[written 1980 when I was 28]
Don't gather knowledge from the Master. Grab some tips from the Master and go into experience. I'm talking about meditation. You can gather everything I say about meditation, you can accumulate. You can become a learned person about meditation, seen from different points of view. You can put it all together. You can take an examen from any university but you will not be wise it unless you meditate.
Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh
This is my third attempt to complete a thesis. My first thesis, which was supposed to deal with the concept of sport under capitalism and which was to be a traditional theoretical thesis, was interrupted by my own personal development. As I will later write about, at this point, I gave up my theoretical studies in favor of the study myself and a practical attempt to live with other people on one alternative way.
After approx. two years in the experiment mentioned, I resumed the studies and tried once again with a dissertation on this attempt at an alternative way of life, however this was also interrupted by my emotional / mental development. An anxiety from my childhood, which I had not confronted, expressed itself physically as an ulcer. This was so painful and energy-intensive that it was impossible for me to continue your studies. However, now I have lived through this anxiety and stomach ulcer has disappeared.
Within the last few years I have 10 years lived between two extremes: theoretical knowledge (science) and practical recognition of my own inner world (meditation). During this period I have been constantly searching for a bigger realiasation of reality, which seems to be something natural for man. It has therefore been natural and straightforward to start from my own personal or mental development in this work. My own life over the last 10 years and especially the last seven I will try to describe in the following from several different points of views.
From a traditional scientific point of view, you may think that a personal development also may be the object of an analysis and may be studied objectively in the same way as the social reality. This is in my opinion both right and wrong. That every person in his life undergoes a spiritual or spiritual development is, for many of my sociological acquaintances, a 'strangeness', but is nonetheless, in my opinion, important to take into consideration when you want to make science about man and about man and society.
During such a development, there is a development of a person's consciousness that COULD radically change a person's life. This is my own experience, and as both inner psychic and external social contradictions are becoming increasingly intense, more and more people are experiencing people this - at least in the western world.
For the past several hundred years, 'objective' sciences with the natural sciences in front have gained great success, but this has had its price, that expresses itself in many different conditions today, including the psychic and spiritual distress prevailed in the West. Human intellect has been given priority, separated from the totality of man. The consequence has been emotional, mental and spiritual oppression.
Freud and his theories and experiences meant a revolution in psychology. He directed his own and others' sight toward the so-called unconscious in human emotional life, which, in his opinion, governed substantially more of human actions than the then science would know of. Freud started a wave of different theories and therapies in the field of psychology, that I will touch upon in my description parallel with my own development.
This work could just as well have been done under the subject of psychology, but this was not my choice as a student choosing subject at the university. And it had its reasons, which I can now see more clearly than I could then. That I chose to enroll in the subject of sociology and not on psychology I now see partly as an expression of my options and dreams of channeling my unconscious aggression into a political environment.
Back then, the critical sciences — including Marxism — were seen not only as alternative, political and more 'correct' sciences for better development of the intellect, but also as an emotional space with room for the acting out of collective aggressions in a 'solidarity' group context with a little hope of not being alone.
In the first high school class, I 'happened' to sit next to a friend who was more politically critical than the normal conservative student in our high school. Slowly I also became more critical in political issues and this more than my friend. In the beginning of 1. G. I wanted to study for engineer, but later I decided sociology.
I will try with a description of my own consciousness development over the past 10 years. I will not - as in most theoretical works - seek a description and analysis of the individual through a theoretical intellectual study of the society, in which the individual lives, and there after make conclusions on statements about the individual.
As far as I can see, one has to distinguish between what I would call the inner and outer reality. I thus assume that there is a difference or separation between the individual and the so-called outside world. The psychic inner reality I understand as the individual's perception or awareness of itself, ie a direct inner perception of impulses coming from within The external reality is perceived as the impulses that are either real or apparently comes from outer reality, ie. which does not come from within the individual himself.
Later I will discuss this analytical division and the dialectic, that exists between these two realities. From my own experience and realisation, that I create and see the inner world in my own image of it, I will try to approach an experience of the world through two sides: both through the mind's mental construction of the world and through the perception of the world from the consciousness.
The point of this work is to show how a greater understanding of one's own inner world (the mind) affects a human being. Furthermore, I will critically relate to many critical intellectual works on liberation. Most of the theoretical works, that I know, have exhibited an eclectic lack of personal experience, which in my current experience and knowledge has led on many delusions, that could have been avoided.
My own for the last 10 years has been roughly divided into two parts. The first was a theoretical occupation mainly with Marxist theories and the second part was mainly concrete work with my own person, psyche or whatever one wants to call it.
After my description and discussion of various methods, that I have tried in my personal development (psychotherapy, meditation, healing, working with dreams etc.), I will try a comparison of the two larger groups, both of which are critical of this community, namely the left and the new so-called growth-movement.
This new growth movement, which has grown quite considerably in the last 10-15 years in the West, is increasingly looking towards the wisdom and philosophy of the East, and therefore it makes sense seek an explanation for this phenomenon.
This interest in eastern knowledge is both theoretical and practical. I will try to find the liberating elements, that lie in the knowledge of the East, and discuss whether and how these might could affect a western liberation strategy.
Simply put, one could say that the West, through science, has been mainly interested in outer reality, while the East has been mainly interested in inner reality through meditation and religion. Right away it seems that science and religion are far apart but maybe there areas, where they can meet.
next page: Theoretical and practical experiences from spiritual development