Human Design

Human Design expert Chetan on his journey guided by the Shadow Reader

You can go now!

My father startled me two weeks after his passing by visiting me. I was hunched over in my armchair by the peat-burning fire in the Shetland Isles, mourning his death, and questioning the whole point of living. While completing what felt like two ecstatic cycles through the air around me, I heard my Dad say to me: “It’s alright…. You can go now!” A few months later, I was driving the Magic Bus to India.

On that first of several trips to and from India, with 43 seats on the bus, 42 were occupied by people who knew exactly where we were going, and one by someone who did not….and he was the driver…me! Later, I found out that 26 of the passengers were going to Pune to be with Osho, and had many ‘peculiarly mystical’ experiences of meeting them again in various places in Afghanistan, India and England. In Istanbul I got word to fly back to London to drive a second trip to India, and left my newly acquired friends to another driver’s care.

Blacklisted in Kew

If you join me over a chai or beer sometime, I am happy to recount those crazy overland travels to and from London, Kathmandu and Nairobi, but in February 1979, on Twiga Beach in Kenya, at the end of an arduous trip, I knew that I was in big trouble. I was a fully qualified and competent engineer, but what I was actually experiencing had little to do with engineering, and had little to do at all with my life in general. My time in India and the connections with the passengers on that first Magic Bus trip helped me make a decision. I flew to India, and found my footsteps passing through the Gateless Gate, as the front door to Osho’s ashram was called in those days.

All those who have joined Osho’s caravanserai can remember the initial wonder of discovering the sheer scope of what he offers, and we can ponder also, how on earth did he ever raise the inspiration to manage it? What possible motivation did he have to provide his extraordinary assistance to this planet and her people, knowing all the piles of trials, idiocy and utter bullshit he would have to encounter along the way? And then I remembered that he had certain people in his life who loved, guided and coached him, especially in his early days, helping him open his vision towards what was, and is to be: Grandparents, Magga Baba, Pagal Baba and the astrologer who initially refused to go deeply into Osho’s birth chart come to mind, among many others. We all have the opportunity to be guided in our lives if we can allow ourselves to accept what is offered.

The Shadow Reader

In those early months in Pune I felt completely out of my depth, and at the same time realized it was futile to leave to try something else. One day, I heard of this mysterious fellow in Mumbai (Bombay) who read people’s shadows, and would tell them all sorts of amazing things about their lives. He lived nearby the same building where Osho lived before he came to Pune, and Osho would recommend that those who had personal questions and wanted to find out everything about themselves should visit this ‘Shadow Reader’, so they’d never need to ask Osho another question!

Up early, rickshaw to Pune station, train to Mumbai, taxi round in circles for an hour plus, completely lost, until I see in the distance the building we are looking for, leap out of the taxi and run and climb through a maze of Mumbaian obstacles to the front door of the Shadow Reader. Arriving breathless and pouring sweat, I was met at the door by a smiling man who greeted me: “You are coming in right time, I was expecting you,” he says, calmly, “Go downstairs with my son and he will take a measurement.”

I had not made any appointment I knew about, but 10 minutes later, after giving the Shadow Reader my name (for numerology), my date of birth (for astrology) and presumably the length of my shadow measured in the parking lot below, he was happy with his calculations. He then proceeds to roll his chair across the parquet floor behind his desk, along a huge bookshelf full of identical-looking books, pulls out a volume, opens it to a particular page, and starts reading me. He begins by telling me things that he cannot possibly know. My parents’ names, the schools I’d attended, the work I’ve been doing, the religion I’d been given. How is this possible? He then moves to distant other past lifetimes… recent past… last week… present… next week… future. Time stops. Everything stops. I’m stunned. I sit there in a space of incomprehension, and yet fully knowing that what I have heard is exact.

Come and work with me!

He gives me a few minutes to recover some kind of reconnection with my surroundings, closes the book, smiles at me, and says: “I want you to come and work with me because you know how to do this work.” What? I was taken completely off guard. Dozens of different potential realities flashed through my brain. Life in Mumbai, learning Sanskrit to be able to read these texts, being in school again, learning this extraordinary science… being away from Osho, Pune and the ashram. After a lengthy hesitation, with my mind spinning through all kinds of crazy loops, I turned him down.

He cracked up laughing as though it was one of the funniest things he’d heard. At that moment, he could see, and I couldn’t. I was rejecting the world expert who was making the extraordinary offer to some British guy, to teach him about a system that in normal circumstances could only really be passed down from father to son. He could see my gift, and I couldn’t.

When he had finished laughing, he smiled and said: “It doesn’t matter, because you are going to do this work anyway, and my suggestion to you is that you start learning some modality of reading for people to practice, because there is a system that is going to come into your life you are going to write books about, teach it, read for people, and introduce it to many thousands of people all over the world – and it is going to change their lives.” This was in November 1979. I had no idea!

Within a week, back in the ashram, I met and was given a hand-reading lesson by a psychic palm reader whose wife was delivering clothes to the ashram boutique. After endorsing several things that the Shadow Reader had said about me the week before, he told me about all the shapes, swirls and the markings on hands. Over dinner that evening at the UP Hotel, I was telling my friends in the garden restaurant about this weird experience I’d had where I’d been shown how to read hands… and in the space of about 10 seconds, the table was covered with the hands of everyone in the restaurant! And so it began….

Over the years, I learned to read cards, faces, the IChing, astrology, tea leaves, coffee grinds, nature sounds, auras, and particularly the hands of anyone who would hold them out for me. It was fascinating to learn what could be seen, and how to tell of it, and who was interested and able to hear, and who would deliberately hide their hands when they knew I had this gift. Those who could hear sensed a shift in their life when they were recognized. Those who shied away obviously thought I was going to tell them something awful, which has never been my way. There are all sorts of approaches to express what can be seen, and this is the greatest responsibility for anyone who ever gives Readings: to gauge what can be said and how to say it, and what cannot be said, and how to avoid saying it… and still be accurate and empowering! Staying neutral in a Reading is really an art!

Jokes for Osho’s discourses

Over the next years, I realized the importance of being as close to Osho as possible, all the time feeling that his time here was limited, and being open and available to him was essential, whatever it took. Being in his presence and in the Buddhafield is again another story for another time. However, among everything I heard over the years, was what Osho referred to as a kind of ‘Mental Dry-Cleaning’ process through which he was assisting us to get over all the borrowed knowledge we’d imbibed, and certainly, I’d had my fill of nonsense to clear up. During the last two years that Osho held discourse, I had the greatest ‘job’ in the world: that of sitting in his library with two friends writing a selection of jokes for Osho’s discourses. For quite a while, laughing became a way of life…. [more about this to come in Osho News, ed.]

When Osho left in 1990, it was time to go try the world again. Looking back now, it took me over 13 years to become acclimatized to function as a world citizen! India, Thailand, Japan, Brazil, Europe, the US and then mother Maui in Hawaii became my home. I had previously always given my Readings for free, but on Maui, I needed an income so I started to charge for my sessions. I gave Readings in a bookshop, at conventions and during psychic fairs, all the time expanding on my gifts of stating clearly what was shown. In 1993, an old friend sent me the copy of my Human Design chart, and I knew right away, this was what the Shadow Reader had foretold. Here was the system he’d said was coming, and which had been ‘downloaded’ in 1987 by a Canadian man called Ra on the island of Ibiza.

Human Design

From then on for the next 6 years, often twice a year, I flew to New Mexico or Arizona to where Ra, who had somehow received Human Design without an instruction manual, came to teach his American students. It was a fascinating process, reaching into the massive intelligence behind this system. If I had once been a capable student for engineering, with Human Design it was something else… this was a calling! I took copious notes and before sleeping every night, would copy the notes onto my laptop making quite sure I’d understood and assimilated everything that had been said.

Going back to Maui after each trip, I was overflowing in ways that others had trouble comprehending. I knew that everyone had to have this knowledge but found, even on Maui, many people had trouble wanting to hear what Human Design was all about. My time on Maui came to an end, and I moved to Californialand. My ability to read Human Design was increasing all the time and the results that people were getting were dramatic. I had started three books on Human Design back on Maui, and to date, two of them are published, the first by Harper Collins UK, and New World Library in the US, and is now available in 11 languages worldwide; the second, a 21st Century version of the IChing tailored for Human Design took 17 years to complete and came out more recently, and to date is in English and Bulgarian.

After 6 years of studying and practicing Human Design, and been qualified by Ra as a teacher in 1997, it became apparent that it was time to leave his schooling. After spending so many years with Osho, and coming to appreciate his passionate concern for inner development, it became more and more difficult to listen to the way Ra described his interesting but mechanistic experience of life. A few years after my departure, Ra had a couple of ‘official’ Human Design organisations put together by his followers, and although Ra asked me to join, the idea did not appeal to me. From that moment on, and especially when the books came out and classes I taught were being publicised, I was blacklisted by this newly evolving ‘official’ Human Design community.


I am quite embarrassed to be in any way associated with many of these late-comers to Human Design who have claimed this amazing knowledge for their own. Through their organisations they make claims that are not truthful, and threaten anyone who divulges this obviously mutative knowledge in their own way with legal action that is based on false premises, and with no legal standing whatsoever. Just for the record, Ra denied in writing any ownership of Human Design in 1992, and gave away the rights to the Life Chart (also called the ‘Body Graph’) to his friend Jurgen Saupe, whose family passed on the rights to others when Jurgen died. Clearly, I am extremely grateful to Ra for surviving the experience of downloading and delivering Human Design to the world, realizing that it probably near-destroyed his nervous system. However, though he was extraordinarily intelligent, Ra lived much of his life from a place of scarcity, fear and ego, and has unfortunately passed down this attitude to many of his lieutenants and followers. It is said that the culture of any organisation is the reflection of the founder’s unresolved issues.

When as an individual you are quite clear and open about something you do, you dedicate yourself to practicing and mastering it, you see levels of understanding in it that others have missed or misinterpreted completely and you give of it from your heart, then it is a really peculiar sensation to find others decrying everything you do. Not only putting you down to those who are already interested in your efforts, but also trashing published and filmed works from a place of spite. Comments against my books on Amazon were compiled of dislikes and demeaning ‘reviews’, contrasted with other highly positive reviews that described major life revelations. I found my facebook friends and relatives, including 7 year old grandchildren, being poached to ‘make friends’ with the new ‘official owners’ of Human Design. And myself and one of my colleagues has been threatened with frivolous lawsuits that never came to pass because there was absolutely no legal foundation to them… all dust in the wind of paucity and fear.

The ultimate rebel

It all came to remind me of the extraordinary circus around Osho. I am not for one moment comparing my efforts with Osho’s, far from it. I love what I do and I am grateful for all the assistance, seen and unseen received along the way that allows me to do it. However, I am in a constant state of amazement with what Osho has pulled off, and continues to do so. Not only was Osho blacklisted in his own country, but vilified in the US, and deported from what was it? 21 countries? For no good reason other than that people didn’t get the uniqueness of what he offers … and felt threatened.

So, I am reminded… whenever you feel like life is being a bit unfair, doesn’t like your uniqueness, and there is a lot of nasty things being said about you and being done towards you, just remember that we have been given the greatest of examples by the ultimate rebel himself! Take no notice!

I trust that Existence brings the right people to work with me, appreciate what comes through me, and transforms in their life as a result. To date, this has been the case, and I am grateful beyond measure that I have been guided to do this work over many lifetimes, and be in a place to watch the amazing leaps of growth and transformations it brings to the people I meet.


ChetanChetan Parkyn schooled in England as a mechanical engineer. In India, in 1979, his true gifts of reading for people were recognized by two savants, and he was told to prepare for a “new” esoteric system. In 1993, he was shown Human Design and has studied, read and taught it worldwide ever since. Harper Collins UK published his ‘Human Design, Discover the Person You Were Born To Be’ in 2009 which is presently available in 11 languages.

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