Sajjad takes us on a ride from macho to nerd – and suggests a catharsis of love as a solution.
Osho once said something like: “… in the West there is no intellectual freedom,” cursed by centuries of Christianity. I jumped up and said “that’s it!” and proceeded to write a training for businesspeople (which is my profession) to become “Freethinkers”! As nobody in the workplace is interested in freethinkers I disguised it as a Sales Training and lo and behold got some clients to sign up for it. My first discovery was that not everybody has a talent for freethinking, it requires a bit of a loose mind or such.
Punya liked my contribution about the Old Boys Club and asked if I wanted to write another article. So here is something on the same theme of boys and girls, although I know that not everybody is a freethinker and some might not get it, that’s okay by me… it’s all just fun.
I am introducing myself to you as a man who has been conditioned as a macho. That means I have adopted the macho as a defence-strategy (part of the ego) in the world. Macho looks like Strength (Nietzsche’s Will to Power), but it isn’t. Slowly, by becoming a sannyasin I decided I didn’t need to be macho; I wanted to get out of that defence strategy. So I had to go the other extreme, the Dreamer, to get rid of the Macho. And in doing so I slowly arrived at my inner nature: (“Power”) Strength. It looks something like this:
|Catharsis||The Fake||The Essential|
|The Dreamer||←||The Macho||STRENGTH|
By looking at myself in that way I discovered that people differ in what they adopt as defence strategy. So, for example, somebody else might choose hate, just as macho it also gives an illusion of protection against the dangers of the world. It looks like Indifference, but it isn’t. So the person in essence might want to become indifferent to the world (by becoming a Buddha) which is cool, but he/she chooses something easy and fake: hate, which is cold (the traditional sannyas: hate of the world) and pushes the world away. So how to get out of that conditioning? First, by becoming warm again… the opposite: Love. So here the situation is this:
|Catharsis||The Fake||The Essential|
|Love||←||Hate (cold)||INDIFFERENCE (cool)|
And so on. There are many different types of people and they all have adopted different strategies according to their temperament and background.
Let’s carry this insight to a greater level: the society.
The Macho and The Submissive
By looking at the past and present society I discovered something interesting. It seems to me the whole of humanity has been conditioned mainly according to the first strategy: The Macho. So for many many centuries mankind has not been kind to women and played the boss over them, falsely feeling strong. I always wondered, “What are the women doing? Somehow they must be playing along in this game otherwise it can’t function!” And yes, they do, but they have a good reason for it. If women want a harmonious relationship with a man, the only way is to play along with the macho without it becoming a fight. If you hate the guy it will become a struggle. But then, in the 60’s and 70’s, when women finally had the opportunity (let’s face it: before that women were submissive because they wanted to survive!) to change that game they, the feminists, imitated men and became macho themselves; that also became a struggle. So the only way for a relationship with a man to be any fun was to be (the counterpart of macho) – submissive.
Macho invites submissive behaviour. So, as a boy I often saw – to my surprise – women voluntarily acting out all kinds of submissive games with men; it became a challenge to see if they could ‘tame’ the man. You must have seen or done that a lot too! My best friends who were the most popular with women were definitely also the most macho, they were in gear! I had a hard time sometimes; as the dreamer I wasn’t very popular, wasn’t taken seriously… only later on I was, by some special women who enjoyed the dreamer. Thank Osho for that and the communes!
The macho is out,
to be sophisticated
and nerdy is in.
Lately I have been pondering over the goings-on in worldwide trends today. Just as the macho was a worldwide trend up to, let’s say, the 80’s, something shifted starting in the 90’s and onward. I was always amused by Osho’s devices, as I like to call them. What was all that attention about he was giving Sardarji and others, like Niskriya, in Poona 2? The Laughing Man, the Stonehead? And all the women flocked to get into bed with these guys, rather amusing; I had a few laughs about that with Sardarji who was all quite innocent about it. But he was definitely a macho (the Great Punjabi warrior!), and so is (German) Niskriya, whom I also got to know then. So was that Osho poking fun in advance at this breed which was about to get extinct that we call the macho (I recently saw the Disco movie “Saturday Night Fever” again, what fun!)… perhaps? What I got from it: we need to love the macho and then bury him.
Afraid (Brave) New World
Then the 90’s came… everybody who is a little aware must have noticed how the world changed then. The nerd took over and hated the physicalness of the macho; his manhood was too much. Also… Osho left the body. Now, the Osho movement is of course not the same after that, I miss him a lot actually. Coincidence? The world becomes more cerebral, cold and businesslike. The 90’s mark the heralding of a new era in which the nerd and the internet play the major role. Into the new millennium a shaky Afraid New World – although the youth herald it as a Brave New World – with Steve Jobs and Facebook as their heroes. It is not just more cerebral, there is also a new mood.
That mood takes the whole Osho movement with it in its momentum. The people in charge in Poona are constantly saying: “There is a new breed of people coming to Poona and we have to adapt to their language, their culture, otherwise they won’t understand Osho.” So all the changes going on in the Resort (including the change in name and therefore of the total atmosphere) are because of that new worldwide mood. We have to understand these things. It is no good getting annoyed about it, right? Anyway the older generations are having a harder time adapting to this new world than the younger who are born into it – although I notice that they too are confused.
Women and The Hate of the Macho
Women do represent
half of humanity
and if you suppress
one half too long
it needs to settle
the scores sometime.
I don’t think I ever fully grasped the need of Osho to change the management structure by placing women in charge instead of men. I thought it was making amends to women for having suffered for ages. I begin to see now, in the light of the current changing mood in the world (and it is a worldwide trend, don’t forget!) that there was perhaps a lot more to it. Osho was looking ahead as usual: women do represent half of humanity and if you suppress one half too long it needs to settle the scores sometime. The trend worldwide for centuries has been the macho. Now the trend has become hate, the hate of the macho.
I’ll give you a few illustrations of how you can recognize this shift in moods: In the days of the macho there is open confrontation with each other, great world wars (elementary Hemingway stuff) are being fought. All in all, typical ways of the man: it’s all very simple: the aggression is out there in the streets. Now, the aggression is more backwards/underhand, hidden aggression which has always been the strategy of the woman: her bitchiness. In the world we see a shift towards terrorism instead of open warfare; not open confrontation but hidden. At schools kids torture one another by posting nude photos of each other for the whole school to see or other devious tactics and the perpetrators are unknown.
In the world we see a shift
instead of open warfare;
not open confrontation
This hidden aggression mood is what I call hate. And why is there hate happening? It is replacing the macho; in fact it is directed against the macho! The macho is out, anything remotely manly and strong is viewed with grave concern, to be sophisticated and nerdy is in. Good manners… in fact the young men try hard to be perfect little gentlemen so as not to upset the girls too much, they are friendly and well-mannered. A bit creepy, I find sometimes, but that’s just it: creeping so as not to get hit by the woman. Interesting new clothing brands come into existence; I’ve counted 3 very popular brands with names like:
SUBDUED, OBEY and SUPERDRY!
The perfect description of the English gentleman: obedient, subdued and superdry! As in contrast with the juicy, rebellious and extrovert macho man.
We need a Catharsis of Love
The woman on the other hand feels the great need, and responsibility for being born in a woman’s body, to set the score right. And rightly so! The macho has done enough damage as it is. But I see the World At Large feminising (has any of you chaps read Nietzsche’s Will to Power? – he gives examples of how humanity is feminine and there is no real male strength, the essential male quality) and changing into a totally new gear, perhaps for the first time in existence. I don’t like the hate, in fact I abhor it, and I generally don’t find the young women these days very attractive with all their war paint (make-up) on. I have heard young men also find all that make-up unattractive. The funny thing is (I spend a lot of time with young people) guys are suddenly all growing beards as if to balance the phoniness of the women’s exteriors. But then these guys are confused too: they shave their legs and even chest hair while growing huge beards!
This world needs a great catharsis of love to settle the balance.
Then we can finally become cool (Buddha-like) towards the differences between man and woman.
It seems to me, however, this New Mood will go on for a while, the kids are getting into gear… they don’t like anything that is old, it seems. Anything old is either ‘hippie’ or ‘retro’ and generally belittled. Not very respectful, no, that’s why the Resort is changing, trying to adapt to this new way: people don’t want confrontational groups with macho group leaders, people don’t want to feel like a bunch of hippies following a guru (which feels submissive and macho), freedom (the universal struggle of women) is hip!
Article by Veet Sajjad
Related article: Are We Becoming an ‘Old Boys Club’?
Sajjad is a business course trainer (social-psychologist) since 2000. Took sannyas as a young dreamer in 1981, stayed in various communes (Medina, Amsterdam, so on) and went to Poona in 2001 to do (in Osho’s Samadhi!) THE Mystic Rose. Lately wrote a few essays on being a disciple such as: The Goodness Energy – Osho and Good Women. www.werkmotivatie.nl