A detailed biography of hypnotherapist Anand Santosh, aka Jeru Kabbal (1930-2000) written by Nishkam, the author of a new book about his life and work, published in Germany, to celebrate 40 years of Dehypnotherapy.
In 1974, American psychologist Richard Shoulders arrived in Pune, and with him many more trained therapists from the West. He was 44 years old and had just left behind a well-payed career in Germany in order to connect with Osho, the master who gave him a mystical call “from across the silent sea,” as he used to say.
Born 1930 in Indiana, USA, he grew up under a strong Christian conditioning and went on studying Psychology at Pepperdine University, UCLA and other well-known institutes in California. Although he was quite interested in religions, he decided to go for psychology and earned himself a degree in mass-psychology, a subject that was rather trendy in those days.
He landed good jobs in public relations in the USA, but did not want to settle. He was up for adventures. That impulse took him to Germany during the 60’s where he later worked as an art-director in an advertising agency.
Parallel to his office jobs – curious to know what life was all about – he started studying mysticism and mystics by any means he could access. His thinking was also influenced by the leading heads of the human potential movement. A new perspective in psychology had started a while before and reached its peak during the flower power 60’s on the American west coast with therapists such as Carl Rogers, Abraham Maslow, Fritz Perls, Wilhelm Reich and others.
During his time in Germany he had already laid the foundations of his Dehypno work by combining his knowledge as a psychologist with his own experiences and research in transpersonal studies. Around Frankfurt he was known as ‘Dick Shoulders the Hypnotherapist’ and offered the first Esalen massage groups and encounter workshops. When he received a strong inner calling from Osho, he immediately left everything behind to meet the man who had impressed him so deeply through one of his first books.
In Pune, Osho gave him the name Anand Santosh; he received a warm welcome and was asked to help with the planning of the commune. The layout for the ashram buildings in Koregaon Park was sketched out on his kitchen table. Soon he belonged to Osho’s main therapists. Over the years he made him the Director of several Institutes: The Institute of Altered States of Consciousness, the Rajneesh Institute of Dehypnotherapy and the Institute of Conscious Living and Dying. He belonged to those pioneers who combined western psychology with Osho’s perspective of meditation. Osho called it the ‘Psychology of the Buddhas’.
The whole perspective of bringing meditation into therapy was totally new in those days. The innovation of Santosh’s work was mainly that – with the insights he had received from Osho – he was putting the logic of hypnotherapy upside down and turned it into de-hypnotherapy. Before that, hypnotherapy meant that clients were talked into a deep hypnosis to help them solve their problems. But now they heard that in this moment there were no real problems, that they had been in deep hypnosis all their lives, and the aim was to get them out of this ‘deep sleep’ that made them believe that they were in constant trouble. The pioneer work of Santosh was to create tools and exercises for waking people up from this subconscious hypnosis. What came out was not one or two methods, but a process of steps that made this waking up possible.
An amalgam of hypnoanalysis, NLP, kinesiological testing – especially with the pendulum – and various exercises in mindfulness and meditation was the recipe he was experimenting with, always under the guidance of Osho. In 1977 he facilitated his first official Dehypno workshop in Pune. The key message was, “You are already in deep hypnosis by your conditioning and your daily trance. That’s why you have to dehypnotize yourself.”
In 1981, when Osho left Pune for Oregon, Santosh organized a long dehypnotherapy retreat at the Dal Lake in Kashmir. The group took place on a houseboat with around 65 participants. Some of that group were trained to teach the material in Europe, Australia and the US.
However, over the years, the work was assimilated into other workshop formats and contents. Santosh himself altered and molded the process also according to his ongoing experiences, hence the material constantly developed further until his death in 2000. Santosh worked with thousands of people and refined his work by making it as simple and efficient as he could. He said, “My work is definitely therapeutic, but that is not my aim. My aim is to help people live to their highest potential. I am heading for self-realization.”
In 1985, after Rajneeshpuram closed, he became the director of the last Osho commune in the USA in Laguna Beach. When this also closed, in 1986, Santosh shifted his new Institute for Dehypnotherapy to Soquel, California. After going through many ups and downs this small commune project ended in financial problems and shut down in 1989.
Santosh then decided to find clarity for himself in a forty-day retreat in the Arizona desert. In solitude and with a minimum to live on, he asked for guidance and for a new name. He received many insights, and the name Jeru Kabbal popped up.
He continued the work under his new name, Jeru Kabbal, in Marin County, California and called his work now ‘The Anagogic Process’, meaning ‘a process that leads into the light’ and he later named it ‘The ClarityProcess’. In those days he also invented the Quantum Light Breath, a well-known transformative breath meditation. The ClarityProcess stretches over several years and gives participants the possibility to ‘travel home’ in the midst of a trusted group.
In the 90’s he started his worldwide travels as a spiritual guide and therapist. He offered workshops in the USA, Holland, Germany, Spain, and on Bali in Indonesia. He fell in love with that friendly tropical island. In his last years he rented a house next to a cremation ground at the feet of the holy mountain-volcano, Gunung Agung. Jeru was inspired by the place. Also, on Bali he found out that Bali-Hindu lay priests are addressed with the name Jero by others.
Jeru died in May 2000 in an American hospital after a second kidney transplant.
Forty years after the first workshop in 1977 his programme is still active. To celebrate this, I wrote the book, Jeru Kabbal’s Clarity®Process: The Life and Work of a Transpersonal Psychology Pioneer (for now only available in German under the title Jeru Kabbals Clarity®Process-Leben und Werk eines Pioniers der transpersonalen Psychologie), where you find not only Jeru’s personal biography but also the origins of the ClarityProcess (Dehypno), its roots, how it developed and which methods are being used in it. It was published by Springer in Wiesbaden, Germany, under the umbrella of the School of Peace Studies of the Innsbruck University, Austria.
The work that was created by Osho and Jeru is definitely ‘peace work’, since peace starts in the heads and hearts of people. Peace is possible only when levels of fear decrease and people relax into their presence. This is exactly what his process is able to achieve for each individual who is willing to go for it.
Jeru well deserves a place in the hall of fame among the pioneers of transpersonal psychology, a process which could be considered to be a therapeutical heritage of the sannyas movement.
Nishkam has been facilitating Clarity workshops in Europe since 2000. He hosts the archive of Jeru Kabbal’s work in Germany. www.clarityproject.de
The book ‘Jeru Kabbals Clarity®Process-Leben und Werk eines Pioniers der transpersonalen Psychologie’ is available as paperback from amazon.de or from www.clarityproject.de and as an ebook from www.springer.com
I hit only the chosen people