. On the Ranch, my male side started to become sensitive to good dance music while he was waiting tables in the bar. And then, slowly slowly, music started to become one of his most important contributions to the group work.
This interest in touching people non-verbally through music has lately found a more normal expression in the market place. My male is the DJ at Conscious Living parties and other private celebrations. His next step is to be paid for being DJ. It didn’t happen yet, but I’m sure it will.
Parties?? I can’t believe it!
100% for the male
The other day I was in my living room doing Kundalini meditation by myself. I like to do it alone, because my male side surreptitiously takes three parts for himself. Presumably Osho gave two for the male (shaking and dancing) and two for the female (sitting, and lying down). However, I do something not according to the regulations during stage 3. I stand and allow the body to breathe in a perceptible way, with the pelvis rocking backwards on the inhale and forwards on the exhale. Then my male side can stay involved in the meditation, and happily flowing.
On this particular day he had enjoyed making movements in stages one, two, and three (of course, gentler movements in stage three). After stage three, the music finished. According to the regulations, one is supposed to sit or lie down in silence until the sounding of a gong. But at the end of stage three, I said to myself—this “I” being the male—”Now I will turn the CD completely off and just sense moment to moment if I really want to sit and do nothing. If it turns out that I’m not enjoying the activity of doing nothing, I will simply stop it and choose something else.” And so I sat there in the chair, centered in the right (male) half of my body, trying to decide if I liked the moments. And the strangest understanding dawned on me. I was resting, but as a male resting it felt completely different than the female doing Vipassana. My male, in resting, was ONLY resting. When my female rests, she is working somehow, which means having sensations and intuitions, and above all, staying present when the moments are flat and dull.
The point was very subtle. I would never have discovered it without turning off the CD, so that there would be no bell after 15 minutes. That bell had created a future. The female had become accustomed to this subtle future; she was used to the discipline of “lasting,” or continuing to endure the state of meditation, no matter how arduous, until the sounding of the bell. So for her, meditation had become a thing with a built-in time spectrum that you had to manage to respect.
On this occasion, when the man was simply looking at whether he liked the experience of resting in this moment, and then again in each moment, the quality was completely different. There was absolutely no purpose for which one should continue meditating (which of course Osho has been saying for ages). There was only, “Do I like it? Am I enjoying?” And it turned out he was enjoying, he was enjoying not working. He started grinning from ear to ear. In fact, he passed fifteen minutes, enjoying the moments one by one, watching the whole right side of the jaw become vibrant because it was letting go.
So he took the fourth part of Kundalini for himself. It fits with something I’ve heard Osho say: that the two polarities should never compromise. They both have to be 100% true to themselves, and then they can meet because they are both joyous.
It is difficult for our mind to take in this idea of no compromise, because we don’t think that two polarities’ choices will fit together without compromise. But this much I have learned: my male can have 100% of Kundalini any time he wants it, and my female will be happy. She loved his spontaneous impulse to turn off the bell. She trusts the male in that quality of resting which is different than hers, less airy, more matter-of-fact. It seems like whenever he does what he authentically wants to do, it brings up more love in her.
Of course, the line of what to do in life is less fixed than before, more insecure. But this doesn’t seem to cause any problem.
From Osho’s discourse, The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 11, #2, Question 4:
I would like it to be on record that Carl Gustav Jung’s typology is absolutely wrong. Man cannot be divided so easily into categories—that somebody is an extrovert and somebody is an introvert—because man is a totality, a wholeness. He has an inside and he has an outside, and both have to be nourished and both have to be fulfilled…
My effort here is to create the first synthesis between extroversion and introversion and help man become so capable of both, together, simultaneously,…that there is no need to divide man into such categories. Man can become so fluid.
It is as simple as when you come out of your house: you don’t think that you are becoming extrovert by coming out of your house. When you feel it is cold inside and outside there are no clouds and it is so sunny, you come out, but you don’t think at all. You don’t decide, “Now I want to be an extrovert.” Or when the sun becomes too hot and you start feeling the heat, you don’t make a deliberate decision, “I should go in. Now I want to be an introvert.” No, when the sun is too hot, you simply move in! And when inside it is too cold you come out. Coming out of your house or going into your house is not a problem at all, because you are free from the inner and the outer.
My effort here is to help you to be free from the inner and the outer, because you are neither the inner nor the outer, you are something transcendental to both. The inner and the outer are just parts of your personality; it is the house in which you live which has an outside and an inside. But your awareness has no inside and no outside.