Osho, one of the greatest spiritual thinkers of the twentieth century, explores the connections between ourselves and others in Love, Freedom, and Aloneness: The Koan of Relationships.
In today’s world, freedom is our basic condition, and until we learn to live with that freedom, and learn to live by ourselves and with ourselves, we are denying ourselves the possibility of finding love and happiness with someone else.
Love can only happen through freedom and in conjunction with a deep respect for ourselves and the other. Is it possible to be alone and not lonely? Where are the boundaries that define “lust” versus “love”...and can lust ever grow into love? In Love, Freedom, and Aloneness you will find unique, radical, and intelligent perspectives on these and other essential questions. In our post-ideological world, where old moralities are out of date, we have a golden opportunity to redefine and revitalize the very foundations of our lives. We have the chance to start afresh with ourselves, our relationships to others, and to find fulfillment and success for the individual and for society as a whole.
Osho challenges readers to examine and break free of the conditioned belief systems and prejudices that limit their capacity to enjoy life in all its richness. He has been described by the Sunday Times of London as one of the “1000 Makers of the 20th Century” and by Sunday Mid-Day (India) as one of the ten people—along with Gandhi, Nehru, and Buddha—who have changed the destiny of India. Since his death in 1990, the influence of his teachings continues to expand, reaching seekers of all ages in virtually every country of the world.
The first few chapters of self-styled guru Osho's spiritual insights on love, sex and meditation are infused with an idiosyncratic but reasonably mainstream flavor. As the book progresses, however, Osho's teachings veer sharply away from conventional spirituality. In a chapter entitled "It Takes a Village," Osho envisions a future in which communes replace the family, calling this "the most revolutionary step in human history." While Osho and the Osho Commune International are briefly profiled in endnotes, nowhere is it revealed that Osho was the Bhagwan Rajneesh the charismatic cult leader who fled the United States in 1987 and died in India three years later. Read in light of this knowledge, the book takes on a foreboding aspect. In view of the sexual practices at the Rajneeshi commune in Oregon, passages such as "Love always melts the self.... You love a woman, and at least in those few moments when there is real love for the woman, there is no self in you, no ego" seem rife with dangerous latencies. Also disconcerting is the knowledge that this collection has not been updated with Osho's later views, including the more conservative statements on sexuality that marked his much-scrutinized last years. Given the author's identity, readers might be tempted to dismiss these teachings as cult brainwashing and avoid them altogether, but there is much here to be taken seriously.