Antar Marc‘s letters and cards to his mother while living in Osho’s communes during 1984/1985.
“My mother returned these letters and postcards to me back in 2005, two years before she died at age 92. I did not look at them till recently.” (click on photos to see full image)
Berlin, March 7, 1984
It is 5 o’clock in the afternoon and I am sitting at the disco while the cleaning crew is busy getting everything ready and shiny for tonight. This will be my second week of night shift behind the bar I am tending, working from 9 o’clock in the evening till about 7 o’clock in the morning. Every evening around 800 people come to dance here, in this fantastic project where so many of us work and live together. However, from now on I am going to live at the ashram in Brandenburgische Strasse. What an exciting life, I like it!
The disco looks like a train that slowly gets up steam and after a while moves in an endless rhythm. That’s the beat of the music, and no way to jump out till the train slows down at about 5 o’clock in the morning. Then we clean up and drink a glass of sparkling wine or champagne. Yes, in Berlin nightlife ends at 5 o’clock in the morning and at that time, when we go home, there are already people on the Kurfürstendamm, on their way to work.
Amazing where a free bird can land. Say hello to the family. Love,
Berlin, April 12, 1984
The new ashram in Dahlmann Strasse 9 is almost ready. The handyman crew is still busy. While we will move in, the next project begins: a Zorba the Buddha vegetarian restaurant and a meditation centre at the Ku’damm. Presently I am part of the Disco cleaning crew where we clean up the mess of the night. As I told you before, there is always something going on here.
Berlin, May 1, 1984
Although I could write effortlessly before, now I don’t know what to tell someone who doesn’t live here. There is so much happening and at the same time I am more silent inside.
The restaurant is ready but can’t open due to some regulations. However, we just continue with the new meditation centre close by. On June 25th we fly to our Master in Oregon for 14 days. I have to think about a Tarot card – ‘Beyond the small family’:
You are part of the whole, you belong to existence. Don’t let attachment to a part prevent you from entering into the greater whole. Just as a child has to leave the body of the mother, so too, mentally one day he has to come out of the father and mother’s womb. Not only physically but mentally also, not only mentally but spiritually also. And when the child is born spiritually, is completely out of the past, has broken with it completely, only then for the first time does he becomes a self, an independent reality. Before this he was just a part of the mother or the father or the family, but he was never himself. (1)
I learn a lot and I like it. Much love and say hello to all from the Art Academy of Life.
Oregon, June 30, 1984
Well, here I am, sitting among 10,000 sannyasins from all over the world somewhere in the mountains of Oregon. Beautiful people, open for what is happening, knowing that they don’t know what either. We are creating a city with roads, houses, a lake, shops, disco and a farm. Just for the fun of creating and the love for Bhagwan. Does it sound weird? Even if you don’t get it, it is great!
I will tell you more about it when we are back in Berlin.
Berlin November 7, 1984
I am writing to you sitting in my ‘Crêpe Corner’, a corner in the kitchen of our restaurant at the Ku’damm.
At the moment there is not much to do, but I make crêpes, omelettes and pancakes. Do you remember that I made pancakes at Queensday in Vondelpark? Here some of the crêpes:
Crêpe Spinach with béchamel sauce and cheese
Crêpe Avocado with sprouts and cheese
Crêpe Champignon with crème fraîche
Crêpe Orange with orange cottage cheese and Grand Marnier
Crêpe Canada with walnut ice cream and pears
Glad to be back in Berlin, I feel at home here. There are so many new people in the commune now. The crew I work with at the moment is my small family. There is no book that explains this commune as well as Satyananda’s – ‘Ganz entspannt im Hier und Jetzt’.
Did you see the TV documentary about the commune in Holland by Frank Wiering? Funny to see how ‘outsiders’ view us. I can’t even manage to analyse it myself!
I am just here-now, and for the rest we will see when the time comes. A good feeling. It has to do with trust. Trust comes with experience.
Berlin, December 21, 1984
Wow, thanks for the money! I have no idea what to do with it right now but that will come.
Of course you have no idea what is happening here. At the moment I am a driver for the commune and also a handyman. The restaurant has been closed now. Not enough income compared to the work it takes. (21 workers – the same amount as for the disco and we have a lot more income). Rise and fall.
Anyway, I had a good time there, as a waiter and crêpe cook. After renovating the place we now have the opening of the Dance Café on Monday, December 24th. I am used to the changes a bit now, it is really an amazing commune. At the same time there are exchange programs with Milan, London, Zurich, Brazil and more places. We now have 3 Spaniards, 4 Brazilians, 1 Chilean, 6 Swiss, 10 British, 1 Scottish, 1 Irish, 1 Australian, 2 French, 8 Italians (mamma mia), 10 Dutchies, 1 East German (special story) and for the rest West Germans. Some left the commune. When you can’t put all your energy in, it doesn’t work. Making decisions only takes a short time. Not much talking, no long discussions, just look how it feels and then act accordingly. Amazing.
Every day I go to the video lectures by Bhagwan. When I am too tired to sit I lie down, and sometimes fall asleep, as several of us do. That is OK. My life is full. Love to everyone.
Berlin, January 22, 1985
Finally there is time to write. I am in the hospital room in the commune because I have the flu. Feeling weak, have a thick head, you know what I mean. I sleep the whole day but am able to eat everything. Just this moment someone from the kitchen is being asked to bring some cake for us.
Last weekend I was on the flea market selling stuff from the commune, in the snow. We have so much leftover items from ashramites and the restaurant interior – chairs, clothes, cutlery, toys, books, LP’s. We rent a stand for 40 DM and then you are a flea market man. On Saturday, together with Prasadam (actor), we sold stuff for 350 DM and on Sunday for 600 DM. Woke up at 4.45 in the morning, then breakfast, loading, driving and setting up the stand in the cold, some old gas lights illuminating the marketplace.
At that moment some traders came with torches and shone on our sales items to pick out the good things for a bargain. Many Turkish traders. You remember when we were in Morocco, where they said to us, Dutchies, “Kijken, kijken niet kopen” (looky, looky, no shoppy). Then we just wait till other customers come by during daylight. Funny to be on the other side of the table now. It is the whole day busy, moving in the fresh air.
What a life! Love to all.
Berlin, March 10, 1985
It seems there is not much to tell. Whatever it is, everything becomes normal after a while and I live without the ability to describe my current situation. You can see a rose and say, “What a beautiful rose.” However, I lost myself in the rose. Do you get what I mean? This process of going inside myself is fascinating. Bhagwan’s lectures are fascinating. Every day for 2 hours we watch a video discourse and he talks about everything and more. I do fall asleep sometimes during the lecture (many do) and that is OK. It penetrates anyway.
Munich, June 15, 1985
I am in the Munich commune now. Three days after arrival I got sick and was in bed for three days. It happens often after a commune change. I am just relaxing and reading the autobiography by Allen Watts, ‘Time to Live’. It is about a man who became a Buddhist at the age of 20, did Zen and became a famous writer in the USA. Now I am reading from Nikos Kazantzakis ‘Zorba the Greek’. It is a great Greek novel about an intellectual who dropped writing and started a small coalmine on Crete.
You would never guess where I am working now… I work in the Dadu department, gardening! I have made some designs for gardens – a Japanese pond with rocks, small trees and low vegetation. The next landscape order is to change a swimming pool into a pond for elderly people who no longer dive and swim. You see, that is what I do with my Art Academy education right now. We realise the project together and everyone has his/her own quality. No stress about money. While drawing, I had the same art fever and excitement as at the academy. We are working on a large project at the Ammersee, 50 km southeast of Munich. The Building crew made a wooden house with a boat house near the lake and we are landscaping the garden. Fresh air, mountains and friends. Great to be here.
Stuttgart, November 3, 1985
I am in Stuttgart with a thick lip. Friday night at the entrance door of the Disco a guy came and hit me in the face, just like that. (Actually, this guy wanted to hit someone else.) A new experience, this never happened before. The inside of my lower lip is torn and at the hospital they had to make four stitches. An X-ray showed nothing was broken but it did show four hidden wisdom teeth! It looks like a pout. I shouldn’t laugh (and that is not easy for me) because it could tear open again. Food is banana shake, thin soup and I can drink wine with a straw. They are all very caring to me.
The moment it happened I felt like a watcher observing the hit and at the same time remained untouched. (Similar to the experience when the car rolled over and I came out.)
It might sound a bit creepy but I am fine now.
Munich, November 22, 1985
Bhagwan is back in India. After all this turmoil during the last weeks it feels like relaxation. In the commune you anyway don’t know what can happen tomorrow. It feels a bit weird. People from all over the world are coming in and going out of the commune. I want to stay, even if it is an open-ended stay.
From today on I will be with the kids who came from the Rajneesh School in England. 8 little kids from 3 to 6 years old need all your attention. You know that yourself. Walking in the snow, a dog passes by, barks and a kid falls down, crying. My lip is getting better but I can still feel it.
Now there are no more lectures so there is time to explore Munich. I was in the old and new Pinakothek with its beautiful paintings and objects. There are great coffee houses, like in Vienna.
Life goes fast and at the same time I am relaxed, as if I were sitting in a train, watching.
Greece, February 18, 1986
When I heard that Bhagwan was in Crete I went to the station and took a train to Greece.
Now I am on the boat from Athens to Crete and hope to rent a place together with other sannyasins.
I anyway wanted sun and holidays.
(1) Quote by Osho from No Water No Moon, Ch 8
Translated by Antar Marc