Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Rajneesh Bhagwan of apocalyptic orgasm

Rajneesh read a lot about “Freud the world-famous psychoanalyst” back when psychoanalysts could be world-famous, a crusader for sexual freedom back when that cause belonged to intellectuals, not Hugh Heffner or Lady Gaga. He was a prophet of salvation through perfection of the orgasm, and free love sometimes referred to as the "apocalyptic orgasm." The spiritual hysteria that Osho inspired in the America of the 1960s and early 70’s is as hard to explain now especially when you consider that most followers were supposed to be educated skeptics and cultural critics. Even or especially—intellectuals are not immune to America's chronic and recurring religious revivals in their various forms. The moral urgency, the sense of crisis and the concern, with personal salvation that mark the existence of American intellectuals." Bhagwan Rajneesh won a particular following among intellectuals, artists and cultural spokesmen who were looking for a new revolution after becoming disillusioned with communism.
America has long been a land of opportunity for spiritually inclined theorists, especially if they sport long hair have foreign accents, along the lines of G.I. Gurdjieff, with his magnetic treatments in the first half of the 20th century, or Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, with his mantras in the second half.
Working in Rajneesh's favor was his timing. The 1960s and '70s in America were the age of the Kinsey Reports and wife-swapping. Of women worried about "frigidity" and of their men, who worried about it even more? "Intellectuals never had good orgasms." the orgasm became a battleground: was the 'apocalyptic orgasm' the key to a new revolution, as Rajneesh claimed, or a false aim that camouflaged the hipster's narcissistic and hedonistic selfishness?

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